Collagen and vitamin C are both important for our health and as such, are both available as food supplements.\nThe 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.\n\nFrom our early 20s, and certainly by the time we’ve reached our 40s, we lose the ability to manufacture collagen as abundantly as when we were younger.\nOur 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.\nVitamin 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.\nVitamin 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.\nFor this reason, some people choose to take collagen supplements to help keep their natural levels topped up, alongside vitamin C supplements to help ensure the body uses collagen efficiently.\nCollagen and Vitamin C - FAQs\nCan you take collagen and vitamin C together?\nVitamin C is important in the synthesis of collagen and has an active role in its production. It also helps to bind collagen fibres together and therefore taking vitamin C and collagen together as a supplement is considered beneficial.\nCan you take collagen with other vitamins?\nYes, you can take a multivitamin and a collagen supplement at the same time to support healthy skin and improved wellbeing.\nDoes vitamin C give you collagen?\nVitamin C helps the body manufacture collagen and also protects it against oxidative damage caused by a poor diet, stress, smoking and UV light exposure.\nIs vitamin C or collagen better?\nVitamin C and collagen both play a role in the health of the skin, joints and other connective tissues, but one isn’t better than the other. Collagen cannot be manufactured without vitamin C and vitamin C cannot be manufactured by the body at all, we require it in our diet.\nHow much vitamin C should I take to build collagen?\nBetween 500mg and 1000mg per day.\nHow do collagen and vitamin C work together?\nIn order to manufacture collagen, the body requires various amino acids (the building blocks of proteins such as collagen) including proline and glycine, as well as the minerals copper and zinc and crucially, vitamin C.\n\nVitamin C helps in the production of collagen by promoting the production of cells called fibroblasts. Fibroblasts are found within the skin and help to produce the fibrous connective tissues that keep our skin and joints healthy and supple, by secreting collagen.\nSince vitamin C is essential for the health and abundance of fibroblasts and fibroblasts manufacture collagen, vitamin C is considered an important cofactor in collagen production. In other words, without vitamin C, we wouldn’t have fibroblasts, without fibroblasts, we wouldn’t have collagen.\n\nNot only that, since vitamin C is an antioxidant, it also helps to protect collagen from the damaging effects of free radical damage. Free radicals are unstable molecules of oxygen that move around the body scavenging for spare electrons to make them stable again.\nThey can lead to cellular and DNA damage, and can also cause the degradation of collagen. Free radicals can be neutralised by antioxidants such as vitamin C. They also help to fix broken strands of the DNA that “code for” the production of collagen.\nSince vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, the body cannot store it. Therefore, we need to consume it in our diet every day, any excess is eliminated from the body in urine. Eating a diet high in vitamin C-rich foods, such as citrus fruits and juices, berries, peppers, broccoli and potatoes, is therefore beneficial for collagen production.\nTaking collagen and vitamin C supplements\nAs we age, the process by which the body manufactures collagen begins to become less efficient. At the same time, stress, smoking, a poor diet and exposure to the UV light from the sun all reduce collagen production. This leads some people to take collagen supplements to keep their levels topped up.\nVitamin C helps in the synthesis and protection of collagen, so taking a vitamin C supplement at the same time as a collagen supplement can be beneficial.\nHow to supplement with collagen and vitamin C\n\nCollagen supplements are generally bovine-derived. The choice is personal, but marine collagen, such as Planet Paleo’s marine collagen powder is the best choice for those looking to add it to their skincare routine.\nIt’s generally recommended that you take between 2.5g and 15g of collagen per day for the maximum benefit.\nVitamin 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.\nIt’s best to take any kind of supplement, including collagen and vitamin C regularly for at least three months to determine their benefit.\n\nJoin us to get updates and special deals monthly:\n\n \n
Hannah de Gruchy
Health and wellness author and biologist specialised in sustainability, nutrition and eco-living.