Collagen Benefits Your Skin But Theres A Catch
There’s always a catch!
As we age, our natural collagen production decreases leading to a gradual deterioration of our hair, skin, teeth and nails. You see this visibly in wrinkled skin or osteoporosis.
Collagen got its fame as a nonsurgical remedy in the beauty and health scene for combating wrinkles.
It is thought to do this by forming fibroblasts which facilitate the growth of new cells . This helps replace dead skin with new youthful skin.
How To Supplement With Collagen And Vitamin C
Collagen supplements are generally bovine-derived. The choice is personal, but marine collagen, such as Planet Paleos marine collagen powder is the best choice for those looking to add it to their skincare routine.
Its generally recommended that you take between 2.5g and 15g of collagen per day for the maximum benefit.
Vitamin C capsules are available in different strengths, between 500mg and 1000mg per day is generally recommended. Chewable vitamin C tablets are also available if you prefer.
Its best to take any kind of supplement, including collagen and vitamin C regularly for at least three months to determine their benefit.
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Hannah de Gruchy
Health and wellness author and biologist specialised in sustainability, nutrition and eco-living.
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Why Your Collagen Powder Should Always Have Vitamin C
Here’s what we know about collagen production: Naturally, your body produces less and less of its own with age and due to oxidative stress, UV damage, diet, and other lifestyle factors. We also know that your body will produce less collagen during times of stress or anxiety. Finally, and thankfully, we know that there are a few things you can do to support your body’s natural production.
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Pair Your Collagen With These Nutrients For Extra Oomph
If youre reading this, youre probably already pretty familiar with collagen. This proteinthe most abundant in the bodyis responsible for the health of your skin, nails, bones, joints, and other connective tissues.
Thing is, our diet today doesnt provide much collagen, and our ability to produce it declines as we age. Thats why wellness warriors have been incorporating collagen supplementswhich range from collagen capsules, to bone broth , to just-add-water powders and teasinto their diets. Supplement fans praise the extra protein for everything from boosting their digestive health, to keeping their joints in tip-top shape, to working some serious skin-smoothing magicand the trend only continues to grow.
Adding collagen alone to your routine can boost your health in a number of ways, but it turns out that it can do its job even better when paired with certain nutrients. Here are six of collagens nutritional besties keep them in mind the next time youre blending up a protein-packed smoothie or taking your daily supplement.
Benefits Of Taking Vitamin C With Collagen
by Hannah de GruchyJune 29, 2022
Collagen and vitamin C are both important for our health and as such, are both available as food supplements.
The most abundant protein in the human body, collagen, plays a structural role and is found in the skin as well as in the bones and muscles. It is also found in the cartilage within our ligaments that hold the joints together, allowing them to move freely.
From our early 20s, and certainly by the time weve reached our 40s, we lose the ability to manufacture collagen as abundantly as when we were younger.
Our natural collagen levels decline and as a result, we may notice that our skin begins to show visible signs of ageing such as fine lines, wrinkles, sagging and a loss of elasticity and plumpness. We may also begin to notice that our joints feel stiff and painful.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble, antioxidant vitamin that the body cannot manufacture itself. Therefore, we need to consume vitamin C in our diets every day. This important vitamin has various roles, including supporting the work of the immune system, keeping both our DNA and cells healthy and functioning normally.
Vitamin C is also essential for the health of our skin, cartilage, blood vessels and bones all places where collagen is found. In fact, the body cannot produce collagen without vitamin C.
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How Does Vitamin C Affect Collagen
Vitamin C is needed for the synthesis and maintenance of collagen. It helps to produce collagen, as it has an active role in collagen synthesis. It also acts as a sort of glue that binds collagen fibers together.
Also, it helps in the process of regenerating vitamin E. Vitamin C is important for immune support, skin health, and the growth and repair of body tissues. The recommended daily allowance for vitamin C is no more than 2,000mg per day, with a minimum of 75mg.
Do You Need Vitamin C To Absorb Collagen
Absorption. Goodness, this specific detail around collagen and C has shifted far and away from science and biology.
No, you do not need vitamin c to absorb collagen. Its a wild claim to suggest that you cant absorb collagen without vitamin c. Harbin Clinic defines this nicely, Absorption occurs when the small intestine breaks down nutrients that are then absorbed into your bloodstream and carried to cells through your body. Does your small intestine wait around for vitamin c before it absorbs a scoop of collagen powder with your morning coffee? Theres just no evidence to prove this or anything of that nature.
Once collagen hits the small intestines, boom, absorption begins! Theres no waiting for vitamin C.
Instead, we need healthy gut flora and healthy intestinal cells. Hands down, the fastest way to improve the health of your gut flora and all your intestinal cells is to avoid seed oils and limit your intake of refined flours and sugars, explains Dr. Cate.
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Vitamin C And Gut Healing
Vitamin C also plays a vital role in helping form collagen networks in the body which form healthy tissues in internal organs, including the gut. Believe it or not, collagen assists in several functions in your digestive tract:
- It helps to balance stomach acid by its high glycine content.
- It helps to keep the digestive tract hydrated through a process called collagen glycation .
- It is thought to aid in the repairing of the stomach and intestines as type I and type III collagen are the raw materials for pretty much all connective tissues in the GI tract.Research has also linked higher levels of collagen with helping Irritable Bowel Syndrome , stomach ulcers, and healing Leaky Gut Syndrome. A study conducted by University Hospital Heraklion in Greece found that patients who had lower serum collagen levels had a higher incidence of IBS than those who had a level more in the normal range .While there have been no major studies yet as to the direct connection between collagen levels and Leaky Gut, it would make sense that boosting your collagen levels through increasing vitamin C, taking collagen supplements, or both would help seal the gut. After all, the villi in the gut are made of collagen. Leaky Gut has long been connected with many disease conditions, especially autoimmune disorders .
How To Take Vitamin C With Collagen To Heal The Gut
I may receive a commission if you purchase through links in this post. I am not a doctor please consult your practitioner before changing your supplement or healthcare regimen.
How and why to take Vitamin C with collagen, to heal the gut, is an encouraging topic. Its hopeful, because it means we have one more lead in our process of wellness.
When searching out the missing pieces of how to seal and heal a leaky gut it never ceases to amaze me how many components there are. A friend may find one or two missing pieces and voila, experience wellness. She can eat liberally again and is virtually symptom-free. She learned what does and doesnt work for her body and her leaky gut is a thing of the past.
Sounds dreamy, right? While others may toil away on a restricted diet for years
Our bodies complexities know no bounds. We are always discovering new connections, how co-factors function to knit our bodies parts together to a healthy whole. Without certain components, our bodies dont have the tools they need to build or maintain.
Lets learn one more missing piece that may help some of us to heal and seal that leaky gut, too.
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Downsides And Side Effects Of Collagen Supplements
Collagen supplements are generally well tolerated, with few reported side effects.
However, some supplements are made from common food allergens, such as fish, shellfish, and eggs. People with allergies to these foods should avoid collagen supplements made with these ingredients.
Some people have also reported nausea and bloating when taking collagen supplements, but these effects werent directly related to the supplements (
Currently, no vegan collagen supplements are available.
However, you can buy supplements that contain the primary amino acids involved in collagen synthesis glycine, lycine, and proline. Some supplements obtain these amino acids from vegan sources.
They may also contain vitamin C and hyaluronic acid, which helps your tissues retain water, keeping them lubricated and moist.
Keratin the structural protein in hair, nails, and skin has been suggested as an alternative to collagen, but theres limited research to support keratin products for anything other than topical application on skin and hair .
Keratin is also not vegan, as its derived from the feathers, wool, and horns of various animals.
Collagens makeup of amino acids is different from those of other proteins, meaning the alternatives are limited.
Is There A Best Time To Take Collagen And Vitamin C
Lets start with saying that your body can absorb and put collagen to use at all times of day. So the best time to take collagen is whenever its convenient for you. Theres no need to perfectly align your daily collagen and C intake.
You DO NOT have to to do this:
- 7:16 am = add a scoop of collagen powder to coffee, check!
- 8:16 am = wait 1 hour, eat a bowl of tomatoes to obtain 100%DV of vitamin c, check!
- 8:17 am = Start binging old episodes of The Office
But, you certainly can if you wish! No harm, no foul here.
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May Improve Skin Health
Collagen is a major component of your skin.
It plays a role in strengthening skin, as well as in elasticity and hydration. As you age, your body produces less collagen, leading to dry skin and the formation of wrinkles .
However, several studies have shown that collagen peptides or supplements containing collagen may help slow the aging of your skin by reducing wrinkles and dryness.
One review of 11 studies focusing mostly on women found that taking 310 grams of collagen per day for an average of 69 days led to improvements in skin elasticity and hydration .
These supplements may work by stimulating your body to produce collagen on its own. Additionally, collagen supplements may promote the production of other proteins that help structure your skin, including elastin and fibrillin .
There are also many anecdotal claims that collagen supplements help prevent acne and other skin conditions, but these arent supported by scientific evidence.
May Help Protect Against Sun Damage
The antioxidants in vitamin C may help defend against the damage that UV light can cause. That doesnât mean that you can use a vitamin C skin serum in place of sunscreen. It canât replace SPF since it doesnât absorb UVA or UVB rays. But if UV light does get into your skin, some research suggests that vitamin C can help blunt the harm.
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What You Get Wrong About Collagen And Skin Health
Most people miss the point with collagen and skin health. Why? Because of the way most collagen is presented to you.
The catch is that no research shows the beneficial effects of collagen in topical form. Let that sink in for a second.
Why is this the case? Collagen molecules are too large for your skin to absorb them, rendering collagen based skin care products useless . Your money is better directed elsewhere as there are no benefits.
Luckily, there are health benefits when you eat collagen. Through a collagen rich diet youll improve your skins appearance from the inside and out.
Theres a growing stack of research showing an increase in skin elasticity from collagen supplementation after eight weeks .
Skin elasticity sounds fancy, but what is really going on here? Skin elasticity is increased by repairing damaged collagen fibers, increasing collagen content and restoring the ratio of type 1 to type 3 collagen in chronically aged skin .
Replacing damaged collagen fibers with new collagen is what restores your skins hydration status. You develop an abundance of connective tissue making your skin appear more smooth and supple.
The same mechanism works on your hair and nails. Although most research focuses on skin.
Regardless of the research, celebrities are using collagen for its benefits. Here is what Kourtney Kardashian thinks.
“It has hyaluronic acid so it’s really good for your skin. And of course, collagen, which is great for skin, hair, nailsso many benefits.”
Can You Take Collagen And Vitamin C Together
Yes, you can take collagen and vitamin C together. In fact, doing so will likely boost your skin health even more than if you just took one of the supplements on its own.
There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a vitamin C supplement and a collagen supplement. The benefits of collagen help to beautify you from the inside out. For collagen supplements, you want to make sure it’s as clean as possible. This means no additives or flavorings. You also want to make sure the product is non-gmo or organic to ensure the highest quality. Otherwise, it may contain additives that could hinder the benefits of collagen. There are no known side effects of collagen supplements, making it a safe supplement to try. Vitamin C supplements are similar, as they are generally very safe. You should look for ones that don’t have any excess ingredients. There are a lot of powder supplements that have added coloring and flavoring.
One thing to note in regards to skincare is that vitamin C does work on the skin topically, whereas collagen does not. Serums and creams that contain vitamin C are great for renewing skin cells, repairing damage, and making skin glow. Topical vitamin C can be strong, so it’s important to wear sunscreen as well. Collagen, on the other hand, cannot be absorbed through the skin.
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Which Amino Acids In Collagen Are Most Reliant On Vitamin C
Vitamin C helps turn the amino acids proline and lysine into the modified amino acids hydroxyproline and hydroxylysine. These two modified amino acids are unique to collagen.
Without vitamin c, theres no hydroxyproline or hydroxylysine. Without those two modified amino acids, theres no collagen.
Vitamin C Is An Antioxidant
One of vitamin Cs most well-known benefits is its ability to help protect our cells from damage caused by free radicals.1,2,3 Free radicals are compounds that are produced when the body converts food to energy.1,2 They can also form in response to exposure to radiation or pollutants like tobacco smoke, air pollution and ultraviolet light.1,2 One of the negative effects of free radicals is that they contribute to the bodys aging process. Research shows that free radicals may also be associated with serious health conditions like heart disease, cancer and arthritis.1,2 A benefit of antioxidants like vitamin C is that they help neutralize these free radical molecules.3
Vitamin C isnt the only antioxidantvitamin A, vitamin E, selenium, beta carotene, lutein and lycopene are also antioxidant substances.4 Antioxidants like vitamin C can be found in foods like fruits and vegetables or in dietary supplements.4
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Can You Take Collagen With Vitamins
Yes, collagen supplements can be taken with other vitamins, such as vitamin C, D, and any other essential vitamins you incorporate into your routine. Its worth noting that some collagen supplements already contain these essential vitamins.
Before consuming both collagen and vitamin supplements, we recommend that you check the recommended dosage for each vitamin and ensure you are staying within the daily allowance.
Vitamin C: An Overview
Vitamin C, otherwise known as ascorbic acid, helps your body form blood vessels, muscle tissue and collagen. Since we cannot produce vitamin C naturally, we get it from our diets by consuming leafy greens, fruits and vegetables.
In addition to stocking up on your greens, you can also take a vitamin C supplement like our Beauty Boost Capsules to boost, or maintain, your vitamin C levels. Other options include our Glow Collagen Shot and our Skin Hydration Boost Capsules just to name a few options. Note: We outline all of our vitamin C packed products at the end of this post!
In terms of how much of it you should be taking, the daily recommended amount of vitamin C is about 75mg for women and 90mg for men. As always, we do recommend consulting your licensed healthcare professional before adding a new supplement to your regimen.
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The Skin Biological Pathways Were Studied At Molecular Level
The expression of proteic as well as glucidic skin markers has been measured by immuno-histochemistry in human tissue explants after the different topical treatments.
Effects of ex-vivo topical treatment of human skin explants for 10 days with three formulations containing 3 wt% Vit C, upon collagen type I expression in whole skin and GAGs staining at dermalepidermal junction . Collagen type I was labeled by a rabbit anti-human collagen I antibody with biotin/streptavidin amplification and FITC fluorescence revelation and cell nuclei stained with propidium iodide . Pictures were realized with a tri CCD DXC 390P camera and stored with Leica IM1000 software, version 1.10 . Staining of fixed skin sections with Schiff reagent revealed the neutral GAGs as purple pink near DEJ , at the bottom of upper epidermis layer. One-way ANOVA with Tukeys post-test was used to compare collagen I signal , relative to untreated control . GAGs coloration measured as percent of DEJ surface from each explant was compared in formulations and untreated control by one-way ANOVA with Tukeys post-test . Graphs were done with GraphPad Prism version 5.0.0 for Windows . Scale bar=50 µm panel A, and 100 m panel C.