Best Vitamin C Supplements UK 2022 Buyer’s Guide
Obtaining vitamin C from fruits and foods is always the best approach, but sometimes we have a difficulty meeting our nutrition needs for many reasons, a supplement may be necessary. The C vitamin supplements can come in tablet, capsule or powder form. The supplements this list we have chosen based on its quality, manufacturing standards, usability, and price. Here you will discover the top 5 best vitamin C supplements UK brands available to buy online.
Table of Contents
Vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid, is the most popular dietary supplement in the world, taken by more people than any other vitamin, mineral, or herbal product. Two-time Nobel Prize-winning biochemist Linus Pauling spent a great deal of his life researching the benefits of it. He believed that a deficiency of this was the main cause of cardiovascular disease and that it could cure a variety of ailments ranging from the cold to cancer. While the health benefits are still somewhat controversial, many people swear by their daily dose of this water-soluble vitamin, which performs a range of functions in the body from manufacturing collagen to being a powerful antioxidant.
Ever since Nobel laureate Linus Pauling wrote Vitamin C and the Common Cold in 1970, many people have braced themselves for winter by taking large doses of ascorbic acid. Pauling, a molecular chemist, also believed that loading up on itâ€”up to 18 grams a dayâ€”might prevent cancer and other diseases. Some athletes take supplements in the belief that it increases aerobic power and endurance.
Best Vitamin C Supplements UK 2022 (Tablets, Capsules & Powder)
It seems to come in so many formsâ€”how do you distinguish between various products? You may see a variety of vitamin C combination products on the shelf at your local pharmacy, health store or online. Since all of these forms are high in C, you can choose a product that perfectly suits your particular preferences. Read on for a guide to help clear up some of the confusion.
1. Vitamin C with Bioflavonoids
Vitamin C is often sold with bioflavonoids, which are antioxidant compounds derived from the rinds and pulp of lemons, oranges, and grapefruit. Flavonoids enhance the action and improve the bodyâ€™s absorption of this important nutrient. The perfect blend should have a 1:1 ratio of vitamin to flavonoids (for example, 100 milligrams of vitamin C to 100 milligrams of bioflavonoids).
2. Acerola Vitamin C
This form is derived from the acerola fruit, one of the richest sources. Acerola also contains flavonoids and other vitamins, including thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, and beta carotene, and minerals such as magnesium and potassium.
3. Vitamin C with Rose Hips
Rose hips are the fruit of the rose, which remains on the bush after the petals of the flower have fallen off. They have a high content of vitamin C, and rose hips from one species, Rosa rugosa, have the highest content of any natural source in the world! Aside from their vitamin C content, rose hips contain various carotenoids, flavonoids, catechins, polyphenols, and pectins.
4. Reduced-Acidity Vitamin C
This buffered form is a combination of ascorbic acid (50 %) and sodium ascorbate and is often suggested for someone who have sensitive stomachs or ulcers.
5. Ascorbate and Vitamin C Metabolites
Perhaps the well-known member of this category is Ester-C, a readily absorbed chemical derivative of vitamin C. Metabolites are compounds produced by the body from nutrients, but which can also be created synthetically. Research shows that several metabolites are well absorbed and retained in the body.
What it Does
Vitamin C is a general term used to describe substances containing two compounds: L-ascorbic acid (also known simply as ascorbic acid), which is the dietary form, and L-dehydroascorbic acid, which is the oxidation product of ascorbic acid.
It is probably the greatest defence against the common cold. A number of surveys have shown that while it may not prevent colds, taking it on a regular basis reduces the duration of colds when they do occur, as well as easing the symptoms that accompany colds. Thus, in most cases, taking it when a cold starts will probably not work as effectively as taking the vitamin on a regular basis.
However, studies do show that people who have a deficiency, as well as those who experience exercise-endurance-related vitamin C may be one of the most powerful antioxidants in living nature and can protect the body from the cell and muscle damage caused by free radical molecules.
It works together with various enzymes in the manufacture of collagen, an important protein in connective tissue such as tendons and ligaments, as well as in skin and blood vessels. This is why it is often recommended to help treat wounds and is the main ingredient in many skin-care products and supplements.
Early research suggests that creams containing vitamin C may help improve the overall quality of ageing skin and reduce skin damage caused by the sun. And for someone who tends to bruise easilyâ€”especially those with a deficiency of this nutrientâ€”it may reduce the tendency to bruise. Because of its role in producing the connective tissue for ten-dons and ligaments, it is also suggested for conditions that damage these structures, such as bursitis and tendonitis.
It may also help prevent the buildup of atherosclerotic plaque in the arteries. If you are with low levels of vitamin C may be at greater risk for heart attack, stroke, and peripheral artery disease. When taken in conjunction with vitamin E, it may keep LDL (â€œbadâ€) cholesterol from oxidizing, although it indicates that it may also have this same effect when taken alone. Some studies have suggested that it may also reduce blood levels of total cholesterol, although this requires more analysis.
It is widely hailed as a treatment for cancer, but this is highly controversial. While some surveys show that some people with cancer may benefit from high doses of vitamin C (for example 10,000 milligrams daily) in terms of surviving for longer periods, other studies do not find any benefits of this vitamin in cancer patients. Some population-based studies have shown that patients whose diet are rich in vitamin C are less likely to develop cancer. Further, a review is required to ascertain the connection between vitamin C and cancer prevention and treatment.
Small testing has shown that it may have a modest blood pressure-lowering effect. One double-blind study conducted of patients taking hypertension medication showed that they had a 10 % reduction in hypertension when they were also given vitamin C. Other population-based surveys have shown that people who consume a diet rich in antioxidants, including vitamin C, are less prone to develop it than those who do not have such a diet.
Many investigations show someone taking nitrate drugs (often prescribed for angina) may benefit from vitamin C supplementation. Since this has been found to increase the effectiveness of nitrate medications over time when it would otherwise tend to diminish.
It may also aid the body in its detoxification of heavy metals, including mercury, lead, cadmium, and nickel. It also has numerous other potential uses, including the prevention of cataracts, glaucoma, cervical dysplasia, pre-eclampsia, gum disease, gallstones, and Alzheimerâ€™s disease, and the prevention and treatment of constipation, sexual dysfunction, infertility, herpes simplex, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), lupus, and of asthma and allergy symptoms; however, further research is needed to verify its benefit for these uses.
Also, one of the main reasons we take these supplements is to boost their immune system and increase performance in sports.
Main Source of Vitamin C
While animals can synthesize their own vitamin C, the human body cannot make or store it on its own, for which reason it is important to eat foods that contain plenty of this vitamin and to take supplements as well. Although it may be synonymous with citrus-derived products, it can be found in more foods than orange juice. Because vitamin C is sensitive to light, heat, and air, its health benefits are strongest when it is consumed in fruits and vegetables that are eaten raw or lightly cooked. Read on for the best food sources of it.
Broccoli, brussels sprouts, cantaloupe, citrus fruits, collard greens, guava, kiwi, kale, parsley, red chilli peppers, red and green bell peppers, strawberries (and other red berries), tomatoes, and turnip greens. These are high in C vitamin and also bestÂ vegetables to lose weight.
How it Works
It protects fat-soluble vitamins (such as A and E) from oxidation. It also strengthens connective nerves by producing collagen. It works within the cells to provide hydrogen and oxygen to the amino acids lysine and prolineâ€”a process that helps to form procollagen, a substance that is later turned into collagen. As an antioxidant, vitamin C â€œrounds upâ€ and destroys free radicals before they have a chance to harm the body. It may also reduce the effect of many heavy metals (such as lead) in the body, perhaps by stimulating enzymes in the liver that aid in detoxifying these metals.
In terms of cardiovascular health, It not only protects nerves from cell- and tissue-damaging free radical molecules but also helps the body metabolize fat. As noted earlier, vitamin C may also prevent the buildup of plaque in blood vessels by curbing LDL (â€œbadâ€) cholesterol. In addition, vitamin C may combat plaque build-up by preventing platelets from gathering on blood vessel walls and forming blood clots. So our immune system depends to a significant extent on the intake of C vitamin.
See the picture of the table below for the recommended daily intakes (RDIs) of vitamin C. Note: Smokers in all of the groups in this table should increase their intake by a minimum of 35 milligrams since smoking depletes the body of vitamin C.
Researchers have studied this very thoroughly and it is well established that higher dosages can be beneficial. An expert panel recently called for increasing the (RDA) as a result of current scientific research. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends a dosage of 100 to 200 milligrams daily for healthy adults.
It should be taken in several small doses throughout the day in order to achieve optimal absorption. While scurvyâ€”a condition caused by vitamin C deficiency and characterized by weakness, anaemia, bruising, bleeding gums, and lose teethâ€”is extremely rare in the developed world. It is commercially available in a number of forms, including tablets and capsules, and in chewable form. It also comes in powdered crystalline, effervescent (which is a combination of ascorbic acid and sodium bicarbonate), and liquid forms.
Note that because of its high acid content, chewable tablets can erode tooth enamel. If regular ascorbic acid upsets your stomach, you can get in a buffered form, which is usually better tolerated.
The Health Benefits of Vitamin C
The genuine vitamin C story has become clearer over recent years, as claims for unique health benefits of vitamin C are consistent with the available evidence. There is little scientific support for the idea that low (RDA level) doses of ascorbate are optimal for humans.
Antioxidants like vitamin C are essential for life because disease processes almost invariably involve free radical attack, which antioxidant defences can counteract.
People visiting a physician expect to receive clear, unbiased information about what ails them and its treatments. More importantly, they need to know what they can do to prevent disease. Patients would like to have the information necessary to make informed choices, but in many cases, this information is not provided, and even doctors are often unable to evaluate the information they need to make
decisions that are optimal for patients’ interests. People often disregard the advice of conventional experts and supplement their diet with gram-level doses of vitamin C and other antioxidants. Perhaps surprisingly, diverse groups of independent individuals can often produce more accurate solutions than those obtained by selected committees of experts.
Thus, this popular decision could be a sign that medicine has gone astray and is refusing, unable, or unwilling, to respond rationally to the evidence.
Gram-level doses of vitamin C may prevent many diseases, but much higher doses are required for treatment of illness. The massive doses needed for therapy are often greeted with disbelief. when we inform doctors that 50-100 grams (5oooo-1oo000 mg) of vitamin C per day may be required to treat a common cold, their scepticism is transferred from the efficacy of the treatment to the size of the dose.
Most clinical studies have considered doses of a single gram. A dose of 100 times larger has very different properties.
One reason for the vitamin C controversy is contradictor; clinical results from trials that used inadequate doses, doses that are 1oo times too small and have consistently broken the basic rules of pharmacology: For an analogy–, imagine aÂ study in which 20,000 fertile young women are placed on the contraceptive pill to prevent pregnancy.
The researchers want to show the pill has no effect, so they give one pill a month, instead of one a day, as designed.
Control subjects take one sugar pill (placebo) per month. Now, suppose the results of this five-year trial indicate that, when taking a contraceptive pill once a month, the women became pregnant at the same rate as those on the sugar pill. No reasonable person would accept the claim that “the trial shows the pill does not prevent pregnancy.
You cannot expect a daily pill given monthly to have the same effect as the daily dose. However, this methodology– is equivalent to studies of “high-dose” vitamin C, which have purported to show it is ineffective.
An optimal intake of vitamin C is the amount that prevents disease while minimizing the potential risk. It is a huge assumption to think that an intake to prevent acute scurvy will be adequate to prevent other diseases. Furthermore, there is substantial evidence that the intake of vitamin C needed to prevent chronic illness is much greater than the RDA.
Unfortunately, direct studies on chronic disease and high-dose vitamin C intakes have not been undertaken, so we have to base our conclusions on an insufficient knowledge base.
Typically, prospective studies provide the most direct information. In a prospective study, vitamin C intake is estimated in large numbers of subjects, who are then tracked over time to see if they develop specific chronic diseases. Such studies are expensive and often imprecise.
For example, the vitamin intake may be estimated by a questionnaire and approximated from typical proportions found in particular food items.
People’s diets may change with time and content tables do not take account of specific items â€”fresh, organic carrots contain more vitamin C than those found in cans, for example.
To get an accurate estimate of the optimal intake, it would be necessary for these studies to include intakes of vitamin C ranging from so mg up to at least 1o,000 mg per day, and this has not been done. Some researchers suggest strangely that vitamin C from food is somehow more effective than the same molecule contained in supplements.
However, an alternative explanation is that the methods used to estimate vitamin C intake from food have limited accuracy. Another possible explanation relates to the fact that we eat several times a day and vitamin C is released from food more gradually than from supplements.
1. Prevent Scurvy
Many people connect the word scurvy with history lessons rather than modern-day health. The British Admiralty finally, after a delay of fifty years, enacted James Lind’s 1747 finding that consumption of citrus fruit could prevent scurvy. In the intervening period, thousands of sailors died.
Unfortunately for them, the cost of providing citrus fruit was greater than the cost of a press-gang. Then, as now, economic considerations often took priority over science or peoples well-being.
People with acute scurvy eventually suffer bruising, bleeding into their joints causing swelling and severe pain, and loss of hair and teeth. These symptoms are, as we have explained, a result of collagen shortage. Earlier onset symptoms include fatigue, arising from the reduced ability to make carnitine, and susceptibility to stress because of lower levels of adrenaline and noradrenaline.
In developed countries, acute scurvy is rare, as consuming a few milligrams of vitamin C daily prevents the illness, while outbreaks of scurvy are more frequent in the Third World. However, even in developed areas, people with chronic illness, the infirm, elderly, and children can be at risk, and low blood levels of vitamin C are common.
Chronic scurvy may arise if a person has sufficient vitamin C intake to prevent a painful death in the short-term, but not enough to keep them healthy.
2. Preventing Heart Disease and Stroke
Many prospective studies indicate that low intakes of vitamin C are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Despite such studies not including an investigation of higher intakes, it was assumed wrongly that approximately too mg of vitamin C per day gives a maximum risk reduction.
The first National Health and Nutrition Examination Study (NHANES) estimated that the risk of death from cardiovascular diseases was 25 % lower in women and 42 % lower in men who supplemented with vitamin C. The average intake of supplemental vitamin C was 300 mg per day.
A review of nine studies, covering 290,000 adults, found that those who supplemented with more than 7oo mg of vitamin C per day had a 25 % lower risk of heart disease. These subjects had apparently healthy cardiovascular systemsÂ at the start of the ten-year study. A study of over 85,000 female nurses over a period of sixteen years found that higher vitamin C intakes helped prevent heart disease.
Once again, high intakes of vitamin C from supplements (average of 359Â mg per day) were linked to a 27-28 % reduction in risk of heart disease. Notably, nurses who did not take supplements did not benefit from this risk reduction.
Similar results have been obtained with vitamin C and stroke. One study covered a twenty-year observation period documenting 196 cases of stroke (including tog infarctions and 54 haemorrhages). The subjects with the highest vitamin C bloodÂ levels had a 29 % lower risk of stroke than those with the lowest levels.
This study of a Japanese rural community followed 88o men and 1,241 women aged forty years and older who were initially free of stroke when examined in 197. Not surprisingly, those people who ate vegetables nearly every day had a lower risk of stroke than those who ate them two days a week or less.
Blood plasma levels of vitamin C increased with fruit and vegetable intakes. While it is possible that some other component of the fruit and vegetable intake contributed to the reported benefit, there is no evidence to support this suggestion. There is also no evidence that people who ate fruits and vegetables may have benefited from associated behaviours or lifestyle.
A more scientific approach is to note that even the plasma levels in this study correspond to deficiency and were below the well-nourished baseline. One may wonder how low the incidence of stroke could have been having these subjects been provided with appropriate vitamin C supplementation.
As might be expected from such a blunt experimental procedure, some prospective epidemiological studies have not revealed a lower risk of cardiovascular disease with vitamin C supplement use. Taken as a whole, however, these resultsÂ suggest that in order to lower heart attack risk, vitamin C intakes may need to be high enough to maintain the body pool.
It is also possible that much higher intakes of vitamin C could effectively eradicate heart disease from the population.
3. Preventing Cancer
People generally accept that eating fruits and vegetables reduces the risk of many types of cancer.Â Vegetables contain a large number of phytonutrients and other cancer-preventing substances, so it is not obvious how much of the benefit might be a result of increased vitamin C intake.
Higher daily intakes of vitamin C are associated with a reduced risk of cancer in many organs, including the mouth, neck, lungs, and the digestive tract (oesophagus, stomach, and colon). In one study, men with an intake of more than 83 mg of vitamin C daily had a 64 % lower risk of lung cancer compared with those with an intake of less than 63 mg per day.
This study followed 870 people over twenty-fiveÂ years. Studies have linked an increased vitamin C intake with a lower risk ofÂ stomach cancer.
The ulcer-forming bacterium Helicobacter pylori are associated with increased risk of stomach cancer. Since this bacterium decreases the amount of vitamin C in stomach secretions, supplementation has been suggested as an adjunctÂ to antibiotic therapy for ulcers.
Most large surveys have found little association between breast cancer and the low intakes of vitamin C that are typically studied. However, in one study, overweight women with an average vitamin C intake of no mg each day were found to have a 39 % lower risk of breast cancer compared to similar women with anÂ intake of 31 mg a day.
The Nurses’ Health Study also suggests an association between low levels of vitamin C and breast cancer. A 63 % lower risk of breast cancer was found in premenopausal women with an average intake of 205 mg of vitamin C per day compared with similar women who consumed an average of 70Â mg each day.
These subjects had a family history of breast cancer. Unfortunately, once again, data on higher intakes of vitamin C (in the range 1,000 to 10,000 mg) are not available.
4. Viral Illnesses
Reported results of treatment with massive doses of vitamin C are almost without parallel in medical history. A classic example is a study by Frederick IL Klepper,Â on polio. Around 1950, Dr Klepper claimed that he could care polio in a few days using vitamin C. This was at a time before polio vaccination and often patients were paralyzed or died, but Dr Klenner reported that none of his patients died or suffered paralysis.
A research group led by Dr Jonathan Gould in the 195os conducted a placebo-controlled trial of vitamin C as a treatment for polio. About seventy children were treated in the study; half the children were given vitamin C and the remainder a placebo. All the children given vitamin C recovered. However, in the placebo group,Â approximately 20 % had a residual impairment.
Dr Gould did not report his conclusions because the Salk vaccine for polio had just been announced and, at that time, there was great hope and expectancy for the benefits of vaccination. However, if the report was correct, these results with vitamin C are more fundamental.
Vitamin C may act as a general antibiotic against all forms of viral disease. People still die of polio and many cases have occurred because of the use of live polio vaccination.Â Researchers have not found any comparable treatment for theÂ unfortunate individuals who contract polio or other viral diseases each year.
Astoundingly, similar claims by reputable physicians for vitamin C treatment of a wide range of viral illnesses continued over the following half-century without being subject to clinical testing.
5. Heavy Metal Toxicity
Heavy metal toxicity is a continuing problem. Lead has been a problem for humanity for thousands of years and, for a time, was thought to be responsible for the fall of the Roman Empire. One idea was that the toxic properties of lead pipes caused widespread mental deficits. It is more likely that such effects were small, butÂ produced a loss of vigour and fitness relative to other competing civilizations.
Lead pipes had been used for several centuries before the fall of Rome and continued to be used in England, for example, until they were gradually phased out in the twentieth century. The toxic effect was not strong enough to prevent the burst of intellectual activity leading to and propelling the Industrial Revolution.
Recent problems of heavy metal poisoning involve lead from car exhaust, aluminium in water, and mercury in fillings. We will use lead poisoning as an example of the protective role of vitamin C. This poisoning is occasionally seen in pregnant women, in whom it can induce abnormal growth and development of the fetus.
Children chronically exposed to lead suffer behavioural problems and learningÂ disabilities.
In adults, lead toxicity can produce high blood pressure and kidney damage. In older men, higher blood vitamin C levels are associated with lower lead concentrations in the body. A study of lead levels in 747 elderly men showed that oral vitamin C intakes of less than Log mg per day were linked to higher lead inÂ blood and bone than those consuming 339 mg or more each day.
This result was supported by a study of 19,578 people, which indicated that higher serum vitamin C levels were linked with significantly lower blood lead concentrations.
The response of blood lead levels to moderate intakes of vitamin C can occur in a matter of weeks. A placebo-controlled study of the effects of vitamin C supplementation (1,000 mg daily) on blood lead concentrations in 75 adult male smokers measured significant reductions (81%) in lead levels within aÂ month. Lower intakes (zoo mg per day) did not affect blood lead concentrations.
Considering its role in protection from free radical damage, vitamin C might be predicted to prevent cataracts, one of the leading causes of visual impairment. Cataracts arise for a number of reasons, including long-term ultraviolet (CV) light exposure and other ionizing radiation.
They are also associated with high glucose levels in diabetics and increase in frequency and severity with age. The primary–effect of cataracts is to denature (deform) certain proteins called crystallins in the lens of the eye.
More severe cataracts are linked with low vitamin C levels in the eve. Unsurprisingly, therefore, increased blood plasma levels of vitamin C are also associated with decreased severity of cataracts. Â Increased vitamin C intakeÂ associates with lower cataracts in some but not all studies, presumably because the doses were not frequent enough to consistently raise blood and eye levels.
A trialÂ of antioxidant supplementation, including vitamin C (5oo mg), vitamin E (400IU)Â and beta-carotene (15 mg), in 4,629 adults over six years found no effect on the development and progression of cataracts; Some possible reasons for this lack of effect are that the vitamin C dose was small and some participants were givenÂ copper, which interacts with vitamin C, causing oxidation.
Also, the form of vitamin E used was synthetic dl-alpha-tocopherol, which is often used in studies but is less biologically– active than natural, mixed tocotrienols and tocopherols.
At some stage, almost every chronic disease has been related to an insufficient intake of vitamin C. The scientific evidence available is sparse and it may take centuries to determine which chronic illnesses are related to a shortage of vitamin C. In the meantime, the optimal amount of vitamin C is a matter of continued debate.
It is time that medical scientists realized that attacking and denigrating vitamin C and other nutritional therapies can no longer be tolerated. An open, scientific approach to vitamin C and other nutrients could offer major benefits to humanity.
Vitamin C is generally considered safe, even at relatively high doses, since most of any excess taken as a supplement is excreted through the urine. Extremely high doses can occasionally lead to stomach cramps, nausea, and diarrhoea. It increases the amount of iron absorption from food. People with hemochromatosis, a condition marked by excess iron in the bodyâ€™s tissues, should consult their doctor before taking it. Also, consult your doctor before taking vitamin C with warfarin.
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