What is Ascorbyl Palmitate?

Deneatra Harmon

Ascorbyl palmitate is actually a variant of ascorbic acid, commonly known as vitamin C. This fat-soluble supplement provides antioxidant protection that helps to improve overall health. Sometimes referred to as ester, this form of ascorbic acid usually comes as an antioxidant pill or food additive. Dosage amounts vary depending on the product and the health needs of the person. This substances produces no known side effects, but people with specific conditions should seek the advice of a doctor before taking the supplement.

Ascorbyl palmitate protects the skin from sun damage.
Ascorbyl palmitate protects the skin from sun damage.

Derived from a mix of palm oil and corn dextrose sources, ascorbyl palmitate contains most of the benefits of vitamin C. It acts as a backup in the event that the body lacks vitamin C nutrients that it would normally get from fruits and vegetables. Some people also take this substance, often marketed as "ester-C," when one source of vitamin C does not fulfill the nutrient requirements. While most forms of ascorbic acid and vitamin C are water-soluble, ascorbyl palmitate is fat-soluble, meaning that it stores itself in the human body's cell membranes for future use.

Ascorbyl palmitate supports joint health.
Ascorbyl palmitate supports joint health.

Ascorbyl palmitate, according to medical experts, supports vascular and joint health as well as protects cell membranes. The ascorbic acid derivative also fights free radicals and protects the skin from damage that may have been caused by the sun. This vitamin C equivalent is also known to protect the body's immune system. In addition, the supplement reportedly assists in supporting the body's defenses, including white blood cell counts, antibody responses and hormone levels.

Ascorbyl palmitate is often added to potato chips.
Ascorbyl palmitate is often added to potato chips.

This antioxidant food additive commonly appears as an ingredient in grocery items. For instance, ascorbyl palmitate acts as a fat-soluble antioxidant that helps to increase the shelf life of snacks such as potato chips or items such as vegetable oils. This form of ascorbic acid also is available in pill form to be taken as a vitamin supplement. Medical experts recommend that a person takes one or two 450 to 500 mg pills every day to receive the full benefits. The pills should also be taken with meals to avoid an upset stomach.

Side effects of this ester product appear to be rare. Women who are pregnant or people who take other medications or have specific medical conditions should seek the advice of a doctor before using this form of vitamin C. Blood-thinning medications or amphetamines used to treat attention deficit disorder may react negatively with ascorbic acid. People with problems such as iron overload or kidney failure also should avoid taking this form of vitamin C supplement as it can cause kidney stones.

Ascorbyl palmitate is derived from palm oil and corn dextrose sources.
Ascorbyl palmitate is derived from palm oil and corn dextrose sources.

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Discussion Comments


I have kidney disease, so I can't take this kind of vitamin C tablets. Getting kidney stones on top of my other problems would be extremely painful, and I might have complications from them. I will get my vitamin C from food only.


@DylanB – I doubt that it does. In fact, I doubt that even vitamin C pills can do for you what natural sources of vitamin C can.

I am all about eating raw fruits and vegetables for nutrition. I don't take any supplements, because I believe that natural is best.

Scientists admit that they don't know all about why fruits and veggies are good for us. They can't copy that in pill form, because even they don't understand it.


I wonder if this makes potato chips good for you in a roundabout way. Maybe I will feel less bad about eating them now that I know they contain a type of vitamin C!

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