Are you taking the right Vitamin C supplement?
As a practising Massage Therapist, I often get asked about the difference between different types of Vitamin C. In this article, I aim to dispel some myths and give you the information you need to make sure you are taking the Vitamin C supplement that suits you best.
I wish to concentrate in this article on the different types of Vitamin C, rather than its uses. Vitamin C naturally occurs in fruit and vegetables but it is often destroyed when preparing and cooking food and so it is one of the most widely taken supplements within the world.
The uses of Vitamin C have been widely known for several decades. We primarily use Vitamin C to help maintain a healthy immune system and to fight bacteria and other viral infections. Many of you I am sure will increase your Vitamin C intake if a cold or infection is doing the rounds, to help your body keep fit and well. In fact, Vitamin C is particularly beneficial for the young and very old, to help the immune system stay strong.
What might surprise you though, is, that there are many different formulas of Vitamin C each designed to offer the best absorption rate, depending on how an individual best absorbs the supplement. Taking the right Vitamin C for you, helps you absorb the supplement in the right way, making it more efficiently absorbed.
There are 4 main different types or formulas of Vitamin C; Chewable, Effervescent, Buffered and Time Release, which most people are not aware of. Taking the right formulation of Vitamin C is vital to each of us, to ensure that our body absorbs the maximum amount of the supplement to allow it to work in the way it should.
So what are the differences between the various Vitamin C formulas and which one is best for you?
Chewable Vitamin C is, as it describes, Vitamin C in a Chewable tablet that is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. This formula is particularly good for those who have difficulty or do not like taking tablets. It is also the most widely used Vitamin C formula for Children because it's so easy to take.
Effervescent Vitamin C is a tablet that you dissolve into water which you drink. This formula is particularly useful for people who have difficulties taking tablets or do not like taking tablets and are particularly suitable for children.
Buffered Vitamin C offers a unique formula that is ideal for those who experience acid indigestion and an upset stomach after taking standard Vitamin C tablets. The Buffered Vitamin C formula is especially formulated to break down in the duodenum (small intestine) and not in the stomach which helps to reduce the irritation on the stomach. As the Buffered Vitamin C breaks down in the small intestine, it stops the quick absorption of the Vitamin, which allows your body to absorb more of the supplement without the side affects of stomach irritation. The Buffered Vitamin C formula is great for everyday use but is most effective in individuals that have difficulty with stomach acid as this formula allows the Vitamin C to be broken down and absorbed in the gut.
Time Release Vitamin C, is specially formulated to slowly release Vitamin C throughout the day allowing your body to receive a constant level of Vitamin C throughout the day. This formula is particularly good for those with low immune systems‚ or for those who come into contact with lots of people during the day (Healthcare professionals, Retail consultants and office staff) who may be infectious, particularly in open plan offices and air conditioned environments.
There are many different Vitamins and Minerals in the High Street and on Online Shops, but the most important thing to remember is quality. There are different grades of Vitamins although no-one ever talks about it. Generally speaking the Supermarkets and other High Street retailers own brands, are of medium quality and yet some of the budget brands, are exactly that. If a pot of Vitamin C is only 99p, then there's a reason why! So don't assume buying the cheapest is the best for you. Take a good quality Vitamin C to make sure your body has a chance of absorbing the goodness. After all, there's little point taking a supplement of poor quality, that's not strong enough to help in any way.
By Adrian Whitworth ITEC, HHHT
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