Ascorbic acid is not vitamin C. Alpha tocopherol is not vitamin E. Retinoic acid is not vitamin A. And so on through the other vitamins. Vast sums of money have been expended to make these myths part of Conventional Wisdom. If you have several college degrees and all this is news to you, don’t feel bad. Unless you think your education ended at Commencement. Which is generally true Vitamins are not individual molecular compounds. Vitamins are biological complexes.
They are multi-step biochemical interactions whose action is dependent upon a number of variables within the biological terrain. Vitamin activity only takes place when all conditions are met within that environment, and when all co-factors and components of the entire vitamin complex are present and working together. Vitamin activity is even more than the sum of all those parts; it also involves timing. Vitamins cannot be isolated from their complexes and still perform their specific life functions within the cells. When isolated into artificial commercial forms, like ascorbic acid, these purified synthetics act as drugs in the body. They are no longer vitamins, and to call them such is inaccurate.