With the arrival of cold and flu season, you may find yourself thinking more about your immune system. After all, how well it functions could make all the difference in whether you get sick this year and determine how long you may suffer from symptoms of an illness if you do contract a virus. Many people rely on vitamin C supplement products for immune support during flu season and throughout the rest of the year. If you're considering buying a supplement, read on to learn why you may want to focus on ones that contain liposomal vitamin C.
What Is Vitamin C?
Vitamin C is one of the essential vitamins your body needs to function correctly. You can't make vitamin C on your own, so your entire supply must come from the foods that you eat.
What Are the Signs of Vitamin C Deficiency?
In the U.S., severe vitamin C deficiency is rare. It causes symptoms like gum inflammation, joint pain, extreme fatigue, poor wound healing, and a red or purple rash on the skin when it does occur. This set of symptoms is sometimes referred to as scurvy.
Basic Vitamin C Benefits
Because vitamin C deficiency is so rare, most people who take vitamin C supplements do so not to ensure that they get enough of the vitamin but in hopes of reaping its potential health benefits. Studies indicate that vitamin C may:
- Reduce the risk of heart disease. Vitamin C is an antioxidant, a substance that defends the body from damaging free radicals. Because of this, it may reduce oxidative stress that contributes to cardiovascular disease.
- Promote healthy vision. Studies have found that people who have age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and take a vitamin C supplement may see a slowing in the progression of vision loss.
- Enhance skin texture. Vitamin C is needed to produce collagen, the structural protein that supports skin tissue. As you age, collagen levels naturally decrease, leading to lost skin elasticity. Some scientists speculate that taking vitamin C supplements may help collagen production address this common sign of aging.
- Support immune system function. Your immune system requires vitamin C for critical functions. Research suggests that taking a vitamin C supplement may help to shorten the duration of cold and flu symptoms. Some people take vitamin C to avoid getting sick, but there isn't enough evidence to prove that the supplement makes you less likely to catch a cold or the flu.
What Is Liposomal Vitamin C?
Vitamin C supplements are not all the same. Although they all provide vitamin C, the form of the vitamin varies from product to product. Liposomal vitamin C is one type of vitamin C found in supplements. In this type of supplement, the vitamin is encased in microscopic fat particles called lipids. Your body naturally produces liposomes to carry materials in and out of cells. Due to advancements in bioengineering, liposomes can now also be manufactured in laboratories and are used as delivery mechanisms for prescription drugs and vitamin C. Body Kitchen makes an excellent supplement, Vitamin C Shield, that uses pure Liposomal C.
Key Liposomal Vitamin C Benefits
Because of its unique form, liposomal vitamin C may offer benefits that other types of supplements don't.
Better Bioavailability and Absorption of Nutrients
The bioavailability of vitamins refers to how readily a supplement can be absorbed and utilized by your body. With standard vitamin C supplements, only about 50% of the nutrient is typically able to be adequately digested, absorbed, and put to use. Liposomes have been shown to provide better absorption of nutrients.
The reason why liposomal vitamin C enhances absorption lies in biology. Each of your cells is surrounded by a lipid layer called a membrane. Its purpose is to hold cellular material in place and control what enters and exits the cells. Liposomes are made from the same type of material as the cellular membrane. As a result, liposomal vitamin C may be able to enter your cells more efficiently than generic vitamin C from corn.
Less Risk of Side Effects
In addition to improved bioavailability, liposomal vitamin C may lower the risk of side effects associated with supplements. Vitamin C may cause digestive issues like nausea, diarrhea, heartburn, and stomach cramps at high doses. Headaches and fatigue are also reported side effects. Some experts believe that liposomes may minimize the risk of these side effects occurring. However, you should still only take as much vitamin C as the manufacturer recommends unless your medical provider gives you other advice.
A final thing to note about supplemental vitamin C is that in high doses and in the ascorbic acid form, such as Vitamin C Shield, it can deplete copper stores. If you take this helpful product more than a few days, please consider the dietary sources of copper in your diet. You can find copper in delicious foods such as chocolate, oysters, spirulina, sunflower seeds and shiitake mushrooms. Ensure you’re meeting your needs, especially during cold and flu season!
Potentially Higher Quality Supplement
Overall, liposomal vitamin C supplements may be of higher quality than other options. Advanced engineering and technology are required to produce liposomal vitamin C, that’s where Body Kitchen’s quality stands out. All their products, including Vitamin C Shield, are manufactured in a highly-reputable facility within the US.