By Lara Berch
We all know that vitamin C is good for us. It fights colds, helps fight cancer, boosts immunity, helps in the production of collagen, helps to heal wounds, to repair and maintain healthy bones and teeth. It is a necessary antioxidant which we need to survive.
Humans do not synthesize their own vitamin C. We derive it from food and contrary to the statements of FDA, there is a difference between the health benefits of naturally occurring vitamins versus supplements made in a lab. Vitamin C that is sold as a supplement is called Ascorbic acid. Ascorbic acid is a synthetic version of naturally occurring Vitamin C. So when a product is said to be fortified with Vitamin C, it is actually fortified with a synthetic version of it. The difference? Ascorbic acid (calcium ascorbate, magnesium ascorbate, potassium ascorbate) consists of synthetic molecules. These molecules do not mimic every components found in the naturally occurring Vitamin C such as vitamins J, K, P, and an enzyme called terrosenase. So not only are we not getting the full benefits of Vitamin C by taking Ascorbic acid, we are also making it harder on our bodies to absorb it.
Some of us are convinced that the more we take – the better. Meanwhile the opposite is actually true. Vitamin C is sold in different quantities, but the majority of it comes in dosages ranging from 500mg and 1000mg pills. When large dozes such as these are taken, the absorption rate is very low. The larger the doze, the lower the absorption rate. Our bodies discard anything over 180-200mg. Typical components of Ascorbic acid are high fructose corn syrup (genetically modified mind you), sugar, and acetone. Acetone is very acidic. To make it less acidic, it is buffered with calcium rock. Our digestive systems were not designed to process these synthetic forms, hence the upset stomach and diarrhea.
This is not to say that ascorbic acid has no value. It does keep you from getting scurvy, but if you want to get the full advantage of Vitamin C, get it from food. It will be far more beneficial to you. Some of the foods that are rich in Vitamin C are rose hip extracts, blackcurrant, guava, strawberry, lemon, orange, kiwi, peppers, spring greens, brussel sprouts, broccoli, kale and leafy green vegetables. For those who absolutely must take it in a pill form, purchase vitamins that are derived from foods.