The importance of Vitamin C in Collagen
30 April 2019
Dr FD Mellett (PhD Adnim Sci)
The importance of Vitamin C in collagen metabolism was first noticed by sailors in the 15’th century, manifesting as gum disease and loss of teeth. Various other symptoms manifest in the body, such as a reduced rate of healing of wounds, red spots under the skin and bone pain (1).
Collagen is a protein. Proteins are made up from amino (NH3) acids (COOH) which are joined by another carbon (C), with various side structures. A string of these amino acids linked together forms a protein. In the case of collagen, three such chains coil up to form a very strong collagen filament. It is well known that spinning yarn strengthen textiles to a degree much higher than the breaking strength of the sum of the individual strands. The same applied to the triple stand. The fractions of collagen (called peptides; short chains of amino acids) are formed within the cells of the body. These are then released by the cells to link together outside the cell to form strong collagen as scaffolding around the cells. It is at this point where Vitamin C is required. Supplying these smaller unwound collagen stands in the diet in the hydrolyzed form enhance quick absorption of the building blocks for collagen synthesis.
The human body can synthesize (manufacture) most of the 20 amino acids required to build strong protein structures in the body, although we depend on our diet to supply those amino acids which the body cannot synthesize. This ability declines with age after puberty, leading to reduced skin elasticity (the ability to take on its original form after stretching), weakened tendons, weakened muscle structure, cartilage wear and tear and resultant symptoms such as joint pain, easily torn muscles, ligaments and tendons, as well as wrinkling of the skin (2).
The modern diets are based on reduced home preparation time. Meat cuts that are low in collagen content are selected for this purpose. Long cooking periods of collagen rich meats and bones are seldom applied, resulting in reduced collagen intake. It has become more important to provide the building blocks for body collagen in the diets of post puberty individuals.
Plants do not contain collagen but rely on cross linked carbohydrates, such as fibres, for scaffolding strength. This is equally important in the diet for gut health.
Hydrolyzed collagen is the original collagen protein chopped up into smaller fractions for easy absorption. Our product is supplied with Vitamin C to facilitate quick incorporation into body collagen where and when needed most.
1. Read about Vit C and body collagen here: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/155758.php
2. Read about collagen in the body here: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/262881.php