Caleb Rodriguez

Health Scores Two C's (unpublished)

March 12th, 2014

Sir Jack Drummond started the trend of naming vitamins after the alphabet. Two had already been discovered, so he called them “A” and “B,” and the one he was studying he called “C.” Such a cut-and-dried name for this fascinating essential nutrient.

The technical name for vitamin C, ascorbic acid, memorializes an argument chemists and nutritionists waged over what was causing scurvy–scorbutus is the old form of “scurvy” and “a-” means “not!” Sail-ships were as big a business a hundred years ago as tractor-trailers are today, but when voyages got long, scurvy would starting wiping out the sailors. All kinds of theories flew around about what the cause was, until countless studies and debates later everyone finally agreed that all it was was not enough vitamin C in the sailors' food. Oh.

Vitamin C's portfolio has grown a lot since. It's known to build bodily tissue, especially collogen (a connective tissue in skin, tendons, and bones). It's a necessary component in the healing of wounds. It enhances iron absorption. Ah yes, the immune system, C's most famous role: It raises the population of white blood cells and blocks the inflammatory troublemakers called histamines, and it's a powerful antioxidant, hampering a host of diseases by killing free radicals and curing oxidative stress.

So why does Beeyoutiful carry two vitamin C's? Bluntly put, Rosehip C is the concentrated, more robust source of C, and Gentle C is, obviously, a gentler version.

Rosehip C

The main ingredient is pure ascorbic acid, a white powder that is manufactured from glucose. What sets this supplement apart are the plant-based powders that are added to aid in its digestability. You see, plants provide their vitamin C in a complex of other substances that work together to make the vitamin more effective. But when you need a vitamin boost, it would take an awful lot of plant. Rosehip C follows the plant model and includes rosehip powder, acerola powder, and citrus bioflavonoids.

Rosehips are the edible fruits that are left when the petals of a rose fall off. They have been part of traditional food in many cultures, and are high in vitamin C. Acerola fruit, a little red berry that grows in Latin America, has some of the highest vitamin C content of any fruit. And the bioflavonoids, which used to be called vitamin P, come from citrus and include names like hesperidin and rutin which are said to help vitamin C fulfill its health-supporting roles.

It comes in tablets, which, if you swallow quickly, have little taste. (Suck on it and it will be very sour. My brothers would do it to show off.) They’re somewhat big, so some people like to cut them in half.

Gentle C

The acidity of ascorbic acid can raise the acid level of the body. Some people want, or need, a milder form (especially when the body is weak), and the solution is pretty clever. Ascorbic acid is reacted with calcium, an alkaline, to form an almost pH-neutral compound called calcium ascorbate; technically it's a salt. Folks call this process “buffering.” The body uses its own acid to break it apart, so that no new acid is absorbed.

With the calcium, this supplement becomes a two-in-one! Calcium makes up around 8-10% of its mass, lending its little bit of bone-building capabilities to vitamin C’s tissue-building. Gentle C also includes citrus bioflavonoids like the Rosehip C.

It comes in gelatin capsules, which most find easier to swallow, since they’re smaller and more slippery than the tablets. Capsules can easily be opened and sprinkled on food if desired.

Either way, it's practically impossible to take too much vitamin C. Since the body uses what it needs from what you eat and discards the rest out the urine, a steady intake ensures your body is getting its everyday needs.