2 November 2020
Vitamin C is Ascorbic Acid and can be natural or synthetic, they are chemically identical. Both sources of Vitamin C produce exactly the same blood levels – though this may not be the full story, as cellular levels are what really matters. Plants and animals produce Vitamin C naturally, primarily from glucose. 20 oranges are the equivalent to about 1 gram!
Berries are a very good source of bioflavonoids which are thought to increase the bioavailability of Vitamin C.
Vitamin C comes in two forms, ascorbic acid pH2 (which is acidic) and ascorbate pH7-8 (alkaline). There is a common misconception that consuming anything acidic is bad. True – a continuously acidic body leads to many disease states, but our bodies can control the pH level effectively and can produce an alkaline reaction to acidic intake.
Ascorbates contain a mineral – e.g. calcium, magnesium, sodium or potassium; and being a mineral compound – has some advantages. Mineral intake is generally a good thing but beware of the sodium ascorbate form, as high salt intake can contribute to hypertension. Magnesium ascorbate would be my preferred choice, as magnesium deficiency is widespread in the population.
Generally, your body needs time to absorb Vitamin C. Most of the first 200mg is absorbed, but only about 50% of a 2g dose, and only about a quarter of a 6g dose, so there is no point in taking a mega high dose all at once.
However, if you are fighting an illness it’s different! The world authority is the Nobel Prize double winner Linus Pauling. He was able to show that in high doses Vitamin C is a pro-oxidant in cancer cells (antioxidants are what we need for our normal cells).
Being a pro-oxidant to cancer cells and not harming healthy cells, indicates an ideal chemotherapeutic agent.
High intakes can result in loose bowels and intestinal discomfort, although this varies greatly from person to person. The ascorbate form can lessen these risks.