Ask Our Pharmacists For The Best Vitamin C For Your Family
Supplements are good instant sources of vitamins and minerals for our bodies. However, patients with pre-existing medical conditions might experience side effects with the vitamins that contain chemicals that can make their conditions worse.
If you want to make sure of whats best for your family, ask our pharmacists. Let us assist you with your prescriptions and vitamins at any of our locations in Charlotte, Lancaster, or Rock Hill.
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Synthetic Vitamin C May Upset The Stomach
Synthetic ascorbic acid supplements not processed as mineral ascorbate may cause an upset stomach in some people. These dietary supplements negatively affect people sensitive to acid.
Taking just enough ascorbic acid helps digest food and eliminate bad bacteria in the digestive system. Too much of it increases the acid in the stomach, leading to reflux, bloating, and flatulence.
Newer versions of Vitamin C containing mineral ascorbate mitigate the acid, preventing overproduction of acid in the stomach. A study noted calcium ascorbate has the same antioxidant qualities offered by Vitamin C with less acid.
Vitamin C Bioavailability From Different Tablet Formulations
Doses of vitamin C up to 2000 mg/day are considered safe for general consumption . However, pharmacokinetic studies indicate that ingestion of single doses of vitamin C greater than 200 mg have lower relative bioavailability , indicating that ingestion of several smaller doses each day is preferable to a single large dose. A number of studies have investigated the relative bioavailability of vitamin C from different tablet formulations and have shown that slow-release formulations provide superior vitamin bioavailability . Salts of vitamin C, such as sodium and calcium ascorbate , have also been tested. Animal studies indicated that Ester-C was absorbed more readily and excreted less rapidly than ascorbic acid and had superior anti-scorbutic activity in ODS rats . Johnston and Luo , however, found no significant differences between Ester-C and ascorbic acid bioavailability in humans. Nevertheless, Ester-C has been shown to be better tolerated in individuals sensitive to acidic foods .
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What To Look For In A True Vitamin C Product
To give you some idea of what to look for in a vitamin C supplement, here are the ingredients of the one I use. Notice that there is no isolated ascorbic acid or other ascorbates and no additives. Just pure food Vitamin C sources. Please note that this is not the only Vitamin C supplement that qualifies as totally pure. There are a few others.
Pure Radiance C ingredients: camu camu berry extract, manioc root, acerola berry extract, amla berry extract, buckwheat sprouts, freeze-dried berry blend, blueberry, raspberry, cranberry, cherry, rose hips fruit, lemon peel, black pepper berry extract.
I also use the Amla C Plus. Here are the ingredients: Organic Amla berry, organic spirulina.
Notice that the words ascorbic acid are not listed in either of these products!
Want to know where to find a complete line of whole food Vitamin C supplements from a variety of whole food plant sources?
for several carefully vetted brands to choose from.
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How Much Vitamin C Do We Really Need
Ill put it this way: How many oranges can you imagine yourself eating on any given day. One? Two? Three? The number might vary a little, but nobody would say 50 oranges.
But thats how much Vitamin C youre getting if you take just one dose of many Vitamin C supplements. This practice of taking daily megadoses of vitamin C can be traced back to Linus Pauling. In 1976, he concluded that we need 3000 mg of Vitamin C every day for maximum health benefits:14 the equivalent of about 50 oranges. Pauling himself was taking upwards of 10,000 mg.14
Are supplements giving you way more vitamin C than you need?
In contrast, the recommended daily dose for Vitamin C is a meager 75 mg and 90 mg : the equivalent of one orange, half of a bell pepper, a partial serving of broccoli, a cup of strawberries, or a serving of countless other fruits and vegetables.
While the USRDA is not my authority for how much I need, of healthy food , the point is: 3000 mg of Vitamin C, especially long term, is not natural and may actually be a bad idea.
So, where does that leave us? Theres certainly no need to restrict yourself to the USRDA , and if youre eating a healthy diet that includes a variety of raw fruits and vegetables, youre almost certainly meeting your nutritional needs without exceeding the Food and Nutrition Boards recommended safe upper limit of 2,000 mg.
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Symptoms Of Vitamin C Deficiency
- Helps prevent upper respiratory infections/colds
- Helps prevent seizure disorders
- Helps prevent sepsis
In addition to the benefits discussed above, vitamin C appears to be beneficial for those admitted to a hospital, specifically, the intensive care unit. A 2019 meta-analysis study in Nutrients, which looked at more than 18 studies and over 2,000 patients, noted that hospital patients who supplemented with vitamin C reduced their ICU stay by 8 to 18 percent compared to those who were not given vitamin C.
Various formulations are available to consumers.
Look For Synthetic Keywords
If the supplement youre looking at has a bunch of words ending in ide, or ate, youre probably looking at lab-made ascorbic acid. These words indicate that a salt compound was created to stabilize a synthetic substance. You might see bitartrate, acetate, chloride, nitrate, gluconate, hydrochloride, or acetate.
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Even more disturbing, ascorbic acid is frequently marketed as natural vitamin C and added to organic foods as a natural preservative. Truly natural forms of vitamin C and synthetic ascorbic acid seem to be used interchangeably.
How confusing for the consumer!
Nearly all juices and fruit products are loaded up with ascorbic acid, even many organic, healthfood store versions. It seems that if a product is labeled high in Vitamin C, consumers buy more of it.
A lot of folks are being fooled by these misleading semantics. There is a growing body of evidence that those consuming high doses of ascorbic acid should have reason to worry.
Citric Acid Vs Ascorbic Acid
Citric acid and ascorbic acid have both similarities and differences.
The similarities between citric acid and vitamin C come down to the fact that they are both acids commonly found in citrus fruits. They also both have antioxidant properties and antimicrobial properties, per the âJournal of Functional Foodsâ. As a result, they both have various health benefits.
It’s certainly possible for foods to contain both substances. Lemons, for example, have both citric acid and vitamin C.
That said, citric acid and ascorbic acid should not be confused with one another.
Unlike vitamin C, citric acid is not one of the recommended vitamins and minerals you need each day. Citric acid also has not been linked to the prevention of diseases or connective tissue repair, unlike ascorbic acid.
Citric acid also does not have the same effects on the immune system and levels of cholesterol as vitamin C.
These important differences mean citric acid has many more commercial uses â unlike nutrient vitamin C, citric acid is also used in cleaning products, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.
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What Is Citric Acid
Citric acid is naturally present in a variety of different fruits and vegetables, per March 2017 research in âChemistry Central Journalâ.
Foods high in citric acid include berries like raspberries and strawberries, and citrus fruits like lemons and limes. Citric acid is most concentrated in lemons and limes their juice contains 1.44 and 1.38 grams of citric acid per ounce, respectively.
Citric acid can also improve the activity of other antioxidants. Citric acid may get a bad reputation, because it has been linked to the erosion of tooth enamel, but it also has health benefits. In addition to its antioxidant activity, citric acid may help prevent kidney stones, according to December 2014 research in the âKorean Journal of Urologyâ.
Citric acid is also manufactured and used in a number of commercial products. It is a very common food additive.
It’s used to give citrus-flavored soft drinks their signature fruity, tart taste and as a flavor and color enhancer in other products. Citric acid is also frequently used as a preservative.
You may find it in juices made from concentrates, vegetable oils and in products used to extend the lifespan of freshly cut produce, per an October 2015 study in the âJournal of Functional Foodsâ.
Synthetic Vitamin C Is Less Absorbable And Less Active
Many people take large doses during the cold and flu season, hoping to minimize the chances of getting sick. Theres a large problem with this.
As the dose of synthetic Vitamin C increases, the absorption decreases. The benefits of Vitamin C are also negated by the synthetic version.
Ascorbic acid has been linked to DNA damage and may actually increase oxidation instead of counteracting it.
Ascorbic acid also kills the beneficial bacteria in the intestines that aid in digestion and combat more dangerous bacterial infections. Ascorbic acid is also mainly derived from GMO corn, which has a host of problems too.
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Bioavailability Of Vitamin C
Bioavailability means the skin’s ability to absorb vitamin C from a product.
The topical application of vitamin C is rather complex. A 2001 scientific study showed that L-ascorbic acid had to be made at the right pH level to be absorbed by the skin. Also, other forms of synthetic vitamin C didn’t penetrate the skin. They also didn’t increase vitamin C skin levels.
Types Of Synthetic Vitamin C
The examples of synthetic vitamin C you’re likely to find in skincare products include:
- Ascorbic acid
- Sodium ascorbyl palmitate
L-ascorbic acid is considered the best, as the skin readily absorbs it. The other types are often combined with sugars, fatty acids, or minerals to provide additional benefits or to increase absorption.
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Ascorbic Acid Is Usually From Genetically Modified Corn
Whats worse is that ascorbic acid is not just synthetic. Remember that it is also usually derived from genetically modified corn! More on that GMO vitamin C travesty fooling millions of consumers every single day in the linked article.
Another vitamin scam harming consumers concerns synthetic folate commercially known as folic acid.
The pushing of beta carotene as true vitamin A by food manufacturers and supplement companies is another nutritional falsehood scamming millions of consumers and worse, seriously harming their health.
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Now Foods Chewable C 500
If youre not a fan of swallowing pills, NOW Foods chewable vitamin C tablets may be the product for you.
NOW Foods is a reputable brand that produces a variety of affordable, high quality nutritional supplements.
Each orange-flavored tablet provides a 500-mg dose of vitamin C and contains just 1 gram of added sugar. Theyre also 100% vegan and free of major allergens.
NOW Foods prides themselves on their meticulous testing protocols. Each supplement is tested in-house for purity and potency, and all of their manufacturing facilities are certified by the Food and Drug Administration .
Gummy vitamins are one of the hottest trends in nutrition supplements and understandably so. Whether youre a kid or a kid at heart taking your vitamin C has never been easier or more delicious.
However, although gummy vitamins are convenient and taste great, they should not be confused with candy.
Its important that you dont exceed the recommended dose, as too much vitamin C could lead to unintended side effects. Like other supplements, be sure to store them away from little ones to avoid a potential overdose.
What Is The Healthiest Form Of Vitamin C
- Best Overall: Natures Bounty Vitamin C at Amazon.
- Best Organic: Garden of Life Vitamin C with Amla at Amazon.
- Best Capsule: Solgar Vitamin C 1000 mg at Amazon.
- Best Tasting : NOW Chewable Vitamin C-500 at Amazon.
- Best Boosted: Pure Encapsulations Essential-C & Flavonoids at Amazon.
- Best Gummy:
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How To Tell The Difference Between Whole Food Vitamin C Supplements And Fake Vitamin C
The serious problem is that most people think vitamin C and ascorbic acid are the same. They are not.
Producers of powdered or pureed fruits high in vitamin C often use various production methods that can result in the degradation of vitamin C. Then, they add ascorbic acid to the final product to replace the depleted vitamin C, and make it taste and appear as though the levels have been maintained. The vitamin C-depleting processing techniques include spray-drying, heating and freeze-drying. If youre opting for a commercially-made vitamin C supplement, freeze-drying can retain what natural vitamin C there is left, though its not perfect.
The companies that fortify their vitamin C supplements with ascorbic acid do not disclose this fact or list it on the label, so its nearly impossible to tell the difference between real vitamin C and synthetic ascorbic acid.
So if youre holding a bottle of $5 ascorbic acid from your local drugstore and a pricey version from a popular vitamin producer, you wont be able to discern how its processed.
But, its always an option to contact the company that makes the vitamin C supplement and ask how the product is produced and processed and what percentage of ascorbic acid is added. Hopefully, they will be honest.
What To Look For In A Vitamin C Supplement
If youre looking for short-term, immune-stimulating therapeutic benefits of Vitamin C, look for one that comes from pure organic food sources, contains zero additives, and isnt just isolated ascorbic acid .
Common high-quality Vitamin C supplements will have ingredients like acerola berry extract, amla berry extract, camu camu berry extract, and berry blends . These plant foods should be the only ingredients, if you choose to take a supplement!
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How To Measure Vitamin C In The Body
There are two main ways vitamin C can be measured in the body. The first is a blood serum level. For women, normal levels are between 0.3-2.7 mg/dL while normal for men is 0.2-2.1 mg/dL. The second is checking vitamin C levels in white blood cells, or leukocytes. The reference range depends on the lab.
Truth About Vitamin C In Skincare: Is Ascorbic Acid Really Vitamin C
Vitamin C in skincare products and as a supplement is very popular. Benefits of this vitamin are indisputable and scientifically proven facts, but there is a problem
What is marketed to you as Vitamin C is L-ascorbic acid in reality. This compound is not true Vitamin C but only a part of the whole Vitamin C complex.
Majority of ascorbic acid in skincare products and dietary supplements is produced by adding hydrochloric acid to corn syrup derived from corn and that corn is most likely genetically modified.
Vitamins are not individual molecules but complex structures constructed by many molecules that work in harmony to deliver a desired effect.
Vitamin C to be true Vitamin C must contain, in addition to ascorbic acid:
- ascorbinogen bioflavonoids
Ascorbic acid is only the antioxidant wrapper that protects the functional parts of the vitamin from rapid oxidation or breakdown.
Additionally, mineral co-factors must be present and in proper amounts. If any of those components are missing, there is no Vitamin C no vitamin activity. And when only some of them are present in the body, the body has to draw on its own stores to make up the difference.
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Why You Should Beware Of Ascorbic Acid: Synthetic Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, meaning that your body doesnt store it. You have to get what you need from food, including citrus fruits, broccoli, and tomatoes. When individuals are not getting enough vitamin C in their diets, they often take synthetic vitamin C supplements. Nearly all vitamin C supplements on the market are made from ascorbic acid.
Many juices and fruit products are loaded up with ascorbic acid, even many organic, health food store versions. It seems that if a product is labeled high in Vitamin C, consumers will buy more of it. But lets slow down and take a real look at how consuming acsorbic acid can be the opposite of good for you.
Why do we need Vitamin C?
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, you need vitamin C for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of your body. Vitamin C helps the body make collagen, an important protein used to make skin, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels. Vitamin C is necessary for healing wounds, and for repairing and maintaining bones and teeth. It also helps the body absorb iron.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant, along with vitamin E, beta-carotene, and many other plant-based nutrients. Antioxidants block some of the damage caused by free radicals, substances that damage DNA. The build up of free radicals over time may contribute to the aging process and the development of health conditions such as cancer, heart disease, and arthritis.