Vitamin C is a well known antioxidant nutrient with a variety of features within the human physique, together with collagen synthesis, wound therapeutic, protein metabolism, synthesis of neurotransmitters and L-carnitine, and immune system assist.

Although it’s not terribly tough to acquire satisfactory quantities of this nutrient from an entire meals, nutrient-dense weight loss plan, typically a little bit additional is perhaps warranted.

So, you resolve to hunt out a top quality vitamin C complement, solely to find that there are a few gazillion choices to select from at your native grocery or well being meals retailer.

The next article seeks to make clear a little bit bit concerning the types, sources, supply strategies, and dosages of vitamin C dietary supplements in the marketplace as a way to make knowledgeable selections for your self or your shoppers.

First, let’s take a look at the commonest types and sources of vitamin C dietary supplements you would possibly encounter.

Ascorbic Acid

Vitamin C and L-ascorbic acid are thought-about to be synonymous. Most dietary supplements you’ll encounter comprise ascorbic acid from artificial or pure sources, that are typically an identical within the molecule’s form and organic exercise.

The molecule ascorbic acid will be oriented in two methods: with the atoms rotating to the left (L-ascorbic acid) or rotating to the fitting (D-ascorbic acid). What’s vital to know is that in nature, vegetation, micro organism, and animals with the flexibility to supply ascorbic acid that rotates to the left. People, who can’t produce ascorbic acid, additionally use the L type.

Pure ascorbic acid happens in meals, notably vegatables and fruits like strawberries, kiwi, papaya, citrus fruits, and all forms of peppers. For “pure” vitamin C dietary supplements, ascorbic acid is made by permitting sure micro organism, like Saccharomyces cerevisiae, to ferment a sugar substrate, like glucose or sorbitol.

Artificial ascorbic acid is usually produced industrially by a way referred to as the Reichstein course of, which makes use of chemical and microbial steps to transform D-glucose to L-ascorbic acid. Glucose for artificial ascorbic acid usually comes from corn, which will be closely processed and is commonly genetically modified, so take into account the standard and supply of the components when selecting this type of supplementation.

Because the identify suggests, ascorbic acid is acidic. Due to this fact, some folks could also be delicate to giant doses, maybe experiencing gastrointestinal discomfort or diarrhea. If this can be a concern, the following type is perhaps gentler on the intestine.

Mineral Ascorbates

Mineral ascorbates are a salt consisting of an ascorbate ion (unfavorable cost) sure to a mineral ion (optimistic cost). Most frequently, the mineral utilized in ascorbates is sodium or calcium. Different ascorbates could comprise potassium, magnesium, zinc, molybdenum, chromium, manganese, or a mixture of those.

Ascorbates are ascorbic acid minus an acidic hydrogen atom. Shedding the hydrogen makes this type of vitamin C impartial in pH, subsequently mineral ascorbates are also referred to as buffered vitamin C. They’re fashioned by reacting ascorbic acid with mineral carbonates, like calcium carbonate or sodium bicarbonate.

An vital factor to recollect when selecting a vitamin C complement on this type is that the mineral can be absorbed, and contributes to your day by day calcium, or different mineral, consumption.

Vitamin C with Bioflavonoids

In nature, vitamin C comes packaged in with an entire lot of different vitamins, together with fiber, phytonutrients, and different nutritional vitamins and minerals. Some vitamin C dietary supplements search to imitate nature’s packaging by together with polyphenolic compounds present in vegetation, often known as bioflavonoids.

Regardless of appreciable analysis, it’s nonetheless unclear whether or not the addition of bioflavonoids will increase the bioavailability of vitamin C, although phytonutrients actually have their very own advantages, together with being antioxidants. The idea is that when bioflavonoids are taken with vitamin C, bioflavonoids can neutralize free radicals encountered within the digestive tract, thus sparing vitamin C to be extra accessible for absorption and use elsewhere within the physique. Bioflavonoids themselves don’t soak up into the bloodstream very properly, so it’s tough to measure their availability within the physique, not to mention their results on vitamin C absorption.

Dietary supplements containing bioflavonoids are sometimes sourced from complete meals wealthy in vitamin C and bioflavonoids, similar to citrus fruits, acerola cherry, rose hips, and different vegatables and fruits. Some dietary supplements are marketed as “uncooked”, which means they’re solely sourced from pure components (together with ascorbic acid derived from bacterial fermentation) and infrequently comprise enzymes and probiotics.

Mineral Ascorbates + Metabolites

Yet one more type of vitamin C complement is patented underneath the identify Ester-C. Along with mineral ascorbates, Ester-C additionally comprises vitamin C metabolites, together with dehydroascorbic acid, which is oxidized vitamin C, and different compounds similar to calcium threonate, xylonate, and lyxonate.

You is perhaps questioning why oxidized vitamin C is a good suggestion to take as a complement. Why is it helpful to take an antioxidant that’s already oxidized?

The reply is within the absorption. Oxidized ascorbic acid enters cells utilizing a special sort of protein transporter within the intestines, giving this molecule an alternate entry level into cells than ascorbic acid. As soon as contained in the cells, the physique reduces dehydroascorbic acid to its helpful type, and voilà, the antioxidant lives on to neutralize one other free radical.

Liposomal Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin. As such, it isn’t saved in cells and tissues in any considerable quantity, so constant day by day consumption is vital. As well as, it requires a little bit little bit of assist from protein transporters to cross the lipid barrier of cell membranes (extra on these protein transporters later).

To avoid these solubility points, some vitamin C dietary supplements are made to encompass water-soluble ascorbic acid in tiny fat-soluble packages, referred to as liposomes. Liposomal vitamin C is designed to include fat-soluble particles and water-soluble vitamin C collectively as a way to enhance stability and facilitate entry into the cells.

Supplemental Vitamin C Supply, Dosage, and Absorption

All through these descriptions of the assorted types of vitamin C dietary supplements, I’ve talked about the usage of protein transporters a number of occasions in reference to how this vitamin will get inside cells.

Whether or not from meals or dietary supplements, the vast majority of vitamin C is absorbed with the assistance of sodium-dependent energetic transporters, that are proteins that assist the water-soluble molecule cross the lipid-based membrane surrounding cells. Most vitamin C dietary supplements – liquids, powders, drugs, and capsules – are ingested orally and absorbed on this manner.

Many years of analysis verify that these proteins change into saturated at excessive concentrations of vitamin C, with absorption lowering at and above 200 mg. Contemplating this proof, a number of small doses of supplemental vitamin C could also be more practical than a single giant dose for absorption and assimilation.

As already talked about, oxidized vitamin C, dehydroascorbic acid, has one other entry level. It enters cells with the assistance of facilitated glucose transporters, one other sort of protein. Vitamin C competes with glucose for entry to those proteins, so excessive concentrations of sugar block dehydroascorbic acid from getting into cells on this manner.

Liposomal vitamin C supplements bypass the necessity for these transporters, because the vitamin is encased in lipid compartments that may passively diffuse throughout cell membranes. The sort of complement is promising in that it’d obtain increased circulating concentrations of vitamin C than typical oral formulations.

Advisable Vitamin C Intakes and Different Concerns

The really useful dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin C is as follows:

  • 90 mg/day for males
  • 75 mg/day for girls
  • People who smoke could require a further 35 mg/day

Different elements which will improve the necessity for extra vitamin C embrace being pregnant, lactation, sure medicines, wound healing, diets of poor dietary high quality, and stress.

The tolerable higher restrict (UL) is 2000 mg/day, which is the best consumption that’s prone to produce no antagonistic well being results within the basic inhabitants.

Folks with excessive iron ranges needs to be cautious about vitamin C supplementation, as vitamin C will increase the absorption of iron.

Vitamin C rich rose hips

A Holistic Strategy to Vitamin C Adequacy

As nutrition therapy practitioners, we acknowledge that dietary supplements are merely a instrument to enhance nutrient ranges on high of a powerful foundational weight loss plan primarily based on complete meals. Vitamin C-rich meals convey extra advantages by way of the synergistic results of an abundance of vitamins, similar to macronutrients and micronutrients together with nutritional vitamins, minerals, and bioflavonoids.

To shut, I’ll share a easy infusion I discovered from the director of the Diet Remedy Institute, Dianne Koehler, in one of many lessons supplied as a part of the Nutrition Therapist Master Certification Program.

To make the infusion you have to:

  • Dried, coarsely floor rose hips
  • Barely under boiling temperature water

Pour 8-12 ounces of sizzling water over a few teaspoon of coarsely floor rose hips. Enable it to infuse for 5-10 minutes. Pressure and revel in.

As well as, you possibly can grind rose hips to make use of as an alternative choice to vitamin C powder. Rose hips are an ideal supply of vitamin C, vitamin E, important fatty acids, and bioflavonoids.

I hope this text shed some mild on the sophisticated world of diet dietary supplements. In case you’d prefer to study extra, take into account enrolling on the Nutrition Therapy Institute to change into a Nutrition Therapist Master!


Concerning the creator: Karyn Lane is a latest graduate of NTI’s Nutrition Therapist Master Program. She finds her chemistry diploma a great tool in her research of holistic diet.  She additionally likes to deal with her kitchen as a laboratory for brand new recipes and cooking strategies. You’ll be able to observe her on Instagram @karyn.aka.klaryn.

About Diet Remedy Institute’s Holistic Diet Certification

Diet Remedy Institute (NTI) is a frontrunner in holistic diet schooling since 1999. NTI presents on-line and in-person diet course choices to assist college students obtain thriving careers as holistic diet therapists.  Concerned with beginning our holistic diet programs and incomes your holistic diet certification? Attend an informational webinar to study extra!


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Yellow, red and green bell peppers. by Nick Fewings on Unsplash