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Time-release vitamin C is better

BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin and as such is eliminated fairly quickly from the body. Thus the benefits of taking vitamin C just once a day are not nearly as pronounced as if taking smaller amounts three or four times a day. Vitamin C is also available in time-release (sustained- release) formulations. These come in capsules that contain numerous tiny pellets of vitamin C coated with various waxes and starches. The thickness of the coatings varies so that each pellet "bursts" at different times when exposed to the moisture in the stomach and intestine. Are time-release formulations superior to regular vitamin C? Dr. E. Cheraskin, MD of the Clayton College of Natural Health strongly believes so.

Dr. Cheraskin recently conducted a double-blind, crossover study designed to determine tissue levels of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) in 50 healthy volunteers who were given one capsule a day of either standard vitamin C or one capsule of time-release vitamin C. Each capsule contained 84.5 mg of vitamin C and was taken at 8:00 a.m. The tissue levels (on the tongue) were measured at 8:00 a.m. (after a 12-hour fast [before taking the supplement]), at 11:00 a.m. (after a 15-hour fast, and at 2:00 p.m. (after an 18-hour fast). The results clearly showed that the time-release formulation was far better absorbed than regular vitamin C and thus enabled greater amounts of vitamin C to reach the tissues.
Cheraskin, E. Are there merits in sustained-release preparations? Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, Vol. 16, No. 1, First Quarter 2001, pp. 49-51

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