Did you know that most commercial Vitamin C is actually a synthetic form of vitamin C known as ascorbic acid (or as calcium ascorbate, magnesium ascorbate, potassium ascorbate etc)?
Indeed, the industry is allowed to pass off synthetic ascorbic acid as natural vitamin C. It is important to note that while man-made ascorbic acid is manufactured to resemble Vitamin C in its chemical structure, it is missing all of its essential and natural co-factors. The question you need to ask is whether they are truly the same – especially in terms of benefits and side effects.
Electronic photos show that food-form Vitamin C (like Nu-factor®) have much smaller particle sizes and a rounded, more organic appearance compared to the crystalline appearance of ascorbic acid. In essence, ascorbic acid is very different from Vitamin C found in nature.
A growing body of evidence strongly suggests that those consuming high doses of ascorbic acid have reasons to be worried.
A study presented to the AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION highlighted a link between daily consumption of only 500mg of synthetic vitamin C and greater propensity toward thickening of the arteries (reported in Los Angeles Times, March 3, 2000).
A study published in the June 15, 2001 issue of SCIENCE showed that “synthetic vitamin C may contribute to the formation of genotoxins that can lead to cancer”.
More recently (AMERICAN JOURNAL OF CLINICAL NUTRITION, Jan 2008), athletes taking 1000mg of synthetic vitamin C showed reduced endurance from interference with antioxidant enzymes.
In addition to these emerging studies, you should note that ascorbic acid – also known as ingredient or preservative E300 in the food industry – is an excellent preservative because it kills and prevents bacteria growth.
However, as a supplement consumed daily and in high doses (500 -1000mg), this same property means ascorbic acid kills “good microbes” in your gut, potentially causing stomach upsets, diarrhea, nausea, heartburn, stomach cramps, bloatedness and headache. As it plays havoc with your digestive system, it affects your ability to absorb other nutrients and lowers your overall health.
These studies and others should give pause to anyone who is taking synthetic vitamin C (ascorbic acid) in their various forms. Synthetic vitamins act more like drugs in the body – some may have their uses, but they often cause imbalances and side effects. Accordingly, it is not recommended as health supplements to be consumed daily.
We need Vitamin C daily, but we should take them from dietary sources like fruits and vegetables. To support your Vitamin C intake, take only food-form Vitamin C supplements; like Nu-factor® Raw Vitamin C and Bioflavonoids.