Not all vitamin supplements are created equal. And once you’ve chosen to shop for a liposomal options, rather than traditional ones, that is especially the case. Usually the selection process is influenced by a few superficial factors, such as loyalty to a name brand, the perceived quality for the price, and how many “natural” buzzwords are on the label.
Although they are more scientifically sophisticated, liposomal formulas can actually have a simpler ingredient list than tablet forms – both in quantity and quality – depending on which one you pick.
In any liposomal formula there are a three key components: lecithin, sweetener and the vitamin itself. You’ll want to pay close attention to how each of them are sourced.
– Lecithin: For the time being, lecithin is the easiest and most sensible product with which the liposomes are created, and it’s what you’ll find in pretty much any bottle of liposomal Vitamin C out there. The thing is, you can find GMO and non-GMO versions, which do not always list that detail on the label. The easiest way to tell is if the manufacturer has chosen to use something like soy beans, or sunflowers for their formula, which two of the more common sources of lecithin.
Soy is nearly exclusively a genetically modified crop. On the rare occasion that you find organic soy, it will be labelled up the wazoo because of the miraculous rarity that is organic. The detrimental effects of soy products on our hormonal systems are well known and regular consumption is ideally to be avoided. If the label simply reads “lecithin”, without qualifying from what source, you can bet your dollars that it’s a soy byproduct.
– Sweetener: It is a warmly welcomed ingredient in any blend, as it makes the formula more delicious and easy to swallow! But I’m sure I don’t need to tell you about the pandemic of added sugars in our culture, nor do I have the space or time in this article. The point here is to be mindful of the few dozen names that refined corn sugar can take, such as sucrose, fructose, glucose, dextrose, maltose or lactose (all things you’ll find as staple ingredients in chewable C tablets, especially child formulas.)
Examples of alternative sources that are body-friendly are stevia, xylitol and agave (agave still contains fructose but about half as much as traditional sugars.) Stevia, for example, is extracted from the stevia leaf which is indigenous to south america, where it has been used for centuries. Studies have only shown stevia’s potential to even lower blood pressure AND lower your blood sugar, rather than spike them like other sweeteners do. Be aware of how your blend is flavoured so that you’re not giving your body an extra dose of sugar that it really doesn’t need.
– Vitamin Source: The third key ingredient is the source of Vitamin C itself. The most notorious synthetic form would be ascorbic acid. But while this is a common and effective compound, you may want to consider otherwise, especially if you’re seeking to ingest high doses for disease management (lyme, cancer, etc.) or immunity support. Ascorbic acid is hard on the digestive system in large amounts and causes severe abdominal cramping and diarrhea.
Sodium Ascorbate is the other, lesser known option. It is what you’d call a “buffered” form of ascorbic acid. Processed with a bit of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), or another simple form of sodium, it radically softens the harshness of ascorbic acid, allowing the body to happily and easily process the Vitamin C without discomfort.
There will be other subtle differences in the blends you shop for, but these three are at the core of each one. If you keep them in mind while choosing your formula, you can’t go wrong, really. Good luck!