Vitamin C and collagen: understanding the connection
You may have heard about the importance of collagen for forming connective tissues to give your body support and shape. What you will be surprised to learn is that without vitamin C, your body won’t be able make collagen causing long-term health effects.
What is vitamin C?
Vitamin C is an essential micronutrient needed for tissues that make your body function. It is normally transported through your bloodstream for growth and repair of tissues in your body.
Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant and prevents cells from breaking down in your body after they have been damaged from exposure to the sun, smoke or harmful compounds in your body.
How does vitamin C help make collagen?
Collagen is a protein made up of long fibrous chains, called polypeptides. Each link in the chain is an amino acid that keeps the collagen protein stable and mature.
Vitamin C has a vital role during the assembly of the amino acids in collagen protein’s polypeptide chains. In particular, two essential amino acids, proline and lysine, use vitamin C to combine and link together in the collagen polypeptide chains.
Without vitamin C, collagen formation is disrupted as the links in chains between these amino acids cannot form, weakening the collagen protein.
Vitamin C deficiency effects on collagen in your body
Collagen is an important protein that makes up all the connective tissue that holds your body together. It is considered a building block of your body that fills in-between your muscles, skin, arteries, organs and bones to anchor and keep strong.
Your body continuously needs collagen to maintain and repair connective tissues lost to daily wear and tear.
A deficiency of vitamin C, known as scurvy, in your body means collagen is not formed properly. The protein is weakened becomes less stable and more-temperature sensitive.
If the collagen protein is broken down it leads to a weakening of all the collagenous structures in your body. This can cause tooth loss, joint pains, bone and connective tissue disorders and poor wound healing.
Where to source vitamin C
Clinical studies have shown applying vitamin C directly to your skin in creams, serum or patches stimulates a higher production of collagen in your skin, reducing the effects of skin damage from the sun.
However, your body doesn’t naturally produce vitamin C. To keep up levels in your bloodstream for other parts of your body, you need to ensure you are eating enough in your diet.
Vitamin C is a naturally occurring nutrient that can be found in a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables. Two of the highest sources of Vitamin C in the world are Kakadu Plum and Camu Camu. You will find Camu Camu in our Peruvian SuperBlend Collagen
Your body can get adequate amounts of vitamin C by including:
- Citrus fruits
- Green leafy vegetables
You can take a supplement of vitamin C orally to improve the levels in your bloodstream.
Want to learn more about the importance of supplements?
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Traikovich, S.S. Use of topical ascorbic acid and its effect on photodamaged skin topography Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surgery 1999; 125(10):1091-8