‘C’ for yourself: Which vitamin C supplement best suits your needs?
Boosting the immune system is uppermost in most minds these days, not only because of Covid-19 but also as the annual winter cold and flu season approaches. Vitamin C is well loved and trusted in this regard, but is just as crucial for its many other roles in the body. Demand for vitamin C supplements has skyrocketed, and to meet the growing requirement Igennus Healthcare Nutrition is releasing two new vitamin C supplements this season, which are both quite special in their own way.
Super Vitamin C Complex consists of 1000mg PUREWAY-C® vitamin C, microencapsulated by plant lipids and accompanied by citrus bioflavonoids, which both boost vitamin C absorption and provide synergistic health benefits. Liposomal Vitamin C & Zinc Immune Support Complex liquid emulsion combines the well-known excellent absorption of 1000mg liposomal vitamin C with immune-boosting zinc, copper and selenium - in a great-tasting liquid that’s a convenient immune solution for the whole family.
Why do we need vitamin C?
Humans are one of the few animals that can’t make their own vitamin C, so intake from the diet or supplements is essential to prevent symptoms of vitamin C deficiency. As a water-soluble vitamin, it isn’t stored for long in the body, making regular daily intake crucial. Although 5-9 portions of fresh or frozen fruit and vegetables should supply all we need, many of us don’t eat as much as that; to make things more complicated, storage, processing and cooking all reduce the vitamin C content of food to a greater or lesser extent. When infections strike, vitamin C levels in the body plummet rapidly.
Vitamin C-rich foods
Citrus fruits are, helpfully, at their freshest, juiciest and sweetest in winter, and are rich in vitamin C, along with kiwis, mangoes, strawberries and cantaloupe melons. Vegetables supplying the highest amounts are red peppers and those from the brassica family - broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and kale.
Vitamin C benefits
Vitamin C bolsters our immune defence by boosting the activity of natural killer cells to fight infections and by prolonging the life of white blood cells. It also activates phagocytes, cells which literally ‘devour’ pathogens. Beyond immunity, as it is needed for collagen production, vitamin C plays a role in the structure of healthy skin, bones, cartilage and blood vessels. It’s a crucial antioxidant, involved in a healthy cardiovascular and neurological system and is even needed to produce the neurotransmitters that control our mood and in energy production.
Choosing a bioavailable vitamin C supplement
Not all vitamin C supplements are created equal! Standard ascorbic acid is poorly absorbed in doses above 200mg, meaning that if one wants to reap the benefits of 1000mg vitamin C, one needs to look for a product with evidence of increased absorption and/or retention in the body. Igennus Healthcare Nutrition always prioritises bioavailable ingredients with research backing, and all three of our 1000mg vitamin C options have strong supporting science - the choice is yours depending on what health benefit and supplement form is most important to you.
1. Vitamin C for essential immune support
A solid immune defence relies not only on good vitamin C levels but also on adequate vitamin D, zinc and various other supporting minerals. Zinc is effective both as a preventative and therapeutic mineral for viral respiratory tract infections, especially when started within 24 hours of symptom onset.
Liposomal Vitamin C & Zinc Immune Support Complex (soon to be released), combines brilliantly absorbed liposomal vitamin C with immune-boosting zinc, selenium and copper to ensure the important zinc-copper ratio is maintained. It’s a complete immune solution for the whole family, in a tasty citrus liquid form. Delicious straight from the spoon, it can also be added to drinks, yoghurt or porridge. Perfect for those who want an all-round immune product and don’t like swallowing tablets.
Ester-C 1000mg Vitamin C - Ideal for those looking for a convenient 1-a-day solution to target immune health, who may be prone to digestive discomfort from other forms of vitamin C.
Ester-C® has been flying off the shelves since it launched. Best known for research supporting excellent absorption and retention in white blood cells with levels sustained for at least 24 hours, Ester-C is an especially good choice for those who experience digestive discomfort with other forms of vitamin C, as it is buffered and non-acidic, making it very gentle on the stomach.
Food & lifestyle tip: Foods high in zinc include red meat, liver and shellfish, while plant-based sources are pumpkin, hemp and sesame seeds.
Pairs well with: Pure & Essential Daily Vitamin D3 2000IU or Pure & Essential Vegan Vitamin D3 1000IU - Vitamin D intake from supplements is crucial from October to March as sunlight wanes, with healthy vitamin D levels supporting the immune system and providing defence against respiratory illnesses in particular.
2. Vitamin C supports physical activity during winter
Don’t let cold weather drive you indoors! While intense exercise does make you more prone to developing colds and ‘flu’, vitamin C has been proven to boost immunity both during and after exercise. Due to its role in collagen production, it’s also important for maintenance of healthy joints, bones and muscles. Super Vitamin C Complex, Liposomal Vitamin C & Zinc Immune Support Complex and Ester-C will all help to keep you active this winter.
Food & lifestyle tip: If you’re working from home, instead of exercising before or after work, why not exercise in the middle of the day, when it’s a bit warmer and lighter. The increased blood flow and feel-good chemicals produced will make you more alert and productive during your afternoon work session.
Pairs well with: Calcium & Magnesium Marine Mineral Complex - ideal for those targeting bone and joint health, this supplement combines natural marine calcium and magnesium with bioavailable vitamin D3, K2 and boron.
3. Vitamin C benefits for skin and a healthy smile
Vitamin C boosts collagen production, resulting in skin that is plumper with less wrinkles, as well as healthy teeth and gums. Although many beauty products contain vitamin C, when applied topically it is not absorbed well into deeper skin layers, meaning that ‘beauty from within’ by taking an oral supplement is much more effective. Choose any of Super Vitamin C Complex, Liposomal Vitamin C & Zinc Immune Support Complex or Ester-C.Zinc may benefit skin conditions such as acne and eczema, so if you suffer from one of these, Liposomal Vitamin C & Zinc Immune Support Complex may be your best bet.
Food & lifestyle tip: Get your beauty sleep. It’s not a myth - blood flow to your skin is increased while you slumber, ensuring you wake up with a glowing complexion. A sleepless night will have you looking pale and dehydrated the next morning.
Pairs well with: Collagen - among Igennus Healthcare Nutrition’s exciting new launches, we’ll soon be releasing both a superior bovine collagen and an exciting vegan collagen & vitamin C supplement - watch this space!
4. Vitamin C to support the nervous system & provide psychological support
Super Vitamin C Complex aids healthy neuron function and provides antioxidant protection to nerve cells, both due to its PUREWAY-C and citrus bioflavonoid content. Fascinating research shows that nerve cells stimulated by PUREWAY-C grow new projections at a much faster rate compared to other vitamin C supplements. (1) Citrus bioflavonoids are able to cross the blood-brain barrier to support brain cells through prevention of oxidative damage.(2)
Food & lifestyle tip: Did you know that exercise improves mood by increasing serotonin production? Even those with neurological conditions can benefit enormously from a tailored physical activity programme.
Pairs well with: Neurobalance, a rich source of zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6, which supports neurotransmitter and hormone production and may improve attention and focus. For those looking for a comprehensive vitamin, mineral and omega-3 supplement, MindCare BALANCE is an excellent choice - it includes a methylated vitamin B complex which provides neurological support while L-theanine promotes a sense of wellbeing and calm focus.
5. Vitamin C to support energy production
While all our vitamin C products will support in this regard, Liposomal Vitamin C & Zinc Immune Support Complex is swiftly absorbed for a quick energy boost. Liposomes, which resemble cell walls, protect vitamin C on its trip to the intestines, and fuse with intestinal cells, rapidly delivering high levels of active vitamin C to the body.
Food & lifestyle tip: Even mild dehydration can affect your mood, energy level and ability to think clearly. Mix Liposomal Vitamin C & Zinc Immune Support Complex into a glass of water or a sports bottle for a hydration and micronutrient boost.
Pairs well with: Super-B Complex - one of our most popular supplements for boosting energy levels - a complete complex of pre-methylated B vitamins which are well absorbed and body-ready.
6. Vitamin C for cardiovascular support
Vitamin C promotes collagen formation for healthy blood vessels. Both raised cholesterol and inflammation can damage the heart and arteries. Super Vitamin C Complex is ideal for healthy cardiovascular function as PUREWAY-C decreases LDL cholesterol and CRP, a marker of inflammation, far better than much competition. (3) Significant positive correlations have also been found between citrus flavonoid intake and cardiovascular function - due to flavonoids’ role as antioxidants and circulation optimisers. (4;5)
Diet & lifestyle tip: A Mediterranean-style diet, with a rich supply of antioxidants from vegetables, fruit and red wine, polyunsaturated fat from fish and monounsaturated fat from olive oil is a smart way of looking after your heart health.
Pairs well with: Pharmepa Restore, a pure EPA supplement which supports cholesterol levels, blood pressure and inflammation, and VESIsorb Ubiquinol-QH, a bioavailable Co-Q10 supplement for energy production and as an antioxidant, especially in those who take statin medication which blocks the body’s natural CoQ10 production.
7. Vitamin C for boosting iron levels
All of our vitamin C supplements provide support, as vitamin C increases iron absorption from food.
Food & lifestyle tip: Add supplements or foods from vitamin-C sources to all of your meals; for example - orange or grapefruit with breakfast, red pepper with lunch and broccoli with dinner. Iron-rich foods include liver, red meat, lentils, tofu, nuts & seeds and even 'treats’ such as dark chocolate, blackstrap molasses and raisins.
Pairs well with: Pure & Essential Advanced Multivitamin & Minerals - containing 7mg of slow release, gentle iron (ferrous bisglycinate) in a daily serving, this supplement supports iron levels in the general population. As iron in excessive doses is counterproductive to health, high-dose iron supplements should only be taken by those with a diagnosed iron deficiency.
For further advice regarding which supplements may best meet your health needs, browse the Shop by goal section of our website. Our friendly team of nutritionists are also happy to give personalised recommendations on email, LiveChat or over the phone.
1.Weeks, B & Perez, P. A novel vitamin C preparation enhances neurite formation and fibroblast adhesion and reduces xenobiotic-induced T-cell hyperactivation. Med Sci Monit, 2007; 13(3): BR51-58. PMID: 17325628
2. Hwang S & Yen G-C. Neuroprotective Effects of the Citrus Flavanones against H2O2-Induced Cytotoxicity in PC12 CellJ. Agric. Food Chem. 2008, 56, 3, 859-864
3.Pancorbo D, Vazquez C and Fletcher M. Vitamin C-lipid metabolites: Uptake and retention and effect on plasma C-reactive protein and oxidized LDL levels in healthy volunteers. Med Sci Monit, 2008; 14(11): CR547-551. PMID: 18971870.
4. Mink P et al. Flavonoid intake and cardiovascular disease mortality: a prospective study in postmenopausal women, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 85, Issue 3, March 2007, Pages 895–909, https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/85.3.895
5. Dawn J O'Byrne, Sridevi Devaraj, Scott M Grundy, Ishwarlal Jialal, Comparison of the antioxidant effects of Concord grape juice flavonoids α-tocopherol on markers of oxidative stress in healthy adults, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 76, Issue 6, December 2002, Pages 1367–1374, https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/76.6.1367
Increasing your daily intake of vitamin C can go a long way in supporting your general health. If you require more support, feel free to contact our approachable team of nutrition professionals who will be more than happy to support you further or point you in the right direction.