Vitamin C Is Not All The Same!

Written by MASON, PhD., Robert

Vitamin C is an essential component of life that is prevalent in many foods (especially fruits) and produced by an abundance of chemical companies. This article focuses the chemical side of Vitamin C.

Whilst it is known by many scientists, it is virtually unknown by the public that Vitamin C has two totally and distinctly different separate sides (as indeed many chemicals do). The two sides of vitamin C consist of L-ascorbic acid which is the (-) side and D-Ascorbic acid which is the (+) side. It is the L-ascorbic acid that is the active side and the side that is beneficial to mankind.

Most research shows that the D-side of Ascorbic acid is discarded by the body and designated as little or no-use. People ingesting vitamin C are therefore only likely to benefit from the L side of vitamin C.

Vitamin C is not a stable substance and both the L and D sides are subject to change if moisture or water is added. For example, in an orange the Vitamin C is primarily the L-side and remains so in the surroundings of the orange whilst on the tree. However, when the juice is extracted from the orange after a period of days the L side changes to D and the juice will eventually even out at 50% D and 50% L content.

Frozen concentrated orange juice when thawed and water added will produce the exact same reaction. This also takes place when manufacturers add vitamin C to juices or drinks.

The assumption the public is under is that vitamin C added as a supplement during the manufacture of any liquid is all beneficial; this is a myth. The facts are that adding vitamin C to drinks may constitute only 50-60% L, with the remainder being the D side. Although it is believed that the body discards the D side of vitamin C, further research needs to be undertaken to confirm this theory. It may be that is some individuals that an abundance of the D side of vitamin C could conceivably be detrimental to their optimal health.


A number of companies produce vitamin C with varying degrees of purity of L-ascorbic acid. Discovery Experimental’s research produced only one manufacturer who was producing a consistent 99.9% purity level. Additionally, most of tablet manufacturers add ingredients to the L-ascorbic acid. The most prevalent being rose-hips, along with fillers such as starch, sucrose, talc, povidone and a battery of other substances that help bind the pills together.

The average ‘make-up’ of a pill being manufactured today is about 25% filler. Some of these fillers can be compromised in some part by chemicals that are not normally ingested into the human body as food. It’s possible that in some cases that pill fillers are detrimental to overall health in some individuals, and indeed can be the cause of side effects.

As many people take vitamin C in dosages of 1000mg per day, they would be ingesting 250mg of pill fillers, or if taking 10,000mg per day be ingested 2500mg of pill fillers on average. Pill filler can even cause the Ascorbic acid to break down and ‘go off.’


Discount houses and some firms (and indeed some pharmacies) sell vitamin C under all kinds of names at competitive prices. The producers range from people in their garage to multi-national concerns. Discovery Experimental purchased at random 1g vitamin C tablets from three different companies, also vitamin C powder from two different mail-order houses. All five varieties of vitamin C proved ‘unstable’ and ‘went-off’ in a relatively short period of time, as such their effectiveness decreased enormously.

The worst example was a vitamin C purchased from a large nation-wide discount chain located in the western part of the United States. The vitamin C had no preservatives and was made up of about 25% fillers. The product was made in January 1991 but by June of 1991 the product was becoming unstable. By December of 1991 the product should not have been ingested and by December of 1992 anyone even looking at the product would have thrown it out. However, stamped on the label was an expiry date of July 1995!

L-ascorbic acid at 99.9% purity is, in itself, an extremely stable substance subject only to high moisture. In testing at 99.9% purity, under normal conditions at room temperature, an unsealed bottle being opened twice daily for 2 to 21/2 years proved to be extremely stable.


In most cases and with very few exceptions, the purer the active ingredient is in products, (whether it is a pharmaceutical or a vitamin), the more potent and stable the product remains, and thus the more effective a product is.

Many producers of vitamin C are cutting quality in order to produce a cheaper, less pure product in order to remain competitive. Not only are doctors and the public unaware of the two sides of vitamin C and the reduced effectiveness of vitamin C when added to juices, but there is also the question mark over the purity of their particular brand of vitamin C (most regulatory bodies such as the FDA do not require purity levels to be stated on labels).

The public (and probably many doctors) do not realize that it takes considerably less L-ascorbic acid at 99.9% purity to produce the same effects as a good deal more of the less pure, less stable forms of vitamin C offered on the market today.


Research indicates that for maximum effectiveness vitamin C should not be pilled. It should be dispensed by the producer at a humidity level not exceeding 40% either as capsules or powder. To be most effective, the 99.9% L-ascorbic acid should be taken once or twice daily from 200mg to 3000mg, mixed or taken with condensed orange juice made with distilled water. People allergic to orange juice should mix the product with distilled water only. This way according to the research findings the effectiveness of vitamin C is maximised.


Everyone agrees that the famous Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling was the expert on vitamin C and the Linus Pauling Institute has amassed the greatest single amount of data about vitamin C.

As a result there is a great deal of information available, for example we know that the human body cannot store Vitamin C and unlike other mammals we can’t manufacture our own supplies. Thus vitamin C is a vital daily component of our diets.

There are many benefits of optimal vitamin C supplementation, clinical research indicates that L-ascorbic acid administered in varying amounts to be effective in reducing the risks of cancer at an average of 20% in males and 14% in women.

Vitamin C has been shown to reduce the risks of heart disease on average by 40% in men and 20% in women.

Furthermore vitamin C is effective in depression, bruising, pallor, cataracts, common colds, flu, infections, lethargy, strength, healing of wounds, chelation and nominal life extension.


Private trials conducted by physicians and scientists using 99.9% purity L-ascorbic acid with distilled water and concentrated orange juice have reported some remarkable preliminary findings regarding chelation (the removal of toxic metals from the body).

Dosages of 3,000mg daily are indicating the removal of aluminium from brain cells. This discovery could lead to a direct relationship and benefit for Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological disorders. Also reported were people scheduled for by-pass surgery (due to the blockage of their arterial walls) being treated with body tolerant levels of 99.9% purity L-ascorbic acid and 30mg of Aspirin daily for 8 weeks. The need for by-pass surgery was dissipated for some patients as their arterial wall blockage was dramatically reduced! These results substantiate earlier findings namely that regular vitamin C use reduces the risk of heart disease.


There is no doubt that vitamin C is a vital and highly credible supplement. Millions of individuals are taking vitamin C on a daily basis, some to help their problem many more as an act of faith to prevent disease and disorder.

However, in order to maximise the benefit of vitamin C supplementation it is advisable to discover if your vitamin C manufacturer produces the L-ascorbic acid at the 99.9% purity, as this most assuredly makes a substantial difference in its effectiveness. Additionally, vitamin C in pill form should be avoided.


You will be pleased to learn that IAS is now stocking the Discovery Experimental Vitamin C, which is L-ascorbic acid at 99.9% purity.


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