Vitamin C or L-ascorbic acid, or simply ascorbate (the anion of ascorbic acid), is an essential nutrient for humans and certain other animal species. Vitamin C refers to a number of vitamers that have vitamin C activity in animals, including ascorbic acid and its salts, and some oxidized forms of the molecule like dehydroascorbic acid. Vitamin C is a cofactor in at least eight enzymatic reactions, including several collagen synthesis reactions. But the benefits of vitamin C may include protection against immune system deficiencies, cardiovascular disease, prenatal health problems, eye disease, and even skin wrinkling.
A recent study published in Seminars in Preventive and Alternative Medicine that looked at over 100 studies over 10 years revealed a growing list of benefits of vitamin C. If your stomach is sensitive to ascorbic acid we recommend you try Buffered C or Ester C as both products are aascorbic acid free.
How Much Vitamin C Is Enough?
Most studies have used 500 daily milligrams of vitamin C to achieve health results. So unless you can eat plenty of fruits and vegetables (5 servings of fruit and vegetables per day), you may need to take a dietary supplement of vitamin C to gain all the benefits. It is just not practical for most people to consume the required servings of fruits and vegetables needed on a consistent basis, whereas taking a once-daily supplement is safe, effective, and easy to do.
Ten to 20% of adults get the recommended nine servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Researchers agree there is no real downside to taking a 500-milligram supplement, except that some types may irritate the stomach. That's why we recommend taking a non-acidic, buffered form of the vitamin. The safe upper limit for vitamin C is 2,000 milligrams a day, and there is a great track record with strong evidence that taking 500 milligrams daily is safe. Please note we recommend taking 500 mg of Vitamin C with all our collagen products with the exception of C2 Flex as it already contains 500 mg per serving of Vitamin C (ascorbic acid).
The Benefits of Vitamin C
Vitamin C affects cells on the inside and outside of the body. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition examined links between nutrient intakes and skin aging in 4,025 women aged 40-74. It found that higher vitamin C intakes were associated with a lower likelihood of a wrinkled appearance, dryness of the skin, and a better skin-aging appearance.
Other studies have suggested that vitamin C may also: Improve macular degeneration, reduce inflammation, reduce the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease, provide a nutritional source of quick energy, boosts energy and endurance, enhancing physical and athletic performance, improves digestion of other nutrients including vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, promotes loss of excess weight by increasing metabloic rate.
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is necessary for the growth, development and repair of all body tissues. It's involved in many body functions, including formation of collagen, absorption of iron, the immune system, wound healing, and the maintenance of cartilage, bones, and teeth.
The Benefits of Collagen and
Vitamin C Together
The synthesis of collagen, for which vitamin C is essential, proceeds in the body as one of its major manufacturing enterprises. Collagen is a protein, one of the thousands of different kinds of proteins in the human body. Most proteins occur in only small amounts: the various enzymes, for example, are so powerful in their ability to cause specific chemical reactions to take place rapidly that only a gram or two or even a few milligrams may be needed in the body.
There are a few exceptions. There is a great amount of hemoglobin in red blood cells. There is even more collagen in the skin, bones, teeth, blood vessels, eye, heart, and, in fact, essentially all parts of the body. Collagen as strong white fibers, stronger than steel wire of the same weight, and as yellow elastic networks (called elastin), usually together with macropolysaccharides, constitutes the connective tissue that holds our bodies together.
Like other proteins, collagen consists of polypeptide chains; the long chains of this fibrous molecule contain about one thousand amino-acid residues, about sixteen thousand atoms. It differs from almost all other proteins in being substantially composed of but two amino acids, glycine and hydroxyproline.
Collagen is a kind of supermolecule, however, in its three-dimensional architecture. The polypeptide chains of the two amino acids, alternating with one another and punctuated by the presence of certain other amino acids, are coiled in a left-handed helix. Three of these helical strands are twisted around on another, like strands of a rope, in a right handed superhelix, to compose the complete molecule.
Understandably, the synthesis of this structure proceeds in steps. While it has been known for half a century that vitamin C is essential to the manufacture of collagen, the process is only now yielding to inquiry. Vitamin C is involved at every step.
First, a three dimensional stranded structure is assembled, with the amino acids glycine and proline as its principal components. This is not yet collagen but its precursor, procollagen.
A recent study shows that vitamin C must have an important role in its synthesis. Prolonged exposure of cultures of human connective-tissue cells to ascorbate induced an eight-fold increase in the synthesis of collagen with no increase in the rate of synthesis of other proteins (Murad et al., 1981). Since the production of procollagen must precede the production of collagen, vitamin C must have a role in this step -- the formation of the polypeptide chains of procollagen -- along with its better understood role in the conversion of procollagen to collagen.
The conversion involves a reaction that substitutes a hydroxyl group, OH, for a hydrogen atom, H, in the proline residues at certain points in the polypeptide chains, converting those residues to hydroxyproline. This hydroxylation reaction secures the chains in the triple helix of collagen. The hydroxylation, next, of the residues of the amino acid lysine, transforming them to hydroxylysine, is then needed to permit the cross-linking of the triple helices into the fibers and networks of the tissues.
These hydroxylation reactions are catalyzed by two different enzymes: prolyl-4-hydroxylase and lysyl-hydroxylase. Vitamin C also serves with them in inducing these reactions.
The two reasons why we require, for good health, so much larger amounts of vitamin C than are present in foods are 1) There is the body's continuing need for the synthesis of large amounts of collagen for growth and for replacement of the collagen degraded by daily wear and tear. 2) Vitamin C is essential for the building of collagen, the most abundant protein built in our bodies and the major component of connective tissue. This connective tissue has structural and supportive functions which are indispensable to heart tissues, to blood vessels, --in fact, to all tissues. Collagen is not only the most abundant protein in our bodies, it also occurs in larger amounts than all other proteins put together. It cannot be built without vitamin C. No heart or blood vessel or other organ could possibly perform its functions without collagen. No heart or blood vessel can be maintained in healthy condition without vitamin C C2 Flex.