Looking for some high-quality vitamin C at the pharmacy, supermarket, or online can be quite a chore. There are so many vitamin C forms to choose from and different dosages to consider. Prices can be all over the place, too! You’re not alone in this confusion. In this blog post, we’re doing a three-way comparison among Liposomal Vitamin C vs Vitamin C vs Ascorbic Acid. Let’s find out which is the best Vitamin C supplement!
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Liposomal Vitamin C vs Vitamin C vs Ascorbic Acid: What are their similarities and differences?
Well, they are all vitamin C, albeit with a few differences! Let’s go through them one by one:
Regular Vitamin C
So, first of all, vitamin C is an organic compound found primarily in fruits and vegetables. It is the form found in nature. It’s also the general or umbrella term for all the different forms of vitamin C.
Here are examples of fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamin C (per 100g):
Ascorbic acid is the synthetic form of vitamin C; that is, it is man-made. However, it is chemically identical to natural vitamin C. The chemical formula for both ascorbic acid and natural vitamin C is C6H8O6. Because they are virtually the same, vitamin C and ascorbic acid are used interchangeably. So, when you hear the words vitamin C and ascorbic acid, they refer to the same thing.
Liposomal Vitamin C
Liposomal vitamin C, on the other hand, is an improved version of vitamin C/ascorbic acid. We use the term “improved” because vitamin C is an inherently fragile nutrient with low absorption rates, especially when taken in high doses.
Technically, there are two components to liposomal vitamin C supplements:
Component 1: Vitamin C
Ascorbic acid is the most common type of vitamin C used in supplements. For our Intelligent Labs Liposomal Vitamin C, we use two forms. These are Ascorbic Acid (96.6% per capsule) and a tiny amount of Ascorbyl Palmitate (3.4% per capsule). Ascorbic acid is water soluble, while ascorbyl palmitate is fat soluble. Both are potent antioxidants and free radical scavengers.
Component 2: The liposome
This microscopic delivery system helps improve vitamin C’s absorption rates. Liposomes can be made of natural or synthetic phospholipids. This is key to absorption because a phospholipid bilayer also surrounds our cells.
For our Liposomal Vitamin C supplement, our Phospholipid Complex is made from coconut oil powder (standardized to 50% medium chain triglycerides) and sunflower seed lecithin.
Why Liposomal Vitamin C is the best form for supplements
Think of liposomes as undercover agents. They mimic our natural cell membranes and make the body think they’re a natural part of it. The liposomes sneak in the vitamin C molecules to the cells that need it for various biochemical processes.
This isn’t the case with ordinary vitamin C (the majority of which is made from ascorbic acid). As mentioned above, ascorbic acid is water soluble. This poses a problem with cellular absorption because the cell’s membrane is made of lipids (fat). Water and fat do not mix. This is why ascorbic acid has such poor absorption rates, especially in higher doses.
Ascorbic acid is readily absorbable but only up to a certain dose (30-180mg/day). Anything higher risks getting ignored by the body and flushed out with urine. This means taking the typical 500mg capsule or tablet isn’t doing you any favors. You’re better off taking small doses instead of megadoses when it comes to ascorbic acid!
Additionally, it’s important to note here that vitamin C can easily be destroyed when exposed to heat, light, and air. This is why vitamin C supplements should be stored in a cool, dark place and never be exposed to direct sunlight.
As you can imagine, liposomal technology is a game-changer when it comes to water-soluble nutrients like vitamin C! Liposomes protect the vitamin C molecules inside from oxidation and improve their stability.
Moreover, it offers an extra layer of protection to our stomach by shielding it from vitamin C’s natural acidity. This reduces the risk of acid reflux, stomach upset, indigestion, diarrhea, and similar gastric disturbances.
If you’d like to know more, check out our Ultimate Guide To Liposomal Vitamin C Supplements.
Solid vs liquid liposomal vitamin C – which is better?
Liposomal vitamin C supplements come in two formats – solid (capsules, softgels) and liquid. They have similarities and differences as you’ll see in this section.
Both solid and liquid formulations are on equal footing. Both are much better absorbed than regular ascorbic acid.
Capsules and softgels are far more convenient than liquid formulations. They’re easier to pop in your mouth with pre-measured doses, e.g. 250mg, 500mg, etc.
Liquid formulations are easier to adjust though. You can take as few or as many drops as you need. But you do need to measure out the dosage using a dropper or teaspoon, which can be a tad inconvenient if you’re not at home.
Storage and shelf life
Capsules and softgels do not require refrigeration. They can remain potent for several months or even years as long as they are stored in a cool, dry place.
On the other hand, liquid formulations do require refrigeration once opened. Shelf life is relatively short too and they often need to be consumed within 30-45 days.
Obviously, prices can go higher or lower due to various promotions and discount offers. But these are the average prices we’ve found at this time for every 1000mg dosage:
- Capsule/softgel formulations – $0.25 to $0.56
- Liquid formulations – $0.42 to $1.46
As you can see, liquid formulations are definitely more expensive. Depending on the brand, they may even be 3x more expensive than capsule/softgel formulations!
That said, on price point alone, ascorbic acid supplements take the crown. They may not be as bioavailable as liposomal vitamin C, but they are indeed much cheaper at about $0.07 to $0.10 per 1000mg serving!
So, is solid or liquid liposomal vitamin C the better choice?
Liquid formulations really only have one advantage in that dosage can be easily adjusted. But apart from that, capsule or softgel formulations offer the best bang for your buck!
Liposomal Vitamin C vs Vitamin C vs Ascorbic Acid: What are the health benefits?
The health benefits of liposomal vitamin C, ordinary vitamin C, and ascorbic acid are pretty much the same across the board! The only difference, really, is that liposomal vitamin C is better absorbed by the body, meaning you get to enjoy a higher dosage of vitamin C and all its associated benefits.
Vitamin C has a long list of scientifically proven health benefits. First and foremost is its role in scurvy prevention and treatment. This disease is estimated to have killed more than 2 million sailors prior to vitamin C’s discovery!
Here are some of vitamin C’s notable contributions to our wellness:
* It’s a co-factor in collagen formation. Without vitamin C, there would be no collagen. As such, if you’re taking our Collagen supplement, it’s best also to ensure you’re getting enough vitamin C. Collagen helps build and maintain various organs in the body, such as our skin, teeth, gums, cartilage, bones, and blood vessels.
* Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant, meaning it can help protect our cells from oxidative stress. Moreover, it can even regenerate vitamin E, another potent antioxidant.
* It also helps reduce tiredness and fatigue, and boosts energy levels at the same time.
* Vitamin C helps boost our immunity. Taking higher doses of vitamin C when you feel the onset of a cold may help.
* Vitamin C helps with neurotransmitter production and may help improve your mood!
* Promotes the absorption of plant-based iron. This may not sound like a big deal if you eat meat regularly (meat is a rich source of iron). But it is super helpful for vegans and vegetarians. Vitamin C can help prevent iron deficiency anemia.
Vitamin C is on the World Health Organization’s list of essential medicines. These nutrients and medicines are deemed safe and effective for the most important needs of a population. Keep in mind though that the human body doesn’t store vitamin C. So, if you’re not regularly consuming vitamin C-rich foods, then supplementing with our Liposomal Vitamin C is the next best thing!
Related article: When To Take Liposomal Vitamin C Supplements?