Healthy collagen levels give skin a smooth, plump, youthful appearance, and help to prevent wrinkles.
Collagen is the collective name for a group of proteins that make up around 25 per cent of the body’s total protein content. There are over 20 different types of collagen; the most common form is type I, found in the skin, bones, tendons, ligaments and parts of the eye. The most important role of collagen in the body is providing the structural ‘scaffolding’ that surrounds cells and supports cell shape so they can develop and function, just as steel mesh reinforces a concrete block.
Collagen plays a vital role in the health, growth and repair of all body tissues, including the skin, mucous membranes, ligaments and tendons, as well as bones and cartilage. Collagen also exhibits antibacterial, cholesterol-lowering and immune-regulating activity and acts as an antioxidant, blocking free radicals and protecting skin cells from ultraviolet (UV) radiation and reducing the signs of photo-ageing. Collagen’s structure gives skin its strength and durability, and is a vital part of the internal framework or structure that is responsible for smooth, firm, beautiful skin. A decline in collagen, however, leads to wrinkles and the appearance of aged skin.
With age, the skin’s level of collagen drops at around 1.5 per cent each year. This is due to two factors: one, a natural decrease in collagen production, and two, an acceleration in its degradation, thanks to increased activity by the enzyme collagenase. In women, this process speeds up even more post-menopause. Combined with other skin-ageing factors, such as nutritional deficiencies, exposure to environmental toxins like cigarette smoke and UV radiation from the sun, you have the perfect recipe for wrinkled, sagging skin.
You can protect your skin’s collagen levels by avoiding radiation from the sun, thereby minimising free radical damage. For battling other causes of skin deterioration, and the exposure to environmental toxins that you cannot avoid, a nutritional supplement like NutriVital’s Beauty Collagen + Antioxidants will help to optimise natural skin function and ward off signs of ageing. The antioxidants vitamin C, green tea and astaxanthin, combined with absorbable collagen peptides, will feed your skin from within and encourage the development of healthy new, smooth skin.
Fast Facts About Collagen
- There is no such thing as vegan collagen. Collagen is made from gelatine and it typically comes from bovine, porcine or marine sources. Gelatine consists of very large protein chains which need to be digested and broken down into amino acids before they can enter the body’s circulatory system and have any beneficial effect. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that, once the gelatine is broken into amino acids, it will be active where it is needed.
- Hydrolysing gelatine down into collagen helps to solve this issue. This process breaks the large protein chains in gelatine down into peptides (smaller chains of amino acids that are better able to cross the gut lining and enter the circulatory system as collagen), which means you are replenishing lost collagen in a form the body can actually use.
- Not all collagen supplements are created equal: where the collagen is sourced from (bovine, porcine or marine), its molecular weight and the amino acids that make up the peptide chains will all impact how your body may absorb and use the product.
- Marine origin collagen is considered to be the best quality and it is used in medical therapeutic applications to accelerate wound healing. Marine collagen peptides are smaller than bovine or porcine sources, increasing their absorption by 50 per cent; they also have a very specific amino acid composition, with a high concentration of glycine, hydroxyproline and proline. When marine collagen is taken, the hydroxyproline peptides are not completely digested to free amino acids and instead stimulate cells in the skin, joints and bones, leading to an improved collagen status.
- Hydrolysed marine collagen is a superior bioactive skin food and has been shown to promote the formation of both type I and type III collagen. Taking just one gram a day reduces age-related collagen degradation in six weeks; by 12 weeks, it will improve skin hydration and elasticity and decrease wrinkles.
- It takes the skin between 27 and 42 days to renew itself, so you will need to take collagen daily for at least a month to see any noticeable difference.