Vitamin C complex, whose main function is the production and maintenance of collagen, is one of the most important basic needs of the human body. Collagen makes up about 30-40% of the protein content of the human body.1,2 It is the main structural substance that binds, holds, and supports tissues and organs together, and is thus the most extensive tissue system of the body. Without Vitamin C complex, collagen cannot be produced.
Why is Collagen So Critical?
Collagen has the following important functions in the body:
- Makes bones, tendons, and ligaments tough and flexible.
- Strengthens and maintains arteries and veins.
- Keeps blood vessels strong and elastic.
- Helps in blood coagulation.
- Supports muscles, especially those of the heart and its valves.
- Makes the skin soft, firm, and wrinkle-free.
- Contributes to healthy gums and teeth.
- Hastens the healing of wounds and scar formation.
The amount of collagen varies from one organ to another. Collagen-rich tissues include bones, ligaments, tendons, and the heart valves, while the lungs, liver, and brain have low collagen content. Ligaments and tendons that surround our joints and hold our skeleton together consist of bundles of collagen in the form of strips and sheets.
The most well-known disease caused by the deficiency of Vitamin C complex is scurvy.
Our Genetic Defect
As humans, we are unable to produce our own ascorbic acid due to the genetic absence of the liver enzyme L-gulonolactone oxidase, the enzyme necessary in the final step in the conversion of blood sugar to ascorbic acid.3 A few other species are unable to produce their own internal ascorbic acid, including the following:
- Gorillas and monkeys (Haplorrhini primates)
- Guinea pigs
- Fruit-eating bats
- Red-vented bulbul (bird)
- Fish in the salmonidae family, including salmon, trout, chars, freshwater white fishes, and graylings, which collectively are known as salmonids.4
This same genetic defect in guinea pigs makes them an ideal research animal in studies of human diseases.
All other animals, such as cats, dogs, goats, and horses, possess L-gulonolactone oxidase in the liver and therefore can produce their own ascorbic acid internally.5
This genetic defect in humans can be overcome by supplying the body with optimal amounts of Vitamin C complex from external sources, such as a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and Vitamin C complex dietary supplements.
Disclaimer: The above statements have not been evaluated by the United States FDA. The product offered for sale by Capsibon Botanicals, LLC is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the professional advice of your qualified healthcare professional.
- Verzar F. Aging of the collagen fiber. Int Rev Connect Tissue Res. 1964;2:243-300.
- Percent of protein in body that is collagen. http://bionumbers.hms.harvard.edu/bionumber.aspx?id=109730. Accessed 11/6/2018.
- Stone I. The healing factor: “vitamin C” against disease. New York: Grosset & Dunlap; 1972.
- Salmonidae. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Salmonidae&oldid=852832882. Accessed 11/6/2018.
- Sardi B. Why animals age: they produce less Vitamin C. Same for humans? http://knowledgeofhealth.com/why-animals-age-they-produce-less-vitamin-c-same-for-humans/. Accessed 11/6/2018.