Vitamin C’s been in the news more often than usual, mainly due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It is, after all, renowned for its antioxidant and immunity-boosting properties. So, to add an extra layer of protection against infection, people have been consuming Vitamin C in its various forms.
In this blog post, we’ll talk about Liposomal Vitamin C – what it is, its benefits, why it’s better than regular vitamin C pills, any possible side effects, and more.
But first, what is vitamin C?
Vitamin C, also popularly known as ascorbic acid, it’s a vitamin, meaning the body can’t produce it and must be taken from external sources (food or supplement). It also cannot be stored in the body, so it’s important to consume regularly to avoid getting deficient.
What is Liposomal Vitamin C? Is it better than regular vitamin C supplements?
Liposomal Vitamin C is, quite simply put, vitamin C molecules inserted inside a liposome. Liposomes are microscopic delivery systems built from a phospholipid bilayer (which is the same as the phospholipid bilayer that surrounds all of our 20 trillion cells).
But why, though? What’s wrong with “regular” vitamin C?
Because Vitamin C is very fragile and water-soluble, it’s biologically unstable by default. Exposure to oxygen, light, and heat can quickly degrade or oxidize the vitamin, making it useless. This is a very common problem with regular vitamin C supplements.
Moreover, this nutrient also has trouble getting into the cells. This is because the cell membrane’s lipid (fat) layer prevents this water-soluble vitamin from getting through. Fat and water do not mix, hence the body only absorbs very low amounts of vitamin C.
However, because Liposomes have the same structure as our cells, it means we can easily absorb them!
When vitamin C doses are limited to 30-180mg/day, absorption is around 70-90%. This is great, right? Yes, indeed it is. However, the problem is that many regular vitamin C supplements come in 500mg or 1000mg pills or tablets, making it hard to adjust the dosage! Unfortunately, absorption rates fall drastically to less than 50% when taken in 1g/day doses or more (1).
What happens to the excess and unused vitamin C then?
Well, anything that isn’t absorbed ends up as waste – the kind we flush down the toilet, e.g. urine or feces.
Why is Liposomal Vitamin C better?
Liposomal Vitamin C is a game changer! It fixes all the issues mentioned above with regular vitamin C supplements.
Liposomes protect vitamin C from oxidation and improve its stability. This ensures the vitamin makes it to the gut, where it is absorbed and distributed to the tissues and cells that require it (2).
Also, liposomes protect our stomach and gut from vitamin C’s natural acidity. By encapsulating the acidic molecules, liposomal vitamin C decreases the risk of gastric discomfort, such as stomach upset, cramps, and bloating!
What’s the best Liposomal Vitamin C supplement?
Our Intelligent Labs Liposomal Vitamin C supplement uses phospholipid-based liposomes extracted from coconut oil powder and sunflower seed lecithin. This special formulation improves the overall stability of the liposomes and protects the precious Vitamin C stored in the center.
We also use two forms of vitamin C in our supplement – ascorbic acid and ascorbyl palmitate. As discussed earlier, ascorbic acid is water soluble. Ascorbyl palmitate, on the other hand, is fat soluble. Both are potent antioxidants and free radical scavengers.
What are the health benefits of our Liposomal Vitamin C?
Since liposomes greatly improve the absorption rates of the typically fragile vitamin C, you now get to enjoy the scientifically proven benefits of vitamin C:
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and immunity booster
Vitamin C’s main claim to fame is its immunity-boosting benefits. This isn’t surprising because vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can help protect our cells from oxidative damage. It can even regenerate another antioxidant – vitamin E – which doubles its protective powers (3)!
Is your throat feeling ticklish? Feel a cold coming on? Get some rest and take some vitamin C. While no vitamin C supplement can completely stop the common cold away, it can shorten the cold’s duration.
For prophylactic or preventive use, researchers suggest taking vitamin C doses that can provide plasma vitamin C levels of at least 100-200mg/day. Treating infections, on the other hand, require significantly higher doses of vitamin C (4).
With Liposomal Vitamin C’s superior bioavailability, meeting these baseline levels will not be a problem, so your immune system can stay ready against pathogens and infections!
Vitamin C is a co-factor in collagen formation
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, responsible for building and maintaining various organs, such as our skin, nails, hair, muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage. It’s produced naturally in the body, but one of the main components necessary to make collagen is vitamin C. Without vitamin C, there’s no collagen.
This collagen + vitamin C combo has numerous effects, especially on skin health:
- Improves signs of skin aging by enhancing skin elasticity, texture, and overall appearance
- Decreases the intensity of skin spots and UV spots
- It helps with faster wound recovery and minimizes raised scar formation
That said, taking our Liposomal Vitamin C together with our Collagen Peptides can do a lot of wonders for your health!
Vitamin C supports your active lifestyle
Regular exercise can enhance your mood and health. But by taking vitamin C regularly, you can take your active lifestyle to the next level!
Vitamin C can boost your energy to help you finish your reps and sets for the day. It can also help reduce tiredness and fatigue (3). So, you can work out, rest for a bit after, and then go back to what you were doing beforehand! Take our Liposomal Vitamin C to help you reach your fitness goals!
Vitamin C can improve your mood
Feeling fatigued, anxious, or even depressed lately? Try supplementing with Liposomal Vitamin C to lift your spirits up. High vitamin C levels in the body is associated with better and more positive mood (5).
Studies show that vitamin C plays an important role in the production of neurotransmitters. A diet deficient in vitamin C can cause dopamine (a.k.a. the “feel good” hormone) levels to drop, leading to depression and cognitive impairment.
Fortunately, you don’t need to resort to using other dopamine-boosting substances that are also addicting, such as alcohol, nicotine, and narcotics! Vitamin C is non-addictive, easily accessible, and very affordable.
Vitamin C helps with non-heme iron absorption
Iron is an important mineral that the body needs to make hemoglobin, myoglobin, and other hormones. This mineral is found in both animal (heme iron) and plant-based (non-heme iron) sources.
Heme iron is more readily absorbed by the human body vs. non-heme iron. To improve non-heme iron’s bioavailability, eat it with foods rich in vitamin C, or just take our Liposomal Vitamin C regularly!
Who should take Liposomal Vitamin C?
Firstly, anyone suffering from scurvy should definitely take our Liposomal Vitamin C! Scurvy might not be as common in high-income countries where people have access to vitamin C-rich foods and supplements. But this disease still frequently occurs in many low and middle-income countries (6).
Scurvy symptoms include gum disease, spontaneous bleeding, anemia, fatigue and soreness, corkscrew hair, and sore arms and legs. Fortunately, this condition can be treated in just a few weeks with consistent vitamin C intake.
Secondly, anyone with a vitamin C deficiency should consider taking our Liposomal Vitamin C over regular vitamin C supplements. It has better bioavailability and will give you better value for your money since your body is actually using the vitamin (instead of excreting the majority).
Lastly, the following groups are at risk of vitamin C deficiency and may benefit from taking our supplement:
- Smokers – smoking can cause oxidative damage to cells. To help combat the damage smoking does to the body at the cellular level, smokers should take at least 35mg more per day than the RDI (please refer to the table above).
- People who are regularly exposed to secondhand smoke.
- People who are not getting enough vitamin C from their diet. Fruits and vegetables are great sources of vitamin C. But beef liver is an even more excellent source, providing 27mg of vitamin C per 100g serving.
Vitamin C dosage: How much Liposomal Vitamin C can I take?
Here is the recommended daily intake (RDI) for vitamin C (1):
For smokers, add 35mg/day to RDI values above.
And here are the tolerable upper intake levels (UL) for vitamin C:
- 1-3 yrs – 400mg
- 4-8 yrs – 650mg
- 9-13 yrs – 1200mg
- 14-18 yrs – 1800mg
- 19+ yrs – 2000mg
How to take Liposomal Vitamin C?
For normal daily use, i.e. you’re not experiencing any viral infection currently, we recommend taking our Liposomal Vitamin C twice daily, one capsule at a time.
For instance, take one capsule at breakfast and another at dinner. This spreads the dosage evenly throughout the day and prevents unnecessary waste. Remember, the body will only use the amount it needs. Anything in excess is flushed out in the toilet.
But if you are already sick, then you may take 2-3 capsules at once. As noted in the Carr study (4), higher doses of vitamin C are necessary to treat established infections. To err on the side of caution, however, we recommend you speak with your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment of the ongoing infection.
Is it safe to take Liposomal Vitamin C on an empty stomach?
Taking too much vitamin C can cause stomach upset because this nutrient is naturally acidic and can irritate the gut. However, as mentioned earlier in this article, liposome encapsulation helps reduce the risk of this side effect.
That said, we recommend taking Liposomal Vitamin C with food (with some fat) because liposomes have a fatty outer layer. This helps facilitate the absorption of the vitamin.
What happens if you take too much vitamin C? Any side effects?
Some common side effects of excessive vitamin C intake are abdominal cramps, gas, diarrhea, bloating, nausea, headache, fatigue, and flushed skin.
Vitamin C is generally considered safe and has low toxicity even when taken at mega doses (several grams per day). However, try not to go beyond the tolerable upper intake limits given in the table above. If you need to, please speak with your doctor first!
Who shouldn’t take vitamin C supplements?
Individuals suffering from hemochromatosis and kidney diseases should avoid vitamin C supplements unless they get approval from their doctors. Also, there are concerns that vitamin C may interact with some medications and treatments. For instance, anyone taking statins and undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments should seek medical advice first (1).
Vitamin C is only one of the many nutrients your body needs to function properly. Of course, a well-rounded diet should still be your primary source of nutrients. But, if for some reason, supplementation is the only way for you to meet the required daily intake or you need higher-than-usual doses to treat an infection, then Liposomal Vitamin C would be the ideal option versus a regular vitamin C supplement!
(1) “Office of Dietary Supplements – Vitamin C.” National Institutes of Health, ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-HealthProfessional. Accessed 29 July 2022.
(2) Davis, Janelle L et al. “Liposomal-encapsulated Ascorbic Acid: Influence on Vitamin C Bioavailability and Capacity to Protect Against Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury.” Nutrition and metabolic insights vol. 9 25-30. 20 Jun. 2016, doi:10.4137/NMI.S39764
(3) Sante, D. “EU Register of Nutrition and Health Claims Made on Foods (v.3.6).” European Commission, ec.europa.eu/food/safety/labelling_nutrition/claims/register/public/?event=search. Accessed 29 July 2022.
(4) Carr, Anitra C, and Silvia Maggini. “Vitamin C and Immune Function.” Nutrients vol. 9,11 1211. 3 Nov. 2017, doi:10.3390/nu9111211
(5) Pullar, Juliet M et al. “High Vitamin C Status Is Associated with Elevated Mood in Male Tertiary Students.” Antioxidants (Basel, Switzerland) vol. 7,7 91. 16 Jul. 2018, doi:10.3390/antiox7070091
(6) Rowe, Sam, and Anitra C Carr. “Global Vitamin C Status and Prevalence of Deficiency: A Cause for Concern?.” Nutrients vol. 12,7 2008. 6 Jul. 2020, doi:10.3390/nu12072008