Vitamin C Effervescent Tablets: Review and New Method Validation
ICNE Ltd has validated a new method: Vitamin C content in oral solutions / effervescent tablets. Read more below about Vitamin C and our new method validation.
Humans cannot biosynthesise vitamin C and we are also unable to store this in our bodies, therefore it is essential that we consume a sufficient amount of this vitamin regularly  . Vitamin specific supplements are fast becoming more popular than traditional multivitamins, with vitamin C potentially being one of the most trusted.
Functions of Vitamin C
Vitamin C is known to have certain functions in our bodies, for example:
- Protecting and maintaining the health of cells
- Maintaining healthy skin, blood vessels, bones and cartilage
- Promotes wound healing via biosynthesis of collagen (component of connective tissue).
- Biosynthesis of L-carnitine and other neurotransmitters
- and it is also involved in protein metabolism  
As well as all this, there is currently ongoing research into whether or not vitamin C can have a preventative effect for cancer, cardiovascular disease and other diseases .
Vitamin C Deficiency
The RNI (Reference Nutrient Intake) for vitamin C is 25-30 mg per day for children and 35-40 mg per day for adults . An inadequate intake of vitamin C can lead to scurvy which manifests in symptoms such as: fatigue, malaise, inflammation of the gums, poor wound healing and joint pain (among others) .
Sources of Vitamin C
Vitamin C can be found naturally in a range of fruit and vegetables, for example
- Red and green peppers
- Oranges and other citrus fruits
- Strawberries etc 
In a healthy and varied diet, you should be able to get all the vitamin C you need. However, in some circumstances (for example: smokers, people consuming a limited variety of food or people with malabsorption / chronic diseases), it may be necessary to take a food supplement .
The Department of Health (DOH)  has listed the different forms of vitamin C that is permitted for use in the manufacture of food supplements, which are:
- L-ascorbic acid
- L-ascorbyl 6-palmitate
- Magnesium L-ascorbate
- Zinc L-ascorbate 
The range of Vitamin C supplements available to the consumer is now quite extensive, all of which can be easily purchased at supermarkets, pharmacies, high street shops and online. Vitamin C supplements are available in the form of tablets and capsules and now even in gummies for children. One of the most widely available forms of vitamin C supplements is in effervescent tablets. There are several reasons why vitamin C effervescent tablets are popular, for example: they may be the preferred choice for people with dysphagia (swallowing problems), the market offers various palatable flavours, they are refreshing and can also help increase fluid intake.
Growth of the supplement industry and importance of label claim testing
NutraIngredients.com published an article last year where the growth of supplement industry was discussed. According to this article, the Central Europe supplement market is predicted to grow by 7.6% until 2020, and the UK supplements and vitamins market was worth more than £670million .
With the increasing demand from consumers for food supplements the competition for sales can be tough. Part of the competition will inevitably be down to consumer trust in finished products. Consumers want to know exactly what they are being sold and also want to be able to trust that what is included on the label is actually present in the product. This highlights the importance of manufacturers and suppliers verifying any label claims being made. One way of verifying the claims is by testing the products at an independent laboratory.
ICNE Vitamin C Method Validation
Here at ICNE Ltd, we have recently validated a United States Pharmacopeia (USP) method for measuring the Vitamin C content in oral solutions. This method allows a result which is directly comparable to the product label claim to be generated. We are currently carrying out a study, testing the label claims on commercially available vitamin C effervescent tablets. Keep an eye out for the results of the study!
 NHS Choices, “Vitamin C,” [Online]. Available: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/vitamins-minerals/Pages/Vitamin-C.aspx [Accessed 20 April 2017].
 National Institutes of Health. Office of Dietary Supplements, “Vitamin C – fact sheet for health professionals,” 11 February 2016 . [Online]. Available: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-HealthProfessional/. [Accessed 19 April 2017].
 British Nutrition Foundation, “Nutrient Requirements,” October 2016. [Online]. Available: https://www.nutrition.org.uk/attachments/article/261/Nutrition%20Requirements_Revised%20Oct%202016.pdf. [Accessed 19 April 2017].
 Department of Health, “Food Supplements: List of Vitamins and Minerals which may be used in the manufacture of food supplements in the EU,” September 2011. [Online]. Available: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/204325/Full_listing_of_permitted_vitamins___minerals__supplements___Jan_2012__DH_FINAL.pdf. [Accessed 18 April 2017].
 W. Chu, “What’s driving supplement growth? Ageing, fitness & self-care.,” Nutraingredients.com, 17 February 2016. [Online]. Available: http://www.nutraingredients.com/Markets-and-Trends/What-s-driving-supplement-growth-Ageing-fitness-self-care. [Accessed 13 April 2017].