Ascorbyl palmitate (AP) is a fat-soluble form of Vitamin C. Its antioxidant activity is the same as that of ordinary (water-soluble)
Vitamin C, but AP is far more persistent. The palmitate portion of the AP molecule penetrates the membranes of cells and stays
there, anchoring the ascorbyl portion just outside the cell membrane, where its antioxidant activitites are most needed. Ordinary
Vitamin C molecules, on the other hand, drift around in the watery regions of the body, only occasionally bumping into a cell
membrane and doing what we want them to do: quenching free radicals.
Medical research indicates that AP stimulates collagen production in skin and other tissues, and that it penetrates into nervous
tissue where it protects against free radical damage.
Because of its excellent skin penetration and its ability to induce collagen production, ascorbyl palmitate is frequently
used in topical formulations of Vitamin C. Studies have shown that it is an effective anti-inflammatory in cases of psoriasis
and sunburn, and that it causes skin to become thicker, softer, more resilient, even-toned, and less wrinkled. Both topical
and oral formulations have shown powerful anti-tumor actions — 91% suppression in mouse experiments.
When ascorbyl palmitate is swallowed, most of it is broken up into ascorbic acid and palmitic acid during digestion — only
a small portion survives as AP and is absorbed into the body. This low bioavailability is the reason why substantial doses
(such as 500 mg) are needed. The bioavailability of AP might be increased by taking it with a teaspoon of baking soda dissolved
in water, or by allowing the supplement to dissolve under the tongue — a possibility that has yet to be investigated. (Users
who try this with LifeLink’s product should be aware that the tablets contain some excipients that won’t dissolve.)