Here's an interesting article from the famous Earthclinic contributor Ted
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05/20/2010: Ted from Bangkok, Thailand writes: "John,
The problem about commercially produced products is that they contain aspartame, which metabolizes in the body as methanol alcohol. Many countries now do not need to label whether their product contains aspartame and will combine them to call them as "flavoring" or they don't even have to mention that at all. I ended up calling the factories to see if they contain aspartame after being sick taking certain brands of vitamin C, of the effervescent kind, which they sometimes do. They even added in many effervescent product. Flintstones chewable vitamins for children even have it. The aspartame are excitoxins and causes the urine pH to be very acid and took me weeks to get my acidity down to normal.
Most commercial product contains food coloring which causes side effect (severe ones) in certain autistic children such as red food color, yellow food color, which are made from a bug. Capsuled form in ascorbic acid causes stomach upset. The only ones that don't caused it is the ones that are pH buffered to 7 to 7.35 pH.
Capsuled form if in powder is hard on the stomach. I had some individuals that tried to market sodium and potassium citrate, got it patent as an alkaline buffered, but field testing caused severe heartburn. That's because it's alkalinity and acidity (in ascorbic acid), pH are too different from the body and is not further reduced the concentration when mixed with water. These effervescent product's final pH tends to lean on the acid side to make more pleasing to the senses.
Powdered form are generally a lot cheaper and better absorbed if the pH of the vitamin C is neutralized to biologically acceptable pH, as well as further reduction in its concentration by mixing with water. This puts less stress on the intestinal system when sed that way. The "reduced" antioxidant of a vitamin C sodium ascorbate or a baking soda with vitamin C, can be measured using the Oxidation Reduction Potential, ORP, that when measured is in negative millivolts of between -100 millivolts to -300 millivolts. This is clearly very antioxidant as the charges are negative. In fact sacred healing water have similar negative charges, owing to the fact of presence of parts per billion of hydrogen, which these water have a negative millivolts between -100 to -200 millivolts, but they cannot be taken far from the source, as these retain it's negative millivolts for only a couple of hours, while a reduced form of vitamin C are much more stable and can brings similar miracle cures owing to it's negative millivolts. The Europeans have missed out on the healing powers of millivolts by basically analysing the mineral contents of these mineral water, while the Japanese discovered long time ago, at least 50 years ago about the Oxidation Reduction Potential ORP of water, that's important, and they market in various ways, well known is the Kangen water. This is why vitamin C is a much cheaper form of antioxidant water, without spending $5000 on such machines just to get similar results. Also, if a vitamin C ascorbic acid were acid, it will not be antioxidant, but a pro oxidant, depending on the pH of the vitamin C.
However, most commercial vitamin C effervescent product tend to be on the acid side, and the non-labeled sweeteners which I have always been suspicious. On numerous ocassions I have gotten very sick taking these supplements and after calling factories, finding out they add aspartame. This can also be found indirectly by checking for urine pH, which are very acid, whenever I consume excitoxins, as in aspartame. Hence if you were to take sodium ascorbate without any problem it's fine. But for most people, sodium ascorbate, as is mixed with calcium ascorbate, and aspartic acid and other things that tend to make it worse. If a pure sodium ascorbate is sold, I will probably get that, but unfortunately pure sodium ascorbate is difficult to source, but ascorbic acid are easier to find which is why I mixed them with baking soda. Some places people can find sodium ascorbate, but for most people ascorbic acid are much easier to find.
The other problem is pure sodium ascorbate pH tends to be more acid then the ascorbic acid and baking soda, where the ideal pH should be close to that of the blood pH so it won't disturb the blood physiology, as a result the dose for example if I were to take vitamin C ascorbic acid, it will be say 1/4 teaspoon ascorbic acid , plus 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of baking soda to get a more alkaline form of vitamin C where you get the higher negative millivolts. The body's blood physiology is in the negative millivolts, so it's very stressful for the body to consume those food that has positive ORP. A simple commercial drinking water can have easily from 100 all the way to 300 millivolts which adds stress to the system. Even cooked foods has much higher positive millivolts, while uncooked raw foods has a negative millivolts. Cancer therefore tends to proliferate easier from positive millivolts and this is another problem why vitamin C, as an alkaline form (the more alkaline the better) is preferred, hence, baking soda is added more then your usual sodium ascorbate form. A perfect one should be sodium ascobate with baking soda to get pH in the more alkaline region of 7.5 pH, but I don't think commercial vitamin C will ever put baking soda just to get a higher negative ORP, to raise it's antioxidant level. Sure it's more convenient to take them in capsule form, if you can find them."
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I hope that you do realize that ascorbic acid is not at all the same as the natural whole complex vitamin C - despite any number of claims to the contrary. I think it is a supreme case of irony that the name itself of ascorbic acid means literally "no scurvy", when studies have demonstrated that ascorbic acid by itself cannot cure scurvy.
To see the difference between ascorbic acid and the natural whole vitamin C complex, see the discussion here:
which says in part:
Since ascorbic acid is such a tiny portion of the natural Vitamin C Complex. any ascorbic acid product cannot possibly be natural. The reason is simple-to get sufficient quantities of ascorbic acid from nature, the other portions of the whole Vitamin C Complex would be so large as to make a single 500 mg "natural" ascorbic acid pill the size of a tennis ball.
Since there is no "natural" ascorbic acid, it is the combination of nutritive factors found in the whole Vitamin C Complex that do the healing, not the ascorbic acid. This was proven beyond a shadow of a doubt by the Nobel Prize winner and discoverer of ascorbic acid, Dr. Szent-Gyorgyi. In a letter to the editor of the esteemed journal Nature, July 14, 1936, p. 27, he wrote that when it comes to anti-scurvy and anti-hemorrhagic effects, there are "other substances of similar importance and activity that accompany ascorbic acid."
More important, when Szent-Gyorgyi tried to cure scurvy and other bleeding conditions, he found that "with pure ascorbic acid, we obtained no response.... Yet when red pepper or lemon or lime juice was used, the condition was readily cured." The reason for this is simple, the nutritive portions of vitamin C do the curing and healing, ascorbic acid _simply performs the antioxidant function.
So we have it from the horses mouth that ascorbic acid was not effective in curing the very conditions known to be vitamin C-deficiency diseases. This has been known since the early 1930s. But it is simple to reproduce ascorbic acid and sell it as vitamin C for big bucks. So the charade has continued all these years. The real need for ascorbic acid is to protect the healing nutrients in the whole Vitamin C Complex from oxidation.
"This was the first proof that ascorbic acid was identical with vitamin C, and that the substance's activity was not due to an impurity." - Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Nobel Lecture, Oxidation, Energy Transfer, and Vitamins, December 11, 1937.
Hey WIEL -
I will concede that the term "whole vitamin C complex" is misleading. It would be better to state "Vitamin C with all the supporting compounds usually found in nature."
When it comes to ascorbic acid, I submit that naturally derived ascorbic acid is superior and more stable than man-made ascorbic acid. Funny how that works when science creates supposedly identical or mirror molecules but still fails to measure up to nature.
Regardless of the source though, I do not think ascorbic acid by itself is nearly as good as getting vitamin C from nature. I recognize that there are some vitamin C therapies, such as the one you mentioned for heart disease as well as intravenous vitamin C for cancer that have proven to be beneficial, and could be worth pursuing. However, for general health I would certainly opt for natural vitamin C from fruits, juices, vegetables and perhaps supergreen foods powder. I do note, however, that the outstanding vitamin, mineral and nutrient product I take contains 600 mg (1000% of RDA) of buffered calcium ascorbate. It also contains a veritable wealth of phyto nutrients and anti-oxidants and thus is likely to be much closer to getting vitamin C from nature than ascorbate by itself.
No argument here on the benefits of Vitamin C. I obviously get lots of it on a regular basis from all sources combined.
But I ask you, what is a natural source if is extracted from a vegetable anyway? Is it still really in its natural state?
You are right to an extent. Even though vitamin C is made from natural sources this does not make it natural. The synthetic vitamin C sold on the market as ascorbic acid is synthesized from sugars derived from plants. The sugar goes through a series of fermentations and reaction with chemicals such as acetone. It is not extracted from plants as ascorbic acid.
Even natural sounding sources such as palm C are still synthetic. They may start with palm sugar, but it is still synthesized in to ascorbic acid. So the synthetic ascorbic acid is not really any different than pharmaceuticals.
To answer your question the answer is yes and no. Excess ascorbic acid breaks down in to oxalic acid. Oxalic acid is problematic as it can lead to kidney stone formation, is a tissue irritant and it binds iron and calcium. So excess ascorbic acid will lead to excess acidity in this manner.
The acidity of the ascorbic acid though is really a non-issue though as the body regulates its pH readily except in very rare occasions. Normal levels of ascorbic acid leaving the stomach will be neutralized by bicarbonate just as stomach acid and citric acid from lemon juice are.
Ideally though vitamin C should be derived from food or herbal sources. The vitamin C in these sources are generally stronger and more stable than synthetic vitamin C (ascorbic acid), which is highly unstable. Natural sources also contain the synergistic bioflavonoids needed for the vitamin C to function properly. And if you are worried about the acidity of the vitamin C still the vitamin C from plants is naturally buffered by the minerals in the plants.