Collagen & Vitamin C: Little Truth, Much Marketing


June 22, 2022



Medically Reviewed ✓

By Dr. Cate, M.D., a board-certified Family Physician, biochemist trained at Cornell University, and New York Times Bestseller.

Dr. Cate's Takeaway

Vitamins (like C) and minerals added into a collagen product does not actually improve collagen absorption or help maximize your collagen-making cells to make more healthy collagen. In fact, it may trigger harmful oxidation of certain amino acids in the collagen supplement during storage that would reduce the supplement’s efficacy.

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Quick Summary

A collagen product that ADDS IN vitamins and minerals? Woah. Sounds like the utopia of collagen + nutrition! Or, is it? Do added vitamins and minerals help with collagen’s absorption and effectiveness? Could this be just fancy marketing? Thanks to Dr. Cate, M.D., we get to the bottom of this nutrition debate.

We get this often:

I know a lot of other collagen brands have 100%DV Vitamin C since it improves collagen absorption. Is this addressed in your formulation or do you have reasoning behind why not to include it? Thanks!Michelle

This is a very popular collagen question, maybe the most popular currently (runner-up being “Is there vegan collagen?” — which we’ll address soon in our Customer Q&A topic).

This question, though bent towards Vitamin C, feels more like a broader question that needs discussion.

Can collagen be taken with vitamins? And, does adding vitamins and minerals to collagen powder make it more effective?

In theory, it sounds like it’s a legit thing. Make collagen more awesome with added vitamins and minerals? Um, sure, why not! But wait, hold up. Is this a marketing ploy or a real nutrition thing to consider before buying a collagen?

Before we directly answer Michelle’s question specifically about Vitamin C (bounce down to answer here), let’s explore why collagen brands are making this a thing.

The types of Vitamins & Minerals other supplement brands add to their Collagen

The common vitamins and minerals we’re seeing added to collagen products these days are:

  • Magnesium
  • Calcium
  • Prebiotics
  • Keratin
  • Vitamin C
  • Ginger
  • Blue Spirulin
  • Biotin
  • and probably more to come!

Woah. What a list. I’m sure we’ll see marshmallows and candy sprinkles soon.

Candy Sprinkles in Collagen?
Why stop at Vitamin C? How about sprinkles?! (we kid, we kid)

All jokes aside, let’s now get into the WHY.

Why do supplement brands add Vitamins and Minerals to their Collagen?

Some products claim that vitamins and minerals, such as magnesium and calcium, are needed in a collagen for absorption and maximum effectiveness.

Why would they make such a claim?

Reason #1: Product Line Extension.

Supplement Bottles Product Line Extension
Is that “New & Improved!” collagen actually improved? Or, simply a product line extension tactic?

New & Improved formula!

How many times have you seen this on the label of a supplement? Too many times to count, right? This tactic has a fancy name and it’s called product line extension. It’s what many supplement companies (and product companies) do to create additional revenue.

Big collagen brands utilizing product line extension are very interested in boosting profits. There, we said it. Introducing new products, to existing customers, that boast features that we as humans know are inherently good (Vitamin C, Magnesium, Prebiotics, etc.) is easy marketing. And easy profits.

Reason #2: They’re making assumptions.

Maybe they don’t know any better?

Maybe these supplement companies actually believe that adding vitamins and minerals in their collagen complex is backed by sound science and nutrition? (hey, not everyone can have Dr. Cate, M.D. supporting their brand).

There is no research to support the idea that adding minerals to collagen aids in any way with the absorption or utilization of the nutrients in collagen. In fact, there is reason to believe that it’s not a good idea. Why not?

Adding minerals like calcium, magnesium or even vitamin C may trigger harmful oxidation of certain amino acids in the collagen supplement during storage that would reduce the supplement’s efficacy.Dr. Cate, M.D.

That’s why we like to keep our multi collagen protein simple and free of highly reactive minerals and additional additive.

Which reason is it?

We’ll leave it up to you to decide which reason is most likely. 🤔 Moving on, let’s cut to the chase and address the claims of absorption and maximum effectiveness and see if there’s any truth to either.

Myth-busting: Absorption?

Do you NEED Vitamins or Minerals to absorb collagen?

No.Dr. Cate, M.D.

Dr. Cate goes on to say (hey, this is Collagen College™ — a simple “No” here isn’t sufficient!) that we need healthy gut flora and healthy intestinal cells.

“Hands down, the fastest way to improve the health of your gut flora and all your intestinal cells is to avoid seed oils (see: Good Fats and Oils vs Bad) and limit your intake of refined flours and sugars”, explains Dr. Cate.


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You don't hear this often from a supplement company: get your nutrition from food first, THEN supplement. But, it's the absolute right thing to recommend — even if your company sells supplements.

Myth-busting: Maximum Effectiveness?

Do you need to take collagen with vitamins or minerals to maximize your collagen-making cells ability to make more healthy collagen?

Let’s answer a question with a question.

If you’re going to go down the road of consuming collagen with synthetic nutrients, why stop at vitamin C and a few minerals? Why not also add every single vitamin and every single mineral?Dr. Cate, M.D.

The fact is, optimizing a complex process like stimulating fibroblast cells (more about how to increase collagen) to make more collagen in all your collagenous tissues requires just about every nutrient there is. But you don’t have to consume all those nutrients with your collagen, thank you Mother Nature.

Does having Vitamin C in a collagen make it better?

Vitamin C in a collagen powder
Is Vitamin C in a collagen powder any different than other vitamins and minerals?

Now, let’s get back to Michelle’s specific question about adding in Vitamin C to our multi collagen protein powders.

If you’ve been reading, you should have your answer after our myth-busting above. But, by chance you’ve simply bounced down to get this answer, here’s the quick answer from Dr. Cate:

Vitamin C does not actually improve collagen absorption.

In order to manufacture collagen, the body uses a number of enzymes. One of those enzymes uses Vitamin C, which is why some collagen brands add C. Other enzymes use other vitamins and minerals. If you have C in your tissues and all the other vitamins and minerals, the enzymes will function.

Dr. Cate goes on to say:

There’s no need to eat extra C or to consume C with collagen for this system to work. What you need is a well-balanced diet.

Note: See Dr. Cate’s recommended supplements here.

Your Takeaway: Get Vitamins & Minerals from FOOD

Here’s your takeaway.

And whom better to paint a 20,000-foot view of this conversation than our Founder and CEO, Charlie.

As long as you’re not eating exclusively Oreo’s all day every day, you’re probably getting your daily value of Vitamin C and do not need more of it in a collagen supplement.Charlie, Founder

Get calcium from dairy, magnesium from nuts, avocados, and greens. Get collagen from bone broth, organ meats, bone-in ribeyes, or our multi collagen (see Foods High in Collagen).

Simple enough, right?

Let’s not make this collagen thing more complex. Here’s to keeping it real. 🤜

More helpful resources

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This Collagen College™ article created by:


Eric Sharp CMO

Eric Sharp

Eric discovered collagen back in 2019 (thanks to Charlie) and been a believer since. He brings 20+ years of digital marketing experience to the CB Supplements team. As CMO, he's directly responsible for crafting the CB Supplements positioning, content, branding, and overall marketing direction.


Charlie Bailes - Founder CB Supplements

Charlie Bailes

If you've bought our multi collagen, there's a pretty darn good chance you've received an awesome personalized thank you note from Charlie. Aside from caring A LOT about customer appreciation, he's also our Founder and CEO and responsible for assembling our great team and vision.


Dr. Cate

Dr. Cate Shanahan is our Medical & Scientific Advisor. She is a Board-certified Family Physician, biochemist trained at Cornell University, and New York Times Bestseller.

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