With many different forms of vitamin C on the market, it’s easy to become confused about which one to get. The confusion you feel may even prevent you from choosing any vitamin C supplement.
However, there really isn’t a lot of background information you need to know about this immune-system boosting vitamin. Back in the time of Linus Pauling, one of the primary pioneers in the field about vitamin C, the only vitamin C used for supplements was ascorbic acid. To this day, you’ll still find supplements that only contain ascorbic acid.
But throughout the years as more people started taking vitamin C supplements, some interesting things were reported: Sometimes people would notice that vitamin C caused loose stools. Their colon could not handle larger doses of vitamin C even though their levels still showed up as deficiency. The vitamin industry responded with buffered vitamin C. The buffered vitamin C changed the pH of the ascorbic acid to one friendlier to the colon and solved the problem.
- Ascorbic acid taken by itself wasn’t ‘complete’. In nature, you’ll never find a fruit that only has ascorbic acid in it. Instead, the fruit high in vitamin C (oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, kiwi, and rose hips) will have bioflavonoids and hesperidin and quercetin with the ascorbic acid. These additional components are part of the vitamin C complex.
- The vitamin industry noted a trend towards people becoming more complete and whole and applying this concept to their health, and responded by adding in whatever components of the vitamin C complex found in nature to their supplements.
- These additional vitamin C components have their own functions in the body. For example, they help with antihistamine and anti-inflammatory effects. They also increase the absorption of vitamin C.
- Vitamin C skin serums came on the market in the late 1970s, early 1980s. This type of vitamin C supplement is not consumed internally. Instead, it’s applied to the skin. Anti-aging effects are usually seen.
Now that you know a little more about vitamin C, you’ll be equipped to choose the best vitamin C supplement for your needs.