Vitamin C, ascorbic acid and food-based nutrients:
Many of these supporting molecules are not as potent as the target molecule you're looking for (such as curcuminoids in turmeric), yet they compete for absorption in your body's cells, effectively reducing the concentration and potency of the isolated nutrient you're interested in. Turmeric, for example, contains curcuminoids but also hundreds of other nutrients. When eaten as a whole food, all those various nutrients (molecules) compete with the potency and concentration of curcuminoids in your blood. In this way they provide a wide-ranging array of nutrients with less potency of each nutrient.
Think of a wide-angle flashlight that's shining a very wide beam into a forest. It's lighting up the trees, but the amount of light on any given tree is quite dim.
However, if you extract, isolate or build these nutrients using fermentation, enzymatic reactions of other means, you get a single nutrient that's highly purified, homogenous and extremely potent. This nutrient, taken in isolation, lacks the diversity of the plant-based nutrients but gains enormous potency and therapeutic intensity in the body. Suddenly, a molecule that's only found in foods at very low levels can become a highly therapeutic molecule at high concentrations consumed in isolation.
There is where purified vitamin C is so amazing: It's highly concentrated yet almost totally non-hazardous. It's almost impossible to overdose to the point of harm from vitamin C. I'm not aware of a single case in the history of the world where someone died from taking too much vitamin C. Thanks to that safety profile, isolated vitamin C (ascorbic acid) can be consumed in its high purity form where it gets rapidly absorbed by the body, without other competing molecules getting in the way.
Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/053830_vitamin_C_ascorbid_acid_sodium_ascorbate.html#ixzz477gqa2ud
Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/053830_vitamin_C_ascorbid_acid_sodium_ascorbate.html#ixzz477f5NmuJ