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The Truth About the Benefits of Ascorbyl Palmitate

If you’re interested in better health or in skin care, then you’ve probably heard about ascorbyl palmitate (AP). This form of vitamin C has been getting a lot of attention lately. Some sources claim that it offers all of the benefits and none of the drawbacks of the natural vitamin. But there are several problems with this substance that you need to know about if you’re thinking of using it.

What is Ascorbyl Palmitate?

An image of a woman washing her faceUsing products that contain vitamin C or ascorbic acid (AA) is an accepted way to improve your skin’s appearance and health. You’ll find lots of products on the skincare shelf that contain vitamin C. And lately, you’ve probably seen a few that contain ascorbyl palmitate too. You can find it in very small amounts in a number of different products.

Ascorbyl palmitate is a fat-soluble form of vitamin C. Sources claim that it's a powerful antioxidant and free radical scavenger. In fact, it possesses all the same benefits as vitamin C with the added benefit of being oil-based, which means that it’s more stable than natural vitamin C, which is water-based.

The stability of this product is important because vitamin C oxidizes quickly when it’s exposed to light. Once a product containing vitamin C has oxidized, the product that contains it not only won’t give you the results you’re hoping for, it may actually have adverse effects.

You can find this substance in skincare and beauty products and as an antioxidant food additive, known as E304. It’s also known as vitamin C ester.

Does It Work as Advertised?

There is some question about whether ascorbyl palmitate works as advertised for the skin. There is some scientific evidence that it can boost collagen production.

Some sources may have overemphasized the claims about APs stability. This substance may be no more stable than other vitamin Cs like ascorbic acid, so you shouldn’t rely on it to resist oxidation any more than other vitamin C sources do.

Ascorbyl palmitate is most often used in skin products, helping to smooth and improve the health of the skin. It is said to be more useful than vitamin C in this regard because it’s oil soluble and the skin can more readily absorb it compared to vitamin C which is water-soluble. However,  Oral ingestion of ascorbyl palmitate is the most effective way of getting vitamin C into your body.

An image of a woman leaning on a railing under the sunAP may also react badly to sun exposure, causing oxidative degradation of lipids, known as lipid peroxidation. This is a process by which free radicals take lipid electrons, causing cell damage. However, the studies that suggest these drawbacks were small and done on cell cultures rather than people.

Adrenal Fatigue and Vitamin C

Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS) is caused by ongoing, chronic stress that causes a high demand for cortisol from the adrenal glands. Cortisol is an essential part of the NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) stress response. The NEM stress response is responsible for causing you to feel alert and ready to cope with stress and for protecting you against its damaging effects.

When you experience stress, the adrenals release more cortisol and levels go back to normal once the cause of the stress is gone. But when you’re chronically stressed, this slow down doesn’t occur. The heavy workload eventually fatigues the adrenal glands and causes them to become dysfunctional. This causes every circuit in the NEM stress response to become unbalanced and results in varied symptoms and problems.

How Vitamin C Can Help AFS

Vitamin C can be an important tool in the fight against AFS and adrenal fatigue. It’s essential for your immune system and for the health of every cell in your body. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant that helps control free radicals, damaged atoms which move around the body and damage your cells. If you’re stressed and have a poor diet or other factors causing your stress, then you will have high levels of free radicals in your body. This will contribute to the toxic overload in your body and further tax your adrenals.

The antioxidants in Vitamin C can bond with these free radicals and help expel them from the body. In this way, ascorbyl palmitate may be able to help alleviate some of the problems and symptoms associated with AFS.

Vitamin C and the Adrenals

Vitamin C is also essential for the health of your adrenals. Some of the highest concentrations of vitamin C in your body are located in the adrenal glands. It is essential for the production of cortisol and other stress hormones. When you’re stressed, your body uses up vitamin C more quickly than normal. This can be dangerous because the adrenals need more vitamin C than normal in stressful times in order to carry out their work. This is why it’s very important that you focus on getting more vitamin C to promote and maintain the health of your adrenals.

Studies have shown that vitamin C can also help to reduce the amount of stress hormone in the blood. This is especially important if you have AFS and your adrenals are excreting more cortisol than normal. Vitamin C can gently and naturally help reduce these levels along with some of the symptoms you experience as a result of high stress levels.

The Cardionomic Circuit in AFS

An image of a cardiograph reading with a heart shaped object on topThe Cardionomic Circuit is an essential part of your NEM stress response. It’s made up of the cardiovascular system (CVS), the autonomic nervous system (ANS), and the adrenal glands. When you experience stress, your adrenal glands activate this circuit immediately. But the CVS and the ANS are mostly put on standby when your stress levels are mild.

However, once stress becomes severe or chronic, the ANS and the CVS quickly become involved. These components work together to help you cope with the stress, so dysfunction in one affects the other, leading to symptoms and problems like palpitations, anxiety, rapid heart rate, and insomnia. At this stage, your body and its circuits are severely dysfunctional, and expert help is essential to reverse your condition.

Ascorbyl palmitate may be relevant to the health of your Cardionomic Circuit in the following ways:

CVS Health

Scientists have shown that vitamin C along with other substances, can improve cardiovascular health. It does this by helping to neutralize fat in the foods you eat. This may help with weight loss and help cut down on blood triglyceride or blood fat levels. Vitamin C may also encourage natural blood flow through the veins, reduce blood pressure, and boost vascular wall strength.

All of these benefits may help improve or maintain the health of your CVS. This is extremely important when you have AFS, as it will help to balance the Cardionomic Circuit and lower your stress levels. This will naturally decrease the body’s demand for cortisol and lower the adrenal workload.

However, if you’re getting your vitamin C from ascorbyl palmitate, it may be more difficult to get the amount you need. That’s why you should try to get your vitamin C from multiple sources, so you can better control dosages and be sure that you’re getting the amount that your body needs.

Adrenal Health

Vitamin C is also essential for good adrenal health. However, because of the absorption and conversion issues with ascorbyl palmitate, products that contain this substance may obstruct your efforts to get the vitamin C that you need. That’s why you need to check any products that you take that claim to contain vitamin C and make sure that you’re getting the purest, most natural form of this vitamin.

Negative Reactions

Ascorbyl palmitate is designed to be more stable than Vitamin C and thus avoid oxidation. However, when you have AFS, you have to be extremely careful of what you put in your body. Even healthy substances can set off a bad reaction when your system is oversensitive. That is why it's best to use multiple delivery methods of vitamin C with different doses based on your body's constitution when on the road to recovery. Make sure that you consult with an experienced provider before trying new products, even skin products. They will be able to tell you if it’s safe for your current condition.

The Takeaway

Recent medical advances offer a lot of new products that can help improve your health and your skin. But some of them aren’t as good as advertised and may even cause negative effects. That’s why, if you’re thinking of using products containing ascorbyl palmitate or any other unfamiliar substance, you need to:

  1. Do your research first to ensure that it’s right for you.
  2. Talk to your doctor to confirm that it won’t harm your health or interfere with any conditions you may have.
  3. Be cautious when trying it and stop if you notice any adverse effects.

For more advice on skincare or better health overall, click here to ask a doctor or call our team on +1 (626) 571-1234.

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Dr. Lam’s Key Question

Ascorbyl palmitate is a variation of vitamin C that has received a lot of attention lately in the skincare industry. But if you’re looking to improve your skin or your health, here’s what you should know about it and whether it’s worth using.

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