Monthly Archives: July 2014

Can Vitamin C Upset Your Stomach?

upset stomach

Vitamin C is well known for providing many benefits, including shortening the duration of a cold, boosting the immune system and supporting the natural production of collagen.  But yes, taking high doses of traditional vitamin C – pills, powders, and capsules – can upset your stomach and then some…

Here’s why:

Most traditional vitamin C supplements contain straight ascorbic acid.  Ascorbic acid is recognized as the primary force behind the power of vitamin C, but it is an acid.  A moderate amount of acid in the gastric system helps to digest food and kill bacteria, but too much acid leads to heartburn, bloating, belching, and flatulence.

High quality vitamin C supplements use gentler, less-acidic types of vitamin C to help prevent this gastric upset.  These supplements typically include sodium ascorbate, ascorbic acid with bioflavonoids, ascorbyl palmitate, calcium ascorbate, or mineral forms of ascorbate.

The type of vitamin C you take, however, is only one part of the issue.  Because no matter what type of vitamin C you ingest, it’s primarily absorbed through an active transport system (unless it’s encapsulated in liposomes, but we’ll get to that later).

Active transport of vitamin C relies on sodium-dependent vitamin C co-transporters (SVCTs) to carry each vitamin C molecule through special doorways into the bloodstream, cell or tissue.  SVCTs can only carry one molecule of vitamin C through one door at a time.

This system works efficiently for a healthy person taking small doses of vitamin C, but when you take high doses of vitamin C, the absorption is severely restricted by the number of SVCTs and the number of open doors. If there aren’t enough SVCTs to carry all of the vitamin C into the blood, or all of the doors are closed, the vitamin C that was not absorbed is forced to exit the body.

This forced exit occurs because the most common forms of vitamin C are water soluble – meaning the vitamin C dissolves in water, and cannot be stored by the body for later use.  So when a large dose of water soluble vitamin C is taken and there are not enough SVCTs or open doors, all of the unabsorbed vitamin C is sent to the colon. Water is then drawn into the colon in order to dilute and excrete the vitamin C.  Then… straight to the bathroom.

Unless you are looking for a good cleanse, there are two ways to prevent these unpleasant experiences when taking high doses of vitamin C:

  • Take single doses of <500 mg of sodium ascorbate, several times a day.  Sodium ascorbate is recommended most by vitamin C experts, and it is commonly used in high dose intravenous (IV) infusions.
  • Take vitamin C encapsulated in liposomes.  Liposomes are tiny spheres that form a protective membrane around the vitamin C.  This prevents the vitamin C from being destroyed in the digestive system, while promoting delivery directly into the bloodstream and cells.  And because liposomes do not use the body’s active transport system, you can take high doses of liposomal vitamin C without worrying about where to find the nearest bathroom.

References:

  • Li, Y. and Schellhorn, E. 2007. New developments and novel therapeutic perspectives for vitamin C. Journal of Nutrition. 137: 2171-2184
  • Hickey S., Roberts H, Miller N, (2008), “Pharmacokinetics of oral vitamin C” Journal of Nutritional & Environmental Medicine July 31.

© 2014 LivOn Labs

Study Shows Daily Supplementation of Setria® Glutathione Increases Glutathione Levels in the Body

glutathione supplement

A new study published in the European Journal of Nutrition revealed that daily supplementation of Setria® Glutathione – the form of L-Glutathione used in Lypo-Spheric™ GSH – is effective at increasing body stores of glutathione by 30-35% over a 6 month period.

The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted at Penn State University School of Medicine and lead by Dr. John P. Richie, Jr., Ph.D., Professor of Public Health Sciences and Pharmacology. Dr. Richie has studied glutathione for more than 25 years, focusing primarily on glutathione’s ability to fight oxidative stress.

“It is well-known in the science community that glutathione is one of the primary protective molecules in the body; however, whether or not glutathione levels could be supplemented by oral glutathione administration has been hotly debated and clinical data has been lacking,” said Dr. Richie. “Now we have evidence to illustrate the potential benefit of glutathione supplementation …”

The study measured the effect of supplementation with Setria® Glutathione on glutathione levels in 54 healthy adults, 28-72 years of age. One group of subjects took 250 mg/day (low-dose), the second group took 1,000 mg/day (high-dose), and the third group took 470 mg/day of placebo. Glutathione levels were measured over a six month period in different blood components, including erythrocytes (red blood cells) and lymphocytes (white blood cells), as well as the buccal mucosal cells that line the inside of the cheeks.

Results of the study showed glutathione levels in the blood increased after one, three and six months when compared to baseline levels at both doses.And at six months, average glutathione levels increased 30-35% in erythrocytes, plasma, and lymphocytes, and 260% in buccal cells in the high-dose group.

In addition to the increase in glutathione levels, the study showed that daily supplementation of 1,000 mg/day enhanced the function of natural killer (NK) cells more than two fold after three months. NK cells are vital to a well-functioning immune system because they can rapidly identify and kill abnormal cells. This two fold increase in NK cytotoxicity means the NK cells were two times as effective at killing abnormal cells, such as cells that are virally infected or tumorigenic.

A secondary endpoint analysis of the data also indicated that daily supplementation of 250 mg – 1,000 mg of Setria® Glutathione may result in a significant decrease in oxidative stress after 6 months. While the majority of glutathione in cells is in the reduced form (the “active” form), it becomes oxidized when it is used to neutralize free radicals and other toxins that cause oxidative stress.  So as oxidative stress increases, the level of oxidized glutathione in the body increases, and the level of reduced glutathione in the body decreases. Therefore, a reduction in oxidative stress was demonstrated with a decrease in the ratio of oxidized to reduced glutathione.

Why is all of this data important?

Glutathione is often called the “Master Defender” due to its vast functions as an antioxidant, detoxifier and immune system supporter. It is found in nearly all cells, tissues and organ systems in the body. Our bodies produce glutathione naturally, but everyday factors including the intake of medication, ill health, exposure to environmental toxins, aging and diet dramatically reduce the body’s stores of glutathione. As glutathione levels decrease, a detrimental drop occurs in the cellular functions that help maintain a healthy heart, brain, eyes, liver, kidneys, pancreas, and joints.

Previously, the only reliable way to boost glutathione levels was with IV infusions. With Setria® Glutathione and the superior bioavailability offered by liposome-encapsulation, this is no longer the case. Orally-ingested Lypo-Spheric™ GSH combines Setria® Glutathione with Liposomal Encapsulation Technology to protect the glutathione from being destroyed in the digestive system, making Lypo-Spheric™ GSH an efficient and cost-effective way to boost glutathione levels.

References

  • Richie JP Jr, Nichenametla S, Neidig W, Calcagnotto A, Haley JS, Schell TD, Muscat JE. Randomized controlled trial of oral glutathione supplementation on body stores of glutathione. Eur J Nutr. 2014 May 5. PubMed PMID: 24791752.
  • Suntres ZE. Liposomal Antioxidants for Protection against Oxidant-Induced Damage. Journal of Toxicology 2011 May 24. Article ID 152474.
  • Topham NJ, Hewitt, EW. Natural killer cell cytotoxicity: how do they pull the trigger? Immunology. 2009 Sep. PubMed PMCID: 2747134.

Setria® is a registered trademark of Kyowa Hakko USA, Inc.

© 2014 LivOn Labs