Category Archives: Vitamin C

Ascorbic Acid Vitamin C: What’s the Real Story?

by Andrew W. Saul, Editor

(OMNS Dec 6, 2013) Heard anything bad lately about ascorbic acid vitamin C? If you haven’t, you may have been away visiting Neptune for too long. For nearly four decades, I have seen that, like all other fashions, vitamin-bashing goes “in” and “out” of style. Lately it has (again) been open season on vitamin C, especially if taken as cheap ascorbic acid. Linus Pauling, the world’s most qualified advocate of vitamin C, urged people to take pure ascorbic acid powder or crystals.

Without having met Dr. Pauling, they are also what Great-grandma used when she home-canned peaches. Vitamin C powder remains cheap and readily available on the internet. One-quarter teaspoon is just over 1,000 mg. If you encounter a powder that is substantially less potent than that, it may contain fillers. Choose accordingly.

I have told my students for a long time, “If they didn’t listen to Linus Pauling, don’t be too surprised that they don’t line up to hear what you have to say.” But Pauling’s two unshared Nobel prizes (he is the only person in history with that distinction) are no protection from critics who slam ascorbic acid C without first considering some basic biochemistry.

Atomically Correct

Vitamin C is ascorbic acid, C6H8O6, and that’s pretty much all there is to it. If you really want to impress your friends, ascorbic acid can also be called (5R)-5-[(1S)-1,2-Dihydroxyethyl]-3,4-dihydroxy-2(5H)-furanone. As I liked to tell my university students, now there is something for you to answer when your parents ask what you learned in school today.

Even if this molecule comes from GMOs, which I disapprove of, it is still molecularly OK. You cannot genetically modify carbon, hydrogen, or oxygen atoms.

There are two ways the atoms can arrange themselves to make C6H8O6. One is ascorbic acid. The other is erythorbic acid, also known as isoascorbic acid or D-araboascorbic acid. It is a commercial antioxidant, but cannot be utilized by the body as an essential nutrient.

Acidity

That word “acid” gets us going, but in fact ascorbic acid is a weak acid. If you can eat three oranges, if you can drink a carbonated cola, or if you can add vinegar on your fish fry or on your salad, there is little to worry about. In fact, your normal stomach acid is over 50 times stronger than vitamin C. The stomach is designed to handle strong acid, and nutrients are not destroyed by this strong stomach acid. If they were, all mammals would be dead. Have you ever noticed when you throw up you can feel the burn in your throat? That’s stomach acid. A little gross, but we need it to live. People who have a lot of problems with hiatal hernias or reflux can actually regurgitate enough acid over a period of months where they damage and scar the throat.

Vitamin C could not do that on a bet. It’s impossible. You couldn’t start your car if you put vinegar in your automobile’s battery. It requires sulfuric acid, which is a very strong acid. The hydrochloric acid in the stomach is only slightly weaker than car-battery acid. Vitamin C is almost as weak as lemonade. That’s a huge difference.

Probiotics

If you eat yogurt or take probiotic capsules, they end up in your stomach. There they are subjected to this strong stomach acid, and survive it easily. Acidophilus bacteria, such as are found in yogurt, are literally so named because they are “acid-loving.” Many studies show that eating yogurt and taking other probiotic supplements is a good idea and that it works. If a strong acid does not kill them, then neither will a weak acid.

Furthermore, your body secretes a highly alkaline substance right where your small intestine starts, just past the stomach. This neutralizes stomach acid and automatically keeps the rest of your gut from being acidic. If the body can neutralize a strong acid, ascorbic acid is virtually irrelevant.

Buffering

Ascorbic acid can be buffered, and if you have a sensitive stomach, should be. There are a variety of non-acidic forms. http://orthomolecular.org/resources/pract.shtml#us I do not sell vitamins or any other health products, and do not make brand recommendations.

Don’t be bluffed or blustered about ascorbic acid. It is cheap and it works. Aside from intravenous sodium ascorbate, the vast majority of research showing that vitamin C is effective in prevention and treatment of disease has used plain ascorbic acid. Yes, the cheap stuff.

Remember what Ward Cleaver, TV father on “Leave it to Beaver,” said to his young son: “A lot of people go through life trying to prove that the things that are good for them are wrong.”

(Andrew W. Saul, OMNS Editor, has taught health science, addiction recovery, clinical nutrition and chemistry. He is the coauthor, with Dr. Steve Hickey, of “Vitamin C: The Real Story.”)

To learn more:

Vitamin C as an antiviral http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns

Flu, viruses, and vitamin C megadoses http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns

Are tropical fish getting kidney stones from vitamin C? They make so much more than the RDA http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns

What really causes kidney stones (and why vitamin C does not) http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns

Vitamin C: Which form is best? http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns

The complete text of Irwin Stone’s vitamin C book “The Healing Factor” is posted for free reading at http://vitamincfoundation.org/stone/

How to reach saturation (bowel tolerance) with oral doses of vitamin C, by Robert F. Cathcat http://www.doctoryourself.com/titration.html

About Frederick Robert Klenner, M.D. http://www.doctoryourself.com/klennerbio.html

Dr. Klenner’s dosage table http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns

Why the government thinks Guinea pigs are more important than people http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns

Levy, TE. Curing the Incurable. Vitamin C, Infectious Diseases, and Toxins. Henderson, NV: MedFox Publishing, 2004. Reviewed at http://orthomolecular.org/library/jom/2003/pdf/2003-v18n02-p117.pdf

Pauling L. How to Live Longer and Feel Better. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press, 2006. Reviewed at http://www.doctoryourself.com/livelonger.html . Linus Pauling’s complete vitamin and nutrition bibliography is posted at http://www.doctoryourself.com/biblio_pauling_ortho.html

 

Nutritional Medicine is Orthomolecular Medicine

Orthomolecular medicine uses safe, effective nutritional therapy to fight illness. For more information: http://www.orthomolecular.org

 

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To locate an orthomolecular physician near you: http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v06n09.shtml

 

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Editorial Review Board:

Ian Brighthope, M.D. (Australia)
Ralph K. Campbell, M.D. (USA)
Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D. (USA)
Damien Downing, M.D. (United Kingdom)
Dean Elledge, D.D.S., M.S. (USA)
Michael Ellis, M.D. (Australia)
Martin P. Gallagher, M.D., D.C. (USA)
Michael Gonzalez, D.Sc., Ph.D. (Puerto Rico)
William B. Grant, Ph.D. (USA)
Steve Hickey, Ph.D. (United Kingdom)
Michael Janson, M.D. (USA)
Robert E. Jenkins, D.C. (USA)
Bo H. Jonsson, M.D., Ph.D. (Sweden)
Peter H. Lauda, M.D. (Austria)
Thomas Levy, M.D., J.D. (USA)
Stuart Lindsey, Pharm.D. (USA)
Jorge R. Miranda-Massari, Pharm.D. (Puerto Rico)
Karin Munsterhjelm-Ahumada, M.D. (Finland)
Erik Paterson, M.D. (Canada)
W. Todd Penberthy, Ph.D. (USA)
Gert E. Schuitemaker, Ph.D. (Netherlands)
Robert G. Smith, Ph.D. (USA)
Jagan Nathan Vamanan, M.D. (India)
Atsuo Yanagisawa, M.D., Ph.D. (Japan)

Andrew W. Saul, Ph.D. (USA), Editor and contact person. Email: omns@orthomolecular.org This is a comments-only address; OMNS is unable to respond to individual reader emails. However, readers are encouraged to write in with their viewpoints. Reader comments become the property of OMNS and may or may not be used for publication.

OMNS free subscription link http://orthomolecular.org/subscribe.html and OMNS archive link http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/index.shtml are included.

Vitamin C Production in Goats vs Humans

goat produces its own vitamin cNo wonder this goat is so happy. A typical 155 pound goat is capable of producing over 13,000 milligrams of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) daily. As a comparison, the recommended dietary allowance for humans of vitamin C proposed and used by nutritionists, is 90 milligrams.

If goats are capable of producing their own ascorbic acid, why don’t humans? To see an infographic of the evolution of vitamin C synthesis, scroll to the bottom.

The requirement of ascorbic acid is a common property among living organisms. It has long been considered that all animals with the exceptions of guinea pigs, monkeys, and humans can produce their own vitamin C. Scientist have extensively studied the human genome and identified the defective gene for the synthesis of the active enzyme protein, L-gulonolactone oxidase or GLO (Stone 1979). This mutation is said to have occurred some 60 million years ago. The absence of GLO in the human liver blocks the conversion of glucose into ascorbic acid leading to an illness known as Scurvy (Inborn error of carbohydrate metabolism).

Evolution and the synthesis of Ascorbic Acid

Scientists believe that the ability to synthesize ascorbic acid began in the kidney of amphibians and was transferred to the liver of mammals like the goat. This biological trait disappeared from the guinea pig, flying mammals, the monkey, and man (Chatterjee et all 1975). Other notable animals that do not synthesize vitamin C are insects, invertebrates, and fishes. Some question whether ascorbic acid is an essential requirement for these species. The need for ascorbic acid may be very small for these species therefore they may supplement via their diet to maintain the proper levels of ascorbic acid. Although they can produce some vitamin C, domestic dogs and cats make much less than wild animals. This may explain why pets eventually suffer from the same diseases as humans.

Goat vitamin C production and stress related factors

The ability to synthesize vitamin C was somehow linked through evolutionary development. The step from the aquatic to the terrestial mode of life was a profound change involving a tremendous range of adaptations under strong selection pressure (Chatterjee et all 1975). This would explain why under stress goats were able to produce a higher level of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) than when unstressed (Stone 1979). As a biological defense mechanism, during times of stress ascorbic acid would be created in massive amounts. The beneficial effect of ascorbic acid in stress is now a well-established fact. When facing significant health stresses, C-making animals can dramatically increase ascorbic acid production by as much as 13 times normal levels. This could explain why wild animals tend to remain vibrantly healthy until they succumb to old age. (Levy 2011)

In spite of all this evidence, the recommended dietary allowance remains extremely low. This highlights the need for humans to supplement vitamin C. Is it possible that nature knows something the U.S. Government doesn’t?

Consider the facts:

  • Most animals synthesize their own vitamin C
  • Although defective, humans carry the gene that would provide the ability to synthesize vitamin C
  • C-synthesizing animals produce vastly more vitamin C than the 90 mg government RDA
  • C-producing animals radically increase production when faced with severe health challenges
  • Non-C-producing animals are much more susceptible to disease than animals in the wild

vitamin c animal production

Works Cited

Chatterjee, I. B., A. K. Majumder, B. K. Nandi, and N. Subramanian. “Synthesis And Some Major Functions Of Vitamin C In Animals.” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 258.1 Second Confer (1975): 24-47. Print.

Stone, Irwin. “Homo Sapiens Ascorbicus, A Biochemically Corrected Robust Human Mutant.” Medical Hypotheses 5.6 (1979): 711-721. Print.

Levy, Thomas E. “Primal Panacea.” Medfox Publishing. (2011). 53-54. Print

 

 

Pure & Powerful… Lypo-Spheric Supplements

What makes Lypo-Spheric™ products unique? Each Lypo-Spheric™ product is formulated with one goal in mind: to provide you with effective doses of nutrients without the use of binders, fillers, artificial colors or artificial flavors.

The nutrient-filled liposomes in each Lypo-Spheric™ product are small enough – and smart enough – to bypass the body’s restrictive nutrient transport system, and quickly pass through the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream. Within minutes of taking a Lypo-Spheric™ product, millions of liposomes will start to move from your bloodstream and into your cells – intact, and ready to work.

Our single-dose packaging protects the product from additional oxygen and moisture, which keeps your product fresh.

LivOn Labs’ products are sugar free, caffeine free, dairy free, meat free and gluten free.

We source ingredients from all over the world so we can use high-potency, non-GMO ingredients from natural sources whenever possible. We now guarantee that our Lypo-Spheric™ Vitamin C, Lypo-Spheric™ R-ALA and Lypo-Spheric™ GSH are 100% non-GMO.

EXTENDING THE SHELF LIFE….

The shelf life on the majority of our nutritional supplements is 12-18 months. To extend the shelf life we recommend refrigeration for maximum effectiveness. Do not freeze or place the products in direct sunlight for extended periods of time.

Vitamin Supplements, Do We Really Need?

Yes and no… terrible way to start I know but it is true. Vitamin supplements are not a replacement for a well balanced diet, but it acts as an insurance policy.

When you drive your car you may have the mandatory liability insurance (your diet meets the government recommended daily allowance) however you may feel like you need a bit more coverage and protection. This is where full coverage automotive insurance comes in (diet exceeds recommended daily allowance) or you may even have full coverage + Bodily Injury and Property Damage (your diet exceeds recommended daily allowance and you exercise frequently) or…

You can also have full auto coverage + Bodily Injury and Property Damage + Medical Payments (your diet exceeds the recommended daily allowance, you exercise frequently, and you supplement your diet with vitamins).

You as a consumer have the ability to choose your level of coverage and comfort. People buy supplemental insurance for the same reason they buy vitamin supplements, to feel protected. People who buy supplements want to ensure they are receiving the correct nutrients.

In our ever-growing population, our food often doesn’t contain the right level of nutrients that one would expect to find in fresh fruit and vegetables. Many people could benefit from taking a vitamin supplement whether that be a multivitamin or individual vitamins.

Most important vitamin supplements

For example, vitamin C is critical in the production of collagen, which makes up most of our bodies tissues, ligaments, and bone structure. Collagen is important to maintain skin elasticity (youthful skin), as well as help prevent bruising. The research on vitamin C is plentiful, a simple Google search of vitamin c studies brings up over 30,000,000 results (that’s 30 million!).

Easily, the most recognized champion for vitamin C is the late Dr. Linus Pauling. An award winning Chemist and Nobel Peace Prize winner. Dr. Pauling is extensively referenced and quoted by many of today’s experts.

I encourage you to do your own research and learn about the ongoing studies related to supplementing your diet with essential nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, and so forth.   I would also recommend you consult your primary healthcare physician before starting any type of exercise program or supplementation regimen.

Ultimately it is down to the individual to decide whether or not they need to take vitamin supplements; however, if you are willing to pay for additional car insurance to protect your vehicle, shouldn’t you spend a bit more to protect your body?

Dietary Supplement Use Infographic

To get the highest quality supplements visit LivOn Labs. LivOn Labs produces Lypo-Spheric supplements including vitamin C and other essential antioxidants.

About the Author

Felipe Gonzales is a blogger, Social Media Strategist, Graphic Designer, Web Designer, and all around jack of all trades. He is part of the marketing team for LivOn Labs and enjoys playing sports and fitness. He can reached directly at felipe@livonlabs.com or by leaving a comment on this site.

 

Sometimes It Pays to be a Geek Bill Nye!

 

Bill Nye, The Science Guy, had his dancing debut on Season 17 of Dancing With The Stars. After dancing the cha cha cha, one of the judges said, “It was like being waxed. It was painful while it happened and lovely when it was over.” Meanwhile, Bill Nye’s Facebook page has 1,336,632 likes with 54,352 fans talking about the Geeky Guy’s dance performance…

My point is, sometimes a Geek can’t dance; but a Geek does have fans! At LivOn Labs we’re not trying to win any dance contests; but we are trying to share our Geeky science with our own fans. Matter of fact, recently we just sold our Two Millionth Carton of our Lypo-Spheric™ Vitamin C to our fans!

LivOn Labs’  Geeky science

Our Lypo-SphericTM products are based on the science of Liposomes. A liposome is a microscopic bubble made from two layers of specialized molecules called phospholipids. Just as the cell membrane keeps the contents of the cell inside and intact, a liposome can “contain” and protect whatever substance is placed inside its membrane.

Today liposomes are considered one of the most effective methods of delivering oral nutrients. That’s why LivOn Labs uses liposomes to protect and deliver the various nutrients in the Lypo-Spheric™ nutritional supplements.

Try our Lypo-Spheric supplements today with our 100% Money Back Guarantee. Save $10 with code VOICE. Order online with free shipping at www.vitaminc4u.com or call toll free 1.866.682.6193 to place your order.

2013 KXNT Las Vegas Health Fair at Town Square

KXNT Las Vegas 2013 Health FairLas Vegas Health Fair

LivOn Labs had the opportunity to meet many of our existing fans and make new ones at the recent 100.5 FM 2013 Health Fair. The Event was held in Town Square in Las Vegas and showcased many of the top health care products and practitioners in the valley.

The KXNT Health Fair at Town Square Las Vegas provided awareness, information, and demonstrations on current news and trends concerning health related issues and topics that affect us all.

The health fair also touched on the important changes in our healthcare system due to the Affordable Care Act. Many uninsured individuals were on hand to ask questions and gain valuable insight into the changes and benefits of the Affordable Care Act.

The event featured new offerings from some of the leaders in health products including LivOn Labs who was demonstrating how to take your vitamin C in the morning to keep you healthy and active.

  • Wellness
  • Fitness
  • Healthy Eating
  • Basic Preventative Medicine
  • Lifestyle Improvements
  • Medical Screenings
  • and much more!

LivOn Labs had a blast at the event and enjoyed meeting all the new faces. We hope you had time to stop by and try some of our products.

– LivOn Team

5 Reasons Athletes Should Take Vitamin C

Not surprisingly, most athletes are unaware how important vitamin C intake is to performance. Some can get away with poor diets and supplementation for awhile (see NBA Super Star Derrick Rose’s weird eating habits). Lucky for Chicago Bulls fans, he has hired a personal trainer, chef, and is taking that next step to remain a superstar into his late 30’s. A simple search online for athletes’ dietary habits brings up a love for Big Macs, Skittles, Swedish Fish, and beer. Many of the top athletes who consume regular supplements, including vitamin C, and maintain healthy eating patterns, perform at a high level far past their primes. Below are a few examples of athletes who train just as hard in the kitchen as they do on the field or court.

  • Steve Nash – NBA SuperStar
  • Kobe Bryant – NBA SuperStar
  • Joe Namath – NFL Hall of Famer
  • Tony Gonzales – NFL Tight End
  • Billie Jean King – Tennis Player
  • Robert Parish – NBA Hall of Famer

How valuable is proper vitamin C supplementation to athletes?

Here are five reasons you should include high dose vitamin C in your regular supplementation schedule.

  1. Vitamin C is an antioxidant, protecting muscle cells from free radical damage, thus enhancing recovery and growth.
  2. Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) is also involved with amino acid metabolism, especially the formation of Collagen. Collagen is the primary constituent of connective tissue, the stuff that holds your bones and muscles together. This may not seem important, but as you lift heavier weights, the stress you put on your structure becomes tremendous and risk of injury dramatically increases.
  3. Vitamin C helps in the absorption of Iron. Iron is necessary to help Oxygen bind to hemoglobin in blood. Without adequate oxygen transportation in blood, muscles are robbed of precious oxygen and performance is greatly reduced.
  4. Ascorbic acid also assists in the formation and release of steroid hormones, including the anabolic hormone testosterone.
  5. Vitamin C is perhaps the most water soluble vitamin there is. In other words, it diffuses very rapidly in water. Since a muscle cell is mostly water, the more muscular an athlete becomes, the more vitamin C disperses and the lower the concentration of this critical substance becomes in body tissues. So vitamin C requirements are greatly increased for athletes.

Natural Vitamin C vs. Synthetic Vitamin C -What’s the Difference?

Most commonly, vitamin C is ingested as ascorbic acid or sodium ascorbate; however, the active agent in ALL forms of vitamin C is ascorbate anion. This is important to note since virtually all of the clinical and laboratory outcomes of vitamin C reported over the last century come from ascorbic acid or sodium ascorbate.

As new research becomes available more people are beginning to realize the enormous utility of vitamin C and are looking for ways to supplement it on a regular basis. Of course this attracts businesses that have become increasingly negligent of the claims they are making regarding vitamin c products.

Deceptive Marketing

Common deceitful vitamin C labels are “natural vitamin C” and “vitamin C complex.” Labels such as these confuse consumers and lead to misinformation that affects everyone. Let’s clear these misconceptions up now. Many of these companies that produce vitamin C products have even asserted that ascorbic acid is not really vitamin C! This isn’t even the worst part; people actually believe these claims. Dr. Albert Szent-Gyorgyi discovered vitamin C and asserted that what he had in fact discovered was ascorbic acid and nothing more.

Instead, supplement makers are using deceptive practices by claiming that vitamin C is of little use if it is not ingested in a “natural” form. Additionally, they attempt to discredit many pure vitamin C supplements as being synthetic; therefore’ inferior vitamin C products. Renowned vitamin C expert, Dr. Thomas E. Levy said that

“Vitamin C, or ascorbate, can be synthesized or it can be isolated from natural sources. As long as the purification processes are not flawed, the final products are absolutely identical. However, the fears that many people have today (often justifiably) about impure products of all varieties are played upon by these companies in their attempt to sell their “natural, vitamin C complex” product in the place of pure vitamin C supplements. – NaturalHealth365.com

Marketing is extremely powerful; it even has the ability to determine presidential elections. Many of these supplement companies are using sophisticated marketing strategies to take advantage of a growing segment of health conscious consumers. By muddying the waters they are able to grab a piece of the pie.

What about “vitamin C complex”

Vitamin C complex supplements often contain a number of antioxidants, think multivitamin. These products are absolutely fine and do provide a valuable service however they are needlessly expensive when marketed in the “complex” form. Traditional vitamin C is relatively cheap therefore the premium you are paying, is for their marketing budget rather than their research and development.

A Better Alternative

Although vitamin C complex and traditional vitamin C have their place in the ascorbic acid market, a better alternative to paying a premium for vitamin C complex would be to purchase liposomal supplements. Vitamin C expert Dr. Thomas E. Levy describes Liposomal vitamin C as:

“Tiny particles of vitamin C coated with phospholipids create molecules of vitamin C coated with a substance similar to the cell membranes. Thus those coated vitamin C molecules can slip into the cells easily. The encapsulation also avoids diarrhea thresholds of normal oral C.”

Liposomal supplements are a more efficient delivery mechanism. Mainly because liposomes are smart enough and strong enough to bypass the bodies normal digestive system to enter directly into the bloodstream ensuring a higher quality product. You can purchase Liposomal Vitamin C directly from LivOn Labs or you can purchase it through one of their many online retailers.

Resource: “The Marketing Myth of “Vitamin C Complex” by Dr. Thomas E. Levy written for www.naturalhealth365.com (August 22, 2013)