Orange, navel or acerola: which vitamin C for your skin?
If your skin is able to resist external aggressions, it is because it has effective defence mechanisms.
However, to make life easier for it, it is possible to provide it with a few key elements.
The human machinery is so fabulous that it is able to use the raw material at its disposal in many ways.
For example, vitamin C meets both metabolic needs such as the body’s ability to absorb iron and immune needs such as defending your body against bacterial and viral infections.
Among the many effects that vitamin C offers the body is protection against oxidative stress caused by the environment and within the body.
However, not all sources of vitamin C are equal. Navel, acerola, orange… Why are some more valuable than others? Which ones to choose? The MyPureSkin team guides you on the path to skin health.
Vitamin C is essential for the proper functioning of many parts of your body, one only has to remember the problems of scurvy that sailors have long faced to understand this.
Roles of vitamin C and health claims
Chemically known as “ascorbic acid”, vitamin C is a large molecule that is involved in many cellular reactions.
It is said to be an enzymatic cofactor because it makes certain reactions possible and speeds up others. It is vital to skin health as it is essential for the formation of collagen fibres within fibroblast cells.
As the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) ruled in 2012, vitamin C found in food supplements contributes, among other things, to
- to the normal formation of collagen necessary for the normal functioning of blood vessels, bones, cartilage, skin, teeth and gums;
normal energy metabolism;
- Normal functioning of the nervous system;
- normal mental functions;
- normal functioning of the immune system;
- reduction of fatigue;
- regeneration of vitamin E in its reduced form;
- the digestive absorption of iron;
- protection of cells against free radicals (antioxidant effect).
The different sources of vitamin C
While it is recognised that we need to get vitamin C from our diet as the human body does not produce it, the question arises as to what is the best source.
Synthetic or natural?
An alternative to extracting vitamin C from a natural source such as oranges is synthesis.
The production of a synthetic vitamin C that is virtually identical to natural vitamin C has been possible since the 1930s and has enabled a global policy of combating deficiency.
The cost of producing this laboratory-derived vitamin C, as opposed to the resources required to extract it from natural sources, has indeed been the accelerator of widespread dissemination.
However, even if the differences are negligible in terms of the effects of synthetic versus natural vitamin C, the other active ingredients present in sources such as fruit are of undoubted value.
Indeed, molecules such as flavonoids, found in acerola, navel or orange, work in synergy with ascorbic acid to potentiate its effects and provide further health benefits.
In other words, while vitamin C alone can be synthetic as well as natural, the other active ingredients inherently linked to its natural version are worth consuming.
In this sense, natural vitamin C tends to be preferred by some premium brands of dietary supplements seeking to offer their customers the best options available on the market.
Navel, acerola... what to choose?
However, the question remains: which source of natural vitamin C to choose?
In a study conducted by Dr Brenner L Freeman’s team in 2010¹, a particular shaped orange with a pronounced bitterness called “navel” was screened for possible synergies of its active ingredients.
The result was that 8 combinations of 2 to 3 phenolic compounds correspond to synergies. While such numbers may be difficult to comprehend, it is sufficient to note that these naturally occurring substances increase the antioxidant power of navel to the point where it becomes a cost-effective source of vitamin C for producing natural preservatives for other food products, as Dr Brenner explains.
However, there are even better things you can do for your skin’s health.
In another study conducted in 2018² by the collaborators of researcher Anand Prakash, we discover the reasons why the acerola fruit has been nicknamed the “superfruit”.
Among other things, the study shows that acerola contains 50 to 100 times more vitamin C than orange or lemon.
In addition, a plethora of phytonutrients are present, including phenols, just like in navel, which gives acerola an exceptional nutritional potential.
Optimal concentration and claims according to the authorities
The legitimate question, in the light of these findings, is why a natural source of nutrition richer in vitamin C is more desirable.
By consulting certain bodies of recognised authority in European countries (such as ANSES in France) it is possible to determine the maximum concentration of vitamins and trace elements for which the health benefits are not accompanied by any side effects or risks.
To calculate such a value, the institutions in question rely on specific studies, such as the SU. VI. MAX, started in 1994 by Serge Hercberg, then director of the Inserm unit “Nutritional Epidemiology”.
It is interesting to note that it was on the basis of this study, among others, that the slogan “eat at least 5 fruits and vegetables a day” was composed and used in metropolitan France.
As far as vitamin C is concerned, it is prescribed that an average adult can have maximum antioxidant power at 60 µmol/L of vitamin C concentration in the blood plasma.
According to the authorities, such a state provides at least protection against
- The risk of cardiovascular disease;
- The risk of neurodegenerative diseases;
- The risk of cancer (skin cancer among others);
- The risk of cataracts.
Although the prescribed concentration is an average that can be applied to any young adult, it is important to note that various factors, such as age and environmental factors (such as diet), must be taken into account in order to adjust this value to each individual.
For example, ANSES warns that “vitamin C requirements are increased in certain pathological situations (fracture, infection, cancer treatment) but also according to lifestyle (intense physical activity, excessive alcohol consumption, smoking)”.
Finally, to achieve a blood concentration of 60 µmol/L, the ANSES advises, according to the latest update (2016), a daily consumption of vitamin C in adults of 110 mg/day.
MyCollagenLift: a source of nutrition for all ages
Faced with the observation that modern diets are losing their nutritional quality, the MyPureSkin team sought to offer its customers a solution capable of accompanying the skin at any age towards better antioxidant protection.
To achieve this, our staff have developed an exclusive formula, based on ingredients whose 100% natural origin guarantees uncompromising effectiveness, while respecting your skin’s health in the short and long term.
Moreover, the synergy at work in the food supplement that is derived from it is of absolute relevance for mature skin that has to face an ageing process that causes it to lose suppleness, firmness and hydration.
Indeed, MyCollagenLift is a concentrate of targeted nutrition comprising :
- Marine collagen peptides whose molecular weight allows them to be highly bioavailable (i.e. easier to assimilate by your body);
- Hyaluronic acid to help you achieve a good level of hydration;
- Wheat oil ceramides to complete this moisture maintenance effort for your skin;
- Vitamin C from acerola fruit to help protect your cells from oxidative stress;
- Vitamin E also acts as an antioxidant;
- Organic silicon to structure your skin while increasing your defences against the harmful effect of free electrons.
Ready to give your skin a gift? Make a choice that makes sense with a highly effective vitamin C by starting a 3-month course of MyCollagenLift today for visible results in as little as 4 weeks.
- Study by Dr Brenner L Freeman on the synergistic and antagonistic interactions of phenols in navel oranges: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20722912/
- Study by researcher Anand Prakash on the properties of acerola as a “superfruit”: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6098779/