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Expert Opinions

Expert Opinions Archive
Is timed-release vitamin C worth the extra cost?

J.T. Oakland, CA
"I think timed-release vitamin C is mostly a marketing tool," observes Adriane Fugh-Berman, M.D., of the National Women's Health Network. Vitamin C, a water-soluble vitamin, normally remains in the body for only a few hours before being excreted.

The idea behind timed-release formulas is that they release the vitamin into the digestive tract slowly--unlike regular vitamin C, which is released all at once. This property enables the circulation to take up the vitamin in a slow stream. "But I'm not certain that it's necessary to have a steady amount of vitamin C circulating in your blood," Dr. Fugh-Berman comments. "Besides," she adds, "these formulas never work as well as advertised. Much depends on what you've eaten and your individual ability to absorb the vitamin. Timed-release formulas also tend to be very expensive, and I don't think they're worth the extra cost. I just take standard vitamin C once a day."

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