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Hion - Natural or Synthetic Vitamin C?


The lergy season is upon us - the immune system is about to take a battering from the constant attacks from coughers and sneezers. Not forgetting that those that like to workout - compromising your immune system requires high levels of vitamins and minerals to ensure you can continue training. 


What’s the go-to remedy for prevention and cure? VITAMIN C of course!!!!


Vitamin C is the first thing that crosses peoples minds when going into battle with colds and flu, whether that be the man type or not. Its a pretty good tonic to reach for all things considered - vitamin c is one of the safest and most effective nutrients experts say. It may not be the cure for the common cold (though it's thought to help prevent more serious complications). But the benefits of vitamin C may include protection against immune system deficiencies, cardiovascular disease, prenatal health problems, eye disease, and even skin wrinkling.

A recent study published in Seminars in Preventive and alternative medicine that looked at over 100 studies over 10 years revealed a growing list of benefits of vitamin C.

"Vitamin C has received a great deal of attention, and with good reason. Higher blood levels of vitamin C may be the ideal nutrition marker for overall health," says study researcher Mark Moyad, MD, MPH, of the University of Michigan. "The more we study vitamin C, the better our understanding of how diverse it is in protecting our health, from cardiovascular, cancer, stroke, eye health [and] immunity to living longer."


It may or may not be news to you but vitamin c supplements and multivitamins are almost all synthetic. These man-made pills are often labelled as containing ‘natural’ ingredients but these ingredients cannot be found in nature. Food science claim that these synthetics are close enough to the real thing to warrant being described and sold as such. Synthetics are not created in the same way as nature and therefore do not have the same compounds once manufactured.


The problem with synthetics is that the chemical process only manufactures ascorbic acid, which is one small part of a complex of phytonutrients that makes up natural vitamin c. The natural suff includes ascorbic acid, ascorbigon, tyrosinase, j factors, k factors, p factors, ruin and bioflavinoids which all work together to make the whole. The human body looks for more than an isolated ascorbic acid and when can only find one it scavenges the other nutrients from tissues and organs.


The manufactured vitamin is also less active and less absorbable - this gets worse the more you take. As you start dosing yourself heavily during cold and flu season the absorption actually decreases, further negating the benefits of vitamin c. Alone, ascorbic acid has been linked to DNA damage and may increase oxidation (helping those free radicals). It also kills the useful bacteria in your gut that aid digestion and help fight any bacterial infections.


A Swedish study also found that men are twice as likely to develop kidney stones from synthetic supplementation of vitamin c - so chaps especially, keep to the real stuff.


As an aside, the manufactured ascorbic acid is derived from corn starch and most manufacturers use GMO corn which is another issue. 


Natural vitamin c is found in whole foods and whole food supplements and is less toxic than the synthetic. It is more readily absorbed as it comes a whole package not just the isolated ascorbic acid. Studies also show that vitamin c functions better when it is combined with other vitamins and minerals as found in whole foods and whole food supplements. 


So give synthetics a wide berth - made in labs using harsh chemicals that would seem far removed from nature. Volatile acids, petroleum and acetone are typical ingredients and by products of synthetic supplements and our bodies do not recognise them - they are treated as poisons and the body has to work very hard to rid itself of them. Give your body less to worry about and stick to natural products not ‘natural’ products.


Go to the recipes tab to see todays fantastic Vitamin C loaded smoothie.