Archive for July, 2013

Jul-29-13

Vitamin C – An Essential Skin Nutrient

Posted by Luca Willington

It has been know for decades that vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is essential to our health. Since its discovery in the 1930s, it has been know that its deficiency in humans leads to break down in skin and connective tissue – a condition known as scurvy, so serious that it could be lethal. Over the following decades, scientific research has shed more light on the many roles Vitamin C has in maintaining our skin’s integrity and function:

1. Vitamin C is necessary for collagen synthesis

Collagen is a generic name for a group of filament-shaped proteins found mostly in animals’ flesh and connective tissue. Its role is to provide a structural framework for the body’s various organs. Most collagen  is synthesised in a specialist cells called fibroblasts.

Collagen synthesis is a complex process by which aminoacids are assembled into peptides, which are then linked in the triple helix structure of collagen. This linking process requires two co-factors: vitamin C and iron. If vitamin C is deficient, the three strands of the collagen molecule are not properly linked together and the molecule is weak and easily destroyed. During collagen synthesis, vitamin C is oxidised and becomes useless, so the supply must be continuously renewed.

The role of Vitamin C in collagen production doesn’t stop here. Research has uncovered several other mechanisms through which vitamin C promotes collagen syntheses: Read the rest of this entry »