Is Your Vitamin C the Real Deal or a GMO Wannabe?

by Sarah Healthy Living, Healthy Pregnancy, Baby & Child, Natural RemediesComments: 103

synthetic vitamin C

There is little dispute in either conventional or alternative health circles about the critical importance of vitamin C to optimal wellness.

When most people consider the consequences of vitamin C deficiency, however, the usual image that comes to mind is of a scurvy ridden, orally challenged, 16th century sailor who has run out of limes!

While a severe deficiency of vitamin C is rare anymore, subclinical deficiency is most definitely not.

A powerful anti-oxidant, vitamin C is a water-soluble nutrient that is needed for numerous biological functions including:

  • Tissue growth and repair
  • Strength of capillary walls
  • Lactation
  • Adrenal health
  • Formation of collagen
  • Healing of wounds

Vitamin C is probably best known for its ability to shorten the duration and severity of the common cold as popularized by Dr. Linus Pauling in his 1970 book, Vitamin C and the Common Cold.

Found in many fruits and vegetables and in some animal organs, vitamin C is a delicate nutrient that is destroyed by heat.  Consequently, in the modern diet where the majority of most people’s meals consist of highly processed fare, little vitamin C remains for absorption.

The problem of little natural vitamin C in the heavily processed, modern diet is compounded by the fact that the millions of individuals with blood sugar issues such as hypoglycemia require more vitamin C as this condition interferes with its metabolism by the body.

In addition, alcohol consumption and many common drugs such as aspirin and the birth control pill may reduce vitamin C levels in the body.

With vitamin C so critical and yet so elusive in the modern diet with higher than normal levels required by many due to metabolic issues or drug interactions, it is no wonder that vitamin C supplements are absolutely everywhere – commonly sold even at gas stations!

While vitamin C supplementation is a good idea for most people (I take one myself as do my children and husband), supplementation with just any vitamin C is not.

The Truth about Ascorbic Acid

Synthetic vitamin C labelThe problem is that most vitamin C is not really vitamin C at all. It is ascorbic acid, a lab synthesized version not found anywhere in nature, which is only one part (the outer layer) of the complete vitamin C complex.

Consumption of isolated ascorbic acid is not a good idea on a regular basis. Some evidence suggests that large doses may lead to imbalances and deficiencies in the flavonoids (vitamin P), a powerful family of over 6,000 antioxidants that have a symbiotic working relationship with vitamin C – each increasing the other’s effect.

Synthetic vitamin C labelEven more worrisome is that ascorbic acid, while proven to kill bacteria effectively, is not discriminatory in its anti-microbial abilities as it also wipes out good bacteria or probiotics in the gut.  Whole foods based vitamin C does not harm beneficial intestinal bacteria in the same way as synthetic vitamin C does.

Another wake up call about ascorbic acid – it is synthesized from corn syrup. If you take a supplement with ascorbic acid, you guessed it, you are likely consuming a supplement with GMO origins (unless the corn was certified organic) without even knowing it!

Synthetic vitamin C labelTo show you just how common GMO derived, probiotic destroying ascorbic acid masquerading as true vitamin C is, I took photographs of the labels of three extremely popular vitamin C supplements at the healthfood store. The pictures to the right show that there is no real vitamin C to be found in any of them, even the children’s yummi bears!

True Vitamin C with No Additives

Given that natural vitamin C is destroyed by heat and that the vast majority of “vitamin C” supplements and foods fortified with “vitamin C” don’t contain any true vitamin C at all, what is a person who needs to supplement with this critical nutrient to do?

Finding a quality vitamin C supplement is indeed hard! In fact, I didn’t take one for years simply because I couldn’t find one that was 100% whole foods based with no additives whatsoever. Every single time I tried one that was “almost” good enough, I would end up stopping it as it would inevitably give me bad headaches.

It is only in the past few months that I have finally started to take a vitamin C supplement regularly because at last I found a line that is low heat processed, whole foods based, and entirely additive free. The funny thing is, the products were right under my nose all along and I didn’t even realize it!

My friends Norm and Kathy LeMoine of Radiant Life offer a quality line of whole food vitamin C supplements to choose from. The one I’ve been taking and very much enjoying is Pure Radiance C. You simply stir a 1/4-1/2 teaspoon in a some filtered water and drink. It tastes great!

You can also hold the vitamin C mixture in your mouth for a minute or so before swallowing to allow vitamin C to absorb directly into the thin and delicate gum tissue. Great for those with periodontal problems.

Capsules are also available if desired for added convenience.

Radiant Life offers three other whole foods vitamin C products with no additives to choose from as well. The difference between the products is the whole food sources of the vitamin C.  Choose whichever mix of vitamin C sources suits your nutritional goals best. The chart below illustrates the various product options.

Radiant Life vitamin C table

If this article has caused you to throw up your hands in dismay because the vitamin C you had chosen for your family turned out to be synthetic and probably of GMO origins, don’t despair!

Move forward with the newfound knowledge that vitamin C from a whole foods supplement with zero additives is in fact available and that there is a company you can trust which offers four superior forms of this important nutrient for you to choose from.

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist


Sources and More Information

Beware Ascorbic Acid: Synthetic Vitamin C

How Folic Acid is Making Us Sick

Vitamin Primer

Synthetic vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, kills beneficial bacteria in the gut

What’s Wrong with Ascorbic Acid

Standard Disclosures

Comments (103)

  • Lori S.

    No corporate mindset here! My USDA plant made healthy beef and turkey jerky with no additives and only wholesome ingredients. I am an avid equestrian, was raised on raw milk, ( still drink everyday ), homemade bread, ( before the era of bread machines ), homegrown garden, and was lucky enough to have a mom who didn’t need to work outside of the home. My yard has been filled with laying hens for over 13 years. The hens layboxes are filled with special straw we use for horses. I also feed the hens a variety of hay as part of their diet, boy do the love that- they have a certain type of hen chuckle when they see me pulling alfalfa out for them. Talk about good tasting eggs that are still warm from just being layed! My web address is an Ode to my hens. I have only read a few of your posts, but anyone that helps to promote a healthy life is a good thing! Good luck to you, Sara. From Lori in San Diego

    May 9th, 2016 6:51 pm Reply
  • ANNE

    Can you please tell me if this Vit C product is sold in stores, like in all states in the USA ? Some states have hot weather for most of the year. I would not want to mail order delicate vitamins thought would be ruined in the heat.

    Thank you.

    May 6th, 2016 10:08 pm Reply
  • Jennifer

    Hi Sarah, I love this article. I’m working with a client right now who likes her Emergen-C for the other good stuff in it (potassium, calcium, magnesium, B12). Do you know of a healthier (organic, non-GMO) vitamin C replacement that has those extra vitamins & phytonutrients?

    April 20th, 2016 11:56 am Reply
    • Sarah

      Yes … linked to in the article Jennifer :)

      April 20th, 2016 2:12 pm Reply
    • grace pallister

      Glad to know the real vitamin c exist.

      May 19th, 2016 5:02 pm Reply
  • Ann

    Im in the UK and the shipping on these are too high. I am on a very low income, below the breadline and the shipping is just too high on top of the pills. Do you know of some similar in the UK? I have searched but not getting anywhere. Thanks
    Ps did you know, this is a white background with very very light grey font? I can hardly see what Im writing. Maybe you could change this to a black font?

    March 20th, 2016 12:20 pm Reply
  • Kaypohchee


    Vitamin C by definition, is ascorbic acid. Its chemical composition is completely described in chemistry manuals. That is pure vitamin C. If you also put in rose hips, even if rose hips is present, naturally, from where you extract vitamin C, it is still vitamin C with rose hips, not pure vitamin C.And if all you want to buy is vitamin C, from the list you have provided, none of them is vitamin C. Put another way if I want to buy vitamin C, from the list you provided, you would not know which product I should buy because, it is always vitamin C with something else; not what I want. And, if I want to buy rose hips, for example, I would go and buy rose hips. Except I guess you would know be abvle to find someone who is looking out to buy rose hips.

    I read a book by Matthias Rath, a follower of your cited Linus Pauling when I had a five-bypass CABG 20 years ago, and just by following the vitamin C recommendations I have had no need for any “intervention” (cardiologists lingo). I have no objections against vitamin C mixed with anything, but I think the industry is gradually making it difficult for me to buy pure ascorbic acid. And that is a crying shame.


    November 12th, 2015 10:03 pm Reply
  • Anita

    So if this Radiant Life Vit C contains buckwheat berry sprouts, is it then not grain free?

    October 13th, 2015 1:23 pm Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      buckwheat is not a grain.

      October 13th, 2015 5:08 pm Reply
  • tara

    Hi…what vitamin c tablets do you give your children? So hard to find one that doesn’t have ascorbic acid.

    October 4th, 2015 9:43 pm Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      I use the vitamin C powder linked to in the post.

      October 5th, 2015 8:59 am Reply
  • Eva

    I found Suzanne Humphries’ lecture about vitamine C very helpful:
    She says it is not necessary to take natural sources (in case of bad illness) simply because the dosis are too low.

    May 21st, 2015 2:33 pm Reply
  • C

    Jeez, just the mention of corn and ascorbic acid should deem Vitamin C from that source non-viable. Any supplement I try out, and find it has fillers, they’re fired, the other thing I look for is organic and tested for heavy metals, you don’t find that certification hardly anywhere, metal is apparently in everything! Air, food, water. Mercury free?, is their such a thing? Start looking at your supplement powders, or nuts & seeds, foods under a stereoscope or microscope, might be surprised what you find.
    Don’t know about GMO free corn, or anything anymore, for some blood types like O, just best to not eat corn or wheat period. If I did not have such cravings for bread, corn, and anything sweet I wouldn’t know any better. This article is a perfect example, where I see no agreement I can dig further, see that buying Vitamin C ascorbic acid tablets are so cheap, makes me wonder if the efficacy is anything at all, cheap means cheaply made from something that else that is cheaply made, usually for some reason like an easier process, which means automation..
    My Vitamin C of choice right now is ascerola freeze dried, certified organic and tested for heavy metals.

    April 13th, 2015 8:23 pm Reply
    • Patrick

      How many mg do you take? I recently started looking for more natural ways to cure illness and really looked into vitamin c. I’ve been taking buffered c complex from vitacost, I assume the ascorbic acid they use is probably synthetic but I took 8000-10000 mg thoughout the day when I had a fever and chills and the next day I felt great! So I don’t know if it was because it had more of the complex than regular synthetic ascorbic acid or not.

      April 19th, 2015 12:48 am Reply
    • gayle anderson

      Thanks C, for the heads-up about ascerola. I had never heard of this product before. I wonder if the powder is as good as freeze-dried?

      July 19th, 2015 6:16 pm Reply
  • Steffen

    Seems u fudged ur research ascorbic acid is naturally soruced unless its d ascorbic acid which is synthetic and doesnt occur in nature

    January 11th, 2015 9:30 pm Reply
    • Sheri

      wikipedia is your source?

      July 11th, 2015 1:31 pm Reply
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  • gib

    Vitamin C Foundation is the best there is, DO YOUR RESEARCH ALL VITAMIN C “s are not created equal.

    March 21st, 2014 4:24 pm Reply
  • Gloria Cotton via Facebook

    Wow! In shock again! It just NEVER stops!

    Thanks for the information! xo

    March 16th, 2014 8:46 pm Reply
  • Julianne Roth Lawson via Facebook

    Even in organic?

    March 16th, 2014 7:40 pm Reply
  • Tiffany ‘Moore’ Aronson via Facebook

    I’m wondering now what to look for on labels?

    March 16th, 2014 3:54 pm Reply
  • Cristin Dershem via Facebook

    Radiant Life is a great company and I’ve ordered supplements from them several times. Many people simply cannot get enough vitamin c from the food they eat, especially those under chronic stress since stress depletes vitamin c stores rapidly. You can also find these same products on Amazon too :)

    March 16th, 2014 11:57 am Reply
  • Trisha DuQuesnay via Facebook

    Sanja-Where do you get it? And how much is it ?

    March 16th, 2014 4:36 am Reply
  • Sanja Sever via Facebook

    Solgar makes superior vitamin C supplement called HI BIO C with bioflavonoids!

    March 16th, 2014 3:36 am Reply
  • Julianne Roth Lawson via Facebook

    Just eat some fruit. Oranges, strawberries, etc. Why do you need a supplement?

    March 16th, 2014 12:50 am Reply
  • François Tremblay via Facebook

    mmm, Linus Pauling the great scientist was not taking organic vitamin C and we know his researches are the real deal… They are certainly not “wannabe”.

    March 16th, 2014 12:10 am Reply
    • Reinhard Glatzel

      I used Linus Pauling’s method and took 5000mg of Ascorbic Acid + 5000mg Lysine. After 4 days
      my BP went to 200/110 and my HB raced to around 120 . After this , I read quite a few articles
      and found , Linus Pauling did use natural vitamin C .
      After this , I switched to CHONDROITIN SULFATE and I hope it will work out ok.

      April 12th, 2015 3:23 am Reply
  • Rebecca Handlon-Miller via Facebook

    I am so mad. I keep trying to get away from the GMO’s and they keep popping up.

    March 15th, 2014 11:59 pm Reply
  • stros

    I take the Liv-On Vitamin C which is the liposomal version and it is really expensive. I will stop using it because I decided to take my Vitamin C needs directly from the Camu Camu Berry powder instead of supplementing with it.

    This information gave me additional knowledge as to what asorbic acid really is and how to make the best choice for a Vitamin C supplement.

    Thanks for sharing :)

    March 15th, 2014 11:35 pm Reply
    • Chris

      I too was taken Camu Camu for Vitamin C because its said to have the highest amount. I started thinking after the Berry is processed into powder form how much vitamin c is really left? Think about it, vitamin c is very sensitive and oxidizes quickly once a fruit is cut open. I wonder if im wasting money and just consuming a powder with no vitamin c left in it. I cant find any facts to answer this question. Let me know what you think.

      October 28th, 2014 7:59 pm Reply
  • Kayla Weis via Facebook

    How about a million times better than vitamin C?
    I would rather make it than take it…antioxidant enzymes that is.

    March 15th, 2014 11:34 pm Reply
  • Rebecca Handlon-Miller via Facebook

    March 15th, 2014 11:29 pm Reply
  • Cheryl Aichele via Facebook

    @lena, radiant life is recommended by the Weston A Price Foundation. Sarah, is a member & I think has done a few other things with them & she supports the nourishing traditions concepts. So it makes sense why she recommends them. I haven’t gotten anything from them yet but I’m willing to since they offer what I’m looking for!

    March 15th, 2014 11:10 pm Reply
  • Cheryl Aichele via Facebook

    Liposomol vitamin c!

    March 15th, 2014 11:05 pm Reply
  • Kimberly Dickson via Facebook

    Grapefruit is full of vitamin C. So is lemon. Get some organic grapefruit and lemon and eat them from time to time. Much cheaper and more natural than ridiculously expensive supplements. :)

    March 15th, 2014 10:41 pm Reply
  • Angela Peck via Facebook

    I love healthforce nutritional’s c. Just freeze dried acerola berry.

    March 15th, 2014 10:38 pm Reply
  • Lena Abuelroos Kamal via Facebook

    I feel like I’m hearing about a new supplement to take everyday and the only “good” one is from radiant life. Does anyone else think that she is only promoting her affiliated company and it’s also very expensive?

    March 15th, 2014 10:22 pm Reply
  • Jessica Frye Grano via Facebook

    smh :/

    March 15th, 2014 10:01 pm Reply
  • Misha Brown via Facebook

    Dag, Jessica Frye Grano, you see this?

    March 15th, 2014 9:58 pm Reply
  • Chantal Lisette via Facebook

    Ugh Jennifer Campbell

    March 15th, 2014 9:51 pm Reply
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  • Carolyn Holmes

    I read you comments with some concern as I have been taking high doses of vit c ascorbic acid as a cancer treatment. I was however, relieved to go on to read the comments by Phil who is obviously well informed on ascorbic acid being an expert in that field. I will continue with my ascorbic acid reassured that it is a good source of vit c.

    January 16th, 2014 3:03 am Reply
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  • Stacy

    Did you happen to look into Thorne Research’s? I was about to order that one when I came across your analysis here.

    October 28th, 2013 4:31 pm Reply
  • Melissa

    How many mg do you recommend taking? I’ve taken 10,000mg of what I “thought” was vitamin C and reading the labels of what you suggest those dosages are WELL below that. Please help and THANK YOU!

    October 21st, 2013 2:27 pm Reply
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  • Joel

    I am completely disillusioned with the health food industry. I just found out, like Plil says above, that not only is Vit C derived from Corn, but 90+% OF ALL VITAMIN C IS MANUFACTURED IN CHINA!!

    Also, “NOW” Vitamin C, that says right on the bottle, “Made in the U.S.A.” is not. It is IMPORTED FROM CHINA!! This must be against some regulation to false advertise like this.

    Does anyone know where to get potent Vit C powder at reasonable cost NOT from China and NOT from corn??

    Geeze, we can’t get away from the poisons!

    September 23rd, 2013 7:55 pm Reply
  • Tiffany

    What is it is listed as “from citrus c blend”, as it is in the Garden of Life Vitamin Code for kids?

    September 10th, 2013 4:48 pm Reply
  • Phil Le Breton


    While your intentions may be good, this article does a real disservice to Vitamin C, and the people currently supplementing with it.

    1. “The problem is that most vitamin C is not really vitamin C at all. It is ascorbic acid, a lab synthesized version not found anywhere in nature, which is only one part (the outer layer) of the complete vitamin C complex.”

    False. Linus Pauling argued that Vit C and ascorbic acid are exactly identical. Pauling is the ONLY human being on the planet to win two Nobel Prizes in separate fields. You are making a bold statement. Please provide a link to the study you based this opinion on. Directly from the Linus Pauling Institute website:

    Natural vs. synthetic vitamin C

    Natural and synthetic L-ascorbic acid are chemically identical and there are no known differences in their biological activities or bioavailabilities.

    (101). 101. Gregory JF, 3rd. Ascorbic acid bioavailability in foods and supplements. Nutr Rev. 1993;51(10):301-303.

    2. “Another wake up call about ascorbic acid – it is synthesized from corn syrup. If you take a vitamin C supplement with ascorbic acid, you guessed it, you are likely consuming a supplement with GMO origins (unless the corn was certified organic) without even knowing it!”

    False. Yes, 90% of the world supply of manufactured ascorbic acid is derived from corn syrup. However, as of right now, the majority (if not all) is from non-GMO corn. I have certificates of analysis that show this on the ascorbic we use. Unless companies are falsifying their documents, this claim is completely false. And if you think the big 4 are indeed falsifying certificates of analysis, then you are basing your opinion on conspiracy theories and you should indicate such.

    In fact, it’s an irrelevant point anyway, even if the corn is GMO. While ascorbic acid starts as corn sugar, the end product resembles corn in no way, shape or form. It’s a reduction process whereby the finished product contains none of the proteins or anything that makes corn, well, corn. It’s the same reason ascorbic can be produced from beets, potatoes, etc. There is a reason why people that have corn allergies can take ascorbic without any adverse reactions (in our experience).

    Disclaimer: We have been in the Vitamin C business for 43 years now. My Uncle worked with the likes of Pauling, Irwin Stone, Robert Cathcart, etc. Articles like this that tend to further obfuscate years of proven research by some of the greatest minds in the field and that is unfortunate.

    August 2nd, 2013 12:34 pm Reply
    • Phil Le Breton

      Addendum to my last post, please update point 1:

      Natural vs. synthetic ascorbic acid

      Natural and synthetic L-ascorbic acid are chemically identical, and there are no known differences in their biological activity. The possibility that the bioavailability of L-ascorbic acid from natural sources might differ from that of synthetic ascorbic acid was investigated in at least two human studies, and no clinically significant differences were observed. A study of 12 males (six smokers and six nonsmokers) found the bioavailability of synthetic ascorbic acid (powder administered in water) to be slightly superior to that of orange juice, based on blood levels of ascorbic acid, and not different based on ascorbic acid in leukocytes (white blood cells) (1). A study in 68 male nonsmokers found that ascorbic acid consumed in cooked broccoli, orange juice, orange slices, and as synthetic ascorbic acid tablets are equally bioavailable, as measured by plasma ascorbic acid levels (2, 3).

      August 2nd, 2013 12:56 pm Reply
      • csharkey

        I am not familiar with any facility that produces ascorbic acid that has not used gmo corn. so, there is a residue. A lot of us are trying to evade gmo foods. Can you tell me the by-products that we are getting from the synthesis? This is what we do not want in our bodies, the unnatural by-products that we cannot absorb so if we do not get rid, collects in our squamous cells.

        August 21st, 2014 12:08 pm Reply
        • Phil

          I am not familiar with any facility that produces ascorbic acid that HAS used GMO corn. Can you provide the name of even one?

          As a retailer of vitamin C, every batch of ascobic we have EVER received has been certified non-GMO. Please provide evidence of the alternative. I await your response.

          September 11th, 2014 12:40 pm Reply
          • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

            There is no certification for non-GMO corn unless it is organic or from the NonGMO project. No ascorbic acid I’ve ever seen (so far) has either of these certifications.

            September 11th, 2014 1:32 pm
          • amcken3

            Corn is used to FATTEN LIVESTOCK so I say NO thanks to your recommendation of CORN based ascorbic acid supplements. GMOs are airborne and any honest farmer will tell you ALL corn has GMO contamination its just a matter of how much. I bet you think soy is healthy too.

            November 3rd, 2014 9:12 pm
    • rufus

      Oh well, if someone received a Nobel Prize they must be infallible… and beyond reproach.

      Nearly all corn is genetically modified, even “organic” corn has been cross-contamintated. There are 2 strains of GM corn, one has a patent to sterilize humans, created by Epycite, bought by Monsanto. The other causes organ failure, destroys stomach lining and causes cancer.

      There are no labeling laws, so you don’t know which strain you are getting.

      Now how is that healthful?

      I don’t guess the infallible Linus can help you on that one now can he? But I guess it’s so easy for you to dismiss a crazy conspiracy theory… despite all the testing, studies and evidence to the contrary.

      February 23rd, 2014 4:22 pm Reply
      • Phil Le Breton

        I never disputed the existence of GMOs, try reading my post in detail rather than just skimming it. What I put to rest is this continual fountain of misinformation (i.e this article) that continues to spew out that manufactured ascorbic acid is a GMO product. Ascorbic acid is a defined chemical molecule. It’s C6H8O6. Nothing more, nothing less. One cannot genetically modify carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Thus, ascorbic acid (aka vitamin C) is a GMO free product. Period.

        It doesn’t take the “infallible” chemist Linus Pauling to understand a simple concept like this. If you had taken the time to actually read what I wrote, and then put some thought into it, rather than getting defensive and condescending about your irrelevant GMO position, then maybe you would have understood. Unfortunately, this is how garbage proliferates all over the web. When people get so dug in in with their beliefs they no longer listen to simple logic.

        February 23rd, 2014 5:18 pm Reply
        • Steve

          Thanks so much Phil for your insight into Vit C. Sarah, are there any links or can you point to any scientific research/studies to support the statements about the incompleteness of synthetic vitamin c and Vitamin C as a natural C complex and also about most or all Vit C as GMO? It sounds like it would make sense but as in all supplements it would be helpful to see the research results. Thank you!

          January 13th, 2015 9:53 am Reply
          • Phil Le Breton


            My pleasure. I have never seen any reputable research suggesting that vitamin C from natural sources assimilates better than ascorbic acid. Alternatively, I have seen studies that provide ample evidence that vitamin C from natural sources and ascorbic acid are chemically identical with no difference in biological activity (see L. Pauling). Furthermore, I have a non-GMO certification in my hand from a major vitamin C manufacturer. In fact, manufactured ascorbic acid does not even contain the required levels of DNA to even test for GMO’s. It’s just carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Testing ascorbic acid for GMO’s is akin to testing a rock in your back yard. No DNA = No GMO’s.

            January 20th, 2015 12:32 pm
        • Lori S.

          This was the first time I have read anything written by this ‘healthy home lady’. I hope everyone correctly read all of your input into Vitamin C, such an important Vitamin. I find it quite sad that the brand she recommends contains only 120 mg. per serving. Far too low a dose to help any illness. Her disclaimer should read ‘for entertainment purposes only’. Could you provide a link to the powdered Vit C you sell? I have owned several food companies, including a USDA manufacturing plant, so I am quite familiar with labeling laws, ingredients, etc. Thank you Phil- great input

          April 24th, 2016 8:02 pm Reply
          • Sarah

            One of the points of the article is that you don’t need to take megadoses of Vitamin C (that have side effects and cause damage) when you get the whole food version and bypass synthetic ascorbic acid! Seems you are stuck in corporate-think when it comes to food and nutrition.

            April 24th, 2016 8:09 pm
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  • karli

    Hi Sarah, I looked through the Radiance Life website on the powdered kind you talked about… I didn’t see a dosage for children. My daughter is 3 years old-how much would you recommend a child her age to have on a daily basis. if you don’t know that, maybe you could share how much you give your kids?
    She also takes FCLO-I don’t know if that affects the amount of Vit C you would give or not…
    Thanks for the article-I am for sure going to buy some of this for my family!!!

    July 29th, 2013 5:05 pm Reply
  • Mary Ann

    I have been taking a daily whole food vitamin from NewMark called Women’s Synbiotic One but my nutritionist is having difficulty getting it now. He suggested I start taking a new daily liquid called IntraMax which bills itself as “100% carbon-bond organic”. He seems to think it is a step up from what I was taking.

    I am ALWAYS a skeptic and cynic about supplements but I have been helped over the past 3 years and I try to trust this man. I’ve been online trying to figure out if it is the real deal. (I had only dropped in his office to pick up my other vitamin and so did not have the luxury of talking to him about this very long.) The Vitamin C listed is as “calcium ascorbate buffered complex” and it supposedly has no synthetic stuff in it, as far as I can tell from my research.

    Does anyone know about IntraMax and if so, can you share your thoughts on it with me?

    Many thanks.

    July 29th, 2013 11:07 am Reply
  • Sarah A

    Hi Sarah – I am currently dealing with & treating my candidiasis and am wondering if using the products you mentioned would hinder healing, as they are from fruit sources and may contain sugar?


    July 27th, 2013 11:23 am Reply
  • Tammi

    Hey Sarah,

    I don’t get what your saying here. So vitamin c is bad but vitamin c in fruit is good? I get my c from a no gmo company and have been taking it for years and I am way healthier than any of my friends who don’t. Its ascorbic acid. Am I at some risk here? Actually I know Im not really because ive been on high doses -like 6 or 8 grams a day for 6 years and am fine!


    July 26th, 2013 7:12 pm Reply
  • baddogma

    Ummm, vit C IS ascorbic acid… and it’s what is made in the kidneys and livers of animals other than humans, higher primates, Guinea pigs, a fruit bat and a few parrots if memory serves. Made in bodies seems pretty “natural,” no?

    How can one molecular chain be “purer” than another? The name for the vit-C molecule is ascorbic acid, though some in the field are calling it ( the L-ascorbic acid form and the C bound to sodium) “ascorbate” just to add to the confusion.

    Add to that the fact that this ascorbic acid you find threatening is what saved people from scurvy in hospitals and is what was studied when vit-C was “discovered.”

    This “natural compound” C sure sounds good, but it’s a fad and is, respectfully, meaningless. It does sell product, well, though!

    The fact that almost all C (and most other supplements) is now made in China and is derived from GMO crops is very true, but this nonsense about “naturally” derived C “compounds” is …well, nonsense.

    Check out the Vitamin C Foundation website, or some reputable doc’s (like Levy) and see what their take on this issue is… hint, they think it’s silly.

    July 26th, 2013 5:14 pm Reply
    • amcken3

      No, actually it was LIMES that saved people from scurvy NOT your beloved synthetic ascorbic acid supplements…it was whole food based vitamin C, just like the author mentioned.

      November 3rd, 2014 9:19 pm Reply
  • Dena

    I would also like to know your thoughts on Nutribiotics brand of Sodium Ascorbate? Here is the link This is the Vit c that Suzanne Humphries suggests using to treat whooping cough. Thanks!

    July 26th, 2013 2:59 pm Reply
  • Annie

    Is it possible to get enough Vitamin C through diet, or are supplements necessary?

    July 26th, 2013 1:03 am Reply
  • Annette

    Hello Sarah,
    Thanks for your interesting articles. I have a product by Genestra Brands that is recommended by my Naturopath. A very good brand in other things that I’ve been recommended as well. A little pricey at times but they work! Although I do educate myself on health overall, I find that I need to trust her when she recommends something and through experience, found it to be true.
    Thanks for all your ‘shares’.

    July 25th, 2013 10:39 pm Reply
  • Cindy A. Krueger

    Sarah, Radiant Life carries a very nice line of vitamins. The story behind the founder of the company is heart warming and inspirational. He is very dedicated to using only whole organic sources for his products. I have been using them for my clients for a few years and they are very satisfied.

    Keep up your great works!

    July 25th, 2013 7:51 pm Reply
  • Greg Moore

    Hi Sara, Great article. I’m glad you mentioned low heat because heat as well as a myriad of other things such as oxygen and light destroy vitamin C. Any temperature above 70 degrees Fahrenheit and it starts to break down. One thing that might be helpful to look into further is whether or not your vitamin C product is freeze dried. Most whole food vitamin C products such as Camu Camu or Acerola are spray dried which almost completely destroys all the vitamin C content.
    The best product that I have found comes from LiveSuperfoods .com where you can get 8 oz of freeze dried Camu Camu powder for only $18 and even less if ordered in bulk. We really like this product because it still tastes like fruit instead of slightly sweet powder. Just thought I would pass this info along.

    July 25th, 2013 6:49 pm Reply
    • Beth

      Can you provide a reference for the info about spray drying vs freeze drying? Do we know if the supplements are tested for their vitamin C content after they are “spray dried.”

      July 26th, 2013 7:05 am Reply
  • Christina Mendoza

    Thank you for another informative article, Sarah! I had no idea prior to reading this that ascorbic acid kills off beneficial gut bacteria. I learn so much from your articles!

    July 25th, 2013 3:48 pm Reply
  • rebecca huff

    If I am not mistaken– Radiant Life offered Catie’s Organic whole foods Vit C powder recently– but I couldn’t find it on their website just now— wonder how that one measures up?

    July 25th, 2013 2:45 pm Reply
  • katie

    Hey Sarah! I am new to eating a traditional diet, and everywhere I turn, someone is recommending a supplement. We already take cod liver oil, butter oil and probiotics. What are the other essential supplements to take? I get overwhelmed!

    July 25th, 2013 1:03 pm Reply
  • Beth

    I’ve used the “Royal Camu” product shown above, which I found at a local supplement shop, and liked it very much. It’s from a fruit from the Amazonian rain forest, chock full of vit C, bioflavinoids and phytonutrients unique to the camu camu fruit. I remember the clerk at the shop telling me that most all vitamin C found in commercial supplements is sourced from China, which could be another red flag for people.

    July 25th, 2013 12:32 pm Reply
  • Erica

    Thank you for this! So discouraged as I just bought a big bottle and realized they were giving me stomachaches. Now I know why!

    July 25th, 2013 11:53 am Reply
  • April

    Thanks so much for this info, Sarah as we’re currently looking for a vitamin C to take. Do you know anything about Ester-C ( and how it compares based on your understanding of the issues you discussed?

    July 25th, 2013 11:17 am Reply
  • Dorsey Clark

    What do you think of making your own Vit C powder to add to beverages or could even be put into capsules. I scrape out the pulp residue of the organic citrus fruit that we use and slice the peel with the pith into thin strips. Then I dry in my dehydrator and run through my inexpensive coffee grinder.
    We have been taking this internally but I also keep a small container in my bathroom and add a little to my facial cleanser at night. It is a gentle exfoliate as well as adding the C benefits and the natural C oil that is in the skin.

    What sayest thou? :-)

    July 25th, 2013 11:17 am Reply
  • Candace Coffin

    I’ve been a WAPF member for years and have been taking Nature’s Plus, Ultra-C for many years. It is ascorbic acid (organic) (2000mg) & rose hips(Rosa canina fruit (200mg) – yikes…is ascorbic acid not good even if organic?????

    July 25th, 2013 11:14 am Reply
    • Coral

      If it is indeed organic it should not be GMO but I see nowhere on the label where it says organic.

      August 7th, 2013 10:51 am Reply
  • Maria

    I have a question (tried to post it before but an error appears, don’t know why?).
    We use NOW Acerola powder and it says that it is a “Natural Source of Vitamin C plus added Ascorbic Acid”. We have been using it in my baby’s raw milk formula, advised by Weston Price Foundation and other articles of yours.
    Since the bottle says what I wrote, I am a bit confused with this present article you wrote. Is this Acerola – with ascorbic acid in it – a no-no or a right one? If this is a no-no then why do you suggest it in a baby’s homemade formula?

    July 25th, 2013 11:14 am Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      I am recommending any of the 4 products in chart above as they are all 100% C with no additives. I have not checked the NOW brand label recently so cannot say what they are using today. It used to be all acerola with no ascorbic acid.

      July 25th, 2013 3:31 pm Reply
      • Maria

        I love reading your articles Sarah. They always make me think and analyze everything. I know that you keep in mind that thousands of people read you and rely on what they read here to make changes for the better in their lives and in their families lives. I have too, over the years, come here and learnt a ton. I still do.

        You already showed that you are a very, very shrewd person. I am writing all of this because I think you should bare in mind that at the same time you suggest a product or a supplement you should see if it changes as time goes by (or not) in order to keep helping people instead of going through the possibility of creating unnecessary (health) problems without (you) even realizing it.

        I hope you understand what I wrote.

        Please see your posts about the homemade raw milk/liver formula and check the acerola powder you suggest to put in it – there are babies with allergies to GMOs (my own baby has severe eczema and I am questioning, now, if it could be due to corn from ascorbic acid that I innocently put in her formula every day!). If you see the photo from the link you posted ( you will realize that Radiant Life has there Acerola with ascorbic acid in it too.

        I hope you put yourself in my shoes for an instant to understand what I wrote. If my baby has eczema (for months now, you wouldn’t dream what we have been going through) due to ascorbic acid then I thank you for your article!, but I also ask you to please, please check your other articles where you suggest acerola powder in other homemade milk/liver formulas because there may be other people battling the same problem that we are battling here.

        July 25th, 2013 5:23 pm Reply
        • Maria

          Please, don’t take my comment as a criticism because it isn’t. It is rather a request.
          I am really grateful for your article, it made me think and research more… maybe this is the missing link for me to cure my baby. If it is, then I will have no words to thank you.

          July 25th, 2013 5:28 pm Reply
        • Carrie

          I understand where you are coming from, and that all issues including your precious baby would be close to your heart and of great concern to you. That’s good mothering! however, i would encourage you to look at Sarah’s disclaimer again:

          “The information on The Healthy Home Economist â„¢ is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to substitute for the advice provided by your doctor or other health care professional. You should not rely upon or follow the programs or techniques or use any of the products and services made available by or through the use of this website for decision making without obtaining the advice of a physician or other health care professional. The nutritional and other information on this website are not intended to be and do not constitute health care or medical advice.

          In addition, the views expressed on The Healthy Home Economist â„¢ have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Weston A. Price Foundation. The Healthy Home Economist â„¢ is an independent, privately run business separate from this nonprofit organization.”

          I commend you for your dedication to your family!

          July 26th, 2013 3:19 pm Reply
  • Karen

    Sarah, I wanted to thank you for all the time you put into doing this. I was just trying to figure out Vit. C, and here it is! Long story, short, my husband was diagnosed with Epstein Barr six years ago, and I’ve had a whole host of issues myself ranging from anemia to PCOS with a hysterectomy in 2010. We still deal with problems so we eliminated most of the processed foods from our diet four years ago, but just recently found your site, and are starting my husband on the GAPS diet. My head is spinning from info overload, but very grateful to you for explaining why we continue to have some issues!

    July 25th, 2013 11:13 am Reply
    • Dorothy Ryan-Purcell

      We gave up consuming anything processed, including stock cubes and flavour enhancers. I now cook everything from scratch and use a lot of fresh herbs from the garden to season food. We were always getting bits of colds all year round but since totally eliminating MSG out of our diet (5 months ago), none of us have had even a hint of a cold since. I am convinced that nutrition and the food we eat is key, better than any supplements. Dorothy

      July 26th, 2013 11:03 am Reply
  • Tara

    What are your thoughts on Nutribiotics brand of Sodium Ascorbate? Here is the link Is the sodium factor make it a better option? Thank you!

    July 25th, 2013 11:01 am Reply
  • Cara

    Sarah, what are your thoughts on fat soluble asorbyl palmitate?

    July 25th, 2013 10:50 am Reply
  • Maria

    I have a question.
    We use NOW Acerola powder and it says that it is a “Natural Source of Vitamin C plus added Ascorbic Acid”. We have been using it in my baby’s raw milk formula, advised by Weston Price Foundation and other articles of yours.
    Since the bottle says what I wrote, I am a bit confused with this present article you wrote. Is this Acerola – with ascorbic acid in it – a no-no or a right one?

    July 25th, 2013 10:46 am Reply
    • Joel

      Just found out that NOW Vit C is from China (although it says “made in the U.S.A.” right on the bottle.) It is also derived from corn! 90% of all Vit C is from China!! What to do…

      September 23rd, 2013 7:49 pm Reply
      • Andrew Vajda

        Hi Joel, I had the same problem finding some. I finally found the last Western producer and started distributing for them this week. It’s ascorbic acid manufactured in the UK from certified non-GMO corn, also grown in the UK.

        I’ve been using and researching ascorbic acid for 8 years and totally disagree with the slander it has suffered in the media. I’ve addressed the author of the original article at natural news and am awaiting a response.

        I am providing this product with the lowest markup on the market. I charge 25$ for a pound whereas Chinese ascorbic acid is wholesaled at 1-3$ a kilo (2.2 lbs) and retailed anywhere from 6-40$ a pound. (454 grams).


        November 19th, 2013 8:33 pm Reply
  • Kara Smith

    We ordered the Vitamin C from radiant life this past winter and I supplemented it with the FCLO, butter oil and a liver pill for the kiddos. It was our healthiest winter! We had only a cold show up once and I upped their Vitamin C and they kicked it in 2 days! Completely! During the summer I stopped supplementing the Vitamin C except for right now I came down with a mild cold so I added it back to the kids supplements to hopefully help them ward it off and so far so good. Should I continue their supplement year round? Or just during the fall/winter when viruses are more prevalent?

    July 25th, 2013 10:32 am Reply
  • Antonia

    So i suppose i’ll be throwing away the gummy vites for the kids… is there a trustworthy article about how important vit c is for kids? i will research radiant life dosing. thanks!

    July 25th, 2013 10:17 am Reply
    • Jake

      Antonia, study this book and all it’s sources in the bibliography at the back. google ross horne 5th edition and ross horne Improving Pritikin. my two health bibles. Cheers

      January 14th, 2014 4:40 am Reply
  • Betty

    Why can’t I just fresh squeeze some lemon in water and get VitC that way? Do we really need a supplement for that?

    July 25th, 2013 9:59 am Reply
  • Elisabeth

    Hi Sarah, There is much debate going on in my family about vitamin C. My GP who is a holistic practitioner uses IV Vitamin C especially in elderly and people who have cancers etc…I do note that Dr Mercola talks about Liposomal Vitamin C, if your diet is not adequate enough to supplement with this..What are your thoughts?

    July 25th, 2013 6:15 am Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      For serious illness, the IV Vitamin C is probably useful … certainly better than chemo or radiation and other extremely toxic therapies. I think it is abused however .. I know people who regularly get IV Vitamin C simply for cosmetic reasons.

      July 25th, 2013 6:46 am Reply

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