The best place to find real Vitamin C is at your grocery store. Head straight to the produce section and load up your shopping cart with your favorite fruits and vegetables.
Skip the supplement aisle. That’s because it’s likely you’ll find only ascorbic acid. This is a Vitamin C derivative. It’s made in a lab. Although this isolate does have some potential health benefits, I’ve decided not to take it. At least not regularly. That’s because I want the real thing, with the full range of healthy compounds found in nature.
Real Vitamin C vs Ascorbic Acid
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High concentrations of real Vitamin C are found in certain supplements, such as natural camu camu powder. This comes from a berry that grows along the banks of the Amazon River, and not from a laboratory.
Benefits of Real Vitamin C
When my children were little, they had chronic health problems. They’ve since recovered, something I attribute to a lot of prayer. We also had a wonderful homeopath. She insisted I immediately stop giving my children all of the many synthetic vitamins I’d purchased. “They need to get their vitamins from food,” she insisted.
I’m so glad that I listened to her. My children seemed to get better quickly after following her good advice. So, in our house, right now, you won’t find many laboratory-made vitamins. (There are a couple of exceptions. I’ll talk about one of them later.)
Where To Find Real Vitamin C
If you look in my natural medicine cabinet, you will find camu camu powder, a whole -food supplement derived from an Amazonian berry. This fruit contains one of the highest Vitamin C concentrations found anywhere.
I take this when I feel a cold coming on. Also, I periodically take it to help control my chronic nerve inflammation. This is one of the natural herbal anti-inflammatory agents I take on a rotating basis.
The reason I don’t take any herbal supplement too long is because my remedies work better when I give them a break. Typically, I take something for a few weeks before switching to something else. I tend to take camu camu if I’m having a bad day, with a pain flare.
In addition to camu camu powder, a number of other super food fruits are thought to contain levels of Vitamin C many times higher than citrus fruits. Among them are the acerola cherry and the amla berry. You can see all three below.
Is Ascorbic Acid Real Vitamin C?
For most of my life, I assumed that ascorbic acid was the same thing as Vitamin C. This isolate is added to many products, including foods, supplements and skin creams. Although it appears to have certain benefits, personally, I’d rather consume real Vitamin C, which comes from fruit.
We do have ascorbic acid in the house. Holistic healers often recommend this form of “Vitamin C” for people fighting an upper respiratory infection. However, it’s also known that ascorbic acid is not easily absorbed by the body. That’s why I use a special type called Lipo-Spheric Vitamin C for those rare times I need it. For instance, because ascorbic acid has chelating action, this is the dietary supplement I took after getting my mercury fillings removed. I only took it for a few days.
How is Ascorbic Acid Made?
If you’re interested in the ascorbic acid vs Vitamin C debate, I urge you to do some research. Right now, there are a number of people spreading the word that ascorbic acid, made in a lab, is not the same thing as Vitamin C.
At first, I was shocked when I learned this. But I shouldn’t be. Currently, there’s a trend of isolating single ingredients from plants, and selling them as supplements. This is something that’s often done with herbal remedies. So, on this site, whenever possible, I try to point out the potential benefits of taking full-spectrum whole herbs.
If you’re interested in further reading, on this somewhat controversial issue, there are good sources on the Internet, which explain the ascorbic acid controversy much better than I can. Here is an excellent article on ascorbic acid and why you may not want to take it as a supplement. The author cites a study showing people who consume only 500 mg. of ascorbic acid, on a daily basis, had a greater tendency to develop thickening of the arteries.
These statements have not been approved by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. People with health concerns should discuss them with a doctor. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not take herbal remedies, unless directed to do so by a healthcare professional.
I’m not a healthcare professional, so all of the above statements are my personal opinion, and are presented for discussion purposes only.