- Synthetic: The synthetic form of vitamin C is made from commercial (possible GMO) corn or refined sugar; listed as “ascorbic acid” or “vitamin C” on the label
- Natural: A naturally occurring form of vitamin C with all its synergists and co-factors intact is the botanical, Camu camu, and is one of the highest known sources of natural vitamin C.
Vitamin C never occurs as an isolated vitamin in nature. It occurs as a part of an entire, synergistic vitamin C complex.
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient, but when it is a synthetic, isolated form, it is poorly absorbed and may adversely affect health. According to one human study, 1500 mg of isolated, synthetic vitamin C per day can cause iron deficiency and anemia.
Ascorbic acid and calcium ascorbate are synthetic/isolated forms of vitamin C. Esterified-C has a few elements added back to an isolated vitamin C molecule and is therefore more absorbable than ascorbic acid, but is processed with a nickel catalyst leaving some residues in the final product (i.e. heavy metal contamination).
Natural vitamin C is found in once-living nutrient sources and has all its naturally occurring elements synergistically present and bonded (including naturally occurring bioflavonoids) because it is a 100% whole food source, such as the ayurvedic herb, amla, the highest known source of naturally occurring vitamin C.
When synthetic vitamin C is consumed, it is mostly unused by the body. It can stress the liver and kidneys to excrete it, and it is acid forming in the body. If “vitamin C” is listed as an ingredient of a product, it is usually the synthetic form. Supplements with natural sources containing natural vitamin C do not usually list “vitamin C” on the label, but rather, list the name of the herb or food source on the label.
Some products claim to have “vitamin C with rose hips and acerola” but these products typically have a very small amount of rose hips and/or acerola (two plants that are rich in natural vitamin C) with a large amount of added synthetic vitamin C. Synthetic vitamin C mixed with whole food nutrients is not the same as taking 100% naturally occurring vitamin C as an intricately complexed part of herbs or whole foods.
Avoid synthetic vitamin C made with pesticided corn or refined sugar — get your vitamin C the way nature truly intended – from natural sources, such as Camu camu.