Water-Soluble Vitamins and the Formation of Collagen
Reviewed by Jaimee Gooley, R.D.
Written by Hannah Marchese
You may know of collagen as just a supplement. But there's actually a lot of science behind how it's created and how it functions in our body. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. It is formed through chains of amino acids, as well as vitamins. Collagen has many benefits for your skin, body, and overall health. It can help with wound healing, strengthening connective tissues, decrease joint pain, hydrate the skin, improve stomach and digestive issues, strengthen hair and nails, and help your skin to glow. As a supplement, it is derived from animals. It comes as bovine, porcine, chicken, or marine collagen. Each type can help with varying issues you may have. For example, marine collagen is best used for issues related to the skin and its overall health. It's also good for bone strength and bone health. Collagen makes up parts of bones, connective tissue, tendons, and skin. It plays a role in so many different bodily functions and the composition of things within the body. Without collagen, you could experience issues with any of the things we mentioned above. As we age, we produce around 1% less collagen per year, leading to wrinkles, weak joints, weak tendons, bones, and other similar issues. Read on to find out more about the science of collagen, and which water-soluble vitamin plays a role in its formation.
Which vitamins are water-soluble?
There are quite a few water-soluble vitamins, which we discuss down below. When it comes to collagen, the water-soluble vitamin that plays a role in its formation is vitamin C. Vitamin C is also needed for the synthesis and maintenance of collagen. It also acts as a sort of glue that binds collagen fibers together. Also, it helps in the process of regenerating vitamin E. Vitamin C is important for immune support, skin health, and the growth and repair of body tissues. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for vitamin C is no more than 2,000mg per day, with a minimum of 75mg.
What are the 6 water-soluble vitamins?
There are actually a total of nine water-soluble vitamins. Some people count the B vitamins (B-complex vitamins such as vitamin B2, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, B12, thiamin, pyridoxine, cobalamin, pyridoxal, etc.) separately, and some group them together. Each plays a specific purpose in the formation of things within the body. Below we have included more information on some of the individual vitamins. The water-soluble vitamins are:
Folate: This is used to assist with the creation of DNA. Women often take it as a supplement during pregnancy, because it is responsible for preventing birth defects during the early stages of pregnancy. The pharmaceutical-made version of folate is folic acid.
Thiamine: This is involved with healthy nerve function. It helps with the transmission of nerve pulses. Additionally, it helps the body to break down alcohol, and metabolize carbs and amino acids.
Riboflavin: This is a B vitamin that helps the body metabolize fats, protein, and carbs. It also protects the health of our cells and enhances the effectiveness of other B vitamins.
Niacin: Niacin helps with digestive health and protecting our skin cells. It can help to increase HDL (healthy cholesterol), but the dosing of it should be decided by your doctor.
Pantothenic acid: This helps the body to receive energy from protein, carbs, and fat. It's also used in the production of hormones and cholesterol.
Biotin: This is a blend of Vitamin B7, vitamin H, and coenzyme R. This helps with cell renewal and cell growth. It also helps with amino acids that are used for building protein in the body.
Vitamin B6: Vitamin B6 is a coenzyme. This means it's involved with allowing chemical reactions to take place. It helps to maintain immune system health, nervous system health, and the creation of nonessential amino acids.
Vitamin B12: This keeps our red blood cells healthy. It's also needed to synthesize DNA and to metabolize fatty acids and amino acids.
What is the difference between fat-soluble vitamins and water-soluble vitamins?
There are a few differences between fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins. We talked about water-soluble vitamins; fat-soluble vitamins are vitamin A (found in many vegetables) vitamin D (found in dairy products) vitamin E (found in avocados and nuts) and vitamin K (found in leafy greens). Fat-soluble vitamins are absorbed into the bloodstream when you eat them with fat. You should aim to eat healthy fats. Each fat-soluble vitamin plays different roles within the body. Water-soluble vitamins play an important role in energy production, and each vitamin plays a different part with enzymes involved in energy metabolism, energy release, and storage. Vitamins that help to make up enzymes are called coenzymes. Many of these same vitamins are also necessary for blood renewal, function, and health. This means they, in turn, help with maintaining healthy blood vessels and preventing things like blood clotting.
How do I increase my vitamin C intake?
There are many foods rich in Vitamin C. Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid. For vitamin C, citrus fruits are key, with grapefruit and lemon being some of the best for your skin. Even fruit such as raspberries contain a large amount of vitamin C. If you want to watch your sugar, try eating bell peppers. They are just as high in vitamin C but with lower sugar content. This vitamin is essential for both improving collagen production and naturally giving you stronger, glowier skin. It also helps to detox your body, especially your gut and liver, which is necessary to remove toxins and impurities that could affect your skin. You can take vitamin C dietary supplements daily as well. This will ensure you're getting enough vitamin C. However, it is best to get most of your vitamins through food sources. Things like leafy vegetables, green vegetables, leafy greens, carrots, and sweet potatoes (high in vitamin A and beta-carotene), citrus fruits, meats, and seafood are packed with vitamins. Vitamins play a role in protecting against free radicals, heart disease, improving collagen synthesis, preventing scurvy, fixing vitamin b12 deficiency, biotin deficiency, and so many other issues. Your dietary sources should contain plenty of vitamins and nutrients. This can include collagen supplements, which help to boost your collagen intake and protein intake. Our Kalumi BEAUTYfood bars contain 8 grams of hydrolyzed marine collagen and 11-13 grams of protein. Besides increasing your protein intake, the ingredients in the bars can also be great for improving hair, skin and nails. They contain other beauty boosting ingredients such as sweet potato (containing betacarotene, a precursor of vitamin A), MCT oil, and cocoa butter (containing polyphenols and flavonoids). The formula is designed to help absorb and retain collagen. As we discussed, vitamins A and C are important vitamins that play a role in the formation of collagen. They are also good vitamins for achieving glowing skin and detoxing the body.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.