Hey everybody. I’m not sure what’s going on with the site (what’s with the rollback), so I hope everybody is able to get this.
Of recent, there’s been a lot to talk about vitamin C and l-lysine. I couldn’t find the C and zinc combo anywhere (live in the US), and the only liquid capsule with C in it also contained vitamin E and rose hips (potent source of vitamin C). So, I tried smearing that on my lips—it stung and definitely caused an increase in size, followed the next day by the development of a crust and peeling. I’m not sure how important the zinc was in the equation, but, due to the size increases, I decided not to continue using the vitamin C topically.
However, the vitamin C idea was interesting and it suggested a new avenue or research that I haven’t seen mentioned on this board before. Interestingly, it seems that vitamin C is extremely important in the collagen development process and, coincidentally (?), so is lysine.
Found this on a website:
“First, a three dimensional stranded structure is assembled, with the amino acids glycine and proline as its principal components. This is not yet collagen but its precursor, procollagen. A recent study shows that vitamin C must have an important role in its synthesis. Prolonged exposure of cultures of human connective-tissue cells to ascorbate induced an eight-fold increase in the synthesis of collagen with no increase in the rate of synthesis of other proteins (Murad et al., 1981). Since the production of procollagen must precede the production of collagen, vitamin C must have a role in this step -- the formation of the polypeptide chains of procollagen -- along with its better understood role in the conversion of procollagen to collagen.
The conversion involves a reaction that substitutes a hydroxyl group, OH, for a hydrogen atom, H, in the proline residues at certain points in the polypeptide chains, converting those residues to hydroxyproline. This hydroxylation reaction secures the chains in the triple helix of collagen. The hydroxylation, next, of the residues of the amino acid lysine, transforming them to hydroxylysine, is then needed to permit the cross-linking of the triple helices into the fibers and networks of the tissues.
These hydroxylation reactions are catalyzed by two different enzymes: prolyl-4-hydroxylase and lysyl-hydroxylase. Vitamin C also serves with them in inducing these reactions. It has recently been shown by Myllyla and his colleagues that, in this service, one molecule of vitamin C is destroyed for each H replaced by OH [Myllyla et al., "Ascorbate is Consumed Stoichiometrically in the Uncoupled Reactions Catalyzed by Prolyl-4-Hydroxylase and Lysyl Hydroxylase. Journal of Biological Chemistry 259:5403-5405. 1984]”
So, if I’m understanding this correctly, it appears that both Vitamin C and lysine are important precursors required for the development of collagen.
Wikipedia also had an interesting blurb about vitamin C and it mentioned that, somewhere along the evolutionary process, humans lost the ability to synthesize C, which requires us to acquire it from dietary sources. It was also interesting that when compared to animals who synthesize their own C, the USRDA level for humans in significantly lower (accounting for bodyweight, but I don’t know what else—biochemically speaking, we might have also developed a more effective alternative pathway). When combined with the idea that individual vitamin C requirements might vary significantly, it might suggest that we require more of this vitamin than we are receiving and l-lysine (in sane quantities) might interact with the C to promote effect collagen synthesis.
Over the past few days I’ve been taking the capsules mentioned earlier (about 500mg of c and some amount of E—I’ll check later) and have noticed big improvements in overall skin condition: my lips feel a lot smoother, skin that used to be extremely dry has improved significantly, and the overall color appears to be more flushed and healthy looking. I don’t know if this will prove to be super helpful in the overall long-term process, but it seems to be helping for the moment. In the near future, I might include supplementing with a little bit of l-lysine.