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How to replenish lost collagen

Your skin is about 75% collagen. It’s what gives your skin strength and structure while keeping it smooth.

But, collagen starts breaking down in your 20s. And the older you get the less collagen you produce.

One of the best ways to replenish lost collagen is with vitamin C.

Duke University researchers found that vitamin C boosts collagen production whether you’re a newborn or 93 years old.1

A second study of 4,025 women showed those eating more vitamin C foods had fewer wrinkles.2

I recommend getting 3,000 mg per day of vitamin C from food and supplements. That will give you enough to produce collagen to repair and rebuild your skin.

One of the best sources of vitamin C that I’ve found for your skin is the fruit camu camu.

I first came across these tart cherry-like berries when I was traveling with the Asháninka Indians in Peru. Camu camu is a rich source of vitamin C at 2,700 mg per half cup serving.

That’s 60 times more vitamin C than an orange.

And I’m talking about real vitamin C – not the ascorbic acid you get in your multivitamin.

You see, vitamin C is a family of compounds. Ascorbic acid is just one family member. It’s the antioxidant branch of the vitamin C family.

Supplement makers isolate this one compound to make multivitamins and vitamin C tabs. But, isolated ascorbic acid is a weakling compared to the full vitamin C in camu camu.

A study in the Journal of Cardiology proved it. Camu camu went head-to-head with “vitamin C” supplements and won hands down.3

A group of 10 smokers drank camu camu juice containing 1,050 mg of the full vitamin C every day. Another group of 10 smokers took a supplement containing 1,050 mg of ascorbic acid.

After just seven days, signs of oxidative stress in the camu camu group went down significantly. However, the supplement group didn’t improve at all.

Camu camu contains other potent antioxidants called anthocyanins that give fruits their red, purple, and blue colors. It also has essential amino acids like valine, leucine, and serine.

And it has many other important nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, including beta-carotene, manganese, and potassium.

These powerful antioxidants help rebuild collagen to firm your skin and smooth fine lines and wrinkles.

You can find camu camu in powder, juice, liquid concentrate, and capsule form. I like to add the dried powder to juices, smoothies, or yogurt. You can increase the dose over time. But don’t get carried away. Diarrhea is a sign you’re overdoing it.

2 More Ways You Can Increase Wrinkle-Fighting Vitamin C

Here are two more ways to increase collagen with this super nutrient…

  • Eat acerola cherries. I call this little berry the queen of all fruits. Every 100 grams has 1,678 mg — more than 30 times the vitamin C of strawberries.

    Here in Florida, we can grow our own organic berries all year long. But, if you don’t live in an area where you can grow this shrub, I suggest supplementing with an organic dried powder mixed into a sweetened drink to offset the slightly bitter taste.

  • Apply vitamin C to your skin. Applied topically, it has been proven to protect the skin from damaging free radicals.

    However, most topical vitamin C products are highly unstable and quickly oxidize when exposed to air. And when vitamin C oxidizes, it loses its skin protection benefits and can actually cause free radicals to form.

    To find a potent vitamin C product that hasn’t oxidized, a product package should be opaque. The product itself should be white or off-white in color. If a product has turned dark yellow, then it’s already too late.

I suggest making your own serum at home… Here’s how:


  • 1 teaspoon camu camu powder
  • 1 teaspoon distilled water
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable glycerin


  1. Mix the ingredients together and store in an opaque pump jar for the best results.
  2. Apply to a clean face twice a day.

To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD

 Al Sears, MD, CNS


1. Phillips CL, et al. “Effects of ascorbic acid on proliferation and collagen synthesis in relation to the donor age of human dermal fibroblasts.” J In Derm. 1994; 103, 228–232.
2. Cosgrove M, et al, “Dietary nutrient intakes and skin-aging appearance among middle-aged American women.” Am J Clin Nutr October 2007 vol. 86 no. 4, 1225-1231.
3. Teruo Inoue, et al. “Tropical fruit camu-camu (Myrciaria dubia) has anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties.” J Cardiol. 2008;52(2):127-32.