Vitamin C has a number of important functions in our body:
- Essential for the production of adrenal steroid hormones. Our body’s highest levels of vitamin C are found in our adrenal glands and brain tissues.
- Required for the synthesis of collagen, the main component of connective tissue, and the most abundant protein in mammals. Collagen is an important structural component of skin, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, bone, blood vessels, teeth, gums, heart valves, cornea, capillaries, intervertebral discs, and the GI tract.
- Plays an important role in the synthesis of norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter known to affect mood.
- Required for the synthesis of carnitine – essential for the efficient burning of fat for energy in our body’s cells.
- Plays an important role in immune system function, particularly in enhancing white blood cell activity.
- The major water-soluble antioxidant in our body, protecting important molecules such as proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, DNA, and RNA from damage by free radicals.
- Has the ability to regenerate other ‘spent’ antioxidants (e.g., vitamin E, glutathione) back into their active forms.
Vitamin C Deficiency
Vitamin C deficiency results in the potentially fatal disease known as scurvy. Initial symptoms of scurvy appear as general fatigue, probably resulting from diminished levels of carnitine and/or norepinephrine. More advanced symptoms of the disease include bruising easily, slow wound healing, hair and tooth loss, gingivitis, joint pain and swelling, and bleeding from mucous membranes. These symptoms are clearly related to the weakening of blood vessels, connective tissue, and bone, all of which contain collagen. Scurvy is now rare in modern countries because overt symptoms can be prevented by as little as 10 mg of FOOD-BASED vitamin C daily.
Is Ascorbic Acid Vitamin C?
Read the label on 95% of the vitamin C supplements on the market and you will see the words ‘ascorbic acid’ listed next to vitamin C. Most people, and many scientists, equate vitamin C with ascorbic acid, a purified, isolated compound produced in laboratories via a five-step chemical process from glucose (usually GMO corn sugar). Functional vitamin activity in our bodies, however, is NEVER produced by isolated, individual molecular compounds. Instead, all vitamin activity in our body occurs as multi-step biochemical interactions whose action only occurs when all cofactors and components of the entire ‘vitamin complex’ are present and working together in a specific timed sequence. Calling ascorbic acid vitamin C is like calling the skin of the orange the whole orange. Ascorbic acid can be thought of as simply the antioxidant ‘skin’ of the vitamin C complex – the part of vitamin C that protects the functional parts of the complex from oxidation.
In addition to ascorbic acid, vitamin C activity in our body includes rutin, bioflavonoids, Factor K, Factor J, Factor P, tyrosinase, ascorbinogen, various mineral cofactors, and other yet-to-be-discovered components. If any of these parts are missing, there will be no vitamin activity in our body. We simply do not currently have the skills and knowledge to produce a functional vitamin C complex in the laboratory, although nature does this for us every day in all the fabulous fruits and vegetables we have available for consumption.
When we consume an isolated ascorbic acid supplement, our body will draw on its own reserves to add the missing cofactors and reproduce the whole vitamin C complex. Thus, taking megadoses of ascorbic acid can actually contribute to nutrient deficiencies and imbalances in our body with long-term use. Even worse, our body will not be able to convert all of the ascorbic acid we consume to useful vitamin activity. The excess will become a burden that our body must get rid of, which we will notice as a yellowish tint in our urine.
When synthesized into artificial isolated forms, like ascorbic acid and sodium or calcium ascorbate, purified synthetic ‘vitamins’ can act more like drugs in the body and produce unwanted side effects. Being highly acidic, high levels of ascorbic acid consumption can produce a number of unpleasant symptoms, including diarrhea, nausea, upset stomach, vomiting, headaches, kidney stones, and tooth decay. Most synthetic vitamin C supplements are therefore artificially ‘buffered’ by attaching a calcium or sodium ion to the ascorbic acid (producing calcium or sodium ascorbate) to neutralize the acidity and attempt to diminish these symptoms. Unfortunately, users of these mineral ascorbates often still experience unpleasant side effects like kidney stones, stomach pain, and diarrhea. And adding a mineral ion to ascorbic acid does nothing to stop these isolated mineral ascorbates from stealing the cofactors they need from your tissues, and thereby potentially creating nutrient imbalances with long-term use.
Acerola Cherry Powder – Truly Natural™ Vitamin C
In contrast, the vitamin C in our Acerola Cherry Powder comes from whole-food acerola cherry extract. Acerola is a tart cherry native to South America, southern Mexico, and Central America, but is now also being grown as far north as Texas and in other subtropical areas such as India. Acerola cherries are known to be low in calories, while being exceptionally rich in vitamin C. In fact, each single acerola cherry has 65 times more vitamin C than an orange. Eating as few as 2-3 cherries is sufficient to fulfill daily vitamin C requirements. Acerola cherries are also high in B vitamins, carotenoids and bioflavonoids, and alkalizing minerals – specifically magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc and calcium.
Most importantly, all the vitamin C in acerola cherries is richly complex with all the necessary cofactors to produce functional vitamin activity in our body without any unpleasant side effects. Truly Natural™ Vitamin C does NOT produce any nutrient imbalances in our body. It is easily absorbable, does not produce yellow urine, and is naturally buffered with alkalinizing minerals present in the micronutrient-rich acerola food matrix. Food sources of the entire vitamin C complex are the only way to get nutrition as nature intended.
Recommended Daily Amount of Vitamin C
Most animals have the ability to synthesize all the vitamin C they need within their bodies. Humans, on the other hand, lack the ability to produce one of the four enzymes necessary for synthesis of vitamin C from glucose. As a result, we must obtain all necessary vitamin C from our diet. Being a water-soluble vitamin, vitamin C is not stored in significant quantities in our bodies, making adequate dietary intake on a daily basis crucial.
The current Recommended Daily Amount for vitamin C (as ascorbic acid) is 90 mg for an adult man and 75 mg for an adult woman. There is much to suggest that these amounts, while enough to prevent overt symptoms of scurvy, are insufficient for optimal health. Mammals that can produce all the enzymes required for synthesis of vitamin C, and therefore do not need to get vitamin C from their diet, can live 8 to 10 times their maturity age. Mammals that cannot synthesize vitamin C (e.g., humans) struggle to reach three to four times their maturity age in lifespan.
Some researchers feel that this shortened lifespan is an indication that all humans are suffering from subclinical scurvy. Given this, and the fact that urinary excretion of vitamin C increases in times of stress, it is clear that all of us could benefit from significantly increasing the amount of ACTUAL FOOD™ vitamin C in our diet. Unfortunately, most humans do not consume even close to adequate amounts of the vitamin C rich foods – fresh fruits and vegetables – for optimum health.
The HealthForce Edge
Vitamin C is more easily destroyed by heat, light, and oxygen than any of the other vitamins. A sliced cantaloupe left uncovered in the refrigerator, for example, loses 35% of its vitamin C content in less than 24 hours. Foods that contain vitamin C should be consumed as soon as possible after slicing or peeling so as to get as much benefit from these foods as possible. Much care is taken with our Acerola Cherry Powder to ensure both overall quality and potency of the end product:
- Dried at low temperatures to ensure an enzymatically active, vitamin C-rich product.
- EcoFresh Nutrient Lock™. Our dark glass with unique metal lid and oxygen absorber protects 100% of nutrients (creates a vacuum). Glass is recycled/recyclable, does not outgas, and is non-toxic to melt down.
- Energenesis™ Energetic Enhancements: Homeopathic, Magnetic & Vibrational+
How to Consume:
Mix Acerola Cherry Powder – Pure vitamin C with water, fresh juices, smoothies, Vegan milks, HealthForce Vitamineral Green™, or any other food to significantly boost bioavailable vitamin C content.