Can I Take Collagen and Vitamin C Together?
Time to read 7 min
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Time to read 7 min
If you've dipped your toe into the world of skincare supplements, it's more than likely you've heard of two of the most important ingredients for anyone's skin health: collagen and vitamin C. Offering many benefits to the body, both of these can already be found in some of the foods we eat, and collagen is in fact naturally produced within the body (more on this later). However, it can be difficult to keep up an appropriate amount of intake from our diets alone. That's why many people choose supplements, which offer healthy doses of these ingredients to keep your skin looking youthful, refreshed, and blemish-free.
So should one choose between collagen and vitamin C for their healthy skin routine? No. On the contrary, the two are especially effective when consumed in combination. This means a simple supplement regimen can go a long way in supporting healthy skin.
In order to harness the advantages of taking vitamin C with collagen, one must first understand how they work together. Read on to learn everything you need to know to develop an easy supplement routine and get the full benefits of each of these star ingredients.
Both vitamin C and collagen have powerful roles in the body that are worth understanding in their own right.
Vitamin C is essential to many functions in the body. These include supporting a healthy immune system by protecting cells. Vitamin C is also crucial to maintaining the integrity of our skin, bones, and cartilage, as well as improving the body's wound healing abilities.
It's possible you already use supplements for the purpose of boosting your immunity, especially during cold and flu season. But its benefits go beyond our internal health, doing wonders for our skin as well. You can add this to the list of reasons why vitamin C is important to our daily diets.
Meanwhile, collagen is a structural protein that is the most abundantly found in the body. Collagen fibers give shape and strength to our skin, joints, bones, cartilage, and connective tissues. Our bodies continuously produce collagen, though naturally collagen formation begins to decline over our twenties. This is why in our thirties and later, our skin begins to show greater signs of aging, such as sagging skin, wrinkles and fine lines, and more. Supplemental collagen is likely to boost your skin health by increasing the collagen content in the body, in turn improving collagen synthesis.
Beyond their independent benefits, these two substances work in tandem in the body, compounding and extending their benefits. In particular, this can offer many fantastic benefits for skin, making it an ideal combination for your daily supplementation regimen.
As noted above, synthesis of collagen occurs naturally within the body, though it occurs at a slower rate once we enter our thirties. This leads many to embrace collagen supplements, which not only provide fresh collagen to the body but stimulate natural production of collagen in the body. This is one of the most useful benefits of collagen supplements.
However, in order to get the most from supplements, one must be sure to do so in a way that maximizes absorption. One such way is by taking hydrolyzed collagen. It's important to note that hydrolyzed collagen is not limited to marine collagen only; it can be derived from various sources, including bovine, porcine, and chicken, in addition to marine sources. Hydrolyzed collagen involves breaking down the collagen molecule into smaller peptides, which is done through a process called hydrolysis. This process makes the collagen easier to absorb into our bodies than more complex compounds. These smaller peptides, also known as collagen peptides, offer enhanced bioavailability, meaning they are more readily absorbed and utilized by the body. While this type of collagen can be referred to as marine collagen peptides when derived from fish, the term "hydrolyzed collagen" encompasses a broader range of sources. Indeed, studies have confirmed that collagen peptides, regardless of their source, improve skin hydration, elasticity, and density, resulting in restored and revitalized skin.
While hydrolyzed collagen aids in enhancing the body's absorption of collagen supplements, incorporating vitamin C into your skincare routine takes it a step further. Research indicates that vitamin C plays a critical role in collagen formation, going beyond just improving absorption. It actively enhances the body's natural collagen production. This suggests that an optimal supplementation approach involves combining hydrolyzed collagen with vitamin C, enabling not only better absorption but also superior collagen synthesis for maximum benefits.
As noted above, both collagen and vitamin C can be found in the foods we eat. It's worth noting that few foods contain an amount of either substance comparable to what you would find in supplements. However, it's worth being aware of these foods and incorporating them into your diet.
Many of the foods we eat regularly are high in vitamin C. Indeed, if you are averse to supplements, it is easier to get comparable levels from your diet than is the case for collagen. However, few foods contain the targeted amount of vitamin C that can be found in a supplement, and it can be difficult to truly regulate your intake if you are eating irregular amounts of food daily, which is hard to avoid.
We all need to consume vitamin C regularly, as our bodies don't produce it naturally. (This is essential, as a vitamin C deficiency can lead to serious health issues like scurvy.) Some of the many foods containing vitamin C include:
- Bell peppers
- Cruciferous vegetables (such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower)
Because it is found in so many fruits and vegetables, it is not so difficult to get vitamin C in decent doses from your daily diet. However, only in supplement form can you ensure consistency in your dosage.
There are fewer foods containing collagen than vitamin C. However, the following contain high collagen levels:
- Bone broth
- Skin-on chicken and fish
- Bell peppers
As you can see, the foods that contain collagen are not necessarily ones you are likely to eat every day. This is part of why it's recommended to opt for supplements if you would like to see the effects of collagen.
If you wish to harness the benefits of vitamin C as well as collagen, it's worth knowing how to do it. You can certainly try to get both from your diet, but as noted above, this may be hard. If you are using supplements, make note of the following:
Experts recommend consuming approximately 1g of vitamin C daily.
Studies show that the effective amounts of functional collagen peptides are 2.5 to 15 g per day.
Some products, in particular collagen powder, offers a blend of vitamin C and collagen together, making it easy to get the correct doses. However, make sure to look into the exact ratios in your product of choice to be sure they are consistent with these guidelines.
There are no known side effects of collagen, and it is difficult (but not impossible) to overdo levels of vitamin C in the body. If you are taking supplements such as vitamin C tablets, they are all but certain to come in appropriate doses. However, while it is unlikely to hurt you in excess, too much in a supplement can decrease its absorption in the body, in turn mitigating its role in collagen synthesis.
For those building up their beauty supplement collections, look no further than Supermood's collection of collagen products. These supplements can help improve skin, especially when used alongside our topical skincare products. Since collagen and vitamin C work so well together, it's recommended to take these alongside vitamin C supplements, or at the very least foods that are rich in vitamin C. In combination, these are likely to boost your skin health, giving you the full benefits of collagen.
Collagen and vitamin C supplements work together in the body to improve its absorption of the key amino acids found in collagen: glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline. This in turn helps promote the natural formation of collagen in the body. This means that by taking supplemental vitamin C, you will be able to get the most from your collagen supplements.
Taken together, collagen and vitamin C can compound the benefits of collagen by improving the body's absorption of supplements. This can go a long way to improve skin health, boosting skin elasticity, firmness, and density.
Experts recommend taking about 1 gram of vitamin C daily. The effective amounts of functional collagen peptides are 2.5 to 15 g per day.
Jack Levinson is a writer born and raised in Los Angeles. He received his bachelor’s degree from Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York. When not writing, his interests include the arts, cooking, and exploring the California coast.
Dr. Sanober Doctor is a dual-board certified dermatologist, & a leading expert in Integrative and holistic Dermatology. She is a proactive, compassionate medical practitioner with a thorough understanding of mind-body-spiritual wellness.