Is Your Vitamin C Supplement Actually Vitamin C?

Are you purchasing toxins? 

When you purchased your last vitamin C supplement, did you happen to look at the ingredients? Probably not...

When you’re walking down the supplement aisle at your local drug store looking for a vitamin C supplement, you’re bombarded with choices. It’s hard to know what the best option is. This one is natural, this one’s organic, or maybe this one because you saw it on Instagram. In reality, most of those vitamin C supplements are made with the same ingredient, ascorbic acid. 

Ascorbic acid is not vitamin C. 

While ascorbic acid and vitamin C are often used interchangeably, real vitamin C comes from plants, like acerola cherries, and is quite different. This plant-derived vitamin C contains components that the synthetic version does not. These complex differences genuinely set vitamin C aside as a vitamin and ascorbic acid as a drug. The nutrient content is entirely different, and it will have a different interaction in the body.

Now, you’re probably wondering why do companies use ascorbic acid? Cost. It’s much cheaper to make ascorbic acid in a lab than it is to work with real food sources, but that doesn’t mean quality should be sacrificed for a dollar. In the effort to keep things cheaper or gain an advantage on cost, companies pump this fake vitamin C into supplements that don’t do what they’re supposed to do. Instead of getting the entire vitamin along with all of its essential parts, you end up with a fraction of the equation. This, in turn, it's actually bad for you! 

Optivida Health

How Synthetic Vitamin C is Made

When it comes to synthetic vitamins, a component is often created to replicate some of the properties of that said vitamin. However, they have to either extract something from the original or synthesize it from other materials. We can’t just make things from nothing; it has to come from something.

Interestingly enough, nearly 90% of all the ascorbic acid that is made, is made in China, often in unsafe conditions. In the 70's these manufacturers reduced the process of making vitamin C from a 5 step process into a three step process. This gave them an edge in the market. To make matters worse, almost all supplement companies purchase their synthetic ascorbic acid here and then fight to claim who has the best, even when it’s the same thing. 

When they make this “vitamin C,” they do so by synthesizing it in a process that involves cornstarch and acids. You won’t find any of these components in natural vitamin C, and that is your first red flag. Instead of something healthy, you end up with something toxic. 

Synthetic vitamins are not vitamins at all. The root of the word vitamin is “Vita”, which in Latin means life. Without life, you don’t have a vitamin at all.

Why Is It Toxic?

So, ascorbic acid is a toxic substance and no longer a vitamin. Synthetic or not, anything can be bad for you in the right doses. However, more and more evidence is showing up that synthetic ascorbic acid can be harmful to you. In 2001, an article in Science stated that this synthetic form of vitamin C could be contributing to the formation of genotoxins that lead to cancer. The American Heart Association showed risks of thickening arteries while taking 500mg of vitamin C (as ascorbic acid) a day.

It’s recommended that you get your vitamin C from non-synthetic sources. Natural sources of vitamin C  will contain the compounds that allow the vitamin to do the job as it’s meant to do. Nature does things a certain way for a reason! 

Why It’s Used

Now, companies aren’t just evil villains out there trying to give you artificial ingredients. Often, they’re simply just misinformed. The company may be fully aware that these synthetics are less than ideal, but they’re looking to make the most profit. This can influence their choice to use ascorbic acid. In addition, they may not be aware that it’s any different from natural vitamin C. This isn’t uncommon as the difference between ascorbic acid and natural vitamin C isn’t taught in schools or any educational settings. Being natural isn’t what makes companies a profit, so why would it be shared? An individual may have good intentions, but they can’t make a better choice without the right information.

Regardless, it’s used for almost all vitamin C supplements.

Scurvy and Deficiencies.

Vitamin C is most often related to a disease called scurvy. This is a disease that plagued sailors long ago, and it affects many things such as the gums and wound healing. While there are little to no people dealing with scurvy currently, it was quite the problem before. Surprisingly enough, this whole ordeal was solved with citrus fruits and potatoes because they’re rich in vitamin C. After discovering the root cause, vitamin C deficiency, it rarely showed up going forward.

Synthetic vitamin C cannot prevent scurvy. It doesn’t act or break down in the body the same way.

Yet, again, your vitamin C must be coming from whole food sources to receive the vitamin properly.

How to Avoid It 

While it may not be easy to find, natural vitamin C is out there. You need to search for whole food vitamin C, or you can check out Optivida. We use organic Acerola Cherries as our source for this whole food vitamin. Nothing is synthetic, and the process that we use provides you with every single nutrient that the real thing possesses.

The Acerola Cherry

The Acerola Cherry has 100 times the vitamin C than oranges or lemons. So, not only is it a real food source of vitamin C, but it also contains most of it! With the addition of our drying process, which preserves every nutrient within the food, you’ll get the most out of this product! Using this is what makes Optivida Vitamin C different.

Optivida Health Vitamin C Supplement Acerola Cherries Plant-Based


The cheap and synthetic way is never going to produce the right results. Doing things the way that nature intended is the most efficient way to see results. Don’t put yourself at risk with ascorbic acid. Instead, provide your body with real food nutrients.