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About 15 years ago, some German researchers made an astonishing discovery about vitamin C. Searching for the "female Viagra," researchers found that people under 30 (who are, as we all know, usually quite interested in sex) who for various reasons had lost their sex drives could recover sexual interest and sexual performance by taking vitamin C. The only kind of vitamin C that had this effect, however, was buffered vitamin C.
Buffered vitamin C is a government-approved treatment for sexual dysfunction in both men and women in Germany, Austria, and Hungary. It has never caught on in the USA, Canada, Britain, or Australia, because drug companies want to keep their markets open for much more expensive products.
First of all, it helps to understand what buffered vitamin C is not. Buffered vitamin C is not a "natural" vitamin C like rose hip powder or acerola. These products offer their own special benefits by providing bioflavonoids that balance the effects of vitamin C, but you can get your bioflavonoids from food by eating vegetables, berries, and fruit every day, not just by taking the natural vitamin C.
Buffered vitamin is also not Ester-C. This is a very useful product that uses a chemical product to make a form of vitamin C that is very quickly absorbed. This is a very useful product for fighting the very first signs of infection, but it is not buffered vitamin C.
Buffered vitamin C combines vitamin C with essential minerals. Usually a buffered vitamin C product includes vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and other trace minerals. The advantage of combining vitamin with these alkalizing minerals is that you don't get stomach upset even if you take large amounts of vitamin C to support specific kinds of healing. And the only application of buffered vitamin C is not helping young people recover their sex drives.
Buffered vitamin C can also play a role in weight control, but to understand how it works it is necessary to go back to some studies of calcium in weight loss. Back in the 1990's, weight loss researchers recognized that low calcium levels are associated with high fat levels, especially in women. The less calcium you have in your system, the more you weigh.
Simply popping a calcium supplement, however, won't work. The body can only absorb about 100 mg of calcium an hour. If you take a standard, 1,000-mg calcium supplement, 60 to 70 per cent of the calcium just gets mixed into your stool and flushed away the next time you go to the bathroom. Moreover, too much calcium can make you constipated.
Some researchers (who happened to have grants from the dairy industry) suggested that the way to get the right amount of calcium was to eat dairy foods. After all, dairy foods contain fat. Fat slows down the travel of food through the digestive tract. More calcium gets absorbed because the dairy food, especially whole milk and age dairy foods, like cheese, spend longer in the digestive tract. Is there anything wrong in your mental picture of eating lots of cheese to lose weight?
In Europe, however, researchers recognized that it is possible to slow down the absorption of calcium by combining it with vitamin C, and it is possible to stop stomach upset caused by vitamin C by combining it with calcium. Without vitamin C, your body can only absorb about 300 mg of calcium a day from most supplements. With vitamin C, your body can absorb about 1,800 mg of calcium a day (enough that it is necessary to provide magnesium to make sure calcium goes into the tissues that need it).
Without calcium, about 90 per cent of your vitamin C supplement just goes into your urine. With calcium, however, you can benefit from up to about 3,000 mg of vitamin C a day. Your sex drive improves. You have greater resistance to infection. And you get a big boost for losing weight!
If you are fighting off the flu, buffered vitamin C makes sure your body has a constant supply of vitamin C without stomach upset or the added calories of orange juice. Ester-C actually is more effective for the first hour or two you have an infection, but after that first two hours you are better off taking buffered vitamin C.
Buffered vitamin C is the only form of C to take if you have peptic ulcers, heartburn, GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), or a sensitive stomach. And buffered vitamin C is best if you need to take a calcium supplement for healthy bones.
The best kind of vitamin C to keep on hand for day-to-day nutritional supplementation is buffered vitamin C. Along with five or more servings of fruit and vegetables every day, buffered C can support your health, vitality, sensuality, and normal weight.
Nagyova A, Krajcovicova-Kudlackova M, Horska A, et al. Lipid peroxidation in men after dietary supplementation with a mixture of antioxidant nutrients. Bratisl Lek Listy. 2004;105(7-8):277-80.