When deciding how much Vitamin C is optimal, or which form to take, one discovers several related substances that occur with Vitamin C in its natural state that can be just as, or even more beneficial. Maintaining a healthy Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) intake is critical to immunity, formation of connective tissue, our hormones and metabolism, and as an antioxidant. Yet a well-designed matrix can really extend Vitamin C benefits. This was the idea behind Optimum Health's Optimized Vitamin C formula called More Than "C".
More Than "C" features:
- Contains both non-GMO ascorbic acid (water soluble form of Vitamin C), and ascorbyl palmitate (fat soluble form) to broaden the spectrum of antioxidant activity.
- Includes a matrix of OptiBerry™ standardized anthocyanin extract, Camu Camu, Rosehips, Rutin, Citrus Bioflavonoids, and Grape Seed Extract. This bolsters antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and further strengthens the collagen and connective tissues formed by Vitamin C, resulting in better elasticity and improved circulation, even in micro-capillaries.
These ingredients in meaningful amounts also enhance Vitamin C health benefits for such tissues as the brain and eyes, and are particularly noticeable in the skin.
- Arabinogalactans from larch provide extra immune strengthening effects, as well as a “prebiotic” to promote growth of friendly gut bacteria.
What does Vitamin C do in the body? What are Vitamin C’s health benefits, and how can they be enhanced?
Vitamin C's main functions in the body are as a necessary cofactor in the formation of collagen and connective tissues. Hence it helps maintain the structural integrity of our skin, gums, bones, organs, and tissues in general. Said plainly, our connective tissues exist between our cells, and holds them together. Without adequate vitamin C they erode and fall apart.
Once in your cells, the fat soluble form of Vitamin C called ascorbyl palmitate may do a better job of protecting your lipid-rich cell membranes than ascorbic acid, simply because of its dual solubility in both fat and water.
Better antioxidant protection of cell membranes from free-radical damage can be readily noticed in the health and appearance of your largest organ… the skin. (Of course, tied directly into this benefit is collagen and connective tissue maintenance.)
The addition of Anthocyanins from Opti-Berry®, OPC's from Grapeseed Extract, and a range of bioflavonoids from Camu Camu, Rosehips, Citrus, and Rutin included in More Than "C” act to maximize both the antioxidant and connective tissue support from Vitamin C. Less oxidation, along with a stronger and more elastic connective tissue reduces the likelihood of inflammation and cross-linkage, thereby preventing our skin cells from wrinkling and sagging, and in general, our tissues from aging.
Enhancing Immune Protection
As many are aware, Vitamin C plays key roles in immunity, and is found in high concentrations in our lymphocytes and leukocytes. It helps these white blood cells form, and increases their activity. Vitamin C is also important to maintain the size and function of the thymus gland, which houses and trains our T-cells. (6)
High concentrations of Vitamin C are found in the pituitary and adrenal glands, (along with the eyes and brain). (1) This attests to its critical role in our stress response.
Stress and immunity are linked, among other ways, through the production of the adrenal hormone cortisol, central to the stress response. Not only does inadequate cortisol leave us vulnerable to inflammation, but also to immune breakdown and infection. (2) Vitamin C is necessary for maintaining balanced cortisol production and levels. (3,4,5) It is also required for the body's synthesis of sex / steroid hormones, and for synthesis of L-carnitine, a fat transporter and metabolic aid.
Additionally, Vitamin C is a key antioxidant, scavenging free radicals, and is involved in the formation of red blood cells. Vitamin C also helps to balance allergy responses by maintaining and stabilizing our mast cells, which are directly involved in production and release of histamine. (7)
The polyphenol and OPC-rich content of Opti-Berry®, Grapeseed Extract, Rutin, Rosehips, and Camu Camu in More Than "C”, besides being highly antioxidant and anti-inflammatory have also been shown to be valuable in helping to attenuate allergies. (8,9,10,11)
To further extend the immune benefits of Vitamin C, our More Than "C" formulation contains arabinogalactans from Larch. This dietary fiber has not only been shown to possess anti-inflammatory and anti-allergy effects, but to enhance the activity of our NK (natural killer) cells. (12) This may be partly why arabinogalactans from larch have been shown to reduce the incidence of colds, respiratory infections, and ear infections.(12,13)
Larch arabinogalactans are a soluble fiber, which acts as a prebiotic to encourage production of healthy bacteria in the gut, and enhances colon health., also contributing to healthy immunity. (12)
All of these contained in one product...
So as you can see, there is a lot more to this combination than just Vitamin C. Like so many of our formulas, Optimum Health’s More Than "C" represents years of experience working with clients, and supplements, observing what works and combining those ingredients. Accordingly, More Than "C” includes what are in our view the most relevant support compounds for broadening and enhancing the plethora of Vitamin C’s applications.
- Alternative Medicine Review: Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins (OPC's) Monograph; Volume 8, Number 4, 2003. Thorne Research. pp. 442-450