Which form of Vitamin C does Hammer Nutrition use?

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Re: Which form of Vitamin C does Hammer Nutrition use?

Postby steve-born » Thu Oct 28, 2010 11:18 am

Hello Michael -

Great information and great question. We use ascorbic acid (plain ol' vitamin C) in most of our products and the fat-soluble form of vitamin C (ascorbyl palmitate) in Mito Caps.

The reason why we don't use specific plant sources of vitamin C in our products is simply because we're trying to obtain vitamin C, not all of the other nutrients/phytochemicals that may be present in the particular fruits that you mention. In other words, and this is just my opinion, the real benefits of these particular fruits is not so much their vitamin C content (though that is good), but rather the other phytonutrients that may exist in them.

In regards to "natural" versus "synthetic," I like what Dr. Michael Colgan wrote about this topic in his book Optimum Sports Nutrition. He writes, "Because the word 'natural' sells, many supplement makers use it in their advertising and product labels. But the pill ingredients themselves are about as natural as a polyester suit. All vitamins today are predominantly synthetic. That is, they are pure chemicals created out of a food base. Most vitamin C, for example, is made from corn. First, the corn is chemically converted to sugar (d-glucose) and crystallized. Then it is chemically converted to pure, synthetic L-ascorbic acid. There is not a molecule of the natural corn left in it."

Dr. Colgan goes on to give other examples as well. Bottom line is that when it comes to the actual vitamin, the body does not recognize the difference between "synthetic" or "natural." The only two vitamins that are the exception to that are vitamins E and K (note that the latter is not found in many multivitamins as the diet usually supplies an abundance of this particular vitamin). Naturally-derived vitamin E (noted on the label as d-alpha tocopherol) is a slightly better choice than synthetically-derived vitamin E (noted on the label as dl-alpha tocopherol) because its absorption rate is slightly better. Again though, other than that, there is absolutely no difference in the way the body recognizes and utilizes vitamins and minerals, be they from "synthetic" or "natural" sources.

As mentioned earlier, in my opinion the real benefits from whole foods are the numerous phytonutrients/phytochemicals that can only be found in those foods, even more so than whatever vitamin and mineral content that they may contain. So if you were to consume, for example, fresh Camu Camu or Kakadu Plum you would be receiving a really dose of vitamin C (a good thing) while also getting any of the phytonutrients/phytochemicals that naturally occur in these fruits (an even better thing).

But if the goal is to obtain vitamin C for supplement product like Premium Insurance Caps, it really doesn't matter if it was derived from corn, rose hips, citrus fruits, or other sources.

I hope this helps clarify things for you.

Sincerely -

Steve Born
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