Collagen supplementation has snowballed over the past few years due to its potential to improve skin elasticity and connective tissue health. It’s the most abundant protein in the body but declines as we age. It’s no surprise that supplementation is so popular. Although the benefits of collagen peptides are well known, what’s not as well known is the role vitamin C plays in its effectiveness. So, supplementing with collagen is good, but ensuring you get enough vitamin C in conjunction is even better. People with complicating health factors may be especially concerned about vitamin C deficiency.
The Role of Vitamin C
Vitamin C (also known as L-ascorbic acid) is widely appreciated for supporting immunity and antioxidant processes. The body cannot produce it, so it must be acquired through diet. Although some immune cells store vitamin C, it is water-soluble, so any excess volume excretes rapidly. Therefore, consuming several smaller doses of vitamin C throughout each day is helpful, especially since absorption dramatically declines at doses over 200 mg. Many fruits and vegetables will provide reasonable levels of C. Still, a supplement may be necessary for people with dietary restrictions, illness, or injury.
Vitamin C is also necessary to synthesize the immensely popular structural protein collagen.
Collagen is a protein that comprises much of our connective tissues, including our joints, tendons, ligaments, and skin. It increases strength and flexibility, allowing for smooth joint articulation and ease of mobility.
Specialized cells, called chondrocytes, produce collagen. Collagen peptides can stimulate chondrocytes to produce relevant tissues, and ascorbic acid further supports the process.
Peptides are unique combinations of amino acids and precursors to specific tissues. Supplementing collagen peptides and ascorbic acid is an efficient way to encourage wound healing and improve the strength and flexibility of connective tissues.
It comes in many forms and potencies for those who require vitamin C supplementation. We advise you to take several small doses throughout the day to help avoid the chance of taking more than your body can absorb. Options include capsules, gummies, or powders at varying potencies.
The most efficient collagen dosing is as a granulated powder added to liquids. Options include using the powder in smoothies, oatmeal, or mixed in milk and used with coffee or cereal. Effective doses range from 12-gram to 25-gram servings once or twice a day. Collagen may also be obtained from bone broth if preferred.
Should I buy a product with both?
While combination products exist, someone who eats a balanced diet won’t likely need to supplement their vitamin C. However, if your diet isn’t great or you have complicating factors, you may want to consider it.
As always, we’re here to help! Please talk to us if you have further questions.