I recently came upon an article exposing the dangers of a popular powdered supplement call Emergen-C. It’s a flavorful powder that produces an effervescent drink by simply adding water, and it is too popular.
I agree that the product should be avoided. But I’m critical of the reasons posted because it focuses too much on the wrong dangers and not enough or not at all with the right dangers.
The article’s target was on ascorbic acid vitamin C as a dangerous item. How this may or may not be true depends on the quality of ascorbic acid or “synthetic” vitamin C. If it’s processed from corn, chances are high that it’s GMO. If it’s from China, which is the cheapest source of ascorbic acid, it could be highly contaminated and GMO.
I get pure non-chinese, non-GMO, non-corn based nutraceutical grade ascorbic acid approved by the Vitamin C Foundation and offered by Intelligent Vitamins. And I take around five grams (5,000 mg) daily. It’s pricier, but what is the price for health?
This earlier RealFarmacy article covers the vitamin C misinformation pretty well.
Getting to the Real Emergen-C Health Hazards
One of the ignored dangers was reminded to me by Shane Ellison in a recent People’s Chemist newsletter. He explained aspartame’s toxicity with how it was discovered and how FDA scientists opposed its approval based mostly on this test:
“Seven infant monkeys were given aspartame with milk. One died after 300 days. Five others (out of seven total) had grand mal seizures.” It appears in almost all diet beverages and is packaged as NutraSweet, Equal, and other artificial sweeteners.
It’s in the food and beverages of our SAD (Standard American Diet) culture, and it is a dangerous neurotoxin and possible carcinogen. FDA scientists discovered and even testified that GD Searle, the company that discovered this sweetener, cherry picked their studies to hide the negative outcomes.
How was aspartame passed after several years of limbo? That’s another longer story. Suffice it to say GD Searle had a big shareholder and lobbyist, Donald Rumsfeld, in high places who was in a position to pull strings, and he did by placing a crony as FDA head who quit two years later and went to work for Searle! It was a criminal heist that’s been left unresolved.
You may see promo-press statements claiming aspartic acid appears naturally in foods – but it is bound with other molecules to form a safe compound. Natural food sources do not contain free or isolated aspartic acid. Free aspartic acid is a neurotoxin. It is probably worse than any low quality level of ascorbic acid.
Dr. Russell Blaylock, retired neurosurgeon, lecturer, and author of Excitotoxens: The Taste That Kills, is the most well known expert on excitoxens.
Here’s information taken from a Mercola article explaining Dr. Russell Blaylock’s findings and views on aspartame, MSG, and aspartic acid’s activity as excitoxins:
Aspartic acid is an amino acid. Taken in its free form [unbound to proteins], it significantly raises the blood plasma level of aspartate and glutamate. The excess aspartate and glutamate in the blood plasma shortly after ingesting aspartame or products with free glutamic acid (glutamate precursor) leads to a high level of those neurotransmitters in certain areas of the brain.
In this case, the neurotransmitters are excitotoxens, which can actually over stimulate and burn out brain cells. This often leads to various ailments and even chronic diseases, especially of the neurological variety.
Here is the Emergen-C ingredient list:
Vitamin C, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc, Manganese, Chromium, Sodium, Potassium, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Quercetin, fructose, citric acid, natural flavor, tapioca maltodextrin, malic acid, silica, glycine, aspartic acid, tartaric acid, and cysteine hydrochloride.
So the real dangers come from some of the other ingredients, fructose (a euphemism for HFCS), citric acid (made from black fungus), maltodextrin (potential GMO) natural flavor (potential disguise for MSG) and especially aspartic acid.
The toxicity claims for pure ascorbic acid are bogus. But there can be issues with other impure sources of ascorbic acid. And the cheap stuff is probably what Emergen-C uses in addition to all those other synthetic vitamins and chemical additives.
So I agree on avoiding Emergen-C to maintain good health. Just for different reasons and I don’t like it when health writers trash ascorbic acid and sodium ascorbate (IV C), which has proven to be a life-saver and health preserver for many, including me.
Paul Fassa is a contributing staff writer for REALfarmacy.com. His pet peeves are the Medical Mafia’s control over health and the food industry and government regulatory agencies’ corruption. Paul’s contributions to the health movement and global paradigm shift are well received by truth seekers. Visit his blog by following this link and follow him on Twitter here.