I Felt Super Drained & Couldn't Explain Why — Then I Got This Surprising Test Result
Consuming whole, natural foods is something that I prioritize in my day-to-day life. Whenever I can, I try to get balanced servings of vegetables, grains, legumes, etc. Considering I eat at least a full serving of fruit every day, you'd think my vitamin C levels would be A-OK.
So imagine my utter shock when my blood test came back with not just slightly low levels of vitamin C, but "near scurvy" levels, as my doctor put it. However, it all made sense once I connected the dots.
Why my vitamin C levels were so low.
It had been a few years since I'd had a typical blood test done. I was going back and forth between pregnancy and breastfeeding for about five years, so any weariness I was feeling I naturally attributed to those factors.
Not to mention, prenatal vitamins are packed with extra vitamins and minerals of all kinds. So if I was to test my blood at the time, my natural levels wouldn't be reflected, anyway. However, years later, I found myself feeling more and more drained without a solid clue as to why.
So off I went to the doctor and received a full blood test—much to my surprise, my vitamin C levels were exceptionally low. I had joined the whopping 42% of the U.S. adult population1 that has insufficient vitamin C levels (not a fun club you want to be part of), even though I prioritized daily fruit intake. Once I learned the science behind how vitamin C is absorbed through food, though, I can't say I was too shocked.
See, the form of vitamin C found in foods (and many supplements) is a form called ascorbic acid. Your body can handle around 300 to 400 milligrams of purely ascorbic acid at a time, which is a useful lower dose found in foods, multivitamins, and other multi-ingredient complexes. But I learned that if you are consuming ascorbic acid in high doses, it can be hard to actually absorb more than your body can handle. And because vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, your body won't store that excess for later use (unlike its fat-soluble cousins vitamins D, E, A, and K). It simply gets flushed out, which is a major bummer.
To say the very least, getting enough vitamin C was much more complicated than I thought.
My results from mbg's vitamin C potency+.
As the co-founder and co-CEO of mindbodygreen, I know how much time is spent thoroughly researching every single supplement we put on the market. I needed a supplement with optimal form and function—vitamin C potency+ certainly checks that box (along with many others).
In terms of form, our formula utilizes a unique and clinically researched trio of vitamin C, lipids, and citrus bioflavonoids for this exact reason. Specifically, it features PureWay-C™, which combines citrus bioflavonoids (the compounds in fruits like oranges) with lipid metabolites (i.e., fatty acids from rice bran), which allows for C to pass through the lipid membranes of cells more easily. The result? A 233% higher cellular absorption rate2 of vitamin C than ascorbic acid.*† Yes, really.
Given this superior absorption, it's no wonder with just a few months of taking vitamin C potency+, my energy levels went back to baseline. Through my research, I learned that vitamin C aids in iron absorption and helps the body synthesize carnitine, both of which are major players in your energy levels3.*
Not only does taking vitamin C potency+ fill a gap for my personal health needs, but it also brings me peace of mind knowing it's doing even more for my body. Over time, I've learned the long list of benefits, a few of which include brain support and promoting healthy hair, skin, bones, and joints4.* Now that I've learned the ins and outs of this essential nutrient, I'll be taking this supplement for life.
Even though I was consuming fruit every single day, my vitamin C levels were still extremely low. After I committed to taking vitamin C potency+ every day, I began to slowly rebuild the energy I was lacking before, finally connecting the dots. I swear by this supplement not only to maintain healthy vitamin C levels but also for full-body support.* The more I learn about vitamin C, the more thankful I am to have found a high-quality supplement I can rely on.
Colleen Wachob is Co-Founder and Co-CEO at mindbodygreen. She graduated from Stanford University with degrees in international relations and Spanish, and spent 10 years working at Fortune 500 companies including Gap, Walmart, and Amazon. Wachob lives in Miami, Florida with her husband, mbg Founder and Co-CEO Jason Wachob and their two daughters, Ellie and Grace. Her first book, which is co-authored with mindbodygreen Founder Jason Wachob, The Joy of Well-Being, is being released on May 23, 2023.