Vitamin C Absorption and Coffee

Coffee and vitamin c

As a key nutrient, Vitamin C is needed by the body for a number of processes. Since it is a water-soluble vitamin, Vitamin C can not be absorbed by fat. This means that the body cannot store Vitamin C for an extended period of time. Any extra Vitamin C is removed by the kidneys and passes out of the body through the urine.

To stay healthy, we must absorb daily, steady amounts of Vitamin C. When drinks like coffee are consumed, it can actually lower the amount of Vitamin C available to the body. Over time, this can result in serious health problems.

What is Vitamin C?

Vitamin C is one of the many water-soluble vitamins required by humans. Other water-soluble vitamins include folic acid, thiamin, Vitamin B5, niacin and riboflavin. Small amounts of Vitamin C can be obtained through a diet that includes fresh fruit and vegetables, or by taking dietary supplements. Vitamin C is necessary because it acts as a powerful antioxidant that helps to protect cells and tissue from damage caused by free radicals.

How Does Coffee Harm Vitamin C Consumption?

Most people drink caffeine in their morning coffee or tea. If a multi-vitamin is consumed at the same time, coffee will actually prevent the body from absorbing all of the nutrients in the vitamin. Immediately after drinking a cup of coffee, the caffeine will increase the amount of calcium excreted by the body. Each 150 milligrams of coffee results in a corresponding loss of five milligrams of calcium. Over time, this can reduce bone mass and increase the risk of hip fractures. Caffeine also prevents Vitamin D receptors from absorbing Vitamin D and can limit iron absorption.

When it comes to water-soluble vitamins, caffeine reduces the amount of nutrients available to the body. Water-soluble vitamins like Vitamin C are normally excreted in the urine when there is an excess amount. Since coffee is a mild diuretic, it causes more urine to be produced. As more urine is released by the body, it takes Vitamin C and the B vitamins with it. In addition, caffeine directly interferes with how the body can metabolize B vitamins. As a result of this diuretic action, individuals who drink coffee can become depleted of Vitamin C.

Where is Caffeine Found in the Diet?

Most people consume caffeine through coffee or tea. Even when they choose to drink decaffeinated coffee or tea, the drink will still contain some residual amounts of caffeine. Outside of the obvious caffeine sources, caffeine can be found in a range of sodas, chocolate, cocoa and certain energy drinks. Individuals who have frequent headaches or pain may unintentionally be consuming caffeine. Many pain relievers contain caffeine anhydrous, which is basically a powdered form of caffeine. Even certain supplements contain caffeine sources. Although minor sources of caffeine or a cup of coffee should not cause a nutrient deficiency, excess consumption can cause problems. The key to any healthy diet is moderation.

How to Help Absorption

Fortunately, there are a few things that can increase absorption. Since regular Vitamin C supplements are excreted by the urine when too much coffee is consumed, alternative supplements are needed. A liposome-encapsulated supplement delivers Vitamin C into the cytoplasm of immune cells. Since this allows the Vitamin C to enter the cells quickly, it means that there is only a minimal amount still circulating in the blood that could be excreted.

Once Vitamin C is in the body, it is processed by hydrochloric acid. As Vitamin C is processed, it can actually aid the absorption of other nutrients. Iron, zinc and manganese are all absorbed better when they are consumed with Vitamin C. Due to this, individuals who regularly use iron supplements should take them at the same time that they consume a liposome-encapsulated Vitamin C supplement.

Why is Vitamin C Necessary to the Body?

Vitamin C is filled with antioxidants that are required by the body. Without Vitamin C, the body cannot neutralize free radicals. Left alone, free radicals start to damage the body’s cells and tissue. Antioxidants like Vitamin C have been proven through scientific research to support the immune system and promote a healthy heart. Regular consumption helps to improve the memory and can even reduce the signs of normal aging. Unfortunately, most people do not consume enough Vitamin C. Processed foods are typically low in nutrients. Instead of improving health, they juts provide the individual with empty calories.

Scientists know Vitamin C as an electron donor. For the layman, this means that it fights the oxidation or damage of cells. This vitamin helps to maintain the best electron flow in the cells and protects lipids in the body. In a way, it is the fountain of youth. Vitamin C is required for the body to create its own collagen. In addition to forming the building blocks of bone, tendon and blood vessels, collagen is required to keep the skin looking young and healthy. Often, people apply collagen creams to their face to achieve healthier skin. Instead of topically applying collagen, individuals can take Vitamin C supplements and create more collagen within their skin.

Outside of antioxidant and collagen benefits, Vitamin C plays a number of other vital roles. It helps to keel cholesterol levels within the normal ranges. Through supporting the cholesterol and improving arterial vitality, Vitamin C works to maintain a healthy heart. In addition, it helps improve eye health and maintain a healthy blood pressure.

A Rising Problem

Although Vitamin C can be absorbed in the diet; many people do not get enough. An estimated 25 percent of Americans are marginally or severely deficient in Vitamin C. Among some groups of people, the number of severely deficient individuals rises to nearly 20 percent. This is due to diet, smoking, age or caffeine consumption. To get the benefits of Vitamin C, individuals have to absorb it in their diet or through a supplement. Since few people have time to plan out a diet that includes Vitamin C, a supplement is generally a more efficient and convenient alternative.

If individuals want to increase the amount of Vitamin C in their diet, they should focus on eating more raw fruits and vegetables. Five servings of fruits and vegetables will generally equal the daily-recommended allowance of Vitamin C. Some of the best options include oranges, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, strawberries, kiwis and grapefruits. Altogether, individuals should get about 200 milligrams of Vitamin C in their diet each day.

The Latest Technology to Increase Vitamin C Absorption

For busy professionals and harried parents, taking a supplement of Vitamin C is easier than consuming it in the diet. A liposomal Vitamin C supplement is designed to deliver Vitamin C quickly to the cells. This makes it more difficult to lose through caffeine consumption. For coffee drinkers, taking a liposomal Vitamin C is the best way to increase the amount of Vitamin C available to the body. It is easily broken down and absorbed by the digestive system. Once absorbed, it can be released into the bloodstream and used by the cells.


What is Ascorbic Acid

what is ascorbic acid

Throughout history, people have made the connection between eating certain foods and enjoying better health, but it wasn’t until 1912 that researchers first discovered the chemistry behind those recommendations. When biochemist Casimir Funk isolated what he described as a “vital amine,” or vitamin, he solved a mystery that philosophers and scientists had been trying to unravel since ancient times.
One of the first vitamins to be isolated from food was ascorbic acid, a compound you may know better as vitamin C.

Is Vitamin C Ascorbic Acid?

The two terms are synonymous, so you might see either one on a product’s nutrition information or on the list of ingredients in your preferred supplement.

The Colorful History of Vitamin C

The vitamin’s fascinating history is contained in its name. Since ancient times, people have known that sailors were prone to a disease called scorbutus by the Romans, a disorder the English called scurvy. The term “ascorbate” literally means “without scurvy” in Latin. Although physicians didn’t know it at the time, the reason seafarers were prone to scurvy was their diet; eating nothing but fish, grains and preserved meats with no fresh fruits and vegetables meant sailors got very little vitamin C in their diets.

As early as the 13th century, explorers knew that taking citrus juice on a long voyage kept sailors healthy, but no one knew why. In the 18th century, Scottish physician and researcher James Lind tested other types of acidic foods but found only certain citrus juices effectively prevented scurvy, eventually leading the British Royal Navy to make lime juice part of every sailor’s daily ration, usually serving it with the sailor’s measure of rum. That supplement led to a common nickname for members of the Royal Navy: limeys.

Today, nutritionists know precisely why foods rich in ascorbic acid are vital to good health. Ascorbic acid serves as a nutritional supplement, an antioxidant and a naturally occurring food preservative. Now that you know what is Ascorbic Acid, let’s look at the ascorbic acid formula.

Ascorbic Acid Formula

Like most other common acids, ascorbic acid, or C6H8O6, dissociates in water to form an ascorbate ion and a free hydrogen ion. It’s a comparatively weak acid, but it is still an acid, which is why drinking too much orange juice, a common source of vitamin C, can give some people heartburn. The chemical’s tart taste is another by-product of its acidity, and you will notice its tangy flavor in chewable vitamin C tablets. In its concentrated form as a supplement, you may not notice the vitamin’s acidity, but common sources such as orange juice, grapefruit juice and tomato juice have a pH between 2.5 and 4.5.

Ascorbic acid is a relatively small molecule compared to many the body uses naturally. Proteins, for example, can consist of thousands of atoms in complex configurations, but vitamin C is fairly compact with a molar mass of 176.12 g/mol. In other words, a mole of vitamin C molecules weighs a little more than 176 grams. By comparison, the common fruit sugar fructose has a molar mass of 180.16 g/mol.

Vitamin C is the same chemical whether it’s produced naturally or synthetically. When choosing a vitamin C supplement, look for purity, quality and ease of use rather than how the supplement was made. All vitamin C is readily bio-available and soluble in water.

Ascorbic Acid and Vitamin C Deficiency

Vitamin C deficiency is common enough to have its own name: scurvy. Most people in developed countries get sufficient vitamin C to avoid the worst complications of the disease, but it’s still a problem in much of the developing world and among people who don’t get proper nutrition. People who smoke, breast-feeding mothers and young children are at greater risk of developing vitamin C deficiency symptoms. Scurvy starts with a general sense of weakness and exhaustion in its earliest stages. After a few months, connective tissues in the lungs and muscles begin to break down, leading to shortness of breath and aching joints. Teeth loosen as the gums recede, and in severe cases, mucous membranes start to bleed. People with scurvy may break out in sores. In its final stages, scurvy can also cause heart problems, jaundice and convulsions. Getting enough vitamin C quickly reverses early and moderate symptoms of scurvy, but people with severe nutritional deficiencies need medical care.

Benefits of Ascorbic Acid

For people with nutritional deficiencies or diets that don’t include many fresh fruits and vegetables, vitamin C supplements are essential, but some evidence suggests the vitamin can also have beneficial effects even for those who aren’t at risk of deficiency. Many people have heard that vitamin C can stave off or shorten the common cold, but evidence from numerous studies conflicts. Some studies, including a 2009 analysis published in the Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, suggest vitamin C can shorten a cold’s duration. Other studies recommend vitamin C supplementation for endurance athletes and others undergoing extreme conditions as report details.

Ascorbic acid is more than a vitamin; it’s also an antioxidant. Like all antioxidants, it has the potential to neutralize free radicals, charged particles that can do damage to tissues on the cellular level. Studies on how antioxidants help protect against heart disease, cancer and other illnesses via controlling free radicals are still relatively new, but scientists recommend eating plenty of foods rich in vitamin C, including citrus fruits, tomatoes, peppers, kale and broccoli.


Two Step Vitamin C Flush: Protocol and Benefits

vitamin c flush

Thousands of people have been treated with high doses of vitamin C. The effects of this substance when used in large amounts alters the course of many diseases.

Stressful conditions greatly increases utilization of vitamin C. Ascorbate excreted in the urine drops markedly with stresses of any magnitude unless vitamin C is provided in large amounts. For example, the amount of ascorbic acid, which can be taken orally without causing diarrhea when a person is ill is sometimes over 10x the amount he would tolerate if well. This increased bowel tolerance indicates the unsuspected magnitude of the potential use that the body has for ascorbate under stressful conditions.

Step One

First, you must use a non-liposomal vitamin C  powder. Reason being, liposomal vitamin C bypasses the absorption barriers in your digestive system and enters your blood. This efficiency actually hinders your vitamin C flush therefore we recommend a traditional form of vitamin C.

Step Two

Start on an empty stomach before putting new food in “front” of the vitamin C in the GI tract, or severe cramping and gut pressure can develop. Allow yourself the full day to finish the flush however most people reach the point of vitamin C saturation within a few hours. Mix 2 to 4 grams of sodium ascorbate powder (1/2 to 1 level teaspoon) in water or juice every hour or so until you get a loose watery stool.

A few people will not tolerate more than 1 to 2 grams, most will flush between 6 to 12 grams, a few individuals will need 20 to 40 grams (those with illnesses), and occasional individuals cannot reach a flush dose.

Once a flush dose is determined, most individuals can then take that same dose in divided portions throughout the day without flushing, reaching a maximal daily tolerated dose of “regular” vitamin C.


Big Decline in Orange Juice Sales Across United States

orange juice sales decliningAmericans are drinking less orange juice than they used to, particularly the frozen variety traded in the futures market. This according to the Wall Street Journal. Some speculate that one reason for the slide was the revival of the low-carbohydrate Atkins diet, which looks to eliminate sugar from your diet. Also hurting orange juice sales are the abundance of beverage options available. With the surge in fresh teas and other fruit juices entering the market, orange juice has to compete with more alternatives.

Another factor pointed out by the Wall Street Journal, is citrus greening, which has affected millions of citrus plants in the southeastern United States and is threatening to spread across the entire country. Citrus greening is spread by a disease infected insect, the Asian citrus psyllid (image to the right). Because of this disease there is now a shortage of OJ and the price has gone up accordingly.

This asks an important question. Are Americans getting enough vitamin C?

citrus greening by asian citrus psyllid coutesty of USDAOrange juice isn’t the only way to get your daily vitamin C; however it still remains as a good source of vitamin C for adults and children. Studies have shown that scurvy, once thought to be an uncommon disease in developed nations, is prevalent in the United States. According to the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) as reported in the American Journal of Public Health (2004;94:870–5).

The study investigated vitamin C status among Americans. 15,769 people were polled during in-home and clinical interviews. 14% of all men and 10% of all women were considered deficient in vitamin C. Many of the fruits and vegetables commonly eaten by Americans have a relatively low vitamin C content. Also the heating and storing of these vegetables decreases the vitamin C content in these foods. Therefore juices high in vitamin C such as orange juice are even more important in getting the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. Unfortunately, due to citrus greening the cost of orange juice has skyrocketed to over $6 a gallon in some areas of the country.

Because of both the cost and the fact that orange juice is high in sugar, many Americans have turned to supplements to get their daily intake of vitamin C.

How do you get your vitamin C? Do you use supplements? Which supplements work best for you? Comment below and share your answers.


What Are the Odds of Getting the Flu?

flu virusMeet Mr. Influenza — he is difficult to see because he sneaks quietly and swiftly among us.  Each year millions of Americans miss time at  work and at school due to Influenza (Flu) and the common cold. Up to 20% of the U.S. population will contract the Flu or a cold this year. That equates to roughly 63.3 million people. Of these 63.3 million, up to 200,000 may be severe cases requiring hospitalization. For those with underlying medical conditions, the very young and the very old, the outcome may even be death.  Flu season is considered to be from October through May, peaking in February.

How Do You Protect Yourself?

Here are three ways to protect yourself and stay ahead of the Influenza virus this upcoming 2013-2014 flu season.


The Epidemiology and Prevention Branch of the Influenza Division at CDC collects, compiles and analyzes information on influenza activity year round in the United States and produces FluView, a weekly influenza surveillance report. The U.S. influenza surveillance system is a collaborative effort between CDC and its many partners in state, local, and territorial health departments. This collaborative effort  monitors what areas are suffering the most from flu outbreaks. Using detailed maps you can quickly see what regions are suffering from a influenza outbreak thereby protecting yourself and your family.  Check out a sample map below.

CDC Flu Season Map

This map shows flu-like symptoms by state for the 2011-2012 Influenza season in the week ending February 17, 2012.

Keep Germs Away from the Body

Once you have identified if your particular state or region is reporting Influenza-like symptoms, it is time to protect your body. Most flu germs are spread in two ways:

  1. Direct contact – Shaking hands is one of the most common ways of contracting the flu. The average person shakes hands multiple times a day.
  2. Droplet spread – Germs ride along on tiny water bubbles that are sneezed or coughed into the air and inhaled by others.

So what can you do to protect yourself other than live in a giant plastic bubble? If possible, avoid hand shakes. This will dramatically lower the possibility of contracting a virus. Instead bow or give a polite head nod. See the demonstration below.

Head No instead of hand shake

Cigarette optional however not advised. If possible, try and not look as menacing.

Simple enough right? Also, listen to your mother and don’t pick your nose. The nose is a breeding ground for germs and often the first place germs enter the body. Children often pick their noses, rub their eyes, and then touch someone else, in that order. So be aware and keep your fingers out of your nose.

Sneeze into a disposable handkerchief and teach children to sneeze into their elbow by covering their mouth and nose. We can all lower the occurrence of flu like symptoms by ensuring we are aware of our actions and protect each other. If you see someone coughing or sneezing, it may be in your best interest to maintain a safe distance and avoid crowded or poorly ventilated rooms. Stagnant air is a major cause of our flu season since most of us have our windows and doors closed due to the cold weather. Also our immune system weakens with drops in temperature. That takes us to our next topic.

Immune-boosting Foods and Supplements

The best foods to build a strong immune system are not donuts, cupcakes, and bagels, no matter how bad much you crave a sugar fix. Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and seafood provides the nutrients your body needs to fight off invaders. Luckily for us, there are supplements available to provide an extra boost to your immune system.

The most popular and highly recognized immune-boosting supplement is vitamin C. Beware — not all vitamin C supplements are created equal. Many of the popular brands such as Emergen-C, Ester-C, and Airborne have a dirty secret. Traditional pills and powders succumb to digestive barriers thereby reducing the vitamin C that actually enters your body. Many of these supplements claim to have 1,000 mg of vitamin C or another nutrient however not all of that gets into your system.

For those looking for a more advanced supplement, I would recommend looking into Lypo-Spheric or  liposomal  technology. These technologies utilize pharmaceutical technology to deliver the entire 1,000 mg of vitamin C into your bloodstream.

Let’s face it, your health is money. Poor health results in:

  • More doctor visits
  • Medical bills
  • Medication costs
  • Loss of work
  • Loss of school

Why not pay for a quality supplement and save money on these expenses. As my mother always said “Proactive rather than reactive”…okay I made that up just now but it sounds like something she would say.

For more tips on vitamin C supplements read Vitamin C



Vitamin C is better than chemotherapy?

Dr. Tom Levy Vitamin CDr. Thomas E. Levy recently shared with his thoughts on vitamin C and chemotherapy.

According to Dr. Levy, “If you are reluctant to treat your cancer with only vitamin C, definitely take it as well as your chemotherapy. The way information is presented to the public makes it relatively rare to find someone who doesn’t want anything to do with chemo. Most want to “cover all bases” and take chemo along with whatever else they can find that they think will be good, including vitamin C. This approach can work well for many people who simply don’t have the strength needed to defy the advice of their physicians. Many cancer patients are simply beaten down mentally and physically, and they simply do not have the capacity to do anything but put their faith in their docs, even if they strongly suspect how they get treated will not give them the best results.” – See more at:

About Dr. Levy

Thomas E. Levy, MD, JD is a board-certified internist and cardiologist. He is also bar-certified for the practice of law. He has written extensively on the importance of eliminating toxins while bolstering antioxidant defenses in the body, with particular focus on vitamin C. His upcoming new book will be released in a few months, entitled, Death by Calcium: The Toxic Supplement.


Vitamin C and dental health


Vitamin C is important in maintaining your dental health and in speeding recovery from dental surgery.

Vitamin C’s role in maintaining the health of teeth and gingiva remains unchallenged. “Clinical evidence indicates that vitamin C functions in improving host defense mechanisms and is thereby implicated in preserving periodontal health. Common sense tells us that the monitoring of the vitamin C status of individuals, especially those at high risk (e.g., diabetics, smokers, elderly, etc.) for inadequate intakes, will yield positive results for periodontal health.”1

“Vitamins, minerals, and other nutritional supplements have recently been tested as therapeutic healing agents. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is an essential nutrient that serves to maintain the integrity of bone, connective tissue, and teeth. A prolonged deficiency of vitamin C results in scurvy, a chronic disorder characterized by various dental symptoms including gingivitis, periodontal inflammation, abnormal dentin formation, and tooth loss. The role of vitamin C supplementation in preventive dental health maintenance and in speeding the recovery from dental surgery has recently emerged as the subject of increasing scientific investigation.
Several direct and catalytic biodynamic actions of supplementary ascorbic acid in the body have been identified as promoting oral health and the rapid recuperation from dental diseases and surgical procedures. Vitamin C has been demonstrated as effective in stimulating the immune system and subsequently reducing the potential for post-surgical infection. Vitamin C can also enhance wound repair following dental extractions through the strengthening of socket blood clots, as well as by increasing the body’s construction of scar tissue and the synthesis and deposition of collagen.” 2


1 J Can Dent Assoc. 1989 Sep;55(9):705-7. Vitamin C and oral health. Rubinoff AB, Latner PA, Pasut LA.

2 Vitamin C and Dental Health (pp. 57-69), R. A. Halberstein (University of Miami, Coral Gables


How much Vitamin C do I need?


The National Institutes of Health (NIH) have established a common standard for “the average daily level of intake sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97%-98%) healthy individuals.” This NIH Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin C is


Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid)


Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, meaning that your body doesn’t store it. We have to get what we need from food, including citrus fruits, broccoli, and tomatoes. Leftover amounts of the vitamin leave the body through the urine. That means you need a continuous supply of vitamin C in your diet.


Available Forms of Vitamin C


Although vitamin C clearly contributes to the overall health of the body and its benefits are apparent, the delivery method is critical to its overall effectiveness. Traditional delivery methods of tablets, capsules, liquids, powders, etc. – are highly inefficient and result in lower absorption and greater waste.