The best natural sources of Vitamin C and why they are better than synthetic varieties.
Vitamin C, (ascorbate or L-ascorbic acid) is a versatile and powerful antioxidant. This vital nutrient is considered protective against a variety of diseases. It has a broad range of functions including facilitating eight different enzymatic reactions and promoting collagen synthesis reactions in the body. L-ascorbic acid is available in natural and synthetic forms. Natural Vitamin C is typically found in red bell peppers, citrus fruits, berries, brassicas (cabbage, cauliflower, brussel sprouts and broccoli) and other fruits and vegetables. Vitamin C is abundant in human breast milk but available in only limited amounts in raw cow’s milk.
Synthetic Vitamin C is an isolated vitamin that is obtained from genetically modified corn. The natural and synthetic vitamin C have the same affect on the body, however its’ availability and absorption is significantly increased when consumed from natural wholefood sources containing bioflavonoids and phytonutrients.
Bioflavonoids (or flavonoids or vitamin P) are natural, water-soluble plant pigments found in fruits and vegetables, which possess distinct anti-inflammatory, antihistaminic and antiviral properties. In addition, flavonoids inhibit the destruction of Vitamin C in the body, thus further enhancing its efficacy.
Natural food sources including broccoli, cauliflower, strawberries, kiwi, acerola, black pepper and rosehips contain certain cofactors that boost the function of vitamin C in the body. For example, Rose hips provide Vitamin C along with enhancing cofactors such as rutin, quercetin, catechins, hesperidin, leucoanthocyanins, and tannins.
Top Natural Sources
The highest concentrations of Vitamin C found in nature are believed to be from the fruits Camu-Camu and the Kakadu plum. Kakadu plum (Terminalia ferdinandiana) is a flowering plant, native to Australia that contains a vitamin C concentration ranging from 1000–5300 mg per 100g of fruit.
Camu-Camu (Myciaria dubia) berry is the fruit of a small shrub, that grows in the Amazon rainforest in Columbia, Venezuela, Brazil and Peru. The Camu-Camu berry, which is a reddish purple cherry-like fruit, is an exceptional source of Vitamin C, and also contains nutrients such as antioxidants, beta-carotene, amino acids, protein, fatty acids, calcium and potassium.
It has been reported in the journal, ‘Food Research International’, that 100gm of fresh Camu-Camu fruit normally contains Vitamin C ranging from 1,882 milligrams to 2,280 milligrams. In other words, it has a concentration of about 2 g of Vitamin C or 50,000 ppm per 100 g of fruit. This represents 50 times more Vitamin C than an orange.
Dried Camu-Camu powder contains even higher doses of Vitamin C than fresh Camu-Camu fruit because the drying process removes excess water and concentrates the nutrients. One teaspoon of dried Camu Camu Powder contains about 180-250mg of Vitamin C. In Peru, where Camu-Camu is indigenous, it is used as a folk medicine to prevent chronic disease, including heart disease, cancer, flu and colds.
Another excellent source of Vitamin C, this time a native to India, is the Amla Berry (Emblica Officianalis). Amla, also known as Indian Gooseberry contains 20 times more Vitamin C compared to an orange. 100 grams of fresh Amla contains nearly 700 mg of Vitamin C. It has been found that Amla is 12 times more assimilable and has a much more potent effect on the body than synthetic Vitamin C. One tablet containing 400mg of Amla contains about 25 mg Vitamin C. However since Amla is 12 x more effective, each tablet is more like taking 300mg of synthetic Vitamin C.
Its unique antioxidants along with healthy tannins work synergistically with Vitamin C and help to maintain stability. This 5000 year old Ayurvedic medicine, Amla possesses excellent anti-aging and immune-modulating properties. It is an excellent source of Vitamin C, tannins and antioxidant Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) that relieve from oxidative stress and inhibits Vitamin C degradation.
Amla is rich in cofactors such as rutin, hesperidin, ellagic acid, quercitin, and tannins, which boost the action of Vitamin C. In addition, it possesses anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-cancerous properties.
Vitamin C is used to treat the following symptoms and conditions:
It effectively promotes iron absorption when administered in combination with iron
Worsening AMD (age-related macular degeneration) or vision loss symptoms may be effectively treated with vitamin C supplementation
Certain types of cancer (particularly mouth cancer)
Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
Complex regional pain syndrome (chronic pain condition)
Lung infections induced by heavy exercise
Erythema or redness after cosmetic skin procedures
High blood pressure
There is some evidence that taking vitamin C might help to prevent gallbladder disease in women
Hemolytic anemia (abnormal breakdown of red blood cells)
Improving physical performance
It is administered in case of a rare genetic disorder, tyrosinemia that affects newborns
It may be used to control the symptoms of albuminuria (decreasing protein in the urine)
High dose Vitamin C versus disease
Researchers claim that the threat of scurvy can be eliminated by the daily intake of 10 mg of vitamin C. The World Health Organization recommends adults consume around 45 milligrams Vitamin C per day or 300 milligrams per week. The RDA in infants is around 50 AI. However it may be consumed in much higher doses particularly in treating a disease.
According to the peer-reviewed journal ‘Science Translational Medicine’, stating University of Kansas research, it has been revealed that a high dose of intravenous Vitamin C possesses distinct cancer-fighting properties.
According to a 1970 in-vitro research lab study conducted by an Oregon State University research team, administering high doses of therapeutic Vitamin C into human ovarian cells improved the condition. It is believed that the Vitamin C mainly targeted the ovarian cancer cells while avoiding the healthy cells.
According to a study published in the June 2001 British Journal of Medicine, it has been demonstrated the action of IV Vitamin C therapies prescribed in clinics, can be enhanced by up to five fold, with the addition of complimentary nutrients such as Vitamin K, alpha-lipoic acid, and selenium.
According to a Vitamin C expert and cardiologist, Dr. Thomas Levy, Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that gives relief from oxidative stress and helps fight viral diseases.
Products we recommend and sell
Pure, certified organic Camu Camu Powder from our own Raw Superfoods brand
Amla Berry with Spirulina tablets from Pure Planet – a certified organic tablet made without binders, fillers or additives. 80% amla and 20% spirulina, the amla enhances protein synthesis, making these two ingredients ideal partners.