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General Questions about Vitamin C
What is vitamin C?
Vitamin C is a water-soluble micronutrient that is essential for many vital functions in the human body. While plants and most animals have the ability to synthesize their own vitamin C, humans do not have this ability and must consume vitamin C each day either in the diet or through supplementation.
- As an antioxidant, vitamin C supports immune health and protects cells from free radicals.
- Vitamin C also has the ability to extend the life of other key antioxidants, like vitamin E, by recycling or regenerating them.
- The production of collagen in the body depends upon vitamin C. Given this, the health of connective tissue (skin, tendons, ligaments) requires vitamin C for normal functioning and structure.
- Vitamin C also supports liver, heart, eye, and prenatal health.
What are some risk factors for a vitamin C deficiency?
Consuming a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables each day may provide adequate amounts of vitamin C for some individuals. However, today’s over-reliance on refined and processed foods can provide a challenge to optimal vitamin C for others. It is important to note that vitamin C is not stored in the human body and must be consumed each day, either from the diet or through supplementation. Vitamin C requirements are sometimes increased during periods of psychological (e.g. anxiety) and physiological stress (e.g. infection, alcohol and drug use, injury, surgery, burns or fatigue). Other individuals that are at risk for a vitamin C deficiency include smokers and those with gastrointestinal disorders such as malabsorption syndromes, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Are there any food sources of vitamin C?
Vitamin C can be found in a wide variety of plant-based foods. Consuming at least five servings a day of fresh fruits and vegetables is the best way to ensure an adequate intake of vitamin C. Fruits that contain substantial amounts of vitamin C include strawberries, kiwifruit, bell peppers, papaya, pineapple, lemons/limes, watermelon, and grapefruit. The richest vegetable sources of vitamin C are broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, bok choy, collard greens, swiss chard, asparagus, sweet potatoes, and winter/summer squash.
What is the recommended dietary allowance for vitamin C?
The 100% daily value (%DV) for vitamin C for individuals 18 years of age and older is 90 mg. This goes up to 120 mg per day during pregnancy/breastfeeding. As with any supplement, please talk to your healthcare provider prior to supplementation to ensure you are following the dosing schedule that is right for your particular health needs.
Is there an established upper toxicity limit for Vitamin C?
The Upper Tolerable Limit (UL), established by the Food and Nutrition Bard (FNB) of the Institute of Medicine, is considered to be the highest amount you can take of a nutrient without theoretical risk. The UL for vitamin C in adults is set at 2,000 milligrams per day. This UL has been established primarily in an effort to prevent gastrointestinal disturbances (e.g. diarrhea, nausea, abdominal cramps) which can occur from a high intake of vitamin C. In addition, excess Vitamin C (~ 2000 mg a day) may increase urine oxalate, a component of a common variety of kidney stone.
Can vitamin C supplements be taken with OTC or prescription medications?
Taking vitamin C supplements at the same time as some medications may result in decreased absorption and efficacy of the medication and/or the vitamin C supplement. If you are taking or planning to take an OTC or prescription medication, please consult a licensed pharmacist or your healthcare provider before beginning supplementation to minimize risk of side effects associated with potential supplement-drug interactions.
Still have questions?
- For general information about vitamin C, check out the resources below—
- Vitamin C Fact Sheet for Consumers — Office of Dietary Supplements
- Vitamin C — Linus Pauling Institute
- Vitamin C — Harvard School of Public Health
- Vitamin C in Disease Prevention and Cure: An Overview
- For specific guidance on the suitability of vitamin C to support your particular health goals, please talk to your healthcare provider.
Questions about Vitamin C Gold
What is the source of vitamin C in Vitamin C Gold?
Vitamin C Gold provides a gentle and nourishing form of plant-based vitamin C from amla and other ingredients in the organic food blend. The full list of organic foods can be found under the ‘Organic Food Blend’ in the supplement facts panel (on the label) and on the product page on our website. Vitamin C Gold is not synthetic vitamin C fermented, grown or cultured in yeast or a blend of organic foods fortified with synthetic vitamin C and marketed as “whole-food” or “food-based” vitamin C.
How does Vitamin C Gold compare to other commercially-available vitamin C supplements?
Most vitamin C products on the market provide ascorbic acid, a lab-made compound that does not occur in its isolated form in nature and is distinct from the vitamin C that is naturally present in food. Ascorbic Acid is frequently used to describe vitamin C, but ascorbic acid is merely the shell of vitamin C. In nature, vitamin C actually contains numerous other biologically active compounds (e.g. bioflavonoids) and enzymes, in addition to ascorbic acid, that work synergistically to deliver health benefits.
Vitamin C Gold provides plant-based vitamin C from organic amla and other fruits and berries in the organic food blend. The full list of organic foods can be found under the ‘Organic Food Blend’ in the supplement facts panel (on the label) and on the product page on our website. Vitamin C Gold is not synthetic vitamin C fermented, grown or cultured in yeast, or a blend of organic foods fortified with synthetic vitamin C and marketed as “whole-food” or “food-based” vitamin C.
Due to its acidic nature, some people experience gastrointestinal problems when supplementing with ascorbic acid. In an effort to make it less irritating to the digestive system, some brands offer buffered forms of ascorbic acid which is made by binding it to an alkaline mineral, such as calcium. Synthetic vitamin C, regardless of the delivery form, is not the same as vitamin C from living foods like amla, strawberries, kiwi, and papaya, among others. Generally speaking, plant-based forms of vitamin C do not cause digestive upset and therefore do not require any extra buffering agent.
I was told that it is okay to take vitamin C in high dosages. Can I take more than what is suggested on the label?
Because we are not a licensed healthcare provider, we regret we cannot make any recommendations with regard to taking a dosage higher than what is suggested on the product label. However, we can provide context for why we offer a 240 mg vitamin C supplement (instead of a higher dose vitamin C product) so you can make the purchasing decision that is right for you.
There is very little consensus on what the optimal daily amount of vitamin C is and the actual amount varies from about 250 mg to as much as 10 grams per day. Some of this variation may be explained by the reasons for supplementing with vitamin C. Vitamin C requirement is increased during periods of psychological (e.g. anxiety) and physiological stress (e.g. infection, alcohol and drug use, injury, surgery, burns or fatigue), so depending on the reasons for supplementation, recommended dosages can vary based on diet, lifestyle factors, and individual health goals.
The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of vitamin C for an adult ranges from 75 mg to 120 mg per day and this dosage is considered adequate for the prevention of vitamin C deficiency. However, if a higher dosage is warranted, there are a number of reasons why smaller doses of vitamin C taken throughout the day may be more effective than taking a single high dose of vitamin C —
- Blood levels of vitamin C take about 2 to 3 hours to reach their peak, after which point levels start to decrease as unabsorbed vitamin C is eliminated in the urine and through perspiration;
- Higher doses of vitamin C don't necessarily provide additional benefits beyond what are achieved at smaller doses (~ 250 mg);
- Taken orally, the larger the dose, the less is absorbed. For example, 80% of a 250 mg vitamin C supplement will be absorbed, whereas only 50% of a 2000 mg supplement will be absorbed (the rest is excreted through urination or perspiration)
- Excess vitamin C (~ 2000 mg a day) increases urine oxalate, a component of a common variety of kidney stone, by 22%, and men who take 1000 mg or more of vitamin C have up to a 40% higher risk of stone formation.
Given this, we believe the optimal dosing for vitamin C may be to take a small daily dose (~250 mg) to minimize deficiency risk and increase the frequency of dosing (~ 250 mg every 3 to 4 hours up to 4 times a day) during times of psychological and/or physiological stress to support the body’s increased need for vitamin C. As a matter of principle and in the interest of your health and safety, we encourage you to consult your healthcare provider prior to supplementation to determine what use, if any, is best to support your particular health goals.
How does NutriGold ensure the purity of the ingredients used in its Vitamin C Gold products?
At NutriGold, we go above and beyond what is recommended or required under current GMPs to independently verify that the raw materials used in our products as well as the finished products themselves meet industry-defining quality and purity standards. Depending on the complexity of the testing involved, including determining what needs to be tested, what methods are fit-for-purpose, and which lab is most qualified to perform the testing, we sometimes have results from as many as 4 or 5 different independent, ISO-certified labs for each product. We take these results from third-party labs and summarize them in lot-specific Certificates of Analysis that are freely available in the spirit of authentic transparency on the product pages on our website so consumers can make informed purchasing decisions.
What assurance can you provide that the amount of vitamin C listed on the label is actually in the product?
All of our products are verified by independent third-party labs to meet identity, purity, and potency label claims. We take these results from third-party labs and summarize them in lot-specific Certificates of Analysis (C of A) that are freely available in the spirit of authentic transparency on the product pages on our website so consumers can make informed purchasing decisions. The C of A provides assurance that the claims made on the label accurately reflect the contents of the product inside the bottle. If interested, more information on our our commitment to independent, third party quality testing can be found at this link - https://nutrigold.com/pages/accountability
What is the best time of day to take Vitamin C Gold? Should it be taken with food?
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that can generally be taken anytime, even on an empty stomach. However, as a matter of principle and in the interest of your health and safety, we encourage you to consult your healthcare provider prior to supplementation to determine what use, if any, is best for your individual needs.
What is a pullulan capsule? What is it made of?
Pullulan is a vegetable-derived, water-soluble polysaccharide produced through a natural fermentation process. Pullulan capsules are considered more natural than HPMC (cellulose) capsules because they are naturally derived from fermented tapioca. Unlike cellulose capsules, which are considered semi-synthetic and not permitted in certified organic products, pullulan is included in the USDA’s National Organic Program list of accepted ingredients for organic products.
Can I break apart the capsule and add the contents to liquid/food to consume?
All of our products are formulated to be taken as capsules and our purity and potency claims are based on the product being taken as recommended. We generally do not recommend breaking apart the capsules because it can introduce contaminants or otherwise compromise product potency and effectiveness.
Is Vitamin C Gold suitable for children (under 18 years of age)?
Vitamin C Gold is formulated for individuals over 18 years. Because children are considered a vulnerable population, we regret we cannot make any recommendations regarding the use of our products by or for children under the age of 18. We ask that you talk to your pediatrician or family practitioner about whether or not Vitamin C Gold is suitable and safe for your child’s particular healthcare needs prior to supplementation.