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.
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.”
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 (August 22, 2013)