Below is a typical description from a Vitamin C advertisement, and my analysis. Please read this before you purchase Vitamin C from anyone.
"100% Pure Sodium Ascorbate Powder - "Now Available in easy-to-swallow Capsules too!" A Safe and Effective Essential Component for Recovery and Good Health. Corn Free & Pharmaceutical Grade!"
This company shows pictures of beautiful fruit, yet what they sell is manufactured not from fruit but in a lab from corn syrup, often genetically modified. Why don't they show you pictures of corn instead of citrus? Is this advertising deceptive? I think so. . . please read on.
Do you think the body utilizes "sodium ascorbate" the same as a fruit extract/powder rich in Vitamin C? The answer is NO!
"Vitamins cannot be isolated from their complexes and still perform their specific life functions within the cells. When isolated into artificial commercial forms, like ascorbic acid, these purified synthetics act as drugs in the body. They are no longer vitamins, and to call them such is inaccurate." http://www.thedoctorwithin.com/vitaminC/Ascorbic-Acid-Is-Not-Vitamin-C.php
We should get our Vitamin C from food based sources, such as acerola powder, camu camu or goji berries, because these are foods, containing all the balancing factors of those fruits, without anything synthetic.
When a chemist in a lab combines synthetic ascorbic acid with baking soda he gets sodium ascorbate. This is called "Buffered Vitamin C", because it is not so acidic.
Synthetic ascorbic acid and sodium ascorbate experience no chemical enhancement by showing pictures of fruit along with it.
". . . your vitamin C supplement probably just has ascorbic acid, and does not actually contain any real vitamin C complex, and it does matter! If you are under a lot of stress or doing something that tends to deplete your body of C or have some of the symptoms of C complex deficiency, it may be a good idea to consider supplementation in addition to increasing the vitamin C in your diet. However, about 99% of all C vitamin products on the market today are synthetically made ascorbic acid - or variations such as calcium ascorbate, magnesium ascorbate or potassium ascorbate. Despite marketing claims, these laboratory-produced powders like ascorbic acid are NOT natural C complex vitamin - and far from it. They are chemically synthesized molecules manufactured in a test tube and are often made from genetically modified corn sugar. These synthetic molecules mimic only one component of the multitude of life-supporting nutrient complexes found in real natural vitamin C complex. Although some people will go to great lengths to try to convince you that synthetic C such as ascorbic acid is the same as food source C complex, there is much evidence to the contrary.
"The proven health benefits associated with the C vitamin are actually created by the intricate, complex symphony of phytonutrients and supportive co-factors naturally found only in whole nutrient sources, not in isolated, synthesized molecules. In short, test-tube, synthetic C such as ascorbic acid simply cannot re-create the magnificent synergy of a whole-nutrient C complex - from sources like camu-camu and acerola berries and barley grass." http://healthyvitaminsrx.com/html/vitamin-c-synthetic-natural.html
How is ascorbic acid made? The answer is found here: http://naturalwellness.com/htmls/ascorbic-acid-vitamin-c.html
"SYNTHETIC VITAMIN C RECIPE
"Ever wonder where that ascorbic acid the other vitamin companies use in their so called "natural formulas" comes from? Well here is the recipe. They start with corn syrup, the thick clear syrup that is nothing more than refined pure corn sugar. Then they follow these chemical steps.
"Steps 1 thru 9 (Starch Hydrolysis): Corn starch is broken down into simple sugar (D-Glucose) by the action of heat and enzymes.
"Step 10 (Hydrogenation): D-Glucose is converted into D-Sorbitol.
"Step 11 (Fermentation): D-Sorbitol is converted into L-Sorbose.
"Step 12 (Acetonation): Yes that's right, they use acetone! L-Sorbose is combined with an acid at low temperatures.
"Step 13 (Oxidation): The product is then oxidized with a catalyst, acidified, washed and dried forming L-Gluconic Acid.
"Step 14 (Hydrolysis): L-Gluconic Acid is treated with hydrochloric acid forming crude ascorbic acid.
"Step 15 (Recrystallization): The crude ascorbic acid is filtered, purified and milled into a fine crystalline powder.
"This finished product is NOT VITAMIN C, but legally can be called so, which is very misleading to consumers. It is missing 80% of what makes up food grade vitamin C.
"Unlike synthetics, whole food vitamin C sources?like acerola cherry, green pepper, oranges, and broccoli?contain all the factors the body needs to derive the benefits from this vitamin."
Conclusion: Take synthetic Vitamin C at your own risk! It IS harmful to your health. A better choice is to get your Vitamin C from a FOOD source, such as Acerola berry, Camu Camu fruit and Goji berries.