7 Types of Vitamin C in Supplements

Jan 02, 2024 Vitamin C 4 MIN

7 Types of Vitamin C in Supplements

Here's a quick question: What's a pirate's favorite vitamin? Your first thought might be Vitamin "ARRR," but there's no such thing! It would be Vitamin C, for the sea is their true love. But while pirates and sailors only knew how to supplement their Vitamin C through citrus fruits, today, we know that there are many different types of Vitamin C! Ascorbic acid would be the form most are familiar with, as it is naturally found in citrus fruits and some vegetables, but there are other forms like Sodium Ascorbate, Calcium Ascorbate and more!

What Does Vitamin C Do For Your Body?

Vitamin C is an essential vitamin with many roles in the body; one of its most important roles is immune health support. You may see Vitamin C included in immune support supplements like our Wellblends™ ImmuneMAX® Gummies; that's because Vitamin C functions as an antioxidant that supports the immune system and helps neutralize free radicals in the body. Beyond its role in immune health support, Vitamin C is also necessary for the body's collagen production, which helps support skin health. If you're looking to help support a healthy immune system, Vitamin C is a good place to look!†

What are the Different Types of Vitamin C

Here's a rundown of some of the most common types of Vitamin C!

1.      Ascorbic Acid

Vitamin C's most common form is that of ascorbic acid. Ascorbic acid is found naturally in citrus fruits and tomatoes and can be produced in a synthetic form. The good news is that natural and synthetic L-ascorbic acid are chemically identical, and there are no known differences regarding biological activities or bioavailability.[1] Bioavailability refers to the degree to which the nutrient becomes available to the target tissues after taking it. Synthetic L-ascorbic acid has been used historically, is cost-effective, and is just as bioavailable as other types of Vitamin C.

2.      Sodium Ascorbate

Sodium ascorbate is the sodium salt form of L-ascorbic acid. Mineral salt forms are less acidic, sometimes known as "buffered" forms of ascorbic acid. However, no significant scientific evidence shows that this affects how our body absorbs it.[2] In experimental or clinical research, sodium ascorbate and ascorbic acid are the most commonly used forms of Vitamin C.

3.      Calcium Ascorbate

Calcium ascorbate is similar to sodium ascorbate in that they are both mineral salt forms of L-ascorbic acid, otherwise known as mineral ascorbate. Rather than sodium, Calcium ascorbate is the calcium salt form. Because of its form, Calcium ascorbate provides Calcium along with Vitamin C.

4.      Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate

You might see Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, or SAP, listed on the ingredient list of skincare products, where it is most commonly used. Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate is a derivative of ascorbic acid, with a different chemical structure.[3]

5.      Ascorbyl Glucoside

Ascorbyl glucoside is another derivative of ascorbic acid, also often used in topical skincare products. Ascorbyl glucoside is a glycoside, which is similar to the "salt form" above; rather than a compound formed between ascorbic acid and a mineral, it is a compound formed between ascorbic acid and a sugar, in this case, glucose.[4]

6.      Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate

Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate is a precursor to ascorbic acid that can be dissolved in lipid, or "fatty," solutions, that is turned into an ester by reacting with a branched-chain fatty acid. Not only that, it's also really hard to say!

7.      Liposomal

Liposomal Vitamin C isn't a different type of Vitamin C but a different delivery mechanism. In this mechanism, the active Vitamin C is encased in a liposome, or a tiny, spherical fatty vessel made out of lipid bilayers, in an attempt to improve stability.[5]

This may feel like a lot to take in, but don't worry! There is little evidence that any one form of Vitamin C is more bioavailable or more effective than any other form, so you're covered no matter what you choose.

How to Increase Vitamin C Absorption

Nature Made recommends taking your Vitamin C supplement with water and a meal!

Why Should You Take a Vitamin C Supplement

Vitamin C is not only an antioxidant that helps support your immune system, but it also increases iron absorption from food and is needed for collagen synthesis to support overall skin health. Vitamin C is a shortfall nutrient; almost half of all U.S. adults don't get enough from their daily food intake.[6] Vitamin C supplements like Nature Made® Vitamin C 500 mg Tablets can help close possible nutrient gaps.†

If you're a fan of tastier delivery mechanisms, our Vitamin C Extra Strength Gummies provide you with 500 mg of Vitamin C per serving in a delicious tangerine flavor.†

Immune health support is essential, and our Wellblends™ line offers a 3-in-1 blend powered by science to support your immune health. Wellblends™ ImmuneMAX® Gummies offer a high dose of Vitamin C and Vitamin D3 while also providing an excellent source of Zinc—an essential immune support mineral. Immune support is also available in a Fizzy Drink Mix, so you can find the immune supplement that's right for you.

† These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.



  1. Carr AC, Vissers MC. Synthetic or food-derived vitamin C-are they equally bioavailable? Nutrients. 2013;5(11):4284-4304
  2. Supplemental forms. Linus Pauling Institute. January 3, 2023. Accessed October 25, 2023. https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/vitamins/vitamin-C/supplemental-forms.
  3. Spiclin P, Homar M, Zupancic-Valant A, Gasperlin M. Sodium ascorbyl phosphate in topical microemulsions. Int J Pharm. 2003;256(1-2):65-73. doi:10.1016/s0378-5173(03)00063-2
  4. National Center for Biotechnology Information. PubChem Compound Summary for CID 54693473, 2-O-alpha-D-Glucopyranosyl-L-ascorbic acid. https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/2-O-alpha-D-Glucopyranosyl-L-ascorbic-acid. Accessed Oct. 24, 2023.
  5. Chaves MA, Ferreira LS, Baldino L, Pinho SC, Reverchon E. Current Applications of Liposomes for the Delivery of Vitamins: A Systematic Review. Nanomaterials (Basel). 2023;13(9):1557. Published 2023 May 5. doi:10.3390/nano13091557
  6. Reider CA, Chung RY, Devarshi PP, Grant RW, Hazels Mitmesser S. Inadequacy of Immune Health Nutrients: Intakes in US Adults, the 2005-2016 NHANES. Nutrients. 2020;12(6):1735. Published 2020 Jun 10. doi:10.3390/nu12061735


Graham Morris

NatureMade Copywriter

Graham has a degree in film with a focus on screenwriting from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He enjoys learning new things and finding the best, most engaging way to communicate them to a wide audience. Graham appreciates simplicity in life and nutrition, and wants to find the easiest, no-stress ways to stay healthy.

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Sandra Zagorin, MS, RD

Science and Health Educator

As a member of the Medical and Scientific Communications team, Sandra educates healthcare professionals and consumers on nutrition, supplements, and related health concerns. Prior to joining Pharmavite, Sandra worked as a clinical dietitian at University of Chicago Medicine in the inpatient and outpatient settings. Sandra received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nutritional Science, with minors in Spanish and Chemistry from the University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ. She earned her Master of Science degree in Clinical Nutrition from RUSH University in Chicago, IL. As part of her Master’s program, Sandra performed research on physical activity participation and correlates in urban Hispanic women.

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