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Shabby Synthetic Ascorbic Acid Gussied Up to Look Like Vitamin C

Joette Calabrese

July 14th, 2013  |  32 Comments

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How can you tell a lady from a tramp? You can tell by the stuff from which she’s made.

Vitamins have been resorted to for nearly a century. But oh, how carefully we must interpret who they’re pretending to be!

For decades the public has been led to accept that products manufactured in a test tube are the same as those that naturally occur in food. A promiscuous pretense.

Vitamins are not separate molecular combinations but biological intricacies whose actions depend upon the entire complex functioning with integrity. Like a fine Swiss watch, they can only act fully when the co-factors of the intact vitamin complex are present and running in intelligent harmony.

Vitamin C Misconception

In my old copy of Rodale’s “Encyclopedia of Natural Home Remedies,” which I bought in 1982, author Mark Bricklin considers vitamin C and ascorbic acid as one and the same. It reads “Ascorbic acid, or vitamin C, is perhaps the most widely used of all vitamins.”

Those in the conventional medical as well as alternative health arenas were and remain enticed by this misconception, and one of the derelict stories is the vitamin C narrative.

Nobel Prize for Research on Vitamin C

The problem stems back to the 1930s with the efforts and misinterpretations of Dr. Szent-Gyorgyia. He was a biochemist and physician who won a Nobel Prize for his work in the field of vitamin C and discovered how to isolate ascorbic acid from whole food.  He discovered how to produce in a laboratory a synthetic isolate, ascorbic acid.Vitamin C

Dr. Szent-Gyorgyia recognized that vitamin C was the cure for scurvy but also showed that ascorbic acid alone was not nearly effective enough to protect against the disease. In fact, he found that the safest and most effective form of vitamin C was its whole food structure.

The good doctor concluded that isolated ascorbic acid is not a food at all and even ought to be considered a drug.

He reproached the pharmaceutical manufacturers who began marketing ascorbic acid after his discovery. In spite of this, the industry-led consumers to believe that ascorbic acid was the same as natural whole food vitamin C.

Sally Fallon in her book “Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats” warns us that “Synthetic B1 derived from coal tar did not cure beriberi in Korean prisoners of war but rice polishing with natural vitamin B complex did; synthetic vitamin C is not as effective in curing scurvy as fresh citrus juice; and synthetic beta-carotene given to smokers actually increased their risk of cancer while the natural forms found in fruits and vegetables are protective.”

Why not get Vitamin C from food?

So then, why not just get vitamin C from our foods in genuine sources such as berries, fruits and vegetables as well as certain animal protein, organs and fat?Vitamin C

Why not indeed!

In Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, Dr. Weston Price
tells us that “Another important food factor consists of certain organs of  large animals of the sea, including  layers of the skin of  a species of whales, which has been found to be very high in Vitamin C.”

And Dr. William Campbell Douglass in The Milk Book: How Science Is Destroying Nature's Nearly Perfect Food informs us that fresh raw milk contains vitamin C, which is completely absent from pasteurized milk.

Happily, we needn’t journey to Alaska to find well-constructed, whole food vitamin C.

We can find it in our own gardens and from our dairy farmer. It is also possible to find it in capsules that include only high vitamin C foods, not bifurcated, manufactured shams.Radiant life Vit C

After reading the ingredients carefully, so far, this particular product is the only encapsulated vitamin C that I feel at ease giving my family.

Man-made ascorbic acid is wearing too much lipstick. Her stockings have snags and her perfume is cheap. Don’t fall for her aberrant ways of empty promises and seductions.

Get your vitamin C from the right side of the tracks; from food, whether it’s in the form of a convenient, high-quality capsule containing camu camu, from whale skin served on a plate in an Eskimo home or from a tall tumbler of your beloved raw milk.

Once again, it’s evident that we need to look for the civilized version, the one you can proudly bring home to Mom. Only the decent, genuine and natural will please the integrity of Mother Nature.


Joette laughingI am a homeopath with a worldwide practice working with families and individuals via Zoom. I'm also a teacher and most importantly, a mom who raised my now-adult children depending on homeopathy over the last 31 years. I lived decades of my life with food intolerances, allergies, and chemical sensitivities until I was cured with homeopathy, so I understand pain, anxiety, and suffering. You may feel that your issues are more severe or different than anyone else’s, but I have seen it all in my practice and in my work in India. My opinion is that nothing has come close to the reproducible, safe and effective results that my clients, students and I have achieved with homeopathy.

Call today and learn how homeopathy might just be the missing piece in your health strategy.

Joette is not a physician and the relationship between Joette and her clients is not of prescriber and patient, but as educator and client. It is fully the client's choice whether or not to take advantage of the information Joette presents. Homeopathy doesn't "treat" an illness; it addresses the entire person as a matter of wholeness that is an educational process, not a medical one. Joette believes that the advice and diagnosis of a physician is often in order.

We've provided links for your convenience but we do not receive any remuneration nor affiliation in payment from your purchase.

The Author disclaims all liability for any loss or risk, personal or otherwise incurred as a consequence of use of any material in this article. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


32 thoughts on “Shabby Synthetic Ascorbic Acid Gussied Up to Look Like Vitamin C”

  1. Elita says:

    any suggestions for a good chewable vit. c for picky kids? I see the pure radiance has a powder, but don’t know if I could sneak it in something for my child who is extremely sensitive to anything that tastes different.

    1. i’m a sneaky mother. i’d put it in a citrus based foods such as lime gelatin (made from scratch) or a smoothie with other fruits, or homemade pop cycles, or the homemade candy with a coconut oil and chocolate base, or in the meatloaf or oatmeal or… not much is needed and i believe it will hide well.
      if your little one detects something, then all is not lost, you can take it yourself.

  2. patti says:

    While I COMPLETELY agree the best source of Vit. C is our food, I do have to say that 15,000mgs. of ascorbic acid actually kept our boy from bleeding when he had no platelets due to ITP. Nonetheless, I still stand by “let food be thy medicine and medicine thy food.” 🙂

  3. joette says:

    Patti, its always good to consider another opinion, particularly from the voice of experience. perhaps it was successful for your son because it wasn’t a long term life style solution, but an acute, short term necessity. thanks for your input.

  4. Debbie says:

    I see that the Radiant Life C is 120 mg per capsule. It would take roughly 9 capsules to equal my 1000mg daily dose. This would be cost prohibitive. Does this high quality product need such a high mg dose?

    1. in my research, i learned that it is unnecessary to take as many milligrams when the C is whole food sourced. also, if you’re eating some of the foods i mention above, it might not be required at all.

  5. Clare says:

    I also agree that while there may be some short term therapeutic uses for ascorbic acid, quality whole foods are the best way to easily attain all of our vitamin C requirements. There is a rhyme to mother nature’s reason…..vitamin C (along with every essential nutrient) is found in significant quantities in a wide variety of foods across the globe. This form of dilution and deception within the medical, pharmaceutical and scientific community as well as the media and government, is rampant in the our world and widely accepted as truth. Thank you for your role in helping to educate, tell the real truth and promote natural healing. I have to say though, that while I enjoyed the content of this post and support the great work that you do, I was immediately offended by your unnecessary comparison of “the lady and the tramp”. I feel that women are still striving in today’s world to free ourselves from being limited to stereo types and judgements and it is an unfortunate and inappropriate choice for a woman in a position of influence to make. No disrespect intended, just an observation from another woman’s perspective.

  6. Indrasen Dhurandhar says:

    I am from India. We have a herb named Amla and taking juice from fresh Amla gives you the maximum amount of natural Vit. C. Otherwise the fruit is dried and the powder is used getting your Vit. C.

  7. Noni says:

    Would the recommended amount of the Pure Radiance C be enough for normal maintenance? Thanks
    90 Capsules: Six week supply (at 2 caps/day)
    120 g powder: Three month supply (at 1/2 tsp/day)

    Nutrient levels:
    2 capsules: 240 mg Vitamin C*
    1/2 tsp: 240 mg Vitamin C*

    1. i believe it depends on your age, weight, your diet, and of course your health. personally i take 2 capsules daily when i think of it, but if my rose hip bush is producing or i’v made a lot of lime gelatin, then i don’t take any.

  8. Bethany says:

    This is really interesting! I haven’t done a lot of research on what is in raw milk, but the vit C could account for one of the reasons that my husband grew up without many colds. We have some great raw milk news from Pennsylvania happening! From my farmer: “Local medical doctors have become Family Cow farm store customers… the GI specialists at John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore MD are (covertly) sending patients our way for raw milk kefir to help their Crones, Ulcerated Colitis, or IBD… Registered Nurses, MDs and other mainline health professionals are joining our drop points and referring clients. And as if that is not enough… next week, specifically at the request of Penn State University educators, I start a series of four presentations on raw milk safety. Penn State has been conducting educational seminars for the 160 permitted raw milk dairymen of PA and Dr. Ernest Hovingh asked me to present the logic and practicality of other raw milk farmers operating their own raw milk laboratory. I look forward to demonstrating The Family Cow’s ground-breaking, on-farm raw milk test and hold protocol.” This is just another great reason to get the word out about the health benefits of raw milk!

    1. Karen says:

      I’m a customer of the Family Cow, another positive check mark for raw milk. And thanks Joette, I like to know what I’m getting in my supplements.

  9. liz says:

    Great article. You really fleshed out the history and gave me some workable Vitamin C options. I was beginning to think I had none! Thanks!

  10. Mary Pouch says:

    I really like this Vitamin C!
    I can put one tablet in a smoothie for my small kids and it blends right it.

    Innate Vitamin C-250


  11. Heidi says:

    very interesting article, my friend forwarded it knowing that I and two of my children are allergic/sensitive to absorbic acid, citric acid, and probably more of the acids. It has been a long road learning our food allergies through diet and I soon need to do an experiment to see if it is just those pesky synthetic/man grown and isolated things like the acids or if it citrus foods and actual vitamin C. Again thanks for the artivle

    1. Marla says:

      Heidi, I too have had reactions to ascorbic acid and citric acid. I have been using Pure Radiance C for over a year with no ill effects. Hopefully it will work for you too.

      1. amber says:

        i am curious how you discovered your sensitivities to these acids. my daughter is sensitive to a few things and i am wondering what the side effects were for you. thank you for sharing.

  12. Ginger says:

    I was at a seminar today and a speaker, Dr. Wootan, a functional medical doctor, explained to us that our food is lacking in nutrients. He said in order to get all our nutrients from our food we’d have to eat 2600 calories per day. I later found this article that supports what he said about our food:


    The only way we can get all the nutrients we need is to supplement with whole food supplements that are scientifically developed and clinically tested for their efficacy and purity.

    1. joette says:

      i must respectfully disagree with your doctor friend. if we eat nutrient dense foods, sourced from local farms that raise pastured animals, plus fermented organic vegetables and raw dairy then supplements are usually unnecessary. the reason i posted this article is because some folks have not sourced these foods just yet. does he really think God set it up so that we cannot get what we need from food?
      i believe what he may be talking about is if we eat vegetarian or standard American diet. but with a little effort, some good raw milk and bone stock, we’re likely set for life.

    2. Lisa says:

      According the the Minnie Maud guidelines for patients recovering from eating disorders, an average of 2500 calories daily is the absolute MINIMUM for an adult woman who is sedentary. Anything lower than that results in a calorie deficit that causes metabolism functions to slow down, resulting in myriad health problems. Teenage girls require 3000 calories daily, as do adult men. Teenage boys need 3500. Taller people or anyone who exercises needs more. In light of these numbers, 2600 a day really does not seem like much, in fact it’s right in line with what doctors studying metabolism have found to be necessary.

  13. Beth L. says:

    Very interesting blog!

  14. Kim Hamilton says:

    I believe let food be thy medicine but think that there is misconception about ascorbic acid that should be clarified. In the web based health circles, we seem to align ourselves with whole food and against synthetic based supplements. However, in the case with vitamin C, everyone seems to overlook the work done by Dr. Linus Pauling, two time Nobel Prize winner. In 1992, Dr. Pauling and Dr. Matthias created the unified theory of heart disease and determined that it is caused by a chronic deficiency of vitamin C which can be reversed using ascorbic acid and lysine. In 1994, they were granted the only US patent for for the cure of cardiovascular disease. The protocol they developed uses ascorbic acid not whole food based vitamin C. The danger in store bought ascorbic acid lies in the fillers and binders and just as important is the fact that most ascorbic acid is derived from GMO corn! There are L-ascorbic acids on the market that are free from these dangers. More info on Dr. Linus Pauling’s theory can be found here http://www.vitamincfoundation.org/unified.htm

  15. certainly Linus Pauling was as correct as Dr.Szent-Gyorgyia in that citric acid can be beneficial, but as Dr.Szent-Gyorgyia discovered and was also discovered posthumously after Linus Paling’s work, is that there is more to vitamin C than just citric acid and that is what makes its use less powerful and perhaps as Dr. S-G declared, perhaps even dangerous. i certainly wouldn’t declare who was completely correct and who wasn’t, but it makes sense to me that we remain as close to the perfect as possible. and there’s nothing like the original to find perfection.

    1. joette says:

      pls note that my above entry is incorrect. i wrote citric acid when i meant ascorbic acid.

  16. Courtney says:

    Rose hips, which can be locally grown/sourced here in WNY, are very high in vitamin C, comparable or even surpassing citrus fruits. You can dry them and store them as well. Great food source of vitamin C!

  17. Jolanta says:

    Sorry Joette, vitamin C is not an citric accid, it is ascorbic accid.

  18. joette says:

    that’s right. thank you for correcting my last entry. for those who may have been confused by this, i apologize. the subject of this posting is ascorbic acid, not citric.

    i need to double check my entries more carefully.

  19. StevieT says:

    Hi joette, you said ” lime gelatin (made from scratch)”. Wow, gelatin from scratch: that’s really impressive! I’d be interested to try this. Which animal do you use, and what weight of hoof do you need to get, say 4 ounces of gelatin?

  20. barb says:

    I’ve been taking garlic capsules every day for 3-4 years. If I run out I start getting a cold. The company I got it from (springtime, inc) discontinued the capsules, but you can get a 5# bottle and fill your own capsules. Give it to the dogs and horses to control fleas, flies, etc. I also get Boswelia (natural anti-inflammatory) which works well,instead of using Tylenol or Aleve.

  21. Check out this link – Best Tasting Protein – Love Protein Finally You can use it with any protein you buy. You just add it in the skaker or blender. With no sugars or carbs and great ingredients… it was awesome tasting.

  22. Meredith says:

    Thanks for the great info. I have long believed the same way about foods and supps. Give me the food! For times when we need to boost our C intake, which hasnt been often, I found two products that claim to have a whole food complex of the C vitamin. One was by HealthForce Nutritionals and is Acerola Berries powdered.
    Also, as someone else mentioned, there is Amla. I have a bottle of tablets by Pure Planet, and its mixed with spiralina, so its blue!.

  23. Walton Ferris says:

    There may well be additional substances along with vitamin C in natural sources – that have additional benefits.
    I will check to see what Dr. S-G said.

    However, the pure chemical is what most mammals make in their liver (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ascorbic_acid#Animal_ascorbic_acid_biosynthesis_pathway ) They live pretty good w/o citrus or rose-hips.

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