I really prefer natural products whenever
possible. Nature knows how to maintain a balance that we don’t
see with synthetics. For example, the blood thinning coumarins and
alfalfa are balanced by the blood clotting vitamin K. The coffee bean,
which contains the stimulant caffeine, is coated with a fleshy coating
before processing that contains a sedative. The upper portion of the
ephedra plant is a stimulant, while the roots are a sedative. Green
tea contains a small amount of the stimulant caffeine, and the sedative
amino acid theanine.
Vitamin C is another example. Natural vitamin C sources
have several advantages over synthetic sources. For example, natural
sources of vitamin C also contain synergistic bioflavonoids that must
be added to synthetic C. Natural sources of vitamin C also contain compounds
that help prevent deterioration of the vitamin C, which again is not
true of synthetic vitamin C.
My favorite source of vitamin C is actually amla berry,
also known as Indian gooseberry. The vitamin C in amla berry is actually
12 times stronger than synthetic vitamin C. Polyphenols in amla protect
the vitamin C from oxidation, making it extremely stable. Additional
advantages of amla include antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and
anti-inflammatory effects. Amla protect the DNA from heavy metal damage,
and significantly raises intracellular levels super oxide dismutase
(SOD). SOD is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immune stimulatory
My second choice for a natural vitamin C source is
camu camu. Camu camu is native to South America. It is considered the
highest plant source of vitamin C in the world. Camu camu does have
one disadvantage though. Camu camu does not have the stability of amla,
or acerola cherry.
My third choice is acerola cherry. This plant is thought
to have originated from the Yucatan. Studies have shown widely varying
rates of vitamin C, from lower than amla to higher than camu camu. As
with amla berry, the vitamin C in acerola cherry is stabilized by polyphenols.
Other advantages of natural vitamin C sources are the
fact that they are also sources of other vitamins. They also provide
amino acids, minerals, and other nutrients that synthetic vitamin C
does not offer.