Advertisement

The Disadvantages of Sodium Ascorbate

Sodium ascorbate is an alternate form of vitamin C, and may be used as a vitamin supplement. Sodium ascorbate is a more bioavailable form of the vitamin -- your body can absorb, access and use sodium ascorbate with greater efficiency than regular vitamin C. While taking sodium ascorbate may prove beneficial for people suffering from vitamin C deficiency, there are also a number of risks associated with taking sodium ascorbate supplements.

One disadvantage of sodium ascorbate is its sodium content. Upon ingestion, the compound into broken into two components: the ascorbate that acts as functional vitamin C, and a sodium ion. As a result, consuming sodium ascorbate counts toward your sodium intake for the day, and excess consumption of both sodium ascorbate and sodium-containing processed foods may lead to high blood pressure over time, according to the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. If you already suffer from high blood pressure, limit your intake of sodium ascorbate, or consider taking a different type of vitamin C supplement.

Another possible disadvantage of sodium ascorbate supplementation is an increased risk of kidney damage and the formation of kidney stones. Your kidneys contain thousands of specialized structures, called nephrons, that act as blood filtering units. Cells within the nephrons form filtration barriers, keeping nutrients in your bloodstream, while transporting waste products into the urine. Increasing the amounts of chemicals in the blood, such as through high supplementation with sodium ascorbate, can put a strain on your kidneys as they filter your blood. The University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) explains that high levels of vitamin C, including sodium ascorbate, lead to the formation of crystals within the kidney, eventually causing potentially painful kidney stones. You can reduce your risk of kidney stones by limiting your vitamin C intake to 1000 milligrams per day, according to UMMC.

In cases of high levels of supplementation with sodium ascorbate, you may experience serious health effects. One major disadvantage of high sodium ascorbate supplementation is an increased rate of genetic mutation. At high doses, sodium ascorbate acts as a carcinogen -- it can induce the development of genetic mutations in your cells. If you regularly take high doses of the supplement, your cells may develop cumulative mutations that may eventually lead to abnormal cell behavior. The Linus Pauling Institute explains that gene mutations due to excess vitamin C or sodium ascorbate supplementation can lead to cancer, as well as birth defects in a developing fetus. You can prevent this harmful side effect of sodium ascorbate by taking the supplement at a dosage recommended by a medical professional.

Photo Credits:

  • Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.