Let’s talk about 3 different forms of vitamin C supplements – to know which one you need to take and in what circumstances.
Vitamin C is an organic compound with the chemical name Ascorbic acid It occurs in different purity levels in nature and in supplements where we use a synthetic form of this vitamin.
The conventional form includes plain ascorbic acid, mineral ascorbates, and ethyl-esters. They can also be accompanied by various co-factors and metabolites which can help with absorption. Some vitamin C supplements can cause digestive discomfort, especially when taken at high dosages.
Foods rich in vitamin C are alkaline-forming because as the body burns the acid, it leaves an alkaline end product. However, the acidity may still affect your stomach as vitamin C travels through your GI tract. So if you avoid acidic foods because of your sensitive stomach then you’ll want to take a buffered form of vitamin C.
Buffered vitamin C is created when a mineral salt is added to ascorbic acid. This results in a substance that resists changes in your pH level, and it is a better choice for a person with a sensitive stomach.
Liposomal vitamin C will give you a large vitamin C concentration in your blood, but this will last about 2 hours. It is not associated with any digestive discomfort, even at high dosages.
Research on absorption has shown that liposomal vitamin C is absorbed much faster than conventional vitamin C supplements because the liposome will fuse with cells in the digestive system and deliver the vitamin C directly into the cells. IV delivery of vitamin C is most comparable to liposomal form in terms of absorption, and usually, retention of IV vitamin C also lasts for about 2 hours.
The retention time for conventional vitamin C supplements is at least 12 hours because it must be absorbed through the digestive system, which takes time. So regularly buffered vitamin C supplements are a better way of regularly increasing your vitamin C intake due to the longer retention time in the body.
However, for those rare occasions when you feel like you want to have a high dosage of vitamin C (like during flu season or a global pandemic), or if you experience stomach discomfort from conventional vitamin C supplements, then liposomal vitamin C is ideal.
I’ll see you soon for the next topic on supplements. If you have any questions you can drop me a line and schedule a 15 min consultation with me on your specific health challenge.
Dr. Maya SarkisyanApril 7, 2020