In today’s world, Vitamin C continues as the superstar in the natural health industry. In recent years it has become an even more critical nutrient due to its extremely important function as both an antioxidant and the primary vitamin for immune system support. Vitamin C supports a vast array of processes within the human body, from assisting in the detoxification of environmental toxins, to blood vessel building to cardiovascular support, to tissue repair, immune support and immune defense. Vitamin C is not manufactured in the body, so we must obtain this essential vitamin from outside sources.
Vitamin C can be found in fruits and vegetables and in supplemental form as ascorbic acid. More than 95% of the Vitamin C that is taken by people in supplemental form around the world is in the form of ascorbic acid. It is produced through a fermentation process starting with plain glucose or sorbitol which is then transformed into ascorbic acid.
In recent years there has been discussion on the attributes of this manufactured ascorbic acid versus the ascorbic acid found directly in fruits and vegetables. Vitamin C was first isolated and identified in 1930 by the Hungarian nobel prize winner Szant Gyorgyi. The question that arises is which form of Vitamin C is optimum for use? Contrary to popular belief, the plant-based form of Vitamin C found in supplements is not usually derived from oranges or lemons. The plant-based form of Vitamin C is usually derived from Sago Palm, Amla or acerola berries which naturally contain high amounts of ascorbic acid. However they are not always readily available, sustainable or capable of delivering the required dosage.
Structurally there is no difference between manufactured ascorbic acid and the ascorbic acid one may find in an orange, Sago Palm, etc. There have been a number of studies over the last 50 years comparing the structure, bioavailability and absorption rates of manufactured ascorbic acid and naturally-derived ascorbic acid and no difference has been found.
Vitamin C’s Attributes and Benefits
From my own personal perspective I always like to go to the man who really introduced Vitamin C to the world and educated us all on its many attributes and benefits, Linus Pauling Ph.D.
In the 1940s Linus Pauling first began his research on vitamins and minerals and was far ahead of everyone with his insight and understanding on the importance that these vital nutrients play in creating and maintaining human health. In the 1960s he continued his studies on ascorbic acid and began taking 10-20,000 mg of manufactured ascorbic acid daily. He continued this daily dosage and habit for the rest of his illustrious life and passed away at the age of 93, still vital, active, traveling and lecturing around the world.
He outlived his many critics and detractors in the medical community by many years and his legacy continues at the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University with ongoing research on vitamins, minerals and micronutrients at the highest level.
The conclusion is, in this case, that Vitamin C is Vitamin C. Whether plant-based or manufactured through the fermentation process, the research and application concludes that the performance, bioavailability, absorption and effect are the same.
Take advantage of the many benefits that Vitamin C provides for both you and your family.
- Pelletier, O. & Keith, M.O. Bioavailability of synthetic and natural ascorbic acid. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 1974; 64: 271-275
- Mangels, A.R. et al. The bioavailability to humans of ascorbic acid from oranges, orange juice, and cooked broccoli is similar to that of synthetic ascorbic acid. Journal of Nutrition. 1993; volume 123: pages 1054-1061
- Gregory, J.F. Ascorbic acid bioavailability in foods and supplements. Nutrition Reviews. 1993; volume 51: pages 301-309
- Yung, S. et al. Ascorbic acid absorption in humans: a comparison among several dosage forms. Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. 1982; volume 71: pages 282-285.
About SafBaby’s Health Expert: Dr. Murray Clarke, ND., D.Hom., L.Ac.
Dr. Murray Clarke is a doctor of naturopathic medicine with licenses and doctorates in homeopathic medicine and Chinese medicine (including acupuncture and herbology) and is a leading homeopathic physician for children in the Los Angeles area. He is also the founder of ChildLife® Essentials and author of Natural Baby-Healthy Child: Alternative Health Care Solutions from Pre-conception Through Childhood.
Natural Baby-Healthy Child utilizes diet, environmental detoxification, nutritional supplementation and holistic modalities including homeopathy, naturopathy, osteopathy, chiropractic and acupuncture to help parents–from pre-conception to pregnancy, to the baby’s first year through childhood–make the right health decisions for themselves and their child, naturally. Natural Baby–Healthy Child is an essential medical road map that will help keep children firmly on the path to robust, long-term good health and the realization of the full potential of body, mind and soul. For more information, please visit NaturalBabyHealthyChild.com.