Have you come across videos or articles, as I have, claiming that ascorbic acid isn’t REAL vitamin C, because REAL C is only found in a “whole foods complex”?
Somewhere toward the end of these claims is usually a pitch to get you to buy a very expensive supplement. However, while that alone isn’t evidence enough to call this idea a marketing scam, a little basic chemistry and biology go a long way.
The claim sounds simple and elegant…
Synthetic, lab-made vitamin C (as ascorbic acid) can actually be dangerous and just isn’t natural vitamin C.
In nature, they say, ascorbic acid is simply the “container” for things like bioflavonoids, something called k-factor and J factor and a host of other good stuff found in the cells of the plants we consume.
These other healthy goodies, such as bioflavonoids, are packed inside a shell of ascorbic acid and the whole shebang together is what they call the “Vitamin C Complex”.
They claim that ascorbic acid on its own may some slight benefits due to its acidic nature, but without the rest of the “complex”, it really doesn’t help much and may “in fact” be harmful if consumed on its own.
But are these claims true? Are they based in fact?
Albert Szent-Györgyi, Nobel Prize winner for the discovery of vitamin C, said that what he discovered was ascorbic acid. Nothing more.
In fact, the vitamin deficiency disease known as scurvy, can only be cured with ascorbic acid. Nothing else in the so-called vitamin C complex can do this.
And while it may be true that plants use ascorbic acid as an outer layer structure for holding other great stuff… for the plant… is this really the only place vitamin C is found in nature?
What they leave out of their claims is that the vast majority of animals on Earth create their own vitamin C. Only humans, most other primates, guinea pigs, and a few species of fruit bats have lost the ability to produce an enzyme needed to create it.
All other animals, from elephants to worms to birds and spiders create vitamin C internally. And what form to they create? Ascorbic acid. Nothing else.
But at least it’s not “synthetic”
So we don’t need a vitamin C complex to get vitamin C… Fine! But surely it has to be better to take “natural” vitamin C rather than something created in a lab. Ascorbic acid is synthetic, after all. Synthetic vitamin C is unnatural, right?
I mean, Dr. Fealss von Wholsuum, NA. on the YouTubes said ascorbic acid is made from corn syrup and hydrochloric acid!! That’s insane! Why would you think consuming that is good for you??
Of course it is a great idea to get as many of your daily vitamins and minerals from real, unprocessed foods as possible, but whether it is synthesized in a goat’s liver, or in a lab, it is the same thing in every way.
Molecular structure of L-ascorbic acid
The molecular structure of vitamin C is C6H8O6. As long as the molecule has the same atoms in the same amounts situated in the same way, it is vitamin C.
Combining corn syrup and hydrochloric acid results in a chemical reaction, rearranging the structure of the glucose molecule and transforming it into true, NATURAL in every way possible, vitamin C… Ascorbic acid… C6H8O6.
GMO? Yes or No?
Lastly, let’s lay to rest a persistent argument that vitamin C made from GMO corn means that the vitamin C itself is “GMO”.
From the outset, I am no lover of GMO foods and I try not to purchase vitamin C made from GMO sources. That being said, however…
Since GMO stands for genetically modified organism, it refers to modified genetic code rather than modified molecules. The job of genes is to act as a blueprint for how to put certain molecules together to create an organism of some kind. It doesn’t have any effect on the building materials it uses.
To say that making vitamin C from GMO corn somehow makes it different, is like saying a brick is somehow different if you change a house’s blueprints. It just doesn’t work that way.
What to do about it?
Save your money. You don’t need to spend a fortune on vitamin C by buying a super expensive, “whole foods-based vitamin C complex”. This is just a marketing tool and a cruel gimmick to make someone else more money.
If you’ve already bought some for you and your family, then by all means use it. There is nothing wrong with it at all and it certainly has great stuff in it, but you could probably buy 2 to 3 times the amount of vitamin C for the same amount of money by just getting basic ascorbic acid without all the hype.
Taking high doses of vitamin C daily is one of the most powerful health hacks you can use for you and your family. If you want to learn how this can change your life, check out the links I’ve added below.
And if you got something out of this rant, or just think my facts are off, please let us know in the comments. :)
Keep your mind open to integrate ALL the facts of a matter, because bad ideas propagate by your ignorance to the facts you don’t want to see.
Here are some helpful links on high-dose vitamin C and how it can help those you love, if you want to learn more…
Thomas E. Levy, MD, JD — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXKuW...
Dr Suzanne Humphries — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0LLX...
Dr Andrew Saul — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPZ4U...