Vitamin C. The Miracle Mineral for Singers Hello everyone! How are you guys? Can you believe it is only 11 days until Christmas, and it still feels like Spring outside? Unbelievable. I was in New York City yesterday attending my vocal coach David Jones' annual Christmas party, and saw lots of people walking the streets in shorts and t-shirts. The weather is just insane. This can make for some very difficult and challenging conditions for us singers. The human voice, especially one that is used for high velocity phonation like singing, is quite vulnerable to weather conditions and drastic temperature changes. In addition to the many hours of voice lessons I teach a week, I also sing in a busy cover band and am the tenor section leader in my church choir. My voice gets quite a workout from sunup to sun down, day after day and week to week. Fortunately it has held up well thanks to a solid vocal technique taught to me by Maestro David Jones, and a variety of supplements to keep the body strong and healthy. One of those supplements is Vitamin C. Most of us singers are aware that Vitamin C can do wonders for keeping colds and viruses from wreaking havoc on our bodies and throats, but did you know that Vitamin C can also keep the vocal mechanism sturdy and strong? Vitamin C is necessary in the synthesis of Collagen. Collagen is the glue that literally holds our body together. Without it, we literally fall apart. Read this excerpt I extracted from wikipedia about Vitamin C and Collagen: Linus Pauling HOW TO LIVE LONGER AND FEEL BETTER (1986) Pages 89-91 The synthesis of collagen, for which vitamin C is essential, proceeds in the body as one of its major manufacturing enterprises. A person who is dying of scurvy stops making this substance, and his body falls apart -- his joints fail, because he can no longer keep the cartilage and tendons strongs, his blood vessels break open, his gums ulcerate and his teeth fall out, his immune system deteriorates, and he dies. Collagen is a protein, one of the thousands of different kinds of proteins in the human body. Most proteins occur in only small amounts: the various enzymes, for example, are so powerful in their ability to cause specific chemical reactions to take place rapidly that only a gram or two or even a few milligrams may be needed in the body. There are a few exceptions. There is a great amount of hemoglobin in red blood cells. There is even more collagen in the skin, bones, teeth, blood vessels, eye, heart, and, in fact, essentially all parts of the body. Collagen as strong white fibers, stronger than steel wire of the same weight, and as yellow elastic networks (called elastin), usually together with macropolysaccharides, constitutes the connective tissue that holds our bodies together. Like other proteins, collagen consists of polypeptide chains; the long chains of this fibrous molecule contain about one thousand amino-acid residues, about sixteen thousand atoms. It differs from almost all other proteins in being substantially composed of but two amino acids, glycine and hydroxyproline. Collagen is a kind of supermolecule, however, in its three-dimensional architecture. The polypeptide chains of the two amino acids, alternating with one another and punctuated by the presence of certain other amino acids, are coiled in a left-handed helix. Three of these helical strands are twisted around on another, like strands of a rope, in a right handed superhelix, to compose the complete molecule. Understandably, the synthesis of this structure proceeds in steps. While it has been known for half a century (these words written in 1985) that vitamin C is essential to the manufacture of collagen, the process is only now yielding to inquiry. It appears that vitamin C is involved at every step. Isn't that interesting? It just makes sense that if we begin to lose collagen in our body, it begins to fall apart and the voice suffers as well. I recently began upping my dosage of vitamin and noticed that my voice felt stronger, even sturdier, which led me to the investigation of it's benefits. So not only can Vitamin C help your joints, bones and skin, but it can also keep your voice stay strong and healthy! So go out and get some Vitamin C guys!! It'll do your voice good!