Product Review: Altrient C
Vitamin C is well established in the scientific community as a beneficial nutrient. It is also an essential nutrient, meaning that the human body cannot synthesize it. We must get it from our diet. We are very good at absorbing small amounts - we will absorb about 19mg out of 20mg we take in. As the dosage increases, however, our ability to absorb vitamin C drops off quickly due to limiting factors in our digestive system.
Enter Altrient C and LED, or liposome-encapsulated delivery. What? A liposome is basically a tiny sphere of fatty acids used to encase, protect, and transport a nanoparticle of something. In this case, the sphere is made from an apparently secret substance derived from soy lecithin and the something is vitamin C. The LED protects the nanoparticle of vitamin C from the harsh digestive environment and allows it to slip, undigested, right through the wall of the small intestine and into the bloodstream. The result is greatly increased absorption.
Why does it matter, though, how much vitamin C we get and how much we absorb? According to Altrient’s website, the benefits of vitamin C supplementation include:
- Reduced free radical damage through antioxidant action
- Enhanced cellular recovery in the post-workout period
- Reduced DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness)
- Improved skin appearance through enhanced collagen synthesis
Altrient C is made in the United States and packaged in single-serving packets, each containing 1000mg of vitamin C and 1000mg of “essential phosholipids.” It is a brown, gel-like substance, and the gel is not water soluble.
Directions for taking Altrient C say to squeeze the contents of one packet into a couple ounces of water or other liquid and swallow, or you can squeeze the packet into your mouth and wash it down with a drink of something. The gel does not have a pleasant appearance, flavor, odor, texture, or mouthfeel. Having consumed many thousands of servings of some very terrible tasting supplements over the years, taking Altrient C by either method was not problematic for me. For those who are sensitive to any or all of those factors, taking Altrient C may require some getting used to.
While the benefits of vitamin C are clear, and the LED appears to be an excellent way to take vitamin C, I do have a few caveats to offer. Like anything, these may or may not mean much to you, but I include them in the pursuit of completeness. First is the price. At $39.95 plus shipping for thirty packets, with a recommendation to take one packet per day plus one post workout, you could be looking at almost $80 a month for your vitamin C. Second, though the product is not labeled “contains soy,” the essential phospholipids are derived from soy lecithin. This makes me wonder about the “supports a paleo diet” claim on the website.
That brings me to my last concern. This one relates to the company more than the product. There are numerous statements on the website that I find misleading. Having a background in the supplement industry, I know how tempting it can be to make claims about your product, and also how dangerous. When there is accepted clinical research, it’s always a boon to your marketing efforts. The Altrient website, though, fails to make clear the statements of benefit that apply to vitamin C in general (backed by clinical research) and those that apply to their product in particular, a vitamin C with a particular delivery system.
It may be that Altrient C is a great product, but I would encourage the company to lend greater clarity to their website. For anyone who can afford it, is okay with the soy issue, is currently using some other form of C, or wants to start using C supplements, Altrient C appears to be a good option and will certainly do you no harm.
Altrient C available for $39.95 at Altrient.com.