Ester-C® Vitamin C – not to be sneezed at!

non-acidic Vitamin C 1000mg, providing 24-hour immune support


by Dr Danielle Crida

With winter in full swing, many of us are coming down with sniffles and coughs. Vitamin C is a trusted remedy for colds and flu, but not all vitamin C supplements are equal! This month, we’re delighted to announce the launch of our superior Ester-C® supplement! 


The many roles of vitamin C

Vitamin C supports the normal function of the immune system. Thankfully, this includes support during and after intense physical exercise, as it can be really frustrating when a cold-bug interrupts our exercise routine.


Vitamin C isn’t stored in the body long term, making daily intake important throughout the year for normal cell function, growth and development. 


As an antioxidant, vitamin C neutralises free radicals, preventing damage to cells which contributes to chronic health conditions. (1) Free radicals are caused by pollution, cigarette smoke, a poor diet, alcohol and strenuous exercise but are also natural by-products of everyday chemical reactions in the body. 


Vitamin C keeps our energy levels up, with supplements proven to reduce tiredness and fatigue. 


Vitamin C is vital for normal collagen formation. Collagen is the main structural protein in our bodies and acts as a building block for healthy joint cartilage, bones, teeth, gums, skin and blood vessels. 


Vitamin C is important for normal psychological and nervous system function due to its role in the formation of neurotransmitters, the brain’s chemical messengers. 


Eating vitamin C-rich food or taking a supplement will lead to better ability to absorb iron in food or supplements.      

Oranges and lemons

Are you getting enough vitamin C? Humans can’t make vitamin C, so we need to get all we need from food or supplements. Foods rich in vitamin C include fruit and vegetables, such as citrus, kiwis, mangoes, tomatoes, peppers and broccoli. While we all know that we’re supposed to get our 5-a-day as an absolute minimum, fewer than 1 in 4 adults in the UK is reaching this target. Vitamin C levels in food are also depleted by storage and cooking. Buying fresh and local or frozen fruit and vegetables is a smart choice.


Some of us need more vitamin C than others: smokers, pregnant women, strenuous exercisers, the young and the old and those suffering from chronic health conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. If you have any of these conditions or don’t eat at least 5 fresh/frozen, minimally processed fruit and veg daily, including vitamin C-rich choices, you may be lacking vitamin C.  

Clues that you might be low in vitamin C

You’re more tired than usual, getting every cold that’s going around; your gums are inflamed or you have unexplained muscle or joint aches; your wounds heal slowly or your skin is dry and bumpy. Does this sound like you? Read on …


Supplements are an excellent way of topping up vitamin C levels in the body, but many vitamin C products are either not well absorbed, or quickly flushed from the body.  

Introducing Ester-C…

… a highly absorbable, non-acidic form of vitamin C which is scientifically proven to have unprecedented uptake and retention in immune cells, in a convenient 1-a-day dose. (2-4) It is the vitamin C of choice for anyone serious about achieving high, sustained cellular vitamin C levels cost-effectively and without gastrointestinal side effects. (5, 6)


Ester-C is made by reacting vitamin C with calcium in a chemical-free, water-based process. This creates calcium ascorbate and vitamin C metabolites (other products formed during the reaction). The calcium ascorbate delivers all the benefits of standard vitamin C; however, the vitamin C metabolites are what make Ester-C truly special. 


The vitamin C metabolites encourage vitamin C uptake into cells, especially white blood cells, the ‘soldiers’ of the immune system. In fact, Ester-C has 10 times greater white blood cell bioavailability. This means that you’d have to take 10 times more standard vitamin C than Ester-C to achieve the same vitamin C level in your cells. (2-3) 


Once absorbed, unless we are able to retain vitamin C in our cells, it won’t be able to deliver benefits. Ester-C has been scientifically proven to remain at high levels in cells for 24 hours! While other vitamin C products are quickly flushed from the body, needing continuous ‘topping up’, 1-a-day is all you’ll need with Ester-C. (4) Taking Ester-C on a daily basis has even been shown to offer significant protect against the common cold. (5)  

Decisions, decisions… how to choose a vitamin C supplement?

Most products on the market are standard vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid. They’re cheaper, but they could be money down the drain and hard to stomach.


Standard vitamin C is absorbed fairly well in small doses, 200mg or less. But megadosing leads to a smaller fraction being absorbed, which is quickly flushed from the body. Large doses can also irritate the stomach due to vitamin C’s acidity, causing abdominal cramps, nausea and diarrhoea. Ester-C, however, is pH-neutral and gentle on the stomach. (6, 7) 


Slow-release vitamin C sounds like it would lead to better vitamin C absorption, but clinical trials have shown disappointing results. It’s really not much better than standard vitamin C (8) 


Don’t be fooled by liposomal vitamin C’s price tag – this ‘easy come, easy go’ form of vitamin C is well absorbed but doesn’t stay in the body for much longer than standard vitamin C. (9)  

Ester-C in summary

  • Gets into cells, where you need it most: Whereas standard vitamin C struggles to enter cells, Ester-C’s vitamin C metabolites ensure 10X greater absorption
  • 1-a-day convenience: 1 tablet daily ensures high level in cells for 24 hours 
  • High strength dose: 1000mg vitamin C in a 1400mg tablet 
  • Gentle on the stomach: Buffered, non-acidic formula 
  • Multiple health benefits: Vitamin C is an antioxidant, reduces tiredness, increases iron absorption, supports the immune system, supports collagen formation for healthy bones, cartilage and blood vessels, and supports normal skin, gums & teeth and the nervous system 
  • Scientifically proven
  • Consistent product quality guaranteed: manufactured in the UK in GMP-accredited facilities 

If you’d like a deeper dive into Ester-C research studies, read more in our Ester-C article on our practitioner blog.

References:

  1. Frei B, England L, Ames BN. Ascorbate is an outstanding antioxidant in human blood plasma. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1989 Aug; 86(16):6377-81. 
  2. Fay MJ, Verlangieri AJ. Stimulatory action of calcium L-threonate on ascorbic acid uptake by a human T-lymphoma cell line. Life Sci. 1991; 49(19):1377-81. 
  3. Moyad MA, Combs MA, Vrablic AS, Velasquez J, Turner B, Bernard S. Vitamin C metabolites, independent of smoking status, significantly enhance leukocyte, but not plasma ascorbate concentrations. Adv Ther. 2008 Oct; 25(10):995-1009. 
  4. Mitmesser SH, Ye Q, Evans M, Combs M. Determination of plasma and leukocyte vitamin C concentrations in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial with Ester-C®. SpringerPlus (2016) 5:1161 
  5. Van Straten M, Josling P. Preventing the common cold with a vitamin C supplement: a double-blind, placebo-controlled survey. Adv Ther. 2002 May-Jun;19(3):151-9. 
  6. Gruenwald J, Graubaum HJ, Busch R, Bentley C. Safety and tolerance of ester-C compared with regular ascorbic acid. Adv Ther. 2006 Jan-Feb; 23(1):171-8. 
  7. Lee JK, Jung SH, Lee SE, Han JH, Jo E, Park HS, Heo KS, Kim D, Park JS, Myung CS. Alleviation of ascorbic acid-induced gastric high acidity by calcium ascorbate in vitro and in vivo. Korean J Physiol Pharmacol. 2018 Jan; 22(1):35-42. 
  8. Viscovich M, Lykkesfeldt J, Poulsen HE. Vitamin C pharmacokinetics of plain and slow release formulations in smokers. Clin Nutr. 2004 Oct; 23(5):1043-50. 
  9. Davis JL, Paris HL, Beals JW, Binns SE, Giordano GR, Scalzo RL, Schweder MM, Blair E, Bell C. Liposomal-encapsulated Ascorbic Acid: Influence on Vitamin C Bioavailability and Capacity to Protect Against Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury. Nutr Metab Insights. 2016 Jun 20;9:25-30. 

we're listening

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.

related reading

Support your skin from within
Approaching common skin complaints such as acne and eczema
Self-care your way to a better day
From sun exposure to grounding: proven ways to enhance wellbeing
Overcoming postpartum symptoms – from hair loss to fatigue
Detailing hormonal changes and depleted nutrient levels

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published