C-Salts™ is the most effective non-acidic, effervescent and refreshing vitamin C drink on the market today. C-Salts™ was invented, and perfected, by Wholesale Nutrition's founder Oscar Falconi over a decade of research. Although Wholesale Nutrition offers over 50 products today, C-Salts has consistently been our best-selling product. In just the last 10 years, Wholesale Nutrition has shipped C-Salts™ to over 80 countries and to all the United States and its territories.
Before we discuss the history of C-Salts™, it is important that we first learn some of the basics of vitamin C. The story of vitamin C is the most dramatic of all the vitamins in many ways. Vitamin C, in its pure from, is a white, odorless, crystalline substance with a tart taste and is readily soluble in water. Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, may be extracted from citrus fruits, vegetables, acerola cherries, rose hips, or prepared from glucose (aka manufactured ascorbic acid).
Vitamin C is the vitamin needed in largest amounts by man, but unfortunately, man, unlike most animals, is entirely dependent upon outside sources for his supply. Of all the mammals, the only ones that can't manufacture their own vitamin C are the primates (man, ape, monkey, etc.), the Indian fruit-eating bat, and the guinea pig. All the rest make their required amounts in their livers. This inability of man and the other primates is thought to result from a genetic mutation in one of our mutual ancestors 20-50 million years ago. Irwin Stone was the first to provide evidence of this.
Irwin Stone was a biochemist, chemical engineer and author. He was the first to use vitamin C as a food preservative, and received three patents for industrial use of ascorbic acid. Irwin was also the first to hypothesize that humans require much more vitamin C than our diets can possibly provide in order to achieve optimal health. He produced four research papers from 1965 – 1967, outlining what he considered to be the true human requirement for ascorbate. His research was instrumental in numerous future clinical vitamin C megadose studies. Irwin is widely recognized as one of the founding fathers of orthomolecular medicine.
Prior to Irwin's work, vitamin C was considered to be just another vitamin, and one that was needed only in trace amounts (as all other vitamins). This tended to inhibit clear thinking as to the optimal vitamin C dosage levels and the positive effects that greater amounts could have on overall health. Irwin's genetic-disease concept provided the necessary rationale for the use of much larger doses of vitamin C and opened wide areas of research for the therapeutic use of high levels of this vitamin in infectious diseases, connective tissue diseases, cardiovascular conditions, cancer, and the aging process. It was because of this concept that Oscar Falconi would devote much of his life to learning the work of Irwin and others, and to the study of vitamin C.
Oscar Falconi graduated from MIT with a BS in Physics in the early 1950's. He worked and published in that field until the late 1960's, when, in light of new research publications yielding positive results to overall health using large doses of vitamin C, he felt compelled to make a career change. In 1967, Oscar moved to San Jose, California and made it his life's work to pursue greater knowledge and understanding of vitamin C. He began work on a megadose vitamin C product that would alleviate the issues of poor absorption (only 500mg per dose) and unwanted side effects (high sodium, upset stomach, gas, indigestion).
With a relatively acidic pH of around 2.4, ascorbic acid (vitamin C) in larger amounts is poorly absorbed and not well tolerated by the body. At the time, the only alternatives to ascorbic acid were buffered forms of vitamin C such as sodium ascorbate, which frequently caused problems for people that are sensitive to high amounts of sodium (i.e. Hypertension). Because of these limitations, Oscar saw the need to develop a megadose vitamin C product that would alleviate the issues of poor absorption (only 500mg per dose) and unwanted side effects (high sodium, upset stomach, gas, indigestion); and to this end, Oscar founded Wholesale Nutrition in 1970.
Shortly afterward, Oscar became very impressed with a specific vitamin C product, that came in a little air-tight can, containing 20 small wafers. When these wafers were added to water they effervesced, and produced a nicely carbonated, great tasting drink containing about one gram (1000mg) of vitamin C. This concept of a refreshing, effervescent vitamin C mineral water drink stuck with Oscar and several years later, he began work on a his own product. Unfortunately, making an effervescent tablet required a special facility which wasn't an option for Oscar at that time. So, he instead set out to make a powdered version. Over the next half decade Oscar created numerous formulas of varying success. Some tasted sour and were too acidic, which would defeat the whole purpose of a megadose vitamin C product that was readily absorbable. Others were more alkaline and tasted chalky like milk of magnesia. It was around this time that Irwin Stone arrived in San Jose.
Knowing well of his work and now living in the same city, Oscar reached out to Irwin to discuss his project: A vitamin C product that would incorporate greater amounts of vitamin C per dose, increased absorption rates, less acidity and minimal side effects. Irwin, intrigued by the concept, agreed to help at the request of Wholesale Nutrition, and Oscar. Over the next few years, the two worked closely on a megadose vitamin C formula that would be non-acidic, highly effective, and with just the right blend of beneficial minerals. They named the finished formula C-Salts™, a name representative of both the vitamin C and the mineral salts the product contained.
C-Salts™ didn't start out perfect. With Irwin's help, Oscar was on the right track but further adjustments to the formula were necessary as it still wasn't palatable enough to drink. Over the next half decade, Oscar continued to tweak the formula until he had it just right.
Yet, there was another challenge. The generally accepted belief at the time was that it wasn't possible to combine ascorbic acid and carbonates to get a stable product you could mix in air, put into bottles, ship, and keep on the shelves for even short periods of time. In the past, inventors had tried to mix these ingredients in small, sealed packets but with little success - the reaction between the ascorbic and the minerals always started inside the packets, causing them to swell until they burst (It was later discovered that you could indeed combine the two in packets if you kept room humidity at less than 40%).
Thus, the original C-Salts™ product actually came in two bottles: One containing vitamin C and the other containing the minerals. Customers where provided with detailed instructions on how to mix portions from each bottle together to obtain the desired effervescent mineral water drink known as C-Salts™. You can imagine that everything which could go wrong did go wrong! So Oscar took that version off the market and went back to the drawing board.
A few months later, Wholesale Nutrition had a booth at an Orthomolecular Society meeting in San Francisco, CA. Oscar was approached by a young man with a bottle of ascorbic acid mixed with carbonates and was asked what he thought about it. Oscar answered that over time, the bottle would explode. But the young man explained that the same reaction as seen with the packets, wasn't occurring in the bottle. Oscar was amazed! He went home and immediately began testing a 'combined' product over the next few months and sure enough, it worked perfectly. Oscar then brought a new product to market called “Premixed C-Salts”. One year later he dropped the word “Premixed” from the name and, voila, C-Salts™ was born!
The C-Salts™ sold today is exactly the same as it was in 1980. Since then, C-Salts™ has become a familiar name in the health industry and has been recommended numerous times in various books, journals, and newsletters. Most notably, C-Salts™ was recommended in two of Dr. Andrew Weil's NY Times best-selling books where he called C-Salts™ “The Best Form of Vitamin C”.
C-Salts™ has now been sold by Wholesale Nutrition for over 30 years. With a track record of proven results and success worldwide, the C-Salts™ story is one that will continue to be written for years to come.