The US RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) for vitamin C is 90 mg for adult males and 75 mg for adult females, with a little more added for pregnant or lactating women, and a slightly higher amount recommended for those that smoke. Considering only about 10-15% of the vitamin C we take in is actually absorbed and able to be utilized by our tissues and organs, this amount seems very small.
When you add in the fact that vitamin C has what is called a “half-life” factored in, which we will talk about in just a bit, then this small dosage is likely not enough to be considered therapeutic. By therapeutic, what I really mean in this context is an amount of the vitamin, in the most absorbable and usable format, that can help to proactively prevent maladies and help to stave off the many effects of aging. Related: Top 5 Facial Aging Factors
Dosage and Which Version of C to Take
Most people can take 500 mg dosages of ascorbic acid at a time without gastrointestinal upset. Ascorbic acid is considered by most to be the best form of the vitamin that is utilized by the human body when taken internally. Remember, if your body can only utilize about 10-15% of this dosage though, you may be getting the benefit of only about a 50 mg dosage.
We will also talk about a concept that many have turned to in order to make their vitamin C dosing more bioavailable. Bio-availability merely refers to the level of utilization of the vitamin within the body. It translates into how much of the vitamin actually makes it into the very cells within the body where it can “work its magic”.
This concept of increased bioavailability is a form of vitamin C supplementation called Liposomal Vitamin C. Liposomal vitamin C captures the vitamin C within tiny fat spheres that help it to make it through the digestive tract undeterred, and also help the vitamin C to penetrate the cells once it is in the blood stream and in the tissues.
The Half Life of Vitamin C
Earlier we talked about the “half-life” of vitamin C. What is “half life”? It means the amount of time a given vitamin or nutrient is active within the body after dosage occurs. It is estimated that vitamin C remains active in the body before it is discarded via urine, for anywhere from 3 to 6 hours. Vitamin C is a not a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning that like other vitamins such as Vitamin E, it is not stored in the body fat, but rather is excreted via the urine.
So you really need to dose continually either by replenishing vitamin C through your dietary choices, or perhaps supplementing with a supplement a couple times a day. Some holistic practitioners recommend supplementing several times a day to keep the vitamin C levels up throughout the day. Other ways to keep your levels up is to make sure you are consuming vitamin C rich foods or even drinking lemon water (Related: Lemon and Alkaline Water Benefits).
Camu camu is the richest food form of vitamin C if you’re looking to supplement with something that is an all natural source of this vital vitamin. It is a very tart berry “superfood” if you’re interested in finding more out about that. Supplements with camu camu are available as well. You may also see vitamin C supplements with rose hips. Rose hips are another natural source of vitamin C.
Liposomal Vitamin C
We talked about Liposomal Vitamin C, but let’s get a little deeper into this topic. This form of vitamin C, as discussed earlier, is essentially encapsulated in fat molecules and is therefore not only well-absorbed and utilized, but also causes less gastrointestinal distress. Traditional high doses of ascorbic acid can cause gastrointestinal distress and diarrhea in those that are sensitive.
Taking this form of vitamin C greatly reduces that effect. Liposomal vitamin C comes in gel capsules, but the most recommended form is really the thick liquid form. Some Liposomal vitamin C supplements claim to be Liposomal, but come in granular or powder form, so it’s difficult to imagine these are actually encapsulated in fat.
Choose wisely, because this form of vitamin C is often double or triple the price of traditional vitamin C supplements, and may not even be “truly” Liposomal. You can make your own Liposomal vitamin C too. If you invest in a stick style (hand held) blender and an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner, you can make it fairly easily yourself for pennies on the dollar compared to buying it.
The Ingredients for Home Made Liposomal Vitamin C
You also need to buy the ingredients, which typically include distilled water, ascorbic acid or camu camu powder, and sunflower based lecithin. Sure, you need to invest in the initial tools, however if you plan on sticking to this supposedly superior format of vitamin C supplementation, you will save quite a bit of money in the long term.
It is also important to take this form of vitamin C on an empty stomach. So you may want to just take it in the morning on an empty stomach before you start eating for the day.
Vitamin C is a Crucial Vitamin to Overall Health & Wellness
Any way you slice it, vitamin C is an absolutely crucial vitamin. If we can’t manufacture it within our bodies, and we can’t get it from sunlight exposure, like we can vitamin D (Related: Is There a Way to Safely Get Vitamin D via Tanning?), and only get small absorbable amounts through our diet, then it really is a good idea to try supplementing in the ways we discussed in this article.
See if it makes a difference in your energy levels, and it may even improve your skin, your focus, your dental health, cardio health and more. There are also plenty of studies suggesting that vitamin C helps to prevent various types of cancer as well.
So you can add this vitamin into not only your anti-aging and beauty arsenal, but also take refuge in the fact that you may be preventing and helping to treat a myriad of health issues as well.