Vitamin C Bioavailability is the degree and rate at which vitamin C is absorbed by the body into the circulatory system and into the body’s cells for utilisation. We at Natural Origins are most concerned with the vitamin C QUALITY and optimal ABSORPTION and UTILISATION by the body. For our purposes it is therefore important to find out if a natural concentrated source of vitamin C like our freeze dried organic Acerola is superior in vitamin C bioavailability to the synthetic vitamin C –
~~~FOOD FOR THOUGHT~~~Research with polarized light shows the differences in bioavailability between synthetic and natural vitamins. The experiment involves taking a sample of a natural vitamin and its chemically identical synthetic counterpart, and passing a beam of polarized light through each. The beam passing through a natural vitamin always bends to the right due to the direction of its molecular rotation. When passing through a synthetic vitamin, the beam splits in half. Half the light beam bends to the right, and the other half bends to the left. The direction of the molecular rotation makes half of the synthetic vitamin impossible to use, which is why there is only 50% biological activity in synthetic, isolated vitamins. They are lacking the factors found in a full-
In order to understand superior bioavailability between Acerola, other natural vitamin C and synthetic vitamin C for humans, we turn our attention to the many scientific comparative human studies that have been conducted. [A P-
~~~FOR THE AVID RESEARCHER~~~
1. ACEROLA SUPERIOR TO ASCORBIC ACID STUDIES:
Acerola and Ascorbic Acid comparison studies that currently exist have been conclusive with no contradiction to our knowledge –
- “According to a double-
blind randomised experiment, concentrated ascorbic acid Acerola powder was found to be 1.63 times more bio-Tang L. 1995. Comparative study of the bioavailability of ascorbic acid in commercially produced products. [dissertation]. 1995: University of Pensylvania, Department of Chemistry. available and better synthesised by the human body than U.S. Pharmacopeia ascorbic acid which is synthetically produced (p < 0.0254).”
- “In Comparison with synthetic ascorbic acid, the vitamin C produced by Acerola is better absorbed by the human body. In fact, the human body can only absorb 50% of synthetic vitamin intake compared to that of natural vitamins (Byrne, 1993). In a study reported by Johnson (2003), it was found that infants consuming apple juice supplemented with acerola showed average or above average growth and development for their age and weight. Vitamin C levels in the blood were higher for all infants after the acerola/apple juice was introduced into the diet.” Postharvest biology and technology of tropical and subtropical fruits volume 2 – Acerola –
M. Mohammed, University of the West Indies St Augustine Campus, Trinidad).
- “Absorption and excretion of ascorbic acid alone and in Acerola (Malpighia emarginata) juice: Abstract: It has been suggested that some food components, such as bioflavonoids, affect the bioavailability of ascorbic acid in humans. Since little is known in Japan about the effective intake of this dietary requirement, we tested young Japanese males after the ingestion of commercial ascorbic acid or acerola (Malpighia emarginata DC.) juice to compare the quantities absorbed and excreted. Healthy Japanese subjects received a single oral dose of ascorbic acid solution (50, 100, 200 or 500 mg) and received distilled water as a reference at intervals of 14 d or longer. All subjects were collected blood and urine until 6 h after ingestion and evaluated for time-
dependent changes in plasma and urinary ascorbic acid levels. Predictably, the area under the curve (AUC) values in plasma and urine after ingestion increased dose- dependently. Next, each subject received diluted acerola juice containing 50 mg ascorbic acid. Likewise, their plasma and urinary ascorbic acid concentrations were measured. In plasma, the AUC value of ascorbic acid after ingestion of acerola juice tended to be higher than that from ascorbic acid alone. In contrast, the urinary excretion of ascorbic acid at 1, 2 and 5 h after ingestion of acerola juice were significantly less than that of ascorbic acid. These results indicate that some component of acerola juice favorably affected the absorption and excretion of ascorbic acid.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22040889
- “Vitamin C produced by Acerola is better absorbed by humans: When compared with synthetic ascorbic acid, the vitamin C produced by this fruit is better absorbed by the human organism. We can only absorb 50% of synthetic vitamin intake in opposition to that of natural vitamins.” Araújo P.S.R., Minami K., Acerola, Fundação Cargill, Campinas, SP, Brazil, 1994, 81 p. Acerola: importance, culture conditions, production and biochemical aspects Sandra Aparecida de ASSIS1,2, Fernandes PEDRO FERNANDES2, Antônio Baldo Geraldo MARTINS3, Olga Maria Mascarenhas de FARIA OLIVEIRA1
2. OTHER NATURAL VITAMIN C SOURCES VS ASCORBIC ACID STUDIES:
Unfortunately human studies comparing bioavailablility between synthetic ascorbic acid and other natural sources like citrus fruits and alternative foods (exclusive of Acerola) have been unclear and contradicting. Some studies have found ascorbic acid to be equally bioavailable to natural sources, whilst many others have concluded that natural sources are more bioavailable. Study outcomes are impacted by specific study models, design and the individual influences of each study group.
2.1 Natural sources better bioavailable:
“The inadequacy of synthetic ascorbic acid as an antiscorbutic agent: Summary: IN 1928-
“Comparative bioavailability to humans of ascorbic acid alone or in a citrus extract. Abstract: This study was performed to determine whether synthetic ascorbic acid (AA) alone or in a natural citrus extract containing bioflavonoids, proteins, and carbohydrates was more bioavailable to human subjects. The effect of a single 500-
“Comparative Bioavailability to Humans of Ascorbic Acid Alone or in Citrus Extract. Summary: A study was performed to determine whether synthetic Ascorbic Acid (AA) alone or in a natural citrus extract containing bioflavonoids, proteins and carbohydrates was more bioavailable to human subjects. The effect of a single 500 mg ascorbate dose of the two forms and a placebo citrus extract on plasma concentration-
“Citrus extract has been shown to be more absorbed than ascorbic acid: Citrus Extract has been shown in guinea pigs and humans to be more absorbed than Ascorbic Acid and to remain in the body for a longer period of time. Citrus Extract is thus the preferred form of ascorbate for supplementation.” Vinson J.A.; Bose P., “Bioavailability of Synthetic Ascorbic Acid and a Citrus Extract”, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 3rd Conference on Vitamin C, 1987, 498, 525-
“Citrus extract was 1210% more bioavailable than USP Ascorbic Acid.” Vinson J.A., “Bioavailability of Vitamin C”, 1991. (Citrus extract was 1210% more bioavailable than USP (United States Pharmacopoeia) Ascorbic Acid.) Vinson J.A., “Citrus Extract and Human Lipids”, 1988, Unpublished Data
“The availability for human nutrition of the vitamin C in raw cabbage and home-
“Tropical fruit camu-
2.2 No difference in bioavailability:
“The availability of ascorbic acid in papayas and guavas. Abstract : Ascorbic acid was estimated by indophenol titration in plasma and coloured extracts with the aid of a photo-
In the first, before the experiment began, 4 females and 5 males received 300 mg. ascorbic acid daily for 3 days. During the experiment the routine consisted of consecutive weekly periods which included a saturation day when 300 mg. synthetic ascorbic acid was taken, followed by 6 days on a basal diet very low in vitamin C [ascorbic acid], supplemented by 75 mg. ascorbic acid daily, supplied in different weeks by the synthetic vitamin or papayas or guava juice. The amount of ascorbic acid excreted varied greatly from day to day and between individuals, but the average amount excreted for the last 5 days of the period by the 9 subjects did not vary significantly with the source of the vitamin. Values for vitamin C [ascorbic acid] excretion were always low at the start of menstruation, and were therefore excluded from the average values.
Before the second teat the 3 male and 3 female subjects received 100 mg. synthetic ascorbic acid daily for 4 days. A further adjustment period of 13 days, during which each subject received the basal diet supplemented by 75 mg. daily of ascorbic acid, was followed by 3 periods of 1 week in each of which the equivalent of 75 mg. ascorbic acid was supplied by papaya, synthetic vitamin or guava juice. During these 3 weeks no significant variations in excretion of ascorbic acid were observed, and this result was confirmed by the steadiness in the plasma value for ascorbic acid.”
“Comparison of the utilization by college women of equivalent amounts of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) in red raspberries and in crystalline form. Abstract : The test substances were given after the subject had been saturated with vitamin C [ascorbic acid]. For each of the 7 subjects, the urinary excretion and blood plasma value for ascorbic acid, and the utilization index calculated from Sendroy’s formula (Abst. 4039, Vol. 6) were the same, whether ascorbic acid was administered in crystalline form or as red raspberries.” M. A. B. Fixsen. Todhunter, E.N.; Fatzer, A.S. A comparison of the utilization by college women of equivalent amounts of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) in red raspberries and in crystalline form. J. Nutr. 1940, 19, 121–130. https://www.cabdirect.org/cabdirect/abstract/19401400867
“Orange Juice Ingestion and Supplemental Vitamin C Are Equally Effective at Reducing Plasma Lipid Peroxidation in Healthy Adult Women. Abstract: Objective: To directly examine the contribution of vitamin C to the antioxidant potential of fruits and vegetables, the antioxidant effect of orange juice consumption (8 and 16 fl. oz.) was compared to the antioxidant effect of supplemental vitamin C (dosage equivalent to that supplied by 8 fl. oz. of orange juice). Methods: Subjects (n = 11; 28.6 ± 2.1 years) received each treatment in a 3 × 3 randomized crossover design, and each two-
“A randomized steady-
“The bioavailability to humans of ascorbic acid from oranges, orange juice and cooked broccoli is similar to that of synthetic ascorbic acid. Abstract: The relative bioavailability of ascorbic acid from several sources was compared in 68 male non-
“Ascorbic acid bioavailability in foods and supplements. Abstract: The bioavailability of ascorbic acid from food has been assumed to be high, but little quantitative information has been available to substantiate this assumption because of the limited precision and low statistical power of previous studies. A recent depletion-
“Synthetic or food-
3. ANIMAL VITAMIN C STUDIES:
Animal studies have also shown differences in comparative bioavailability of synthetic vs natural vitamin c from certain human studies.
“Guinea pig vitamin C study: Summary: In a study on guinea pigs the bioavailability of the natural vitamin C was significantly greater (148%, p<0.001) than that of the synthetic ascorbic acid.” Nutritional reports international, comparative bioavailability of synthetic and natural vitamin C in guinea pigs. J.A. Vinson and P. Bose – department of chemistry, university of Scranton.
”The bio availability of the natural Vitamin C was significantly greater than that of the synthetic Ascorbic Acid.” Vinson J.A., “Comparative Bioavailability of Synthetic and Natural Vitamin C in Guinea Pigs”, Nutrition Reports International, 1983, 27, 4, 875-
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