Fact #1: Vitamin C is not created in the body so must be consumed every day.
In an ideal world, everyone would get every nutrient they need, in precisely the right quantities, through diet alone. In reality, even the most mindful and healthy diets can come up lacking in certain key nutrients. Supposing you could somehow eat a perfectly balanced diet every single day, factors such as industrialized farming practices, nutrient destruction through cooking methods, soil depletion, and limited access to fresh local food can all equate to a deficit in nutrients. While this problem effects all the micronutrients human beings require, it is an especially key problem in regards to vitamin C due to the fact that vitamin C stores must be replenished each day and is vital to so many life functions.
Fact #2: Vitamin C is a vital nutrient to many body functions.
Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin used for multiple roles within the body. It is a complex element with many parts making up the whole, rather than one simple ‘ingredient.’ These elements interact with and rely upon many other nutrients, enzymes, bioflavonoids, and minerals to execute its many roles (1). Real vitamin C is available through dietary sources such as citrus fruit, broccoli, tomatoes, guava, cilantro, and more (3), as well as through high quality real whole food supplements, such as Catie’s Organic Vitamin C .
Key Roles of Vitamin C:
- immune system support
- aids in proper healing
- cellular growth and repair(2)
- preventing and fighting disease
- collagen synthesis (key for hair, nails, skin, blood vessels, bones, and more)
- fights free radicals
- prevents scurvy
- promotes healthy blood flow
- cardiovascular health (6)
- wound healing
- and more!
Fact #3: Ascorbic Acid is synthetic and NOT the same as real, whole food vitamin C.
With such vastly important roles, the need for adequate daily vitamin C intake is unquestionable. Yet, as previously noted, it can be challenging to get enough vitamin C each and every day. As such, a multitude of companies have capitalized on meeting this need through the creation of supplements. Unfortunately, the vast majority of these supplements are synthetic supplements created through a chemical process in a laboratory, without any actual food. The body recognizes this synthetic chemical as a drug, rather than a needed nutrient.
These synthetic, typically GMO, supplements contain a substance called ascorbic acid. Ascorbic acid is molecularly incomplete in comparison to real vitamin C, containing only one part of what is contained in real vitamin C. Without all of its parts, vitamin C is not able to be properly processed nor to function properly. The body is then forced to deplete its stores of certain enzymes, trace minerals and other key nutrients to compensate for the lack of in ascorbic acid (1). Additionally, ascorbic acid does not have the cofactors that are inherently contained within real food vitamin C that serve to make vitamin C more usable and absorbable (5).
Fact #4: Mega high doses of ascorbic acid can be harmful!
Let’s not forget, most synthetic vitamin C supplements contain mega doses of ascorbic acid, far beyond what people need. At best these mega doses are wasted through urine excretion; at worst they can have detrimental effects such as damaging muscular tissue (4), diminishing energy levels, and damaging antioxidant levels (2). A friend of mine took a high dose vitamin c, 1500mg, for a couple weeks to try and stave off a cold during a high stress time. She ended up with kidney stones because her kidneys were working so hard to rid her body of all the extra ascorbic acid in her system. The cold would have been better!
Fact #5: Nourishing World sells two incredible real whole food vitamin C supplements.
With the chemical nature and significant risks carried by synthetic vitamin C, combined with the difficulty of consistently getting enough vitamin C through diet alone, the question becomes how to get safe, healthy vitamin C supplements. Though they are not as abundant as the cheaply made synthetic options, whole food supplements are available. With choices like Catie’s Whole Plant Food Vitamin C Plus and Pure Radiance C that contain organic acerola cherries and other real fruit and berries, consumers are able to get molecularly complete vitamin C that contains all the needed bio-factors to make them healthy and usable.
In selecting a real whole food supplement, savvy consumers should always read labels carefully to make sure they are getting what they want and need. Always verify that vitamin C supplements contain no artificial fillers. Choose organic supplements whenever possible. Most importantly, look for real foods supplements that have been derived from actual foods.
Thankfully the inclusion of such real foods vitamin C supplements can give you all the health benefits of vitamin C, none of the risks of synthetic vitamin C, and all of the convenience of a supplement.