How to Choose The Right Vitamin C For You

Vitamin C is an essential vitamin for our body. Through its antioxidant activity, it may help to prevent or delay the development of cardiovascular disease or other diseases in which oxidative stress plays a causal role. It also works with enzymes to play a key role in making collagen which keeps the skin supple and firm. Well known for its immune building properties, this vitamin is widely used to prevent and treat common colds. It also helps with wound healing. Vitamin C also improves the absorption of iron from our diet which is essential in blood building.

Vitamin C supplements are available in different forms with many claims regarding its efficacy or bioavailability. Bioavailability refers to the degree to which a nutrient (or drug) becomes available to the target tissue after it has been administered.  The bioavailability of Vitamin C appears equivalent whether it is chewable tablets, powder or non-chewable tablets. However, different forms may have different features and benefits.

Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin. This means that whenever a Vitamin C is taken, our body uses what is required at that particular time and excretes all the excess vitamin C in the urine. Thus, it is important to choose the right Vitamin C which provides optimum amounts for a particular condition.

  1. Ascorbic acid

The most common form of vitamin C is ascorbic acid. This vitamin C is in its simplest and often most reasonably priced form. However, some people find that it upsets their stomach, and may need to choose a different form that is gentler on the gut or a slow release version which releases the vitamin C over a couple of hours, utilizing more Vitamin C over a longer period and also reducing the risk of an upset stomach.

  1. Buffered Vitamin C

Mineral salts of ascorbic acid (mineral ascorbates) are less acidic, and therefore, considered “buffered’. Thus, mineral ascorbates are often recommended to people who experience gastrointestinal problems (upset stomach or diarrhoea) with plain ascorbic acid.  Most common mineral ascorbates include sodium ascorbate, calcium ascorbate, potassium ascorbate and magnesium ascorbate.  Vitamin C in the form of mineral ascorbates are usually more expensive and stays longer in the body and utilizes more Vitamin C than ascorbic acid.

  1. Vitamin C with bioflavonoids

Bioflavonoids are polyphenolic compounds found in vitamin C-rich foods.  They increase the absorption of vitamin C when they are taken together. These are quickly absorbed and best taken during an illness like a common cold when higher doses are beneficial.


  1. Ester C

Ester C contains mainly calcium ascorbate, but also contains small amounts of the vitamin C metabolites, dehydroascorbic acid (oxidized ascorbic acid), calcium threonate, and trace levels of xylonate and lyxonate which increase the bioavailability of vitamin C.  Ester C is usually more expensive than mineral ascorbates as it usually prepared as acid free tablets. It also stays the longest in the body which maximises the utilization of vitamin C. This makes ester C the best choice for those who are having gastric problems and want to take it as a daily supplement.

•Fast acting

•During sickness

•Not suitable for those who are having gastric problems

• Slow release

• For yearlong protection low acid: suitable for those who are having gastric problems

•Low acid: suitable for those who are having gastric problems

• Slow release• For year-long protection

• For yearlong protection•

• Acid-free: suitable for those who are having gastric problems