how do supplements exist


like how are vitamin C and protein shakes and stuff like that, how are they made? i know these things can be found in food but how do people go about extracting it?

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Protein shakes are usually whey powder. This is made by taking cows milk and adding some acid, which causes it to curdle. This causes the fats to separate out as curds (like with cottage cheese), leaving you with the liquid whey. Then you evaporate off the water to get whey powder.

Vitamin C is L-ascorbic acid, found in most plants and animals, usually generated via photosynthesis. Humans can’t make it, so we have to consume it. Citrus fruits are very acidic, and much of that acid is ascorbic acid and citric acid. However, extracting just the ascorbic acid would be really expensive, so chemists make it by converting glucose to sorbitol via exposure to hydrogen gas, then the sorbitol is fermented to form sorbose, which is then further fermented into gulonic acid. This then gets concentrated and ionized, which creates gluconic acid, which can then be treated to easily extract ascorbic acid as a solid.