Chemical Components

Vitamin C exists as both its reduced form (l-ascorbic acid) and oxidised form (l-dehydroascorbic acid). The two forms interchange in the body in a reversible equilibrium.

Clinical note — Differences between major forms of vitamin C supplement

Here is a brief summary of the most common forms found in OTC supplements. Ascorbic acid. The major dietary form of vitamin C.

Mineral ascorbates (also known as non-acid vitamin C): These are buffered forms of vitamin C and believed to be less irritating to the stomach than ascorbic acid. Sodium ascorbate and calcium ascorbate are the most common forms. When mineral salts are taken, both the ascorbic acid and the mineral are absorbed. For example, sodium ascorbate generally provides 131 mg of sodium per 1000 mg of ascorbic acid, and calcium ascorbate provides 114 mg of calcium per 1000 mg of ascorbic acid.

Vitamin Cwith bioflavonoids: Many bioflavonoids are antioxidant substances, and added to some vitamin C preparations in the belief that this increases the bioavailability or efficacy of vitamin C. Typically, the bioflavonoids are sourced from citrus fruits.

Ascorbyl palmitate. A fat-soluble form of vitamin C formed by esterification with palmitic acid and most often used in topical creams.

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