Pros: Nice label and yellow cap.
Cons: Four times more expensive that generic.
After writing a review on multivitamins and getting a whole lot of negative feedback on it, I decided to focus on something a lot easier. Vitamin C seems to be a logical choice, what could be easier, right?
And yes, I will be trying to write a "normal" review. Without all that offensive rhetoric that you may find and enjoy in my other reviews.
Well, it is Vitamin C and, apparently, the major component is Vitamin C! So what do those rose hips are doing there? Well, rose hips naturally have Vitamin C in them and they are the "nature" part of this otherwise synthetic drug. The problem is that Vitamin C content decays rapidly in the rose hips after they die and by the time you actually get them in the form of a tablet it is all synthetic there http://www.drugdigest.org/DD/PrintablePages/herbMonograph/0,11475,552452,00.html. Basically this is a SCAM.
You are getting a synthetic vitamin C for $8.99 per 60 tablets versus 100 caplets for $2.30 from CVS.
Well, most likely the Nature Made put something else there that makes it a lot better deal for four times the price of half the weight, right?
Here is a list of ingredients for (1) Ascorbic Acid; Cellulose; Crospovidone; Microcrystalline Cellulose; Magnesium Stearate; Stearic Acid; Silicon Dioxide; Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose; Hydroxypropyl Cellulose; Polyethylene Glycol
And (2) Ascorbic Acid, Cellulose Gel, Hydroxypropyl Cellulose, Stearic Acid, Magnesium Stearate, Silicon Dioxide, Polyethylene Glycol.
Guess which one is natural $8.99 and which one is crappy CVS-made fully-synthetic for $2.30? The answer is nature is second (I intentionally omitted one component: "Corn Starch Rose Hips" as it has deteriorated anyway). Otherwise they are IDENTICAL. And why they should not be? This is Vitamin C and not a Swiss Watch. So why do we want to pay four times the price for it? I just bought the first thing on the counter without even looking at the price tag, but now I will be smarter.
What Is So Specific About Nature Made Vitamin C?
So I promised to keep away from generalizations and focus at the Nature Made Vitamin C and not all vitamins C out there, right? Nature Made has a whole range of distinctions from other vitamins: it has a yellow cap, a yellow sticker on the side of the bottle and wellness reward code on it. Supposedly you can win something! It is also "timed release". Of all that variety, the only thing that somehow really matters (apart from dead rose hips) is timed release. The idea is that this caplet will not dissolve immediately, but will release its ingredients slowly. This allows more homogeneous concentration of Vitamin C locally and slowly-rising concentration profile in your blood and body.
Why do we care? Well, supposedly it is better for our health and worse for our wallet. Given the fact that Vitamin C may start causing slight side effects when you consume more than 2000mg a day, it does not really matter if it will be released within 5 min or 10 min, you will still get the dose and will be as good as with any other Vitamin C.
Health Benefits of Vitamin C
This is the tricky part: "Because fresh rose hips contain significant amounts of vitamin C, which is also known as ascorbic acid, they have been promoted for the prevention and treatment of the common cold. While no scientific evidence supports the theory that large doses of vitamin C can increase the body's resistance to colds or any other conditions, their high content of vitamin C and other nutrients such as folate makes rose hips a common ingredient in multiple vitamin products."
Basically we have no real proves that it is helpful. I remember myself taking all kinds of stuff to fight cold and flu. My friends recommended me: Vitamin C, honey, vodka, hot tea, honey with vodka, honey with vodka and 1000mg of vitamin C and even cutting my head off. I am not sure what actually cured me at the end, but it took me five days and I guess it was actually my immune system that helped me the most. And Vodka. Probably in the reverse order.
What is good about Vitamin C (with or without roses) is that you have to get really a lot of it in order to start feeling sick (you can also do the same trick with water). After you consume more than 2000mg per day over a long period of time, you may develop bladder or kidney stones. This will take you years and still the link is inconclusive.
Should I Take It?
I take this vitamin C with rose hips daily just because I happened to buy it. The next one will be generic. So I would recommend taking Vitamin C as it will actually help your immune system (may be), but paying for the dead hips may not be such a good idea. If you are all-natural fun, keep in mind that there is very little vitamin C from those hips there and even if there is some, it is EXACTLY the same as that made synthetically.