The Benefits of Collagen
What is collagen? The skin building protein called collagen is responsible for 75 per cent of the dry weight of our skin. Specifically, collagen is found in the connective tissue of skin, tendons, ligaments, and bones. In fact, collagen is the most prevalent protein in our body. Of the twenty-eight types of collagen Type I, Type II, Type III, Type IV, and Type V are the main ones found in connective tissue. Collagen is mainly made from three strands of protein, including the amino acids glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline. As we age, our bodies start to produce less collagen. The result is skin that becomes vulnerable to age related damage. This isn’t something that only happens in our twilight years. The loss of this vital, skin nourishing protein, within the inner layers of our skin, begins at the age of 30.
Collagen assists in enabling the skin to both retain and maintain moisture. Alleviating dryness can lead to fewer fine lines and wrinkles. Elasticity in skin is what allows it to move, stretch and stay plump. Incredibly, a skin’s elasticity begins to decline in our early 20s!
Three areas of the skin are responsible for elasticity. These are comprised of the epidermis, or outer layer, the middle layer called the dermis, and the deeper layer or subcutis. Of course, these areas are comprised not only of elastin, but collagen. In younger skin, these deep collagen fibres are pulled tight like springs supporting the skin layers. As the collagen fibres weaken, the skin starts to collapse.
Collagen also helps to speed up the healing process of abrasions, bruises, cuts, and wounds. The healing process in skin starts with inflammation, which usually lasts a few days. Next is the proliferation stage, which utilizes collagen production for repair. Finally, skin remodels itself, as collagen continues to be produced. With collagen depletion, the healing process is prolonged or even halted.
Aging is not the only factor in collagen decline. Lifestyle can also cause a hastening in the loss of collagen. Think smoking, excessive alcohol, as well as the consumption of too much added sugar and processed foods. Although sunshine is wonderful for vitamin D, the UVB and UV can be harmful to collagen and our skin.
Ingesting collagen may help to strengthen collagen fibres, making the skin feel more supple and firmer. This can help to eliminate pre-mature aging and sagging skin.
Adding collagen to our diet through foods and supplements can help to increase the look, feel, and overall health of skin. For our bodies to produce collagen, amino acids from protein rich foods including fish, chicken, beef, eggs, and dairy products, such as milk and yogurt need to be consumed. Bone broth is also a particularly rich source.
Vitamin C is the building block of collagen, so plenty of berries, citrus fruit, tomatoes, spinach, and broccoli are also required. Finally, two additional minerals, zinc, and copper need to be added. These are found in nuts, beans, and whole grains.
Collagen supplements such as Aarja Health’s Premium BioCell® COLLAGEN with Pine Bark and hyaluronic acid contains 500 mg of BioCell collagen, and 20 mg of pine bark extract. The collagen is hydrolyzed, which means unlike sources in food, it has already been broken down into smaller peptides. This enables our bodies to digest this valuable protein quickly, and easily.
Collagen supplements are best taken on an empty stomach. We suggest one capsule in the morning before breakfast, and another capsule before bed. Also, think of adding Aarja Health’s VITAMIN C 500 as an extra boost to aid in collagen production. Collagen is a vital protein in the building of healthy skin. Trying to maintain the levels in our body just makes good sense.