Why did Colway offer consumers its own vitamin C, when close to 8,000 different products with this same name have been launched into markets in Europe alone?

In present times can one develop a unique product in such a tightly saturated niche market?

It turned out to be possible.

Close to 96% of the items purchased by consumers around the world, is usually synthesised in Chinese factories with American right-handed dextrose, crystalline ascorbic acid. A form, which for a million years was unknown to our bodies, and therefore, it poorly absorbs it. The further 3% is a mixture of the former with vitamin C extracted from biomass. Only a faint percentage constitute pure plant preparations. And then, however, the bioavailability of vitamin C in these products varies considerably.

The best form of vitamin C, which contain plant growth stems, are very rare on the market, as it is not a profitable business.

Vitamin C supplementation C-olway is obtained from fruit, skin, albino and young leaves of bitter orange and buckwheat sprouts.

It does not contain fillers and additives of ascorbic acid or its derivatives. It is bio-organic, levorotatory and avant-garde. Supplements based on these herbal ingredients are only just gaining demand from consumers.

Vitamin C is the most important vitamin for the functioning of our body. Colway is a publisher of the broadest literature so far describing it in popular scientific publications. Foremost among hundreds of its biological functions seems to be conditioning of collagen biosynthesis – the process by which our connective tissue is formed.

Vitamin C-olway stormed into a group of products recognized as the best in this group of supplements in Europe. It has become one of our best sellers.

Ascorbic acid defined

Synthetic vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is not found in nature. It does not grow naturally in plants or trees and cannot be grown on a farm. It can only be made in a lab. Contrary to popular belief, ascorbic acid and vitamin C are not the same thing. Ascorbic acid is not a complete vitamin, but really only the outer layer of the complete complex known as vitamin C. The complete complex of vitamin C as found in natural food sources is composed of these elements:
  • Rutinbiofavonoids (vitamin P) factor K
  • Factor Jfactor P Tyrosinase
  • Ascorbinogen ascorbic acid

All of the above elements must be present in order for the body to absorb and benefit from the vitamin complex. Since synthetic ascorbic acid does not contain the full complex, your body must either gather the missing components from the body’s reservoir, or simply eliminate the ascorbic acid from the body through the urine without benefit to the body.

You’ll find ascorbic acid in all sorts of products, from vitamin C supplements to bottled tea drinks and fruit juices such as apple juice. The straightforward method to confirm its presence in a product is to simply read the ingredient label. However, as founder of AGM foods in Brisbane, Australia Alan Meyer found out, many times ascorbic acid can be found in foods even though it’s not listed on the ingredient label.

Consumption of isolated ascorbic acid is not a good idea on a regular basis. Some evidence suggests that large doses may lead to imbalances and deficiencies in the flavonoids (vitamin P), a powerful family of over 6,000 antioxidants that have a symbiotic working relationship with vitamin C – each increasing the other’s effect.

To find more see links below:

    1. Is Your Vitamin C Real or Synthetic?
    2. Synthetic vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, kills beneficial probiotic bacteria in the gut
    3. Synthetic vs Natural Nutrients: Does It Matter?
    4. Why You Should Beware of Ascorbic Acid: Synthetic Vitamin C

Vitamin C content in human body

Vitamin C is an antioxidant. It is important for our skin, bones, and connective tissue. It promotes healing and helps the body absorb iron.

Vitamin C comes from fruits and vegetables. Good sources include citrus (orange, kiwi fruit, pomelo), tomatoes, red and green capsicum, broccoli, and greens. 

Some people may need extra Vitamin C

  • Pregnant/breastfeeding women
  • Smokers
  • People recovering from surgery
  • Burn victims

Vitamin C may help reduce the risk of anaemia among people prone to iron deficiency. In one study, 65 children with mild iron deficiency anaemia were given a Vitamin C supplement. Researchers found that the supplement alone helped control their anaemia (link).

Blood levels of vitamin C are measured in “micromolar” (μmol/L) units and are as follows:

  • Severe deficiency: plasma concentrations < 11 μmol/L
  • Marginally deficient: plasma concentrations < 23 μmol/L
  • Optimal levels: plasma concentrations > 50 μmol/L

Very few doctors today test vitamin C levels even though epidemiologic studies have shown that vitamin C deficiency, or hypovitaminosis C, is very common. This state is defined as blood levels less than 11 plasma vitamin C (< 11 μmol/L). 

Vitamin C content in human organs (in mg/kg)

  • cheeks and facial skin – 150
  • brain – 150
  • pituitary glands: 400-500 (227-284mM/100g)
  • eye lens: 250-310
  • the adrenal glands – 400
  • pancreas: 100-150
  • cardiac muscle – 50
  • lungs – 70
  • liver – 50
  • kidney: 5-150
  • spleen: 100-150
  • plasma – 10
  • leukocytes – 350

Vitamin C in the Brain

Vitamin C accumulates in the central nervous system, with neurons of the brain having especially high levels ( link).

  • Most concentrated in the cerebral cortex, hippocampus, and amygdala
  • Cofactor in the synthesis of the neurotransmitters
  • Helps convert norepinephrine from dopamine in brain cells
  • Modulates release and reuptake of neurotransmitters
  • Prevents neuronal overstimulation by glutamate
  • Helps maintain vascular function
  • Protects memory and thinking as we age

Dementia is a broad term used to describe symptoms of poor thinking and memory. It affects over 35 million people worldwide and typically occurs among older adults ( link ). Studies suggest that oxidative stress and inflammation near the brain, spine and nerves (altogether known as the central nervous system) can increase the risk of dementia ( link ).

Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant. Low levels of this vitamin have been linked to an impaired ability to think and remember ( link 1) , ( link 2 )

Moreover, several studies have shown that people with dementia may have lower levels of vitamin C in the blood (link1), (link 2). Furthermore, high vitamin C intakes from food or supplements have been shown to have a protective effect on thinking and memory with age (link1), (link2),(link3).  In addition to its well-known antioxidant functions, vitamin C has a number of non-antioxidant functions. For instance, the vitamin is required for the enzymatic reaction hat synthesizes the neurotransmitter norepinephrine from dopamine.

Another non-antioxidant action of vitamin C in the brain is in the reduction of metal (e.g., iron, copper) ions ( link ).

Further, vitamin C may also be able to regenerate vitamin E ( link ), an important lipid-soluble antioxidant. Vit C deficiency causes oxidative damage to macromolecules (lipids, proteins) in the brain ( link ). Severe vit C deficiency, called scurvy, is a potentially fatal disease. However, in scurvy, vitamin C is retained by the brain for neuronal function, and eventual death from the disease is more likely due to lack of vit C for collagen synthesis ( link ). Collagen is an important structural component of blood vessels, tendons, ligaments, and bone.

Vitamin C in wound healing

Skin wounds require collagen synthesis and vitamin C to heal properly. Impaired wound healing is an indication of low levels of vitamin C, and supplementation with both oral and topical vitamin C is useful especially in individuals who may have a low vitamin C level baseline (such as smokers and heavy drinkers). 

Smokers in particular have lower levels of vitamin C than non-smokers, as well as slower healing. This fact is corrected with smoking cessation and improvement in baseline plasma vitamin C levels. (link) The National Institutes of Health states that Vitamin C also boosts iron absorption, another nutrient necessary in wound healing. 

Vitamin C supplementation does not necessarily hasten wound healing especially if we already have adequate intake, but it can certainly do so in individuals with lower vitamin C levels. It may also reduce scarring, as seen in one Asian population study. Topical application of vitamin C in a silicone gel significantly reduced permanent scar formation and pigmentation. (link)

Vitamin C in the skin

Skin is composed of the superficial layer named the epidermis and the deeper layer underneath called the dermis, both of which house vitamin C. 

Vitamin C levels in skin are actually much higher than those circulating in blood. This suggests that vitamin C accumulates in skin preferentially. ((link) However, levels decrease with age, as well as with exposure to pollutants like UV light and cigarette smoke.

The upper layer of skin, the epidermis, contains cells called keratinocytes which are responsible for maintaining the barrier function of the skin. Prolonged exposure to UV sunlight is damaging to keratinocytes, causing an increase in free radical formation. This process oxidizes and damages DNA and lipids in keratinocytes,  depleting their levels of Vitamin C in the process. (link)

Keratinocytes increase their ability to take up vitamin C in a protective response to UV light exposure, so can topical Vitamin C application help with sun damage? It does seem that vitamin C protection can be derived from placing it directly on skin. A topical solution of vitamin C combined with vitamin E has been shown to be effective against countering the DNA damage associated with skin cancer in UV light treated skin. (link)

The deeper layer of skin, called the dermis, contains high levels of collagen. Collagen is constantly broken down while fibroblast cells in the dermis layer make new collagen. As mentioned, without vitamin C, the process of making new collagen would stop in its tracks. 

In addition to the actual synthesis of collagen for a healthy dermis and skin, vitamin C also works to promote and initiate collagen formation at the DNA level by boosting gene transcription. Furthermore, vitamin C provides stabilization of collagen mRNA and synthesis of the pro-collagen molecule, resulting in an overall increase in total collagen synthesis in skin.

An undesirable effect of UV light exposure is the overproduction of elastin, giving skin too much laxity. Vitamin C decreases elastin production while stimulating collagen synthesis, preventing this from occurring.(link) 

So, does topical vitamin C or a dietary supplement provide better protection from laxity and wrinkles?

Both seem effective. Several studies have shown that topical vitamin C applications can reduce the appearance of wrinkles in as little as 12 weeks.(link) However, the effect of topical vitamin C was not seen in a study of post-menopausal women who already had high oral consumption of vitamin C. (link) This suggests the effect on wrinkle prevention can also be achieved from within, simply through higher oral intake of vitamin C.

Vitamin C in heart arrest and cardiovascular disease

There is evidence from prospective cohort studies that vitamin C, as measured by plasma levels, is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular risk factors like high blood pressure, coronary vessel disease, and stroke. Higher food sourced vitamin C intake and higher supplement based vitamin C intake (>700 mg per day) have both been shown to decrease the risk of coronary heart disease. (link 1), (link 2) 

A meta-analysis of 44 studies using vitamin C concluded that vitamin C supplementation in any form had a beneficial effect on endothelial function, and an improved ejection fraction which is an important number doctors, such as cardiologists, use to measure the strength of the heart muscle (link). The ejection fraction measures how much of the volume of blood in the ventricle the heart can pump out with every contraction. 

Surprisingly, vitamin C appeared to have the highest benefit in those with higher cardiovascular risk. 

These studies were also validated by a prospective study involving more than 20,000 men and women whose plasma vitamin C levels were followed long term. This study showed that the higher the plasma vitamin C levels were, the lower the risk of heart failure. Every 20 μmol/L increase in plasma vitamin C levels was correlated with a 9% lower risk of heart failure (link).

Coronary arteries are the arteries that supply the heart muscle with blood and oxygen. These arteries can become occluded causing myocardial infarction (heart attack) when the heart muscle stops receiving blood. Coronary angioplasty is a procedure where a balloon is inserted inside the blood vessel to gradually stretch it open again and re-establish blood flow. 

Although meant to help the heart, coronary angioplasty can itself actually be associated with damage to heart muscle cells in as many as one third of the procedures. A study of 532 patients scheduled to undergo coronary angioplasty showed that three grams of intravenous vitamin C given in the six hours before the procedures significantly prevented heart muscle injury (link).

Vitamin C in the common cold

In the 1970s Linus Pauling suggested that vitamin C could successfully treat and/or prevent the common cold [link]. Results of subsequent controlled studies have been inconsistent, resulting in confusion and controversy, although public interest in the subject remains high (link).

A 2007 Cochrane review examined placebo-controlled trials involving the use of at least 200 mg/day vitamin C taken either continuously as a prophylactic treatment or after the onset of cold symptoms. Prophylactic use of vitamin C did not significantly reduce the risk of developing a cold in the general population. However, in trials involving marathon runners, skiers, and soldiers exposed to extreme physical exercise and/or cold environments, prophylactic use of vitamin C in doses ranging from 250 mg/day to 1 g/day reduced cold incidence by 50%. In the general population, use of prophylactic vitamin C modestly reduced cold duration by 8% in adults and 14% in children. When taken after the onset of cold symptoms, vitamin C did not affect cold duration or symptom severity [link].

Overall, the evidence to date suggests that regular intakes of vitamin C at doses of at least 200 mg/day do not reduce the incidence of the common cold in the general population, but such intakes might be helpful in people exposed to extreme physical exercise or cold environments and those with marginal vitamin C status, such as the elderly and chronic smokers [link 1], [link 2]. The use of vitamin C supplements might shorten the duration of the common cold and ameliorate symptom severity in the general population, possibly due to the anti-histamine effect of high-dose vitamin C [link]. However, taking vitamin C after the onset of cold symptoms does not appear to be beneficial.

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) Recommended intake

Recommendations for vitamin C intake have been set by various national agencies:

United States vitamin C recommendations[link]
Recommended Dietary Allowance (adult male) 90 mg per day
Recommended Dietary Allowance (adult female) 75 mg per day
Recommended Dietary Allowance (pregnancy) 85 mg per day
Recommended Dietary Allowance (lactation) 120 mg per day
Tolerable Upper Intake Level (adult male) 2,000 mg per day
Tolerable Upper Intake Level (adult female) 2,000 mg per day

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) in New Zealand

The New Zealand Nutrition Foundation is a professional, non-profit organisation whose members believe all New Zealanders should have access to accurate information to enable them to make informed choices about food and the effect it has on their health. We help New Zealanders make these choices by providing a balanced viewpoint on important issues around food, nutrition and health.

Ministry of Health – Manatū Hauora |   The Ministry works across the health sector to deliver better health outcomes for New Zealanders.

Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand (link here)

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) in USA

LINUS PAULING INSTITUTE Micronutrient Information Center

The Linus Pauling Institute’s Micronutrient Information Center (MIC) is a source for scientifically accurate information on the functions and health effects of all micronutrients (vitamins and nutritionally essential minerals)

Useful links

  1. Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid)  [University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) ]
  2. A Better Form of Vitamin C
  3. Vitamin C Dosage in Disease Cathcart’s Bowel Tolerance
  4. Hickey/Roberts Ridiculous Dietary Allowance
  5. Foundation’s Comments on Recent RDA Changes
  6. Bill Sardi’s Comments on RDA
  7. A Significant Relationship between Plasma Vitamin C Concentration and Physical Performance among Japanese Elderly Women
  8. Synthetic Vitamin C : Is It Damaging Your Health?
  9. Beware of Ascorbic Acid: Synthetic Vitamin C
  10. Synthetic vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, kills beneficial probiotic bacteria in the gut 
  11. The Clinical Impact of Vitamin C: My Personal Experiences as a Physician
  12. Toward a new recommended dietary allowance for vitamin C based on antioxidant and health effects in humans (The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition)
  13. Vitamin C status and mortality in US adults (The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition)
  14. Vitamin C kills tumor cells with hard-to-treat mutation
  15. Vitamin C Boosts Effects of Chemotherapy and Lessens Toxicity
  16. Using Vitamin C to boost radiation therapy(Malaghan Institute of Medical Research, Wellington,NZ) 
  17. Vitamin C may enhance radiation therapy for aggressive brain tumours (University of Otago, Dunedin, NZ)
  18. The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health (Department of Pathology, University of Otago, Christchurch, NZ)
  19. Study Reveals New Role of Vitamin C in Skin Protection
  20. Vitamin C Prevents Hypogonadal Bone Loss
  21. Vitamin C Function in the Brain: Vital Role of the Ascorbate Transporter (SVCT2)
  22. Vitamin C deficiency impairs early brain development 
  23. Vitamin C transport and its role in the central nervous system 
  24. Ascorbic Acid Protects the Brain in Neurodegenerative Disorders
  25. Relationship Between Depression and Vitamin C Status
  26. Vitamin C, Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease 
  27. Ascorbic acid, cognitive function, and Alzheimer’s disease
  28. Not Taking Supplements Causes Miscarriage, Birthing Problems, Infant Mortality
  29. The clinical effects of vitamin C supplementation in elderly hospitalised patients with acute respiratory infections
  30. Articles proving Vitamin C cures infections
  31. Are You Healthier Than A Guinea Pig? 
  32. Protective effect of red orange extract supplementation against UV-induced skin damages: photoaging and solar lentigines 
  33. High-dose intravenous vitamin C, a promising multi-targeting agent in the treatment of cancer