Vitality, strength, flexibility and structural integrity are all signs of a well-functioning body. Two nutrients we depend on to experience these things are collagen and vitamin C. Our bodies can make collagen out of the protein that we eat, but not without its essential component vitamin C. Unfortunately, human bodies can’t manufacture vitamin C, unlike other animals. Here we explore the collaborative relationship between these two substances vital to human health.
Why do we need collagen?
Collagen is the essential ingredient of connective tissue in the body. There are abundant amounts of it because it is integral to the structure of our body. It’s found everywhere in musculoskeletal tissues – tendons, ligaments, cartilage, discs, muscles, fascia, marrow and bones – and integral in forming corneas in the eyes, heart tissue, blood vessels, skin and the lining of the digestive tract.
Collagen is involved in so many structural tissues we would literally fall apart without it! This amazing substance not only supplies the physical glue that holds our body together, it also provides strength and elasticity. Our bodies need to be continually synthesising collagen to meet ongoing needs for growth and tissue repair from daily wear and tear. As we age, the amount of collagen we produce tends to slow down, which contributes to our skin becoming wrinkled and loose, as well as it taking longer for wounds to heal.
There are 16 different types of collagen depending on the part of the body they are located. Generally, collagen is made from amino acids, so adequate protein in the diet is important. The general rule for working out how much protein to eat is to multiply weight (kg) by 0.8.
For example, a 70kg person x 0.8 = 56 grams of protein.
This should include all the essential amino acids that our body can use to make all other amino acids. Essential amino acids are found easily in animal products, or by combining beans and grains in the same meal, all the essential amino acids are present. Superfoods like Moringa oleifera and Spirulina are also sources of essential amino acids
Why Collagen needs Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a necessary component of collagen synthesis – it in involved in the enzyme triggers for making collagen. Vitamin C is so vital that healthy collagen is not manufactured in the body without it. Just as none of the major structures of the body could function effectively without collagen, nor could they maintain their integrity and health without vitamin C.
Of the 16 different types of collagen, about 80-90% are 3 types:
- Type I- in connective tissue fibres of skin, bone, teeth, tendons and ligaments
- Type II – makes up the round fibres in cartilage
- Type III – in connective tissues that strengthen and define organs, e.g. heart, liver and kidneys
During new collagen formation, Vitamin C used is destroyed in the process. This continual loss of vitamin C indicates how critical is our need for good daily sources of it to replenish the amount of this water-soluble vitamin we are continually using up. If your diet is deficient in vitamin C for long periods, your body will find it difficult to produce collagen.
Luckily plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables contain some vitamin C. Because we require so much of it to really thrive, a good quality vitamin C product is a staple among nutritional supplements. Marine collagen products are a good source of Type I collagen to supplement your body’s natural resources.
-The HealthPost Naturopaths
BePure Collagen+ Vanilla contains collagen sourced directly from sustainably harvested marine fisheries. BioBalance Liposomal Vitamin C offers targeted Vitamin C delivery through enhanced liposomal nano-sphere encapsulation technology. Buy them both from our secure on-line shop.