Although not everyone may need an additional supplement containing vitamin C for healthy collagen levels (especially if you eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables that supply plenty of vitamin C), taking one could help boost your levels over time. Vitamin C is essential for the formation of collagen and deficiency in this vitamin can lead to a reduction in your body’s ability to produce collagen, according to the National Institutes of Health.
You can boost your vitamin C intake by eating citrus fruits, such as lemons, oranges and grapefruits; other great sources are bell peppers, kale, broccoli and tomatoes. If you don’t get enough vitamin C through your diet or supplements, consider eating foods fortified with this nutrient, such as breakfast cereals or dairy products.
Collagen is a protein that provides structure to our skin, joints, bones and more.
- Collagen is a protein that provides structure to our skin, joints, bones and more. It makes up about one-third of the body’s protein and is the most abundant structural protein in the body.
- Collagen is also a major component of connective tissue. Our bodies contain about 28 different types of collagen, but 80 to 90 percent of it consists of types I, II and III. Type I collagen is found in skin, tendon, vascular tissue, bone and organs. It can be modified with vitamin C to increase its effectiveness as an antioxidant.
- Type II collagen is primarily found within cartilage but also makes up part of your corneas (the outer layer covering your eyes) as well as parts of the placenta during pregnancy.
Can I Take Collagen and Vitamin C Together?
Yes, you can! Vitamin C is not only necessary for collagen synthesis, but it also helps to protect your collagen from damage. The recommended daily amount of vitamin C for adults is 75 milligrams for women and 90 milligrams for men, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
It also helps your body absorb iron. And vitamin C is crucial for making collagen in your bones, tendons and ligaments, too.
It’s also necessary to form scar tissue and blood vessels — both of which can be helpful during wound healing.
Does Collagen Work Better with Vitamin C? Is Vitamin C Good for Collagen Production?
Vitamin C plays a vital role in collagen production. It is needed both to create new collagen and maintain existing collagen health. If you don’t have enough vitamin C, your body will struggle to produce as much collagen as it needs.
Why Is Vitamin C Good for You?
Vitamin C is needed for other important functions that may be impaired if your diet is deficient in the nutrient, such as the creation of other proteins and enzymes, white blood cell function and antioxidant activity throughout your body.
It also supports your immune system for optimal health and wellness. Vitamin C helps repair and regenerate tissues, protecting them from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are compounds that can damage cells and lead to illnesses like cancer.
Does Collagen Absorb Better with Vitamin C?
Yes. Thankfully, most collagen supplements already contain vitamin C to boost absorption.
When taken together, collagen and vitamin C work synergistically to support skin health and create beautiful results from the inside out.
When there isn’t enough vitamin C available, this will limit the production of collagen, which can have detrimental effects on health.
Where Can You Find Vitamin C?
Peppers are one of the best dietary sources of vitamin C because they contain high amounts of capsaicin.
Capsaicin, the chemical in peppers that gives them a spicy kick, is a natural source of vitamin C. In fact, research shows that capsaicin can be useful in healing wounds, due to its ability to increase blood flow.
You may have noticed the connection between the capsaicin and vitamin C — if you think about it, it’s not surprising that a hot pepper contains more than 1,000% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin C. Peppers are one of the best sources of this nutrient — red peppers actually contain three times as much vitamin C as citrus fruits like oranges or grapefruits!
Oranges are another excellent source of vitamin C.
One medium orange contains approximately 70 calories. Oranges also contain vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin and folate. The other vitamins present in oranges promote healthy skin and a strong immune system. In addition to these vitamins, oranges contain antioxidants that may help prevent kidney stones or lower your risk for developing ulcers or cancer
Get Your Vitamin C from Whole Foods or A Supplement Containing Other Nutrients.
As with most supplements, it’s important to be aware of how much you’re taking. Too much vitamin C can cause an upset stomach or kidney stones.
According to the Mayo Clinic, you don’t need more than 100 milligrams daily. However, if you take it in combination with other antioxidants (such as vitamins E and A), which also support collagen production in the body—the Institute of Medicine says amounts reaching 500 milligrams might be safe. The Mayo Clinic warns that taking too much supplemental vitamin C on a regular basis could cause diarrhea or constipation.
The NIH says higher doses of this nutrient have been linked with a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke; however, it also notes that some evidence suggests high doses may slightly raise the risk for kidney stones.