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Ascorbyl palmitate sources, health risks

Friday, October 13, 2017 by

Ascorbyl palmitate is more commonly known as vitamin C ester and is a popular additive in many beauty products. Unlike true ascorbic acid, ascorbyl palmitate is oil soluble and does not lend itself to oxidation due to it being bonded with palmitic acid. Thus, natural oxidative processes — such as an apple turning brown or metal turning to rust — are reduced or entirely avoided. This property alone has made ascorbyl palmitate a recurring ingredient in facial creams and hand lotions. Supposedly, vitamin C ester contains all the healing properties of ascorbic acid without contributing to any unsightly physical changes in the manufactured product.

What is not said, however, and perhaps is worryingly ignored, is that ascorbyl acid is not vitamin C — whatever health benefits it claims to have. The ester should not be taken for any medicinal or therapeutic purposes.

Harmful effects that can be caused by ascorbyl palmitate

Mice models have shown that diets that contain two to five percent of ascorbyl palmitate can inhibit growth. Mice who regularly ingested vitamin C ester were smaller, more prone to sickness, and were more lethargic.

Scientists likewise observed that vitamin C ester forced the body to produce excessive amounts of bladder stones which impaired kidney function. Moreover, vitamin C ester dramatically increased the risk of overall inflammation in the body, making the mice more susceptible to disease.

It must be noted that these effects were only seen after a period of regular consumption of only a few months. Long-term effects of ascorbyl palmitate have not been studied.

All the same, nephrologists caution their patients not to eat ascorbyl palmitate.

Body systems harmed by ascorbyl palmitate

It is naive to suggest that simply because the compound is mostly used in beauty products that there is no way it can affect the internal organs. The skin rapidly absorbs anything that is applied to it and a tiny amount of the compound does seep into our systems. While these amounts may be negligible on the first application, regular topical administration can build up into an amount that can cause actual harm.

Ascorbyl palmitate affects the excretory system — particularly the kidney and bladder. The body cannot recognize the compound completely and develops stones as a result. Overuse of vitamin C ester can cause your gut to become inflamed. Consequently, the likelihood of you getting sick is higher.

Where to learn more


Ascorbyl palmitate is formed by reacting ascorbic acid with palmitic acid. It is used as a preservative agent. It is alleged to cause excessive bladder stone growth and can damage the gastrointestinal system.

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