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Vitamin C supports many bodily functions and supplementation may heighten immune response to infections.

April 28, 2008

5 Min Read

Vitamin C plays a critical role in human health and well-being. It is required for the synthesis of collagen, an important structural component of the body; and the synthesis of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine, which is involved in brain function and mood regulation. Vitamin C further supports carnitine synthesis, the metabolism of cholesterol to bile acid (promoting healthy blood cholesterol levels), and is a highly effective antioxidant, helping protect proteins, lipids, carbohydrates and nucleic acids from damage by free radicals and reactive oxygen species.

Emerging research suggests vitamin C may have even more roles to play in the body. For example, it may aid in stem cell differentiation and respiratory development. Further, it appears critical to maintaining the nervous system, preventing neurodegeneration, by increasing grey matter content and protecting against oxidative-stress associated neurodegeneration.

Supplementation with vitamin C appears to heighten the immune response to infections, impacting T-cell proliferation, and aid in wound healing by supporting collagen synthesis. Its role as an antioxidant means supplementation may protect against lipid peroxidation and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol oxidation, reducing the risk of atherosclerosis; it may also prevent DNA damage that may lead to carcinogenesis. Supplementation also appears to help reduce inflammation and inflammatory biomarkers, particularly circulating C-reactive protein (CRP).

Vitamin C is currently available in many different forms, including ascorbic acid, calcium ascorbate and ester ascorbate. However, a newer vitamin C form, vitamin C-lipid metabolites, is now available as PureWay-C®. Developed by Innovation Laboratories Inc., and distributed under license by Marco Hi-Tech, PureWay-C is prepared through a patent-pending, proprietary process.

PureWay-C was initially developed as scientists looked for a way to markedly increase vitamin C absorption as well as prolong blood and tissue retention of vitamin C. Because lipophilic molecules can easily be partitioned into, and interact with, cells in a non-toxic way, they were seen as potentially the most useful carrier ligands for delivering vitamin C. The patent-pending PureWay-C composition is a conjugated complex with select citrus bioflavonoids and lipid metabolites.

PureWay-C research

Studies support the role of PureWay-C as a cutting edge vitamin C ingredient, with the ability to impact human health in several areas. Research conducted at Adelphi University, Garden City, N.Y., examined the impact of PureWay-C on several cellular activities, including neurocite outgrowth, fibroblast adhesion and xenobiotic-induced leukocyte hyperactivity and inflammatory damage.1,2 The rate of neurite formation by PC12 cells, fibroblast adhesion by NIH 3T3 fibroblasts, and T-cell homotypic aggregation was measured in the absence and presence of various formulations of vitamin C. When compared with other ascorbate brands, PureWay-C treatment promoted nerve regeneration 12-fold more efficiently, stimulated wound healing three-fold more efficiently, and protected the immune system from toxins by 2.5-fold. The increase in biological activity with PureWay-C was directly linked to a 233% increase in cellular uptake compared to ascorbic acid.

Additional in vitro work shows PureWay-C delivers effective antioxidant and free radical scavenging activity using the ORAC and DPPH methods.3 In fact, the IC50 value for PureWay-C was 5.58 μg/ml, meaning the concentration where inhibiting of test activity reached 50%, compared to an IC50 value of 8.08 μg/ml ester ascorbate. PureWay-C demonstrated free radical scavenging activity of nearly 75% reduction of DPPH at 10 μg/ml, which was 10.47% more than the ester ascorbate reduction of DPPH at 10 μg/ml. Using the ORAC assay, PureWay-C had oxygen radical scavenging of more than 3,782 μM equivalents per gram, which was 11.9% more than the ester ascorbate, which had 3,380 μM equivalents per gram.

Enhanced cellular uptake and retention has also been seen in clinical work. A study out of the University of Miami measured the uptake, retention and effects of four vitamin C formulations, including PureWay-C, on plasma CRP and oxidized LDL levels in healthy volunteers (n=40).4 The volunteers followed a vitamin-C-restricted diet for 14 days and then received a single 1,000 mg supplement of the various formulations of vitamin C (10 subjects per formula). Blood was collected at baseline and hours 1, 2, 4, 6 and 24 post vitamin C intake; urine was also collected at 24 hours post vitamin C intake. After vitamin C intake, serum levels of vitamin C peaked for all formulations at two hours, with PureWay-C showing the highest levels (2.2 mg/dL), followed by ester ascorbate (1.7 mg/dL), ascorbic acid (1.65 mg/dL) and calcium ascorbate (1.1 mg/dL). After 24 hours, serum levels remained elevated above pre-treatment levels in all groups, with PureWay-C and ascorbic acid showing the greatest serum levels of 52% and 42% above baseline, respectively. PureWay-C also had the greatest impact on plasma CRP levels, which decreased 15.6% , compared to ester ascorbate (10.3%), ascorbic acid (9.3%) and calcium ascorbate (4.4%). In addition, PureWay-C reduced plasma oxidized LDL by 8.3%, compared to reductions of 1.3%, 4.8% and 6.4% with ascorbic acid, calcium ascorbate and ester ascorbate, respectively.

The principal investigator from the University of Miami study, Dario Pancorbo, M.D., stated: “This study demonstrates that PureWay-C is more rapidly absorbed by the body and retained for longer periods of time than any other vitamin-C formulation. ... PureWay-C is the vitamin-C formulation of choice for those seeking the health benefits of vitamin-C supplementation. Consumption of PureWay-C increases plasma vitamin C as well as decreases oxidative stress and biomarkers of inflammation, which indicates that the protective effect of PureWay-C may extend beyond their antioxidant capability.”

PureWay-C is a fully stabilized, free-flowing dense powder that can be used in dietary and nutritional supplements, functional foods, dairy products, healthy beverages, cosmetics and personal care products, human and animal food, and pharmaceutical preparations. The composition, methods of use, and manufacture of this proprietary branded ingredient are patent-pending covered and protected. PureWay-C offers an innovative, value-added solution for companies focused on product improvements or seeking ways to differentiate their brand in an increasingly competitive market.

Formulators will also appreciate that the all-natural product is free of allergens and GMOs, and does not impart a color, flavor or odor to finished products. Further, Marco Hi-Tech offers steady raw ingredient supply to assure timely product availability; the company uses short- and long-term inventory planning to match customers’ development and production cycles


Med Sci Monit. 2007;13(3):BR51-58.

Med Sci Monit. 2007;13(10):BR205-210.

3.ChromaDex Analytics; publication in process.

4 PureWay-C Clinical Interim Abstract Report; publication in process.

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