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The Best and Worst Vitamin C

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 04/11/2024

Vitamin C is one of the most important nutrients a body relies on. But not many people are aware that there are different types of vitamin C, some better for your body than others.

Learn about what type of vitamin C is best, what kind is worst, and what you should do to support your overall health.

Understanding the Nature of Vitamin C

Vitamin C, ascorbic acid, is more than a single molecule. It's an entire complex filled with bioflavonoids, enzymes, and co-enzymes. These parts work together to give vitamin C its health benefits.

The Complex Nature of Vitamin C

In nature, vitamin C doesn't exist in isolation; it's part of a larger complex structure. This group includes bioflavonoids, which enhance the absorption and effectiveness of vitamin C.

Copper enzymes play vital roles, too. They help convert tyrosine into neurotransmitters essential for brain function.

Synthetic vs Natural Vitamin C

So, what about synthetic vitamin C? It lacks these crucial components found in natural forms. Pure ascorbic acid alone does not equal complete 'vitamin' action.

Studies show that naturally sourced vitamins are absorbed better by our bodies because they contain necessary auxiliary substances that aid digestion and assimilation.

The Dangers of Excessive Ascorbic Acid Intake

While vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is essential for our health, too much can lead to severe problems. The RDA for adults is 75-90 mg of ascorbic acid daily.

Symptoms of Vitamin C Deficiency

Vitamin C deficiency doesn't just cause scurvy; it can also result in fatigue and depression. But ironically, overdosing on synthetic versions like ascorbic acid might lead you down the same path.

Remember: more isn’t always better—especially regarding vitamins.

The Role of Vitamin C in Adrenal Hormone Production

Detailing how vitamin C contributes to creating adrenal hormones and its significance in overall health.

The Adrenals' Need for Vitamin C

Explaining why the adrenal glands require a steady supply of vitamin C.

Adrenal glands need vitamin C to produce cortisol, our primary stress hormone. When we're under physical or emotional strain, our bodies demand more cortisol, so naturally, they also ask for more vitamin C.

Without enough vitamin C, adrenal function can falter, leading to fatigue and lowered immune response.

This fact makes it essential to get enough vitamin C and ensure it comes from high-quality sources that your body can use effectively.

Excellent natural sources of vitamin C include bell peppers. Not only do these provide ample amounts of this vital nutrient, but they also come with their health benefits.

Other Essential Vitamins and Their Functions

Vitamins are like keys that unlock the body's potential to perform at its best. Each one has a specific role, but let's spotlight vitamin K.

The Importance of Vitamin K

Did you know your body uses vitamin K for blood clotting? It helps prevent excessive bleeding when we get cuts or bruises. Without it, even minor wounds could become big problems.

A lack of vitamin K can lead to easy bruising and bleeding gums - signs your body needs more help in this department. But remember, balance is essential.

Vitamin K can be found in certain foods, like spinach and kale, which have many leaves.

Alternatives to Ascorbic Acid for Acidifying Effects

Many of us turn to ascorbic acid, better known as vitamin C, for a quick immunity boost. However, other options with similar benefits exist.

apple cider vinegar

The Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

If you want an alternative with the same acidifying properties but less potential harm, consider apple cider vinegar (ACV). ACV is not only natural and affordable; it's also packed full of health benefits.

Packed with acetic acid, ACV helps your body maintain a healthy pH while aiding digestion. Plus, unlike ascorbic acid supplements, which can be hard on the stomach at high doses, most people tolerate ACV well.

Just like anything else in life - moderation is vital. Don't forget to dilute it before consuming it since its firm acidity could damage tooth enamel if consumed over time.

Vitamin Deficiency and Gums

Sore gums can often be an indication of vitamin deficiency. Specifically, a lack of vitamin C can lead to gum problems like gingivitis, where the gums become inflamed and may bleed.

Vitamin C is crucial for the health of gum tissues, as it supports collagen production, a critical structural component of the gums.

Incorporating vitamin C-rich foods like bell peppers into your diet can help prevent sore gums caused by vitamin deficiency.

In addition to vitamin C, vitamin D also plays a role in gum health. A deficiency in vitamin D may contribute to gum inflammation and periodontal disease.

Exposure to sunlight and dietary sources like fatty fish, egg yolks, and fortified foods can help maintain adequate vitamin D levels, promoting healthy gums.

If you experience persistent gum issues, it's advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or dentist to determine the underlying causes and appropriate treatment options.


Vitamin C stands as a cornerstone of our health, but not all sources are created equal. Understanding the complexities of this essential nutrient, from its natural form's benefits to the potential dangers of synthetic alternatives, is crucial.

By prioritizing high-quality sources and ensuring a balanced intake, we support not only our immune system but also vital bodily functions such as adrenal health.

Remember, achieving optimal health involves a holistic approach, where each nutrient plays a unique role.

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