(NaturalNews) You've probably seen this often on containers of vitamin C, "from rose hips" or "with rose hips." Then, upon looking more closely, you'll likely see "vitamin C from ascorbic acid 500 mg" or even 1000 mg and "rose hips 60 mg" (more or less).
So, marketing makes it seem as though you're getting vitamin C from rose hips, but it's mostly ascorbic acid with a dash of rose hips. You may understandably wonder: what are rose hips anyway?
Rose hips are the fruits of rose plants; they are small, red and round. You rarely, if ever, see them, because as seed pods they are pruned to encourage more rose flower growth. If left alone, any rose bush will yield rose hip seed pods or fruits after the flowers shed their petals.
But the wild dog rose, a plant that grows up to 10 feet high with fragrant white flowers, is considered the best for gathering rose hips. Rose hips are high in vitamin C and other nutrients, flavonoids and antioxidants such as carotenoids, polyphenols, and catechins.
However, half or more of the vitamin C potency is lost while drying the rose hips for teas or powders that are added to ascorbic acid supplements. That makes under one gram of rose hips powder an even slimmer source of vitamin C.
A rose hip human trial for reducing cardiac and diabetes risk
A human rose hip trial was conducted by Sweden's Department of Experimental Medical Science, Lund University, where they used much higher amounts of rose hip powder than what you see on many vitamin C supplements.
The study was originally published in December 2011 by the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (EJCN) and reported widely by other journals and journalists afterward. It effectively went viral.
The Swedish research team recruited 31 obese subjects for this trial. Some, but not all, had glucose tolerance issues. Because of the small amount of subjects, the method used was a randomized double-blind cross-over study.
A cross-over study involves all the subjects taking both treatments and controls or placebos. They take turns and don't know what they're taking when. This tends to compensate for the smaller number of people in the trial, effectively doubling the number of subjects.
The same type of fruit juice mix was used for both the test drinks and the control beverage. Forty grams of rose hip powder mixed in water and consumed daily for six weeks was alternated with six weeks consuming the control beverage.
Obviously, 40 grams daily is a lot compared to the under 100 milligrams (one-tenth of a gram) of rose hip powder used in vitamin C supplements. One ounce is equivalent to 30 grams.
You can purchase one pound, almost 454 grams, of rose hips powder for slightly over seven U.S. dollars online from a good source. An ounce daily at around seven bucks a pound is do-able. Two pounds should last a month. A good source doesn't spray the rose plants with chemicals. [*]
After the six weeks of consuming rose hip powder, systolic blood pressure was reduced an average of 3.5%. Systolic is the upper number indicating the pressure exerted against blood vessel walls with each heart beat. It's sometimes considered a more important cardiovascular risk factor than diastolic readings.
Total cholesterol readings were reduced by nearly 5% while LDL readings dropped 6% on average. According to the Reynolds Risk Score, designed to predict cardiovascular disease risk over a ten year period, these obese folks lowered their cardiovascular disease risk factor by 17% with the rose hip powder in six weeks.
Combining rose hips with other plant foods to determine higher synergistic potentials was also suggested. One might consider dietary and lifestyle changes for losing weight while combining rose hips with cayenne and Hawthorne berry (http://www.naturalnews.com).