by Zach Calantini-Miller
Most people nowadays are well informed about the numerous health benefits of vitamin C, and find ways to incorporate it in their diets, either by taking supplements or eating more foods that contain the vitamin. While the many benefits of vitamin C are well-documented, such as its ability to boost the immune system, there are less well known facts about the synthetic version of vitamin C, or ascorbic acid. Ascorbic acid, the synthesized version of vitamin C, has been proven to kill bacteria effectively, which makes it effective in killing parasites and infections. Unfortunately, it does not differentiate between the good and bad bacteria in the gut, and wipes out good bacteria in the gut which is mandatory for vibrant health.
Ascorbic acid defined
Synthetic vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is not found in nature. It does not grow naturally in plants or trees and cannot be grown on a farm. It can only be made in a lab. Contrary to popular belief, ascorbic acid and vitamin C are not the same thing. Ascorbic acid is not a complete vitamin, but really only the outer layer of the complete complex known as vitamin C. The complete complex of vitamin C as found in natural food sources is composed of these elements:
- Rutinbiofavonoids (vitamin P) factor K
- Factor Jfactor P Tyrosinase
- Ascorbinogen ascorbic acid
All of the above elements must be present in order for the body to absorb and benefit from the vitamin complex. Since synthetic ascorbic acid does not contain the full complex, your body must either gather the missing components from the body's reservoir, or simply eliminate the ascorbic acid from the body through the urine without benefit to the body.
You'll find ascorbic acid in all sorts of products, from vitamin C supplements to bottled tea drinks and fruit juices such as apple juice. The straightforward method to confirm its presence in a product is to simply read the ingredient label. However, as founder of AGM foods in Brisbane, Australia Alan Meyer found out, many times ascorbic acid can be found in foods even though it's not listed on the ingredient label.
The microbe-neutralizing properties of ascorbic acid and its source of origin
Mr. Meyer had been following a recipe to make a fermented apple drink. The recipe called for pure apple juice, so he bought a bottle of organic apple juice. After running some tests on his concoction, he found that the apple juice had killed the friendly microbes in it even though according to ingredient label on the bottle there was nothing in the juice but organic apples. He ran the process again to confirm that it wasn't just a fluke and sure enough the microbes were destroyed once more. After calling the company he found out that they were indeed adding ascorbic acid to the juice as a preservative to kill off bacteria. Unfortunately, ascorbic acid doesn't just kill harmful bacteria, but also kills beneficial bacteria. Ascorbic acid has the same effect in our bodies as it does in juice.
Ascorbic acid is synthesized from corn syrup. So not only do we need to be concerned with its impact on intestinal flora, but with its potentially disastrous GMO corn-based origins. These days, if you cannot verify that any corn-based food that you consume is certified organic, you risk ingesting GMO corn, the health risks of which are well-known by knowledgeable NaturalNews readers.
The real vitamin C solution
Naturally-occurring vitamin C is found in many fruits and vegetables. Vitamin C has the curious habit of breaking down when heated. This means that when food is heated, the vitamin breaks down and becomes useless. Since pasteurization is a form of heating (boiling to kill bacteria), any pasteurized beverage therefore becomes void of natural vitamin C complex. Ascorbic acid was therefore invented as a synthetic replacement of the natural form of vitamin C which is destroyed by heat. Unfortunately, ascorbic acid simply cannot replace the real, natural vitamin complex. Add to that the bacteria-neutralizing behavior of ascorbic acid which destroys health-critical beneficial microbes, and you have a substance which we'd all be better off to avoid as health-minded individuals.
So what is the solution to all this? The thing to do is avoid vitamin C supplements, pasteurized products, and pre-bottled teas and juices containing ascorbic acid. Get your vitamin C from natural, organic, uncooked fruits and vegetables. Some foods that contain the highest amounts of vitamin C are:
- Citrus fruits
- Acerola Cherry (fresh or powdered forms)
- Black Currant
- Kiwi fruit
- Bell Pepper
- Brussel Sprouts
- Kale, chard, and spinach
Again, remember to consume foods in their raw form. If heated, the natural vitamin C complex is destroyed.