What is Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)?

Vitamin C or ascorbic acid, also known as L-ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that is of paramount importance to life. In 1937, the Nobel Prize for Medicine was awarded to Albert Szent-Györgyi for his studies of its biological functions: vitamin C supports numerous body functions including the immune system. Despite its importance, the body does not manufacture vitamin C and it is water-soluble. As a result, vitamin C is not stored in the body and must be consistently replenished by consuming fresh foods or taking supplements. All fruits and vegetables contain some amount of vitamin C. Rich sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, sweet peppers, berries, tomatoes, broccoli, leafy greens, potatoes and cantaloupe.

Among common nutrients and biochemicals, vitamin C is probably the most popular. Once ingested, vitamin C is readily absorbed by the intestines and continues its transport through the watery components of the human body, helping to build collagen protein and doubling as an antioxidant along the way. Ascorbic acid, together with sodium, potassium, and calcium salts, are typically used as antioxidant food additives. Commercial vitamin C is often a combination of ascorbic acid, sodium ascorbate and/or other ascorbates.

Vitamin C helps the body repair damaged tissue, maintain healthy collagen, and promote healthy teeth and bones. Together with flavonoids, polyphenolics, and water insoluble compounds (such as Vitamin E), l-ascorbic acid helps other antioxidants become more effective and successful in their work.

Is PureBulk Vitamin C the bioactive form L-Ascorbic Acid?

Yes. PureBulk has never sold anything but the bioactive form of Vitamin C, L-ascorbic acid. In fact, there are no major manufacturers producing the non-bioactive form of vitamin C, D-ascorbic acid, or the racemic DL-ascorbic acid that contains equal parts of the bioactive and non-bioactive forms of vitamin C. Some unscrupulous companies employ shady marketing tactics when selling ascorbic acid by using fear over DL-ascorbic acid as a means to capture business, while in reality, this undesirable form of vitamin C is no longer manufactured and no longer exists as a pharmaceutical grade product in any current inventory worldwide.

Health Benefits of Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)

Vitamin C has multiple functions as both a coenzyme and cofactor. Vitamin C is responsible for helping to build and maintain our tissues and strengthen our immune system. The body needs it to synthesize carnitine, which is vital in the transport of energy to mitochondria, and to produce dopamine in the nervous system and adrenal glands. Ascorbic acid is required for collagen synthesis and plays a structural role in bone, cartilage and teeth. It is also essential for the oxidation of phenylalanine and tyrosine, and the conversion of folacin to tetrahydrofolic acid.

Vitamin C as an Antioxidant – Vitamin C is one of many antioxidants that block damage caused by free radicals, byproducts of our bodies transforming food into energy. Vitamin C neutralizes potentially harmful reactions in the watery parts of the body, such as blood and fluid both inside and surrounding cells.

Vitamin C and Connective Tissue – As a participant in hydroxylation of proline, vitamin C is needed for the production of collagen, a protein substance which all fibrous tissue integrity depends on. These fibers are found throughout the body, providing firm but flexible structure. Collagen is the “glue” that strengthens many parts of the body like the muscles and blood vessels. It is needed to develop and maintain healthy teeth, bones, gums, cartilage, vertebrae discs, joint linings, skin and blood vessels. By supporting collagen production, vitamin C is essential for the healing of wounds and for the repair of these tissues.

Vitamin C and Immune System – Vitamin C may be useful as an immune stimulator and modulator in some circumstances. Vitamin C promotes resistance to infection through the immunologic activity of leukocytes, the production of interferon, and maintaining mucous membranes.

Purity and Concentration of Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)

PureBulk L-ascorbic acid is manufactured in compliance with numerous pharmaceutical manufacturing standards including USP31 (United States Pharmacopeia), EP-6 (European Pharmacopoeia), BP-2008 (British Pharmacopoeia) and the food grade standard FCCIV, and is certified GMO Free.

Potential Side Effects of Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)

Vitamin C is generally non-toxic and serious side effects of over use rarely occur. Vitamin C is water soluble and is regularly excreted by the body, which naturally prevents over-dosing of this supplement. However, high doses (more than 2,000 mg daily) of vitamin C may cause diarrhea, gas, or stomach upset. Any side effects from vitamin C supplementation generally are reduced or disappear with a decrease in dosage. High intake of ascorbic acid may reduce copper levels in the body. This could be a problem for individuals with an existing copper deficiency or marginal copper stores. People with iron storage diseases such as hemochromatosis should consult a physician before taking vitamin C supplements since vitamin C increases iron absorption. Pregnant women should consult their prenatal care professional when using vitamin C supplements since infants born to mothers taking high amounts of vitamin C could develop rebound scurvy (ascorbic acid deficiency disease) due to a sudden drop in vitamin C levels after birth. This is generally only seen when the mother has been consuming more than 6,000 mg of vitamin C.

Recommended Use of Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)

Serving sizes for Vitamin C can vary considerably. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin C in nonsmoking adults is 75 mg per day for women and 90 mg per day for men. For smokers, the RDAs are 110 mg per day for women and 125 mg per day for men. The RDA or Recommended Daily Allowance is the amount that has been determined to prevent deficiency disease.


According to data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, five to seventeen percent of adults in the United States were vitamin C deficient. Especially at risk were smokers, those who did not use supplements, and non-Hispanic Black males. Mexican American people had a reduced risk for ascorbic acid deficiency.

While it is known that the RDA for ascorbic acid is adequate to prevent deficiency it is not known whether this amount is sufficient to promote optimal health and well-being.

Increased intake of vitamin C is required to maintain normal plasma levels under acute emotional or environmental stress such as trauma, fever, infection, or elevated environmental temperatures. You can see the full bulk density/volumetric conversion chart for Ascorbic Acid here.

For a serving size of 1000 mg, use approximately one fourth of a teaspoon. Daily use is recommended.

The information at Purebulk.com is NOT a substitute for medical advice. ALWAYS consult your doctor or pharmacist. Do not use any dietary supplement as a replacement for conventional care, or as a reason to postpone seeing a doctor about a medical problem. Tell all your health care providers about any complementary and alternative practices you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care.

Bioavailability, Mixing and Solubility of Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)

L-ascorbic acid, the chemical name for Vitamin C, is the most bioavailable form of ascorbic acid (more than D-ascorbic acid) and is frequently added as a nutrient in commercially produced foods and beverages. This product is a white or yellowish white fine granular powder that dissolves quickly in water and has a sour taste. It can be mixed with water or fruit juices or drinks. It is normal for ascorbic acid crystals to discolor slightly upon exposure to air and moisture.

For people who are sensitive to sour products or for those who do not like the sour taste of ascorbic acid supplements, we suggest using Ascorbic Acid capsules.

Please note that ascorbic acid is a relatively fragile molecule and it may be lost from foods during preparation, cooking, and/or storage. Ascorbic acid is easily destroyed by oxidation, particularly in the presence of heat and alkalinity.

Proprietary Formulas Using Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)

References & Further Research

Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center: Vitamin C

National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements: Vitamin C fact sheet

NOTE: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates herbal and other dietary supplements differently from conventional medicines. The standards for supplements are found in the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA), a Federal law that defines dietary supplements and sets product-label­ing standards and health claim limits. To learn more about DSHEA, visit the FDA Web site.


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