Recipe – Healthy Baked Caramel Apples

There’s nothing better than a warm, comforting treat to enjoy on a fall day. Finding new, healthy recipes to satisfy my sweet tooth is a must, so I wanted to share with you my FAVORITE recipe I discovered this season. It’s delicious, it’s quick, and it’s actually pretty good for you!

These baked caramel apples are so yummy, and are the perfect treat to end your next stay-in date night, to curb your evening sweet tooth, or even to share with the whole family. And, who doesn’t love getting in your daily fruit servings while enjoying dessert! Haven’t you heard? An apple a day keeps the doctor away! 

Apples are loaded with nutrients, such as vitamins A, C, E, K, B vitamins, and some minerals such as potassium, manganese, and copper. They’re also low in calories, high in fiber, and contain powerful phytonutrients that contribute to their amazing healthy benefits. 

So, make sure to bookmark this recipe. Between the taste and the health benefits, you’re going to want to make this recipe again and again and again. 

Here’s what you need…

  • 4 medium/large apples (honey crisp are my favorite, but you can use whatever variety you like best)
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 2-3 tbsp butter, cold 
  • 1-2 tbsp Complete Collagen+ 

Here’s what you need to do…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350º. Begin by slicing the apples in half, and scooping out the center until the core is gone, and there is a generous hole (you’ll be adding filling to the apple!)
    1. Note: Once you remove the core, you might start to remove some of the flesh of the apple itself to carve out a large enough bowl for the filling to sit in. While it’s not necessary for the recipe, I love to save the extra apple, and add it to the mixture in step 2!
  2. In a medium sized bowl, add the rolled oats, sugars, cinnamon, and nutmeg (and extra apple if you like). Mix to combine. 
  3. Cut the butter into small, half-inch sized cubes, and add to the oat mixture. Try to cut in the butter so that it forms a crumbly mixture. 
  4. Add about a ¼ cup of the oat mixture to each apple. Place on a baking sheet, and bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until the apples are soft and golden brown. 
  5. Drizzle with Complete Collagen+ to finish off this sweet treat. You can also enjoy this dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt!

I love this recipe, because not only does it combine some delicious ingredients that I love, but it’s the perfect treat to add Complete Collagen+. So not only are you getting that lovely caramel flavor, but you’re also giving your body all the amazing benefits that come with it!

Did you try this recipe? Let me know what you think at info@everbella.com!

Choose a Category:

Discover Complete Collagen+

With just a tablespoon-full a day, you can:

  • See your skin look younger, dewier, and healthier
  • Banish the look of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Grow healthier-looking hair
  • ...and so much more!

Can Medium Chain Triglycerides be Used for Weight Loss?

When it comes to nutrition, new trends pop up every year, and tons of new information along with them. How are you supposed to weed through all the information about new health trends, as quickly as they come (and sometimes go)? 

Medium chain triglycerides, also commonly known as MCT, are all the rage right now. But what are they, and why do people think that they’re important for health? One reason is because there has been some indication that MCTs may play a role in weight and fat loss. Before we dive into this health trend, let’s first take a closer look at MCTs. What are they? How do they act in the body?

Medium Chain Triglycerides

Essentially, medium chain triglycerides are a type of fat found in palm, coconut oil, and some dairy sources. These sources of MCTs are processed through a technique called fractionation. Fractionation means that MCT oil is separated from the rest of the plant to use as an individual dietary supplement. 

They’re a bit different from the majority of fat we typically eat in our diet, long chain triglycerides (LCTs). LCTs have long carbon chains (greater than 12 carbon molecules in a row), and need to be digested and broken down before they can be absorbed and transported throughout the body. However, MCTs are short enough (between six and 12 carbon molecules long) to be directly absorbed. They are quickly transported to the liver to be used for immediate energy. 

Because MCTs are absorbed a bit differently, they have a higher thermal effect in the body compared to LCTs. Basically this means that the body works harder to process this nutrient, and burns more calories in order to do so. As a result, MCTs are slightly lower in calories, about 10-15% lower than other fat sources. 

MCT Uses 

MCT oil has some pretty specific uses. Because it doesn’t need to travel through the digestive system for breakdown and absorption, it is often used to supply calories and essential fatty acids to those with absorption issues. This may include individuals who have inflammatory bowel disease, like Crohn’s or Ulcerative Colitis, or who have shortened digestive tracts. [1] It also may be beneficial for those at risk or living with cardiovascular conditions, as MCT has been shown to decrease LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) and increase HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol). [2] 

It has been thought that because MCTs are metabolized differently than LCTs, they may affect our health a little differently. Aside from benefitting certain health conditions, the use of MCT is expanding drastically. Let’s take a look at one specific use of MCT that is being explored – weight loss.

MCT and Weight Management

One reason why MCT oil has become so popular is due to its suspected role in weight management. Sounds great, right? Let’s highlight the available research to see if this is a MCT fact or fiction. 

The relationship between MCT and weight is largely due, in part, to the way that MCT affects our appetite. Some small studies have shown that intake of MCTs may play a role in appetite suppression, meaning that they can help us stay more full, longer. This has been shown to be true in a few studies where a few of the hormones involved in appetite suppression, leptin and peptide YY, were elevated after intake of MCT oil. Additionally, individuals who consumed MCT oil reported more satisfaction and feelings of fullness three hours after a meal compared to those without MCT oil.  [4-5]

There have also been studies to observe that MCT oil was more effective than olive oil in participants who were attempting to lose weight. Not only were those taking MCT oil more successful in their weight loss goals, but they also had greater fat loss. [6] This was also observed in another study, in which men who supplemented MCT oil experienced greater fat loss compared to men who supplemented with LCTs. However, fat loss occurred more significantly in those who began with a lower body weight compared to those who started the study with a higher weight. [7] It’s important to note that there are many other lifestyle factors associated with appetite and weight loss that may have also played a role in the outcomes of these studies. 

So, Should You Supplement?

So, should you take MCT for weight loss? While the current research on MCT is interesting, it’s certainly clear that MCT isn’t a magic solution for weight loss. Other factors, like diet and exercise, must be considered. However, there is evidence to support that supplementing with MCT could add some small, additional benefit to weight loss attempts and appetite control. On top of all that, MCT is an easily absorbed source of essential nutrients, and also appears to have an impact on improving cholesterol levels. 

Luckily, our Complete Collagen+ is formulated with MCTs, along with Algal DHA (Omega 3 Fatty Acids), and Vitamin E! Give it a try, risk free, with our 180-day money-back guarantee!

Citations

  1. Cabré, Eduard, and Eugeni Domènech. “Impact of environmental and dietary factors on the course of inflammatory bowel disease.” World journal of gastroenterology vol. 18,29 (2012): 3814-22. doi:10.3748/wjg.v18.i29.3814
  2. St-Onge, Marie-Pierre et al. “Consumption of a functional oil rich in phytosterols and medium-chain triglyceride oil improves plasma lipid profiles in men.” The Journal of nutrition vol. 133,6 (2003): 1815-20. doi:10.1093/jn/133.6.1815
  3. Cardoso, Diuli A et al. “A COCONUT EXTRA VIRGIN OIL-RICH DIET INCREASES HDL CHOLESTEROL AND DECREASES WAIST CIRCUMFERENCE AND BODY MASS IN CORONARY ARTERY DISEASE PATIENTS.” Nutricion hospitalaria vol. 32,5 2144-52. 1 Nov. 2015, doi:10.3305/nh.2015.32.5.9642
  4. R. Kinsella, T. Maher, M.E. Clegg. Coconut oil has less satiating properties than medium chain triglyceride oil. Physiology & Behavior, Volume 179, 2017. Pages 422-426, ISSN 0031-9384
  5. St-Onge MP, Mayrsohn B, O’Keeffe M, Kissileff HR, Choudhury AR, Laferrère B. Impact of medium and long chain triglycerides consumption on appetite and food intake in overweight men. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2014;68(10):1134-1140. doi:10.1038/ejcn.2014.145
  6. St-Onge, Marie-Pierre, and Aubrey Bosarge. “Weight-loss diet that includes consumption of medium-chain triacylglycerol oil leads to a greater rate of weight and fat mass loss than does olive oil.” The American journal of clinical nutrition vol. 87,3 (2008): 621-6. doi:10.1093/ajcn/87.3.621
  7. St-Onge, M-P, and P J H Jones. “Greater rise in fat oxidation with medium-chain triglyceride consumption relative to long-chain triglyceride is associated with lower initial body weight and greater loss of subcutaneous adipose tissue.” International journal of obesity and related metabolic disorders : journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity vol. 27,12 (2003): 1565-71. doi:10.1038/sj.ijo.0802467

Collagen is NOT Just for Women!

A common misconception about collagen is that it is just intended for women. But the truth is… Men need collagen too! Why should anyone miss out on the opportunity to look and feel our best every day?

So, for the guys out there – If you are looking at Complete Collagen+ and wondering, “Can this help me too?” The answer is a resounding YES! Complete Collagen+ worked absolute wonders for me (check out my story here), but that doesn’t mean it is just meant for women. We can ALL benefit from such an amazing product. So gentlemen… Fear not. Let’s get into just HOW this product can specifically benefit us all, men and women!

Collagen for Hair Growth

Collagen is a special protein that makes up the important structural components of our bodies. Long, chain-like molecules form to support tissues like skin, ligaments, tendons, bones, and internal organs. Collagen production keeps our skin stretchy and elastic, allows us to heal after injury, and keeps our joints strong and flexible as we move our bodies [1]. 

The health of our hair, skin, bones, joints, tendons, and organs is not just important for women, it’s important for men too! 

But, let’s focus on hair here for a moment, as hair loss can be a scary thing! Even for men. 

A 2014 survey by the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery, saw that approximately 35 million men in the United States suffer from some form of hair loss while approximately 21 million women are affected by hair loss. [2]

Furthermore, the American Hair Loss Association says that by the age of 35, two-thirds of American men will experience some degree of hair loss… And by the age of 50, approximately 85% of men have significantly thinning hair. [3]

Collagen levels in our body decline as we age. It’s thought that after age 20, collagen levels decrease by 1-1.5% every year! This can be amplified even further due to poor habits like excessive alcohol or tobacco use, too much sun exposure, and excessive intake of added sugar. [4]

When we lose collagen in our bodies, it can lead to hair loss. 

You see, collagen is a protein that holds the dermal layer of our hair and the follicles together, which in turn keeps our hair strong and healthy. When our collagen production slows down as we age, our hair follicles become brittle. And when the dermal layers get dried up, it can result in hair loss. [1]

It’s clear that hair loss is a valid concern for both men and women. And, collagen is an integral part of having strong and healthy hair. If you notice a bit of hair in the drain in your shower or some thinning beginning to show, it might be a good idea to start supplementing with collagen. Nip that hair loss in the bud before it takes over fully!

Collagen for Muscle Mass

Because collagen is so important for the development and maintenance of most of our body’s tissues, it is thought to be helpful for muscle mass. There are ample amounts of amino acids in collagen – such as glycine, glutamine, and arginine – which play an important role in supporting a healthy metabolism and muscle mass. 

Additionally, one experimental study found that collagen supplementation was important for building muscle, and increasing muscle strength in older men. [6] So, fuel up with collagen before you head to the gym later. Your muscles will thank you!

Collagen and Joint Support

Collagen can also work as an important factor in building, repairing and also maintaining the cartilage in our joints. If you have regular wear and tear, work out a lot, or just have a very active lifestyle, some of your cartilage could be worn or damaged. 

This can be problematic as our joints rely on the cushioning that the surrounding tissue and cartilage provide. Once the cartilage is damaged, you may experience joint discomfort and general stiffness (which can make it very difficult to get out of bed in the morning). A number of studies have found that collagen can help support the tissue and cartilage that make our joints work smoothly and move effortlessly.  This is especially true for individuals experiencing the pain and discomfort associated with osteoarthritis. [7-8]

So, it’s clear that collagen is beneficial for all of us!

More Anti-Aging Ingredients

Not only is Complete Collagen+ full of collagen… But it also has other super beneficial ingredients like MCTs (medium chain triglycerides), Algal DHA (Omega 3 Fatty Acids), and Vitamin E.

All of these ingredients combined make for a product that both men and women can enjoy to look and feel their best.

What Are You Waiting For? Try Complete Collagen+ today.

Citations

  1. “Collagen.” Physiopedia, https://www.physio-pedia.com/Collagen. 
  2. https://skinkraft.com/blogs/articles/collagen-for-hair#:~:text=Collagen%20holds%20your%20dermal%20layer,up%20resulting%20in%20hair%20fall
  3. Statistic Brain. “Hair Loss and Baldness Statistics.” Statistic Brain, 1 June 2018, https://www.statisticbrain.com/hair-loss-statistics/. 
  4. “Collagen Synthesis.” Collagen Synthesis – an Overview | ScienceDirect Topics, https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/collagen-synthesis. 
  5. Association, American Hair Loss. American Hair Loss Association – Men’s Hair Loss / Introduction, https://www.americanhairloss.org/men_hair_loss/introduction.html. 
  6. Zdzieblik D, Oesser S, Baumstark MW, Gollhofer A, König D. Collagen peptide supplementation in combination with resistance training improves body composition and increases muscle strength in elderly sarcopenic men: a randomised controlled trial. Br J Nutr. 2015;114(8):1237-1245. doi:10.1017/S0007114515002810
  7. Clark KL, Sebastianelli W, Flechsenhar KR, Aukermann DF, Meza F, Millard RL, Deitch JR, Sherbondy PS, Albert A. 24-Week study on the use of collagen hydrolysate as a dietary supplement in athletes with activity-related joint pain. Curr Med Res Opin. 2008 May;24(5):1485-96. doi: 10.1185/030079908×291967. Epub 2008 Apr 15. PMID: 18416885.
  8. Bello AE, Oesser S. Collagen hydrolysate for the treatment of osteoarthritis and other joint disorders: a review of the literature. Curr Med Res Opin. 2006 Nov;22(11):2221-32. doi: 10.1185/030079906X148373. PMID: 17076983.
  9. Kinsella, R., et al. “Coconut Oil Has Less Satiating Properties than Medium Chain Triglyceride Oil.” Physiology & Behavior, Elsevier, 6 July 2017, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0031938417302111
  10. Neukam K, De Spirt S, Stahl W, Bejot M, Maurette JM, Tronnier H, Heinrich U. Supplementation of flaxseed oil diminishes skin sensitivity and improves skin barrier function and condition. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2011;24(2):67-74. doi: 10.1159/000321442. Epub 2010 Nov 18. PMID: 21088453. 
  11. Almohanna HM, Ahmed AA, Tsatalis JP, Tosti A. The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Hair Loss: A Review. Dermatol Ther (Heidelb). 2019;9(1):51-70. doi:10.1007/s13555-018-0278-6 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6380979/

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

2.3 million – that is the number of women who were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2020. 

Breast cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer in women worldwide. Luckily, our ability to diagnose and treat breast cancer in women has improved significantly over time. With early diagnosis, the probability of survival has risen to 90%! [1]

So, in honor of breast cancer awareness month, I want to take the time to go through some of the preventative measures that every woman should take for long and healthy lives.

Check your breasts regularly 

All women should get in the habit of doing a self-breast check every month. Breast cancer may start to show up as changes in the breast tissue. This may look and/or feel like:

  • Change in breast shape or size
  • Hard lumps 
  • Inverted nipple
  • Dimpling or puckering of the skin on or around the breast
  • Redness or scaliness of the breast skin or nipple 
  • Discharge of secretions from the nipple

Some of these symptoms may be obvious, but it’s also important to do a more in-depth exam on a regular basis in case the signs are more subtle. Perform your self-exam once a month, around 7-10 days after your menstrual period begins , or if you do not menstruate, on a single day that you will remember every month (the first of the month is usually a good day to remember).

Check both breasts in the shower, and feel for any of the tissue changes mentioned above. It’s also important to self-examine in the mirror, to check for any symptoms you aren’t able to feel, but may be able to see. And last, perform your exam once more laying flat on the ground or in bed. This allows you to check for spots that you may have not felt standing up, and also to examine your armpit region for swollen lymph nodes. 

If you do feel a lump, or any changes in your breast tissue, don’t panic. Eight out of every 10 lumps found are non-cancerous, but it is important to bring this to your physician as soon as possible. If you do have a cancerous tumor, it’s better to catch it sooner rather than later. [2]

Yearly mammograms

Women over the age of 40, should look into scheduling mammograms every year, or every other year, for early breast cancer detection. A mammogram is a special x-ray of the breast that detects changes in the breasts that might indicate cancerous tissue. While not always 100% accurate, the mammogram is an important tool for cancer screening.

Stay on top of your yearly appointments to stay on top of your health, and increase your chances of early detection!

Know your risk factors

The two most significant risk factors for breast cancer are gender and age. Though men are able to develop breast cancer, the risk is significantly higher in women. Additionally, risk of breast cancer increases in individuals over the age of 40, and more so as they continue to age.

Additional risk factors for breast cancer include:

  • Obesity
  • Excessive alcohol intake
  • Use of tobacco
  • Family history of breast cancer
  • Radiation exposure
  • Reproductive history i.e. the age you began your period or had your first pregnancy
  • Postmenopausal hormone therapy [1]

It’s important to know your risk factors, as this may help you determine how often you should be screened for breast cancer, and what lifestyle choices you should make to reduce your risk. While some risk factors are not within your control, there are many that are. Following a healthy diet, drinking low to moderate amounts of alcohol, and cessation of smoking are all important behaviors to help modify your risk of cancer. 

Be your own advocate

You know yourself best. While your physician has your best interest at heart, healthcare providers aren’t perfect! I’ve heard countless stories of women who went to see a doctor when they felt like something was wrong, only to be sent home with a clean bill of health. However, that wasn’t always the case. 

Sometimes, breast tissue biopsies show false negatives.

Sometimes, mammograms miss cancer. One study suggested that these tests may miss up to 15% of positive breast cancer cases. [3]

Sometimes, doctors don’t hear your concerns.

If something doesn’t feel right, trust your instinct. Be an advocate for your own health, and don’t be afraid to push back when you don’t feel like your concerns are being heard. I know of lives that have been saved because of self-advocacy. 

Give a hug to those impacted by cancer

With such a high prevalence of breast cancer worldwide, it seems that many of us have been impacted by this disease in some way. Cancer touches many of us, whether we have personal experience, know a family member who lost their life, or stood alongside a friend as they fought through chemotherapy and radiation. 

Your support means the world. Give a cancer survivor a hug! Offer a hot meal to those who are fighting for remission! Share this article with your mothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, grandmothers, friends, and colleagues, and encourage the women in your life to be proactive about their health. Remember, early diagnosis of breast cancer can be a life-saving discovery. 

Citations

  1. “Breast Cancer.” World Health Organization, World Health Organization. 
  2. “How Often Should I Do a Breast Self Exam (BSE)?” National Breast Cancer Foundation, 2 Aug. 2021
  3. Chan, C.H.F., Coopey, S.B., Freer, P.E. et al. False-negative rate of combined mammography and ultrasound for women with palpable breast masses. Breast Cancer Res Treat 153, 699–702 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10549-015-3557-2

Want Beautiful Skin? Avoid These Five Mistakes.

When it comes to maintaining beautiful skin, it seems there are a million factors to balance. Serums, moisturizing, sun exposure, supplements, medication… sometimes, it can feel like the planets need to align for you to find your perfect skincare routine. 

However, the problem may not be that you’re not doing enough, but sometimes it can be that you’re doing too much. In this article, we want to walk you through some of the most common skincare mistakes that people make, and how you can achieve better results with your skin by doing less. 

Over-Exfoliating

Exfoliation is a great way to rid your skin of the dead cells that accumulate on your face, making it rough and dull. However, skincare experts recommend that you exfoliate no more than once or twice a week, and note that exfoliating more than that can actually harm your skin.

Both physical and chemical exfoliation treatments are usually abrasive, and overdoing it can irritate and weaken the soft and delicate skin on your face. The most obvious signs that you are over-exfoliating are:

  • Redness and irritation
  • Inflammation
  • Dry, patchy skin
  • Small, bumpy breakouts

So, if you think you might be exfoliating a little too often, save yourself some time and cut back to 1-2 times weekly. Your skin will thank you for the break! 

Skipping Sunscreen 

While the sun can help you achieve that healthy-looking glow for a season or two, long-term sun damage will wreak havoc on your skin! UV light can be dangerous without protection – the skin will produce more melanin to shield itself from the sun’s rays, but usually not before injury occurs. 

UV damage to the skin over time may result in altered texture and loss of elasticity, both of which contribute to premature aging. Even more seriously, unprotected sun exposure can lead to skin cancer, which can be fatal. 

So, for beautiful skin, you don’t necessarily need a 12-step skincare plan, but you do need sunscreen! Follow these tips to protect yourself and your skin:

  • Make sure to look for an SPF of at least 30
  • Wear SPF every day, whether it’s sunny or not (you can still burn on a cloudy day!)
  • Reapply every 2 hours, if you’ve been sweating or swimming
  • Avoid direct sun exposure for long periods of time while the sun’s rays are at their strongest, usually between 10-2 PM (*Pro Tip: You can tell when the sun’s rays are at their strongest by looking down. When your shadow is longer than you are tall, avoid direct sunlight for long periods of time)

Touching Your Face

Your hands come into direct contact with a TON of bacteria. Doorknobs, your cellphone, computers and laptops, the handle to flush the toilet, the toilet seat, TV remotes, other hands… you get the point. Unless we are washing our hands after every single time we come into contact with another person or surface, that bacteria can easily spread everywhere. Including our face, neck, hairline, chest, and anywhere else you might experience a breakout.

Touching your skin with dirty hands can transfer bacteria, which can clog pores and cause breakouts. Not to mention, this can also transfer more harmful bacteria and viruses that might make you sick. To keep your skin healthy and clean, wash your hands frequently, and do your best to avoid touching your face!

Not Washing Your Pillowcase 

Just like touching your skin with dirty hands can increase your risk of clogged pores and breakouts, not washing your pillowcase regularly can mean a buildup of bacteria! When you sleep at night, you are likely transferring bacteria, dirt, oil, and even leftover makeup from your face to your pillowcase. Washing it once a week can be an effective way to keep your skin clean and clear. 

Dehydration

Did you know that your body is mostly made up of water? A lot of that water is stored in your skin, to keep it plump and elastic. Additionally, water circulates in our bodies to transport important nutrients, regulate our temperature, and clear toxins from our system. We need a lot of water daily to keep our body and skin healthy! 

When you’re dehydrated, water is pulled from your skin to help our internal organs function properly. This can leave it feeling dry, and prone to damage. It is important to stay hydrated to help maintain our skin’s health and appearance. Research has found that improving water intake can be helpful in improving the skin’s appearance, especially for those who are chronically dehydrated. [1] However, skincare expert, Kathleen C. Suozzi, MD, director of aesthetic dermatology at Yale Medicine and assistant professor at Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut, notes “Excessive hydration is unlikely to benefit the skin.”

So, aim for about 64 oz of water daily (that’s eight 8 oz glasses of water), to optimally hydrate your body and your skin!

You can optimize your skincare routine by avoiding these common mistakes. Another great way to build up your daily skin routine is with Complete Collagen+.

The powerful ingredients of this supplement provide you with amazing benefits for your skin and hair. It’s a true powerhouse supplement!

Citations

  1. Palma L, Marques LT, Bujan J, Rodrigues LM. Dietary water affects human skin hydration and biomechanics. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2015;8:413-421. Published 2015 Aug 3. doi:10.2147/CCID.S86822

Why You Need Collagen and Vitamin C

Collagen is a special protein that makes up the important structural components of our bodies. Long, chain-like molecules form to support tissues like skin, ligaments, tendons, bones, and internal organs. Collagen production keeps our skin stretchy and elastic, allows us to heal after injury, and keeps our joints strong and flexible as we move our bodies [1]. 

It’s important to note that collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies. It makes up about a third of our total protein, accounts for about 75% of our skin, and about 60% of our cartilage [2-4]. We need a lot of collagen to keep ourselves looking and feeling our best. And, considering that natural collagen production drops off around age 20, and continues to decrease over time, it’s important for us to continue to optimize our collagen intake as we age. [5]

Optimizing Collagen Production

If we want to optimize our collagen stores and production, there is another important nutrient we need to consider – vitamin C. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that is important for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of the body, especially bones, muscles, and skin. Collagen and vitamin C work together: vitamin C is necessary for collagen production, and vitamin C deficiency can lead to collagen destabilization and weakened structure of the protein. [6]

Vitamin C also plays an important role in our bodies, acting as an antioxidant and protecting against harmful free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage the healthy cells in our bodies in order to stabilize themselves. We accumulate free radicals from environmental exposure to toxins, such as tobacco smoke and UV light, and also as a natural byproduct of our body’s metabolic processes. Vitamin C, and other antioxidants, protect against these free radicals by stabilizing and neutralizing them, rendering them benign. [7]

So, should you boost your vitamin C along with your daily dose of collagen? Let’s dig a little bit deeper into the science-backed benefits of this dynamic duo.

Anti-aging

Collagen is known to play an important role in our skin’s elasticity, hydration, and texture. As mentioned previously, collagen production begins to drop off around age 20, and continues to decrease as we age. It is estimated that collagen production decreases by a minimum of 1-1.5% every year. This decrease can be accelerated even more with certain behaviors, like smoking and exposing the skin excessively to UV light. Due to this decrease of natural collagen production, there have been many studies to explore the effect of collagen supplementation on improving skin elasticity, hydration, and texture in an aging population. The evidence supports that collagen supplementation is an effective way to increase collagen synthesis and reduce the appearance of aging [8-10]. 

Additionally, vitamin C plays an important role in skin health and protection. It does this in a few different ways. We know that collagen is highly dependent on vitamin C – without it, collagen would lose its strength, and the rate of synthesis would decrease significantly. Research has proven that collagen-producing cells replicate much quicker in the presence of vitamin C compared to cells without vitamin C. [5] Vitamin C also plays an active role in protecting your skin from the damage that UV rays cause when you get sunburned (though you should still wear sunscreen!). And last, there is some evidence to show that vitamin C inhibits melanin production, which essentially means that vitamin C can help prevent and repair those stubborn dark spots on your skin. [12] 

Now, while it seems that vitamin C and collagen both play an important role in the aesthetic appearance of our skin, it’s also important to note that they both contribute to the structural integrity of our skin and body as well. 

Healing

Though deficiency is very uncommon, it is known that low vitamin C levels are associated with gradual loss of skin function, such as poor wound healing. This decreased ability to heal is closely related to vitamin C’s role in producing collagen. Collagen is a key component in wound healing, and is involved in the creation of scar tissues that forms as a means of strengthening broken skin. 

The relationship between collagen, vitamin C, and healing is not just limited to the skin either. There is evidence to suggest that vitamin C supplementation results in increased collagen synthesis and accelerated healing after bone fractures. [13] 

The role that vitamin C plays in increasing collagen synthesis is very important. Without adequate vitamin C, the collagen in our bodies would be weak and unstable, and our ability to recover from wounds would be compromised. It’s been shown that improving collagen production helps improve our ability to heal soft tissue injuries, may help prevent re-injury, and may reduce the symptoms associated with diseases that affect our joints, like osteoarthritis. [14-16] 

So, it seems fair to say that in optimizing the health and appearance of our skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones, we need adequate amounts of vitamin C and collagen. Because natural collagen levels slowly decline as the years go on, it’s important to supplement to make sure you’re getting enough! For a simple way to promote healthy skin and healing, try Complete Collagen+. Just one serving a day can provide your body with 1000mg of collagen! Make sure to pair your collagen with vitamin C, to optimize the effects of collagen. We love PuraTHRIVE’s Micelle Liposomal Vitamin C – it’s a carefully crafted Vitamin C supplement designed with improved absorption and potency in mind.

Citations

  1. “Collagen.” Physiopedia, https://www.physio-pedia.com/Collagen. 
  2. “Collagen.” The Nutrition Source, 27 May 2021, https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/collagen/. 
  3. Mandal, Dr. Ananya. “What Is Collagen?” News, 5 June 2019, https://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-Collagen.aspx#:~:text=One%20of%20the%20most%20predominant,the%20whole%2Dbody%20protein%20content. 
  4. “An Overview of Your Skin.” Cleveland Clinic, https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/10978-skin#:~:text=Collagen%3A%20Collagen%20is%20the%20most,off%20wrinkles%20and%20fine%20lines. 
  5. “Collagen Synthesis.” Collagen Synthesis – an Overview | ScienceDirect Topics, https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/collagen-synthesis. 
  6. Reilly DM, Lozano J. Skin collagen through the lifestages: importance for skin health and beauty. Plast Aesthet Res 2021;8:2. http://dx.doi.org/10.20517/2347-9264.2020.153
  7. “Understanding Antioxidants.” Harvard Health, 10 Jan. 2019, https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/understanding-antioxidants.
  8. Bolke L, Schlippe G, Gerß J, Voss W. A Collagen Supplement Improves Skin Hydration, Elasticity, Roughness, and Density: Results of a Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Blind Study. Nutrients. 2019;11(10):2494. Published 2019 Oct 17. doi:10.3390/nu11102494
  9. de Miranda RB, Weimer P, Rossi RC. Effects of hydrolyzed collagen supplementation on skin aging: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Int J Dermatol. 2021 Mar 20. doi: 10.1111/ijd.15518. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33742704.
  10. Choi FD, Sung CT, Juhasz ML, Mesinkovsk NA. Oral Collagen Supplementation: A Systematic Review of Dermatological Applications. J Drugs Dermatol. 2019 Jan 1;18(1):9-16. PMID: 30681787.
  11. Phillips CL, Combs SB, Pinnell SR. Effects of ascorbic acid on proliferation and collagen synthesis in relation to the donor age of human dermal fibroblasts. J Invest Dermatol. 1994 Aug;103(2):228-32. doi: 10.1111/1523-1747.ep12393187. PMID: 7518857.
  12. Pullar JM, Carr AC, Vissers MCM. The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health. Nutrients. 2017;9(8):866. Published 2017 Aug 12. doi:10.3390/nu9080866
  13. DePhillipo NN, Aman ZS, Kennedy MI, Begley JP, Moatshe G, LaPrade RF. Efficacy of Vitamin C Supplementation on Collagen Synthesis and Oxidative Stress After Musculoskeletal Injuries: A Systematic Review. Orthop J Sports Med. 2018;6(10):2325967118804544. Published 2018 Oct 25. doi:10.1177/2325967118804544
  14. Clark, K. L., Sebastianelli, W., Flechsenhar, K. R., Aukermann, D. F., Meza, F., Millard, R. L., & Albert, A. (2008). 24-Week study on the use of collagen hydrolysate as a dietary supplement in athletes with activity-related joint pain. Current medical research and opinion, 24(5), 1485-1496.
  15. Zdzieblik, D., Oesser, S., Gollhofer, A., & König, D. (2017). Improvement of activity-related knee joint discomfort following supplementation of specific collagen peptides. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 42(6), 588-595.
  16. Lis, D. M., & Baar, K. (2019). Effects of Different Vitamin C–Enriched Collagen Derivatives on Collagen Synthesis. International journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism, 29(5), 526-531.