Dr. Gray's Straight Talk

Honest and blunt healthcare discussion and advice.

The Truth About Vitamin C

Posted by Dr. Gray on Monday, September 21, 2009

There are many misconceptions about this valuable vitamin. Most commonly, Vitamin C is sold as a supplement under the name of ascorbic acid. However, what most people do not understand is that ascorbic acid is merely a small percentage of a much larger entity known as the Vitamin C Complex. The FDA has decided to rate any “vitamin C” product according to how much ascorbic acid it contains. In actuality, the real value of this vitamin is not only the ascorbic acid component; it is all the other components that make up the entire complex.

Vitamin C Complex contains what is referred to as the vitamin P factors (bioflavanoids) which help with vascular integrity. Patients deficient in bioflavanoids have a tendency to bruise easily or bleed in their gums while brushing their teeth. What happens is that the blood vessels break or rupture too easily and then bleed. So this vitamin P factor makes the vessels more durable. Vitamin K is also a constituent of the Vitamin C Complex. Vitamin K is actually its own blood clotting factor. It promotes the release of prothrombin. Another valuable component of the Vitamin C Complex is vitamin J… aka “the J factor.” This component increases the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood. Patients who are sick need to get oxygen to the tissues, so it can oxidize bacterial or viral toxins to eliminate them with carbon dioxide. The Vitamin C Complex also contains many valuable enzymes with the most important being tyrosinase. This enzyme helps activate the adrenal glands. Ascorbic acid is also a very important component to the Vitamin C complex. It helps acidify the body which helps when we are sick. When we are sick our body tends to be more alkaline.

In a proper Vitamin C supplement of 500 mg, about .01% or 5 mg should be ascorbic acid. The other 495 mg are the other constituents which make up the Vitamin C Complex. Most of the supplements which are sold over the counter may contain upwards of 500 mg of synthetic ascorbic acid and only about 25 mg of the very valuable Vitamin C complex constituents. If there were a supplement that contained 500 mg of natural ascorbic acid, the supplement would have to be the size of a golf ball. If you want to know if your supplement contains a natural Vitamin C, all you have to do is look at the potency. If the capsule or tablet is 500 mg and it contains more than 5 mg of ascorbic acid, it is a synthetic form of vitamin C. Natural forms of Vitamin C complex are extracted by removing water and fiber from whole food sources, such as organically grown alfalfa, mushrooms, buckwheat and rose hips. The remainder of the extract forms a powder which is put into a capsule form for consumption. It holds true that the closer we keep supplements to their natural state, the better the bioavailability of the nutrients.

Article by: Dr. Josh Sonsiadek

*This note is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as a primary therapy for any disease. The purpose for supplementation is to help support the normal processes of the body.*


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