It’s been known for centuries that eating fruits prevented scurvy, and in 1930 Albert Szent-Gyorzi was awarded the Nobel Prize for discovering the identity of the vitamin-C molecule. The name given to it, ‘ascorbic acid’ literally means ‘anti-scurvy’. Since then, vitamin-C has become one of the most used supplements worldwide.
Few people today need vitamin-C for the prevention of scurvy, but many use it for its benefits in supporting immune health. More than half a century of research has shown vitamin C to be a crucial player in immune system support, and immune cell function1. The Linus Pauling Institute also lists other benefits, such as: ‘an essential co-factor in numerous enzymatic reactions, e.g. the biosynthesis of collagen, carnitine and neuropeptides, and in the regulation of gene expression. It is also a potent antioxidant’ 2,3.
Polyphenols: the colors of health
Nature delivers vitamin-C to us in the colorful packages of fruits and berries, such as blueberry, blackberry, raspberry, cranberry and strawberry. The deep purples, blues and reds of these fruits comprise their polyphenol and flavonoid components: anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins, bioflavonoids and others. These compounds enhance the role of vitamin-C, and are the most abundant source of antioxidants in our diets. They also play important roles as immune enhancers, in anti-inflammatory activity, cardiovascular support and many other health functions4.
The research update
Ongoing published research into the many health-supporting roles of polyphenols continues to find more ways they contribute to good health. For example, in the field of mental acuity, a recent observational study published in Neurology, used data from two large continuing health studies that began in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. The analysis included over 100,000 men and women aged 73 – 76. Those with the highest consumption of flavonoids were found (in answer to a number of questions) to have 19% less forgetfulness than those with the lowest consumption5.
According to senior author, Dr. Deborah Blacker, a professor of epidemiology at the Harvard T.H.Chan School of Public Health, these long-term findings suggest that starting early in life with a flavonoid-rich diet may be important for brain health.
Another study, relating to microbiome and blood pressure was published in Hypertension and reported in NutraIngredients. It found that polyphenol and flavonoid rich foods, such as berries and red wine positively affected the gut microbiome, resulting in clinically relevant reductions in systolic blood pressure6.
Research in these and other areas continues.
Polyphenol-C, a unique synthesis of natural ingredients
Polyphenol co-factors are generally not present in most vitamin-C products now available to the health-oriented consumer. Polyphenol-C, however, addresses this need by providing a wide spectrum of fruit and berry polyphenols with non-GMO vitamin-C.
The product is the result of years of work by the Ethical Naturals team into the sources and analysis of polyphenols. This work includes the development of VinCare, ENI’s patented whole grape extract. Vincare was the subject of a clinical trial published in The Journal of Functional Foods that demonstrated its’ beneficial role in improved antioxidant status and cardiovascular support7. Vincare is a key ingredient in Polyphenol-C. The formula also contains Cranberex, a highly concentrated cranberry extract containing cranberry’s unique A-Type proanthocyanidins, as well as blueberry, blackberry, raspberry and strawberry concentrates.
Each gram of Polyphenol-C contains 600mg of Non-GMO vitamin-C and 400mg of fruit extracts and concentrates standardized to 25% polyphenols (100mg total polyphenols).
Cal Bewicke, CEO of ENI stated: ‘Today and for the future, people are looking for nature based immune and health support products. With Polyphenol-C we’ve made another step in bringing a more complete spectrum of nature’s ingredients into one product.’
Polyphenol-C is manufactured in ENI’s solar-powered, NSF certified facility in Redwood City, California.
- Jacob RA, Sotoudeh G. Vitamin C function and status in chronic disease. Nutr Clin Care 2002;5:66-74. [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10357726?dopt=Abstract]
- Li, Y., & Schellhorn, H. E. (2007). New developments and novel therapeutic perspectives for vitamin C. J Nutr. 137, 2171-2184. [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17884994?dopt=Abstract]
- Carr, A.C., & Frei, B. (1999). Toward a new recommended dietary allowance for vitamin C based on antioxidant and health effects in humans. Am J Clin Nutr 69:1086-107. [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10357726?dopt=Abstract]
- Zafra-Stone, S. et al. (2007). Berry Anthocyanins as novel antioxidant in human health and disease prevention. Mol. Nutr. Food Res. 51, 675 – 683.
- Tien-Shi Yeh et al. Long-term dietary flavonoid intake and subjective cognitive decline in US men and women. Neurology, July 2021
- Evans, M., et al. (2014). A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, pilot study to evaluate the effect of whole grape extract on antioxidant status and lipid profile. Journal of Functional Foods. 7. 10.1016/j.jff.2013.12.017.