Ascorbic acid (vitamin C)

Odyssey

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Hi all,
I came across this article recently on the web. Basically, the author states that ascorbic acid is not vitamin C. Here are some snippets.

From http://www.thedoctorwithin.com/vitaminC/Ascorbic-Acid-Is-Not-Vitamin-C.php
Vitamins are not individual molecular compounds. Vitamins are biological complexes. They are multi-step biochemical interactions whose action is dependent upon a number of variables within the biological terrain. Vitamin activity only takes place when all conditions are met within that environment, and when all co-factors and components of the entire vitamin complex are present and working together. Vitamin activity is even more than the sum of all those parts; it also involves timing.

Vitamins cannot be isolated from their complexes and still perform their specific life functions within the cells. When isolated into artificial commercial forms, like ascorbic acid, these purified synthetics act as drugs in the body. They are no longer vitamins, and to call them such is inaccurate.

A vitamin is

"a working process consisting of the nutrient, enzymes, coenzymes, antioxidants, and trace minerals activators."

- Royal Lee "What Is a Vitamin?" Applied Trophology Aug 1956
.....

OK, natural vs. synthetic. Let's start with Vitamin C. Most sources equate vitamin C with ascorbic acid, as though they were the same thing. They're not. Ascorbic acid is an isolate, a fraction, a distillate of naturally occurring vitamin C. In addition to ascorbic acid, vitamin C must include rutin, bioflavonoids, Factor K, Factor J, Factor P, Tyrosinase, Ascorbinogen, and other components as shown in the figure below:

_____________________A s c o r b i c A c i d______________

ascorbinogen
bioflavonoids
rutin

tyrosinase

Factor J
Factor K
Factor P


_____________________A s c o r b i c A c i d______________


V I T A M I N C

In addition, mineral co-factors must be available in proper amounts.

If any of these parts are missing, there is no vitamin C, no vitamin activity. When some of them are present, the body will draw on its own stores to make up the differences, so that the whole vitamin may be present. Only then will vitamin activity take place, provided that all other conditions and co-factors are present. Ascorbic acid is described merely as the "antioxidant wrapper" portion of vitamin C; ascorbic acid protects the functional parts of the vitamin from rapid oxidation or breakdown. (Somer p 58 "Vitamin C: A Lesson in Keeping An Open Mind" The Nutrition Report)

Over 90% of ascorbic acid in this country is manufactured at a facility in Nutley, New Jersey, owned by Hoffman-LaRoche, one of the world's biggest drug manufacturers (1 800 526 0189). Here ascorbic acid is made from a process involving cornstarch and volatile acids. Most U.S. vitamin companies then buy the bulk ascorbic acid from this single facility. After that, marketing takes over. Each company makes its own labels, its own claims, and its own formulations, each one claiming to have the superior form of vitamin C, even though it all came from the same place, and it's really not vitamin C at all.

FRACTIONATED = SYNTHETIC = CRYSTALLINE = FAKE

The word synthetic means two things:

- manmade
- occurs nowhere in nature

From the outset, it is crucial to understand the difference between vitamins and vitamin activity. The vitamin is the biochemical complex. Vitamin activity means the actual biological and cellular changes that take place when the stage is set for the vitamin complex to act.

Think of it like gas and a car. Pumping the gas into the tank doesn't necessarily mean the car is going anywhere. Other conditions and factors must be also present, in order for Activity to occur. The gas line to the carburetor must be clear, the carburetor jets must be set, there must be an exact mixture of air flow, the ignition must be turned on, the spark plugs must be clean, the exact amount of gas must reach each spark plug right before it fires, no gas must be left over in the cylinder after the plug fires. Getting the idea? If any of this stuff is missing, there's no Activity: the car doesn't run, or at least not very well.

Amazing as it may sound if you're hearing this for the first time, vitamins are more than the synthetic fractions we are commonly taught they are. The ascorbic acid you buy at the grocery store every few weeks, thinking you are buying Vitamin C, is just a chemical copy of naturally occurring ascorbic acid, which itself is still only a fraction of the actual Vitamin C. Real vitamin C is part of something living, and as such, can impart life. Your synthetic, fractionated chemical ascorbic acid never grew in the ground, never saw the light of day, never was alive or part of anything alive. It's a chemical, a cornstarch derivative, a sulfuric acid by-product. In your body it's just another drug. Synthetic vitamins have toxic effects from mega-doses and actually can increase the white blood cell count. Vitamins are only necessary in minute quantities on a daily basis. Whole food vitamins, by contrast, are not toxic since the vitamin is complexed in its integral working form, and requires nothing from the body, and triggers no immune response.

....

Szent-Georgi discovered vitamin C in 1937. In all his research however, Szent-Georgi found that he could never cure scurvy with the isolated ascorbic acid itself. Realizing that he could always cure scurvy with the "impure" vitamin C found in simple foods, Szent-Georgi discovered that other factors had to be at work in order for vitamin activity to take place. So he returned to the laboratory and eventually made the discovery of another member of the vitamin C complex, as shown in the diagram above: rutin. All the factors in the complex, as Royal Lee and Dr. Szent-Georgi both came to understand, ascorbic acid, rutin, and the other factors, were synergists: co-factors which together sparked the "functional interdependence of biologically related nutrient factors." (Empty Harvest p120) The term "wheels within wheels" was used to describe the interplay of co-factors.

Each of the other synergists in the C complex has a separate function:

- P factors for blood vessel strength,
- J factors for oxygen-carrying capacity of red cells,
- tyrosinase as an essential enzyme for enhancing white blood cell effectiveness.

Ascorbic acid is just the antioxidant outer shell - the protector of all these other synergists so that they will be able to perform their individual functions.

...

Now I can hear you asking, what about Linus Pauling, double Nobel Prize laureate, and his lifetime espousal of megadosing on ascorbic acid - up to 10 grams per day. He lived to be 93. Are we saying that he took a synthetic vitamin all that time? Yes, that's exactly right. Bernard Jensen suggests that ascorbic acid has an acidifying effect in part of the digestive tract, making an unfriendly environment for viruses, Candida, and pathogenic bacteria. Pauling's good health was not the result of synthetic vitamin activity. Good genetics and maintaining an internal bioterrain not conducive to inflammation are likely what brought longevity to Linus Pauling. He eventually died of cancer at 93, but then who wants to live forever?

Dr. Royal Lee's phrase "biological wheels within wheels" always comes up in any discussion of whole food vitamins. Essentially it means that individual synergists cannot function as a vitamin in a chemically isolated form, like ascorbic acid. Vitamins are living complexes which contribute to other higher living complexes - like cell repair, collagen manufacture, and maintenance of blood circulation. Ascorbic acid is not a living complex. It is a copy of a part of a living complex known as vitamin C. Ascorbic acid is a fractionated, crystalline isolate of vitamin C.
From http://www.nutriharmony.com/articles/pdf/Steven_Davis_Article.pdf

If we closely examine the nature of synthetic vs. real vitamins, it quickly becomes evident that, no matter how closely it may resemble a real vitamin, the synthetic product is still a mirror image, or imitation. “The synthetic product is always a simple, isolated chemical substance, while the natural product is a complex mixture of related and similar and interdependent materials.” (DeCava, 32) This means that there is a difference in essence, or nature, but the question still remains whether there is any distinction when it comes to function.
Judith DeCava, M.S., L.N.C. has gone to great lengths in her book, The Real Truth About Vitamins and Antioxidants, to show that synthetic vitamins do function very differently from real vitamins. According to DeCava, synthetics are functionally foreign to the body. The body will not recognize them as true nutrients, even though they may contain all of the individual molecular components of a nutrient. Vitamins are actually groups of chemically related compounds that include synergistic co-factors (such as amino acids, enzymes, and, even, simple sugars) that are necessary for the nutrient’s use by the body. (DeCava, 13) Synthetics, on the other hand, are “chemically isolated…fractions – single vitamin components – even if several or many are combined into one tablet or capsule” and, therefore, lack these natural co-factors. (DeCava, 30)
In order for a vitamin to be used in the body, the co-factors must be present, and when they are missing, the body will be forced to steal them from its own internal resources, thus causing a depletion – an imbalance in a person’s biochemistry. (DeCava, 31) Synthetics, in effect, are little more than “disabled, debilitated (chemicals) of little or no value to living cells” and, although the body will use them if nothing better is available, these nutrient substitutes certainly do not provide the same benefits that organically created elements do. (DeCava, 13)
So, it seems best to use whole food vitamins instead of synthetic portions of vitamins. On the one hand, the ascorbic acid that we are taking is robbing the body of the minerals/nutrients in order to make up for what is missing. (Though I haven’t yet found anything documenting exactly what is robbed from the body.) On the other hand there are proven benefits of taking ascorbic acid even in large doses. It seems that ascorbic acid has antioxidant properties on it's own but taking ascorbic acid is not the same as taking vitamin c.

Does anyone have any more info/thoughts on this?
 

Gawan

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chachachick said:
Hi all,
I came across this article recently on the web. Basically, the author states that ascorbic acid is not vitamin C. Here are some snippets.

[...]

So, it seems best to use whole food vitamins instead of synthetic portions of vitamins. On the one hand, the ascorbic acid that we are taking is robbing the body of the minerals/nutrients in order to make up for what is missing. (Though I haven’t yet found anything documenting exactly what is robbed from the body.) On the other hand there are proven benefits of taking ascorbic acid even in large doses. It seems that ascorbic acid has antioxidant properties on it's own but taking ascorbic acid is not the same as taking vitamin c.

Does anyone have any more info/thoughts on this?
Unfortunately no facts, just some thoughts:
what comes to my mind is, because it is a supplement not to use it as a standalone vitamin, or as a replacement for real fruits. That means that a healthy diet is in any way a good thing to do and maybe provides the stuff the ascorbic acid is using to function.

And as you described there are many reports that ascorbic acid is of great help.
 

Odyssey

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Gawan said:
Unfortunately no facts, just some thoughts:
what comes to my mind is, because it is a supplement not to use it as a standalone vitamin, or as a replacement for real fruits. That means that a healthy diet is in any way a good thing to do and maybe provides the stuff the ascorbic acid is using to function.

And as you described there are many reports that ascorbic acid is of great help.
This sounds reasonable to me, Gawan. As part of a healthy diet and balanced supplementation program, I can't see how it could be harmful.
 

curious_richard

Jedi Master
chachachick said:
I came across this article recently on the web. Basically, the author states that ascorbic acid is not vitamin C.
...
On the other hand there are proven benefits of taking ascorbic acid even in large doses. It seems that ascorbic acid has antioxidant properties on it's own but taking ascorbic acid is not the same as taking vitamin c.
What I have read from Linus Pauling and others is that ascorbic acid is indeed "vitamin C". Most mammals do, and our biological ancestors did (long ago) produce their own vitamin C from glucose. If I remember right, this is a four-step process that uses enzymes to convert glucose into ascorbic acid. Unfortunately, a genetic mutation prevents us from producing one of those essential enzymes. According to Pauling, researchers have proven that ascorbic acid is the cure for scurvy, notably in experiments with guinea pigs, which are one of the few mammals (like humans) that can not produce ascorbic acid.

It seems to me that if there were any other substances involved with vitamin C, the biologists and chemists would have identified it along with the ascorbic acid that most mammals generate from glucose. But I have read nothing of substance to indicate that ascorbic acid has an invisible friend.
 

Odyssey

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I found some more information on vitamin C and ascorbic acid. (There is also information on other synthetic vitamins vs their whole food form.)

From: http://www.doctorsresearch.com/articles4.html

Vitamin C: Vitamin C naturally occurs in fruits in two ascorbate forms with bioflavonoids [10]. Non-food, so-called ‘natural’ ascorbic acid is made by fermenting corn sugar into sorbitol, then hydrogenating it until it turns into sorbose, then acetone (commonly referred to as nail polish remover) is added to break the molecular bonds which creates isolated, crystalline, ascorbic acid. It does not contain both vitamin C forms (nor bioflavonoids), thus is too incomplete to properly be called vitamin C [2]. The patented ‘vitamin C’ compounds that are touted as less acidic than ascorbic acid also are not food (it is not possible to get a US patent on naturally occurring vitamins as found in food--anytime a health professional hears that some vitamin is patented, that should set off warning signals that it is not real food). An in vitro study found that food complex vitamin C has negative ORP (oxidative reductive potential) [27], yet the Merck Index shows that so-called ‘natural’ ascorbic acid has positive ORP [1] (negative ORP is much better as it helps ‘clean up’ oxidative damage whereas items with positive ORP do not) [56]. Food complex vitamin C is also 10x less acidic than ascorbic acid.

Some of the many functions that vitamin C is involved in include collagen formation, carnitine biosynthesis, neurotransmitter synthesis, enhancement of iron absorption, immunocompetence, antioxidant defense, possible anticarcenogenic effects, protection of folate and vitamin E from oxidation, and cholesterol catabolism [1].

One study found that food complex vitamin C had 492 micro moles per gram T.E. (Trolox equivalents) of hydrophilic ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) [57]—ORAC is essentially a measurement of the ability to quench free radicals (antioxidant ability)—while blueberries (one of the highest ORAC sources [23]) only had 195 micro moles per gram T.E. [57]—thus food complex vitamin C has 2.52 times the ORAC ability of blueberries. Vitamin C containing food has over 15.6 times the ORAC of isolated ascorbic acid [23] (food complex vitamin C is even higher). Actually, there are doubts that isolated ascorbic acid has any significant antioxidant effects in humans [29]. Food vitamin C is clearly superior for any interested in ORAC.

Although food vitamin C is superior to isolated ascorbic acid [8], at least one mainstream researcher has written, “The bioavailability of vitamin C in food and ‘natural form’ supplements is not significantly different from that of pure synthetic AA” [10] this is simply not true. As “proof” that particular author cites two papers. The first citation is a study that concludes since serum ascorbic acid levels were at similar levels after various vitamin C containing foods and synthetic ascorbic acid were consumed, that the bioavailability is similar [58]. The conclusions reached seem to ignore that fact that it may be possible that DHAA or other food constituents associated with natural vitamin C may have positive effects other than raising serum ascorbate levels. The second citation is a study that probably should not have been cited as it never compared vitamin C as complexed in food versus synthetic ascorbic acid (it compared synthetic ascorbic acid to Ester-C which is a commercial blend of synthetic ascorbic acid and select metabolites as well as to synthetic ascorbic acid mixed with some bioflavonoids) [59]. Hence, those who claim that there is no difference really do not have strong scientific proof for there contrary opinion.

More recent scientific investigations (cited previously. i.e. 8,23,27,57) have demonstrated that food vitamin C is superior to isolated ascorbic acid.

...

Let’s take vitamin C for an example. Even if one were to take 3.2 times as much of the so-called natural, non-food, ascorbic acid than food vitamin C, although the antioxidant effects might be similar in vitro, the ascorbic acid still will not contain DHAA [1], nor will it ever have negative oxidative reductive potential (ORP). An in vitro study performed at this researcher’s lab with a digital ORP meter demonstrated that a citrus food vitamin C has negative ORP, but that ascorbic acid had positive ORP [27].

It takes negative ORP to clean up oxidative damage [28], and since ascorbic acid has positive ORP (as well as positive redox potential [1]), it can never replace food vitamin C no matter what the quantity! Furthermore, foods which are high in vitamin C tend to have high Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC, another test which measures the ability of foods and other compounds to subdue oxygen free radicals [23]). A US government study which compared the in vivo effects of a high vitamin C food (containing 80 mg of vitamin C) compared to about 15.6 times as much isolated ascorbic acid (1250 mg) found that the vitamin C-containing food produced the greatest increase in blood antioxidant levels (it is believed that bioflavonoids and other food factors are responsible) [23].

Furthermore, it is even possible isolated ascorbic acid only has in vitro and no in vivo antioxidant effects: “it has not been possible to show conclusively that higher than anti-scorbic intake of {SYNTHETIC} vitamin C has antioxidant clinical benefit” [29]. Why should people take supplemental synthetic ascorbic acid when it is NOT been proven to have antioxidant effects in humans?

“Cross sectional and longitudinal studies show that the occurrence of cardiovascular disease and cancer is inversely related to vitamin C intake…the protective effects seen in these studies are attributable to fruit and vegetable {FOOD} intake…In general, beneficial effects of supplemental {SYNTHETIC} vitamin C have been noted in small studies, while large well controlled studies have failed to show benefit” [29]. The other quantitative is that in humans, “Plasma is completely saturated in doses of 400 mg and higher daily producing a steady-state plasma concentration of 80 mM…Tissues, however, saturate before plasma” [29]. De-emphasizing vitamin C containing foods by attempting to consume higher quantities of isolated ascorbic acid simply will not have the effects on plasma vitamin C levels, ORP, ORAC, or other health aspects that many consumers of isolated ascorbic acid hope it will [3,27,29].

No matter how much isolated ascorbic acid one takes orally

It will never saturate plasma and/or tissue vitamin C levels significantly more than can be obtained by consuming sufficient vitamin C containing foods.
It will never have negative ORP, thus can never ‘clean-up’ oxidative damage like food vitamin C can.
It will never have the free radical fighting capacity of food vitamin C.
It will never contain DHAA (the other ‘half’ of vitamin C) or the promoting food factors.
It will never have the same effect on health issues, such as aging and cardiovascular disease as high vitamin C foods can.
It will not ever be utilized the way food vitamin C is.
It will always be a synthetic.
I must say I'm a tad confused by this. It doesn't gel with what I've read about ascorbic acid but it doesn't seem completely off the wall either. Further study on supplements is required.
 

curious_richard

Jedi Master
chachachick said:
I found some more information on vitamin C and ascorbic acid. (There is also information on other synthetic vitamins vs their whole food form.)
Oh, my! This is quite a handful. I'll try to make sense of it as best as I can.

Vitamin C: Vitamin C naturally occurs in fruits in two ascorbate forms with bioflavonoids [10].
Okay, and ascorbic acid is also ascorbate, just attached hydrogen instead of some other metal (like sodium, potassium, magnesium) or some organic complex. Everything I have read is quite clear that the ascorbate part is what is vitamin C.

The bioflavonoids may very well be great to have, but as I understand it they are not "vitamin C". It seems that this person is inventing a new definition for "vitamin C". Just because natural ascorbates may be combined with other healthy substances does not suggest to me that ascorbate is not "vitamin C".

Okay, if "vitamin C" is NOT ascorbic acid, then exactly what IS "vitamin C". It has been proven that ascorbic acid is the cure for scurvy. And what I remember from Pauling's book, early 1900's researchers isolated what they believed to be "vitamin C" and found that it was just one substance -- ascorbic acid.

It does not contain both vitamin C forms (nor bioflavonoids), thus is too incomplete to properly be called vitamin C [2].
That is just an assertion, and I do not believe the author has given good reason to accept that assertion.

Food complex vitamin C is also 10x less acidic than ascorbic acid.
That may be true, but so what? Magnesium, calcium, potassium, etc. ascorbates are relatively cheap, available, and easy to take. The stomach is full of acid anyway, so is a few more grams going to make a difference? If so, then just use one of the ascorbate salts, like magnesium.

Some of the many functions that vitamin C is involved in include collagen formation, carnitine biosynthesis, neurotransmitter synthesis, enhancement of iron absorption, immunocompetence, antioxidant defense, possible anticarcenogenic effects, protection of folate and vitamin E from oxidation, and cholesterol catabolism [1].
Yep. No argument there.

One study found that food complex vitamin C had 492 micro moles per gram T.E. (Trolox equivalents) of hydrophilic ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) [57]—ORAC is essentially a measurement of the ability to quench free radicals (antioxidant ability)—while blueberries (one of the highest ORAC sources [23]) only had 195 micro moles per gram T.E. [57]—thus food complex vitamin C has 2.52 times the ORAC ability of blueberries. Vitamin C containing food has over 15.6 times the ORAC of isolated ascorbic acid [23] (food complex vitamin C is even higher). Actually, there are doubts that isolated ascorbic acid has any significant antioxidant effects in humans [29]. Food vitamin C is clearly superior for any interested in ORAC.
Oh, my! What a big word salad to digest. This seems to suggest that the "food complex" bioflavonoids mentioned earlier are very beneficial. That may or may not be true, but I do not think that "beneficial" is a reason to claim that "vitamin C is this" and "vitamin C is not that". Glutathione and alpha lipoic acid may also increase the anti-oxidative properties of ascorbic acid, but it would be wrong to go from there to claiming that "vitamin C is not real unless it is combined with these substances.

Although food vitamin C is superior to isolated ascorbic acid [8],
And now the author is now proceeding as if the claim were proven. All I saw was assertions, not proof or even evidence.

More recent scientific investigations (cited previously. i.e. 8,23,27,57) have demonstrated that food vitamin C is superior to isolated ascorbic acid.
I do not believe that. But I do not really care to go on a wild goose chase trying to disprove the claims. I can say that I have read Pauling's last book, "How to live longer and feel better", and I was impressed with his research methods and his conclusions.

Maybe the author here does have facts to back up the claims, but I get a strong feeling that the supporting data was probably selected for the desired result, and I am not impressed with the way the author jumps from assertion to assertion, making strong claims that should require strong proof.

No matter how much isolated ascorbic acid one takes orally
It will never saturate plasma and/or tissue vitamin C levels significantly more than can be obtained by consuming sufficient vitamin C containing foods.
Okay, what exactly is "sufficient"? Pauling wrote about many cases where large doses of ascorbic acid did indeed show in the blood and tissues, and he also stated that getting those levels from food is not practical. One can not eat that much! So this statement may be correct in the literal sense, I think it is manipulative.

It will never have negative ORP, thus can never ‘clean-up’ oxidative damage like food vitamin C can.
It will never have the free radical fighting capacity of food vitamin C.
More assertions without good evidence.

It will never contain DHAA (the other ‘half’ of vitamin C) or the promoting food factors.
Correct, but irrelevant. Ascorbic acid is one substance, DHAA is another. I do not accept the claim that DHAA must be a part of "vitamin C".

I must say I'm a tad confused by this.
I strongly suspect that is because the author is trying to confuse. An old sales technique is to confuse the customer first to make it easier to take his money. Another is called "assume the sale", and the salesman takes the stance that the customer has already decided to buy the product and now the only question is what color? I sense "assume the sale" in the author's writing where all those assertions suddenly turn into "proven facts".

These are my opinions and conclusions, but I hope they help in some way.
 

R4D4

The Force is Strong With This One
I have been using for the past year the buffered Hypo-Aller C from NutriBiotic and benefited greatly from it. A 2.2(1Kg) bottle cost 50$ which is pretty much but given the supplements facts i think it is worthy because one can save on magnesium and zinc supplements.

Supplements Facts

Serving size: 1 Teaspoon(5gm)
Servings per Container:200

Each serving contains Amount per serving % daily value

Vitamin C (buffered) 2600mg 4332%

Calcium 350mg 36%

Magnesium 350mg 88%

Potassium 100mg 3%

Zinc 6mg 40%
 

aragorn

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
R4D4 said:
I have been using for the past year the buffered Hypo-Aller C from NutriBiotic and benefited greatly from it. A 2.2(1Kg) bottle cost 50$ which is pretty much but given the supplements facts i think it is worthy because one can save on magnesium and zinc supplements.

Supplements Facts

Serving size: 1 Teaspoon(5gm)
Servings per Container:200

Each serving contains Amount per serving % daily value

Vitamin C (buffered) 2600mg 4332%

Calcium 350mg 36%

Magnesium 350mg 88%

Potassium 100mg 3%

Zinc 6mg 40%
Just a quick note: have you checked in what form the magnesium comes in your product? Specially magnesiumoxide is very poorly absorbed and is good only as a laxative. Magnesiumcitrate is one of the best, there are other good ones too, check out The Magnesium Miracle thread for more details, if you haven't done so already.
 

R4D4

The Force is Strong With This One
Aragorn said:
Just a quick note: have you checked in what form the magnesium comes in your product? Specially magnesiumoxide is very poorly absorbed and is good only as a laxative. Magnesiumcitrate is one of the best, there are other good ones too, check out The Magnesium Miracle thread for more details, if you haven't done so already.
Hi Aragorn,

Sorry for the delay, i was away for the weekend.

The form of magnesium contained is carbonated. After checking Carolyn Dean's Magnesium Miracle, that form of magnesium is in the inorganic salts table, which means that it is probably not as well absorbed as magnesium malate, citrate or orotate. I could not find in her book much about carbonated form of magnesium, so my guess is if one has loose stool problems, not to abuse the product. As for myself, at 350mg i have not encountered any problems with loose stools using it twice a day. Eating food rich in magnesium is probably the best way to get the neccessary and missing magnesium, otherwise magnesium malate, citrate or orotate supplements seems a better substitute.
 

drygol

Dagobah Resident
Hi everyone :)

Recently I made a small research on my own about ascorbic acid and vit C in general.
From my observations and small experiments I concluded that standard Vit C that is sold in stores is a piece of crap.
First of all from Pauling's research we know that human body is in need of large quantities of ascorbic acid because humans are the only mammals that not produce ascorbic acid within bodies.
Having said that , I started to look for Vit C sold in large quantities and I that's where I met my first obstacle.
Pauling suggests minimum 3000 mg as a daily dose. Standard Vit C pill contains around 60 mg of ascorbic acid - do the math and you will figure out that its not cheap. Besides you will intake a lot of not really necessary stuff which is a part of a pill - like magnesium stearate , binders etc etc.
So I was looking for something else - stronger , bigger .... and i found it. I found 1000 mg Vit C dissolvable. Unfortunately that one contains Aspartam as a sweetener.
Finally i bought few leaves of different 500 mg vit C tablets. There was a brochure inside which stated that these tablets has prolonged dissolving factor. They argument-ed it with research that says that Vit C in most cases is being excreted out in large quantities. I took few tablets , powdered it and put into glass which i poured with a hot water. After few seconds i found a jelly like substance which barely dissolved in water.
Another kind of Vit C supplement that i tested was covered by a capsule , so i dismantled few capsules and took all inside powder out of it. And again i took a glass and poured it with a hot water , then i put powder from capsules into water. After few seconds i realized that nothing really dissolved. So again i read a brochure , and it was saying that this kind of vit C has a prolonged dissolving factor which they achieved through covering powder particles with some kind of wax or lipid cover. At that point it was obvious why our bodies excrete 90% of Vitamin C supplements that we intake.
Everyone with common sense knows that waxed stuff is hard to dissolve in water-like environment. Also Ascorbic Acid is very easily dissolved in water if it is in its pure form.
Anyways , i concluded that almost all common Vit C supplements that i could get from store are either covered with something that would make it hard to dissolve or contains Aspartam.

So one day , me and my wife , we were visiting out friends and we had a small chat about what i discovered. So one of my friends suggested to look for Ascorbic acid in veterinary stores.
Idea was to find Vit C for animals :D
I must admit that it was brilliant idea :D
It is logical that Ascorbic Acid that is sold for small chickens will be cheapest and most effective choice because a lot of healthy chickens = money.
It is IMO working the other way with humans - more ill you are , more money they will suck out from you - so pharmacy industry easily figured that they have to sell Vit C in small quantities plus they will make it harder to dissolve and on top they will cover it with so called "research" which will state that vit C is hard to assimilate :D --- OF COURSE IT IS IF ITS WAXED lolz :D

Anyway , you can get pure 1 kg !!! of Ascorbic Acid for chickens for around 20$ - I just bought it and i am gonna try it - it dissolves perfectly in water.

That's my few tips about Vit C for you :D

PS. Sorry for poorly constructed sentences
 

Oxajil

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Did you guys know that ascorbic acid is only about 1/12th of a complete Vitamin C complex that you will get in food or a food-based supplement?
I guess that's why eating Vitamin C rich food is also important, such as berries.
 

RyanX

The Living Force
Oxajil said:
Did you guys know that ascorbic acid is only about 1/12th of a complete Vitamin C complex that you will get in food or a food-based supplement?
I guess that's why eating Vitamin C rich food is also important, such as berries.
Indeed. Foods rich in vit C are important. My favorites are kiwi, mango, papaya or any of the local berries when they are in season.

The brand of vit C capsule I take also contains bioflavonoids, which I've read may help the absorption of vit C.

At the same time, I do think there is some evidence to suggest that megadoses of straight ascorbic acid can have a therapeutic effect too, although maybe not in the same manner as ascorbic acid from food sources. At high doses it might be enough to slow the growth of certain microbes that would otherwise reign free in the gut or elsewhere. I'm not sure if that is the case or not, just one hypothesis I've come across.
 

Gawan

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Thank you chachazoom for that particular link,
here are some quotes from that article

vitamin c foundation said:
[...]
If the naturalists are right about the C-complex being the "real" vitamin C, then Linus Pauling was wrong in his reviews and analyses of more than 60 years of vitamin C science. There is massive scientific support for Linus Pauling's position that ascorbic acid is vitamin C. No scientific basis has been found for the existence of the C-complex or that such a complex can cure scurvy without ascorbic acid present. This assertion is proven every day in hospitals around the world. Comatose patients are kept alive using ascorbic acid only. There are no hospitals keeping patients on a feeding tube alive with a vitamin C-complex.
Those who are making the case for the C-complex and other so-called "natural" vitamins, are highly respected among the alternative community. Their stature prompted Berkley Bedell's National Foundation for Alternative Medicine (NFAM) to turn down funding of a study of the Linus Pauling's vitamin C and lysine therapy for cardiovascular disease. NFAM told the Vitamin C Foundation that they rejected the study because of the fear that ascorbic acid form of vitamin C might prove harmful to the study participants.
[...]

The following treatise represents the position of The Vitamin C Foundation on the true nature of vitamin C. The ascorbate ion, the fraction commonly found in ascorbic acid, or one of the salts, e.g., sodium ascorbate or calcium ascorbate, is vitamin C. This is the substance that when missing in the diet causes death by scurvy. There is no scientific debate about this fact. The scientific literature is so voluminous that few would be capable of digesting it. Part of the problem is that today's dietitians and orthodox nutritionists are taught to ignore much of the early research and medical doctors are not well versed in vitamin C either. Apparently this knowledge vacuum has opened the door to the emotionally appealing idea of a "natural" vitamin C-complex.
[...]

Linus Pauling and other biochemists explain that there is no difference between a so-called "synthetic" and a "natural" vitamin molecule. Biologically identical, or bio-identical, molecules are indistinguishable from those synthesized by plants or animals. In the blood serum, the origin of bio-identical molecules is thought to be of little significance. Receptors on the surface of animal cells control the uptake of individual molecules regardless of how or why these molecules appear in the blood stream. Any complexes of molecules present in food generally disassociate during digestion.

[...]

Cowan et. al. begin their Vitamin C section on page 20 with the intriguing sentence, "Several recent studies have shown that taking synthetic vitamins can actually be harmful, thus challenging a practice suggested in virtually all other books written about health and nutrition over the past 40 years." (page 20) Unfortunately, one reason for their different advice is that they are wrong. The two studies cited made headlines, but both "studies" have been debunked scientifically by the Vitamin C Foundation. (See the Vitamin C Foundation on-line forum for our rebuttal to these two media reports, and for the complete description of the errors about vitamin C that have been published on pages 20 and 21 of The FourFold Path to Healing.)
[...]

Any review of the scientific literature that spans 80 years and includes more than 100,000 published studies and reports, concludes that what is commonly called vitamin C, the ascorbate ion, or simply ascorbic acid, is the real vitamin C. Humanity is fortunate that Linus Pauling became interested, for such a review of the literature requires reading the equivalent of 400 bound books just to hold the abstracts. The genius Linus Pauling was probably the only person who could possibly digest and assimilate and then disseminate this much scientific research over the course of his 30-year study. It was his practice to read the body of every study paper, not merely the abstract, draw conclusions and test whether his conclusions matched the author of the study.
[...]

positive results (my emphasis):
  • Ascorbate, in the form of the salt sodium-ascorbate, can be injected intravenously to control and inactivate viral infections. This is well documented in Thomas Levy's Vitamin C Infectious Diseases and Toxins: Curing the Incurable. (2002)
    Intravenous sodium ascorbate recently made news based upon reports from Mark Levine at the National Institutes of Health, and others, that it can kill cancer cells at high blood concentrations. (Padayatty 2006)
  • Ascorbate by itself can detoxify the body of heavy metals, including the toxic metal mercury. (Levy 2002)
  • Vitamin C, as ascorbic acid and vitamin E cut intensive care unit deaths in half in a randomized, placebo controlled trial. (Nathans 2002)
  • Recently, medical research at John Hopkins University discovered that Ascorbate supplements, in conjunction with vitamin E, significantly reduces the risk of Alzheimer's by 78% and provided an 88% reduction in cognitive dementia. (Zandi and others 2004)
  • Other recent findings, of which the Vitamin C Foundation is aware, include the ability of vitamin C as ascorbic acid to reduce the risks of stroke and cataract, and to extend life. The risk of stroke was 70% higher among those in the lowest quartile for serum vitamin C than among those in the highest. (Yokoyama 2000) Women who took vitamin C supplements for at least 10 years proved only 23 percent as likely to develop cataracts as women who received the vitamin only in their diet. (Jacques 1997 , Mares-Perlman)
[...]

This is not to say that plant complexes, containing bioflavonoids, are devoid of health benefits. Linus Pauling himself advised eating a wide variety of foods because there is a chance that not all the molecules a healthy body requires have been discovered.

[...]

Fortunately for humanity, synthetic vitamin C is inexpensive, offering the hope of better health to everyone. Vitamin C researcher Ralph Lotz points out that the 100 mg of the "natural vitamin C complex" sold by one company is 1,315 times more costly than synthetic vitamin C.

[...]

Where is this False Information About Vitamin C Coming From?

The Vitamin C Foundation was disappointed, but not surprised, when the U.S. government's National Institutes of Health (NIH) turned down our grant request to study vitamin C and heart disease. (McDade 2002) We were shocked by the rejection of Bedell's National Foundation for Alternative Medicine. NFAM did not, and perhaps still does not believe that ascorbic acid is vitamin C.
Mr. Bedell told us over the phone that what the Vitamin C Foundation were proposing in our study proposal was "not the real vitamin C." He said he based this on the advice and counsel of his daughter with medical training. She had attended a lecture given by the highly respected Standard Process company regarding natural vitamins. Bedell and the leaders of NFAM became concerned that patients in the Pauling therapy study receiving the "synthetic" vitamin C might be harmed.

[...]

Summation

It is a serious error for an alternative practitioner to identify orthomolecular substances, such as ascorbic acid, as dangerous. Orthomolecular, or bio-identical molecules are by definition indistinguishable from their naturally created counterparts. These molecules are transported to the cells, regardless of whether they are eaten or endogenously manufactured by other animal cells. There is no experimental evidence that such molecules behave differently in the blood stream or within cells. There may be, in fact, fewer impurities than what appears in our plant foods.

[...]

Comatose patients can be kept alive indefinitely on man-made products containing all the synthetic vitamins, plus the trace minerals and necessary protein, fats and carbohydrates. One such complete nutrition product is the Ross Laboratories Ensure(. When the product was originally developed, biotin was not known to be a vitamin. Patients on the early Ensure became ill and died until biotin was added to the formula.
All complete nutrition products, including Ensure, provide vitamin C as ascorbic acid. Not one product offers a vitamin C complex.

The naturalist assertion that vitamin C isn't vitamin C, that instead it consists of a complex of nutrients, raises many questions. Is ascorbic acid the substance whose deficiency leads to scurvy or are thousands of experimental studies wrong? Why is scientific information about the vitamin C-complex hidden? What experiments have been conducted, and where is science about the C-complex published, and how could Linus Pauling, Sherry Lewin, Steve Hickey, Hiliary Roberts, Irwin Stone, Thomas Levy and others have missed this important information? What exactly is the complex? (Is the C-complex from the orange the same as a green pepper C-complex, the same as the C-complex in the tomato? If not, which C-complex is better?) Why do almost all animals except humans produce ascorbic acid, yet not one animal has been found that produces the C-complex? Why would the ascorbic acid synthesized by plant DNA be better than the ascorbic acid that all animals synthesize? On what theory are the animals wrong and the plants right? And how do hospitals keep patients alive with complete nutrition products that contain only ascorbic acid? The naturalists are unable to satisfactorily answer any of these questions.
Today, through the science of chemistry, human beings may now dispense with the need for plant DNA. We encode the process of vitamin synthesis into large chemical manufacturing processes making these pure molecules reliably, plentifully and at low cost. Such manufacturing makes it possible for many more people to experience their benefits. Orthomolecular vitamin molecules, however, are biologically identical to the molecules synthesized by living organisms.

" I discovered, or rediscovered what Linus Pauling had to say about heart disease I have already five heart operations including a quad bypass and various stent operations. I suffered the last heart attack (my fourth) and went through another heart operation ( my fifth) in December of 2003. Last October of 2005 I did intensive research (on the Internet) to discover what i could do to stay alive. I was having more chest pain and I realized I was over due for another heart attack and operation (based on my previous ten years experience).
I read all of Linus Pauling's books. I was very impressed and I finally understood my situation. this led me to search for more information about vitamin C . [By following Pauling's recommendations] my chest pain is gone. I have not felt this good in over twelve years! I now consider Linus Pauling to be the greatest most significant scientist of this era." - 'Richard' - Read Richard's entire store at the Vitamin C Foundation On-Line Forum at www.vitamincfoundation.org/forum
my emphasis

I just flew over this article, maybe there are some more -good- references in it, I haven't seen myself.
 

mada85

The Living Force
Thank you, chachazoom, for posting the link to the article. It is a most interesting read, with some rather worrying implications.

Vitamin C Foundation said:
The views of these alternative healers, as summarized by authors Thomas S. Cowan, MD and Sally Fallon in their recent book The Fourfold Path to Healing (2004) is that the real vitamin C is "actually a complex of nutrients that includes bio-flavonoids, rutin, tyrosine, copper and other substances known and unknown." (Cowan and others 2004 p. 21)

Ascorbic acid, which has been vitamin C since at least 1937, has only a supporting role, according to Cowan and Fallon, who write that ascorbic acid is only present in plants "as a preservative for this complex, serving to keep it together in the plant tissue, preserving its integrity, freshness and color." (Cowan and others 2004 p. 21)

Cowan and Fallon even go so far as to say in this book that "ascorbic acid is not a food for us; that which it preserves is our food." (Cowan and others 2004 p. 21) Too much "synthetic" ascorbic acid is harmful, the naturalists assert, especially when not accompanied by the vitamin C-complex.
This is an attack on a substance that people can employ by themselves to improve their own health, reasserting their own responsibility for their health. No wonder ascorbic acid is being attacked in this way. Big Pharma are losing money hand over fist if people are getting better by themselves using a widely available and inexpensive substance.

Vitamin C Foundation said:
The scientific literature is so voluminous that few would be capable of digesting it.
This is one of the problems facing anyone who wants to understand ascorbic acid. However, as the author of the article points out:

Vitamin C Foundation said:
What experiments have been conducted, and where is science about the C-complex published, and how could Linus Pauling, Sherry Lewin, Steve Hickey, Hiliary Roberts, Irwin Stone, Thomas Levy and others have missed this important information?
Vitamin C Foundation said:
The previously mentioned book entitled Fourfold Path to Healing (2004), by Thomas Cowan, MD, with Sally Fallon and Jaimen McMillan, is remarkable for the number of false or unsupported assertions these authors make concerning vitamin C. Every sentence in the vitamin C section on pages 20 and 21 is either unsupported, or contains misleading or false information which they present as fact. The message these authors are trying to convey is that the natural vitamin C-Complex not only exists, but it is required, lest consumers risk clogged arteries and DNA damage.
Considering that the C-complex has never been identified, and in fact sounds rather like a figment of these authors’ imagination, this book appears to be rather dangerous.

Vitamin C Foundation said:
Fortunately for humanity, synthetic vitamin C is inexpensive, offering the hope of better health to everyone. Vitamin C researcher Ralph Lotz points out that the 100 mg of the "natural vitamin C complex" sold by one company is 1,315 times more costly than synthetic vitamin C.
Here we see another motive for the ascorbic acid versus C-complex debate – profit.

Vitamin C Foundation said:
Patrick Holford expands on this version of the vitamin C isn't really a vitamin argument, and explains how the animals make their ascorbate.

"Vitamin C isn't a vitamin at all. It isn't a necessary component of diet, at least for all mammals with the exception of guinea pigs, fruit eating bats, the red vented bulbul bird and primates - which includes us. All other species make their own.

This they do by converting glucuronic acid derived from glucose into ascorbic acid (C6H8O6). Three enzymes are required to make this conversion. One of these enzymes, or part of the enzyme system, is missing in primates. Irwin Stone proposed, in 1965, that a negative mutation may have occurred in these species so as to lose the ability to produce vitamin C. In primates this is thought to have occurred in the region of 25 million years ago."
(Holford 1994)
Hmmm . . . perhaps this ‘mutation’ occurred 309,000 years ago? Making sure that humans don’t receive enough ascorbate in their diet is an easy way of reducing immune system effectiveness and increasing stress. Irwin Stone suggested that a more appropriate name for ascorbic acid is the ‘missing stress hormone’.

Consider that idea in relation to the PTB’s agenda for mass depopulation, as described in a recent SoTT ‘Connecting The Dots’: Mass Depopulation on its way and the Secret Team’s Management of the World.

Vitamin C Foundation said:
The DNA of most animals encodes for both CoQ10 and ascorbate. The amount of CoQ10, synthesized by animals can be compared with the amount of ascorbic acid synthesized to estimate the human requirement for vitamin C. The amount of ascorbic acids that animals make is roughly ten times more than the CoQ10 they make by weight. Using this ratio, after adjusting for body weight, an orthomolecularist might predict the need for 5000 mg of ascorbate daily in human blood and tissue. To obtain this level, we might have to ingest more than 10,000 mg of ascorbic acid by mouth. (Pauling and Lewin determined that about 1/2 the ascorbate taken orally is broken down before reaching the cells and becomes biologically unavailable.) (Pauling 1986, Lewin 1976)
So we may have to double our intake of ascorbic acid.

And here’s the reason for the attack on ascorbic acid, clearly explained:

Vitamin C Foundation said:
Royal Lee and Standard Process

The basis of the naturalist view comes from the writings of Royal Lee who guided the formation of Standard Process. Royal Lee's ideas on natural vitamins is generally credited with originating the naturalist school of vitamin complexes. Lee's ideas cannot be ignored. He popularized the belief that foods supply the vitamins in the best and right amounts. It is the notion that a divine force, or human evolution, created foods with the ideal contents and proportions that lead to optimal health for human beings

There is little doubt of the sincerity of Royal Lee, or his naturalist followers. There is certainly some truth in their assertions. After an animal loses its ability to produce a given molecule, it must eat plants that produce it, or the animal species will become extinct. However, intentions aside, the followers of Lee are mistaken about the ascorbic acid and the vitamin C-complex, and probably wrong about natural vitamin-complexes in foods as well.

The Vast Pharmaceutical Conspiracy - Kooks or Dupes?

The Vitamin C Foundation verified that almost all Standard Process's vitamin C products do, in fact, use synthetic ascorbic acid. It then began investigating the origin of the "natural vitamin C" and "vitamin C-complex" articles that appear widely on the Internet. At first we thought that spreading the natural C-complex misinformation among naturalists who are prone to believe was a clever ploy to make these well intentioned nutrition advocates appear unscientific in the eyes of allopathic medical doctors. As we have documented elsewhere, there is a stream of media stories, disguised as news, that deliberately distort the science behind vitamins in favor of prescription drugs. One obvious purpose of such media propaganda is to encourage conventionally trained physicians to dismiss alternative claims regarding vitamin C.

However, given the stature and convictions of some of the nutrition authorities involved, who should know better, we now wonder if there is more to this. It is not inconceivable that the spread of the "Vitamin C isn't Vitamin C" idea is more than a marketing ploy or merely an attempt to make the naturalists appear kooky. As far fetched as this seems to any student of Linus Pauling, if the "Vitamin C isn't Vitamin C" idea somehow became generally accepted, then the FDA might be able to strictly regulate ascorbic acid under current law.

All vitamins are currently protected as foods by the Federal Dietary Supplements Health Education Act (DSHEA) that was passed soon after the new Congress arrived in 1994. This law protects ascorbic acid from FDA interference or regulation as a prescription drug on the basis that ascorbic acid is vitamin C. That which prevents the vitamin C deficiency disease scurvy. However, should the notion that the "real" vitamin C is the ill defined C-complex found in plants prevail, then it, the C-complex, not ascorbate, would enjoy the protection afforded vitamins and foods by DSHEA
Just another plank in the coffin of real, affordable human health.

The article states that the human body does not distinguish between biologically identical molecules and their naturally occurring counterparts. If we take this as true, as many researchers agree, then general acceptance of the idea that bio-identical molecules are not food (whether based in real science or not) would give the FDA and other ‘authorities’ the excuse they need to control the availability and dosage of synthetic vitamins and minerals. As we know, with the depletion of soil nutrients by agri-business farming, and the addition of antibiotics, growth hormones and so on to the diets of animals, the food we eat is severely lacking in the nutrients necessary for human health.

So I think that this article is, amongst other things, alerting us to yet another attack on human health, an insidious and subtle twist directed against the use of manufactured substances such as ascorbic acid, which are known to provide health benefits.

We know how the pathological type works, by twisting the truth. In this case it looks like the naturalist view, as described in The Fourfold Path to Health, is the vehicle the pathologicals are using to twist the truth about bio-identical substances which really do promote and improve human health. After all, nature can only go so far – she is, in a sense, blind. Ideally, human beings should be her eyes and ears and be dedicated to improving on natural processes whilst basing their work in respect for and understanding of nature.

Regarding Royal Lee, you can read about him here: _http://www.quackwatch.org/11Ind/lee.html

Although he seems to have been a ‘quack’ and was certainly regarded as such during his lifetime, due in no small part to his several brushes with the law, he does seem to have the germ of an idea here and there. Compare these two claims made by Lee:

"Arthritis and tooth decay are caused by the eating of cooked foods"

"Some 700,000 people a year die of preventable and curable heart disease caused by deficiency of natural vitamins."

So it seems that the originator of the ‘natural vitamins are always best’ idea my not have really known what he was talking about. Reminds me somewhat of Bechamp and Pasteur.

edit: changed 'Consider these two claims . . . ' to 'Compare these two claims . . .'
 
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