I’m always seeking out the most cutting-edge ways in natural health to enhance one’s life. In this article, we are specifically looking into how someone can enhance their skin, their beauty, and look younger using collagen. Seems to good to be true, but the proof is in the research.
Collagen is an essential building block of our skin. It is estimated that collagen makes up 30% of the proteins in the human body and as much as 70% of the protein found in the skin. Collagen is what gives our skin cohesion, elasticity and regeneration. Our skin is made up of a variety of molecules, one of them being amino acids, which are essential for skin structure. The amino acids glycine, proline, alanine, and hydroxyproline are absolutely necessary for healthy skin. These amino acids are all found in collagen. Another very important part of the skin known as the dermis, is what gives our skin elasticity and flexibility. This layer of the skin is made up mainly of collagen. Therefore, having quality collagen in our diets is essential for our bodies to have glowing, healthy skin.
When it comes to aging, we all try to protect our skin. Lines, wrinkles and sagging skin are known to be the most visible signs of aging. The factors that drive the aging process are environmental factors and genetic factors such as stress or chemicals, but also nutrition. One of the major reasons we see aging in the skin is because the outer layer of the skin known as the epidermis thins and loses elasticity. This is known as elastosis.
There are many things that we can do in order to maintain healthy skin. The one thing that most people are not doing is utilizing collagen. As mentioned above it is a huge component of the structural makeup of our skin, and there is a growing body of evidence which proves collagen is contributes massively to a younger healthier looking you. Clinical research proves that collagen, a natural protein:
- Promotes younger looking skin
- Improves skin moisture level
- Improves skin smoothness by reducing the number of micro-relief furrows
- Improves the signs of deep wrinkles
- Improves skin suppleness
How it Works
Collagen (in its natural form) is known to be indigestible and not much good to the body. Modern science has fixed this problem with collagen peptides which are a bio-available form of collagen that are 90% digestible through oral consumption. When the collagen peptides are digested, they are attracted to the cells that synthesize collagen in the human body. Collagen is believed to stimulate production and re-organization of the new collagen fibers by activating fibroblast cells. Some studies are showing us that collagen peptides increase both the density and diameter of the collagen fibrils which are found in the dermis. This ultimately will improve the strength of the skin.
There are studies as well that imply that the ingestion of collagen improves the outermost layer of the skin known as the epidermis. This is done by increasing what is known as decorin. Decorin is a component of connective tissue which binds to the collagen fibrils. Utilizing collagen increases the amount of functional decorin allowing the skin to be more supple through an increase moisture content.
How to Enhance Your Skin with Collagen
On average, the research shows that these changes occur when collagen peptides are taken daily for up to 12 weeks. I believe this is compelling evidence for anyone who is interested in looking younger and having healthy rejuvenated skin. Let me know how using collagen works for you by commenting below.
Lodish H, Berk A, Zipursky SL, et al. Molecular Cell Biology. 4th edition. New York: W. H. Freeman; 2000. Section 22.3, Collagen: The Fibrous Proteins of the Matrix.
Cosgrove, M.C., Franco, O.H., Granger, S.P., Murray, P.G. and Mayes, A.E. 2007. Dietary nutrient intakes and skin-aging appearance among middle-aged American women. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 86: 1225-1231.
Asghar, A and Henrickson, R.L. 1982. Chemical, biochemical, functional characteristics of collagen in food system. Advances in food research, 28 :231-372.
Iwai, K., Hasegawa, T., Taguchi, Y., Morimatsu, F., Sato, K., Nakamura, Y., Higashi, A., Kido, Y., Nakabo, Y. and Ohtsuki, K. 2005. Identification of food-derived collagen peptides in human blood after oral ingestion of gelatin hydrolysates. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 53: 6531-6536.
Wu, J., Fujioka, M., Sugimoto, K., Mu, G. and Ishimi, Y. 2004. Assessment of effectiveness of oral administration of collagen peptide on bone metabolism in growing and mature rats. Journal of bone and mineral metabolism, 22:47-553.
Oesser, S., Adam, M., Babel, W. and Seifert, J. 1999. Oral administration of 14C labeled gelatin hydrolysate leads to an accumulation of radioactivity in cartilage of mice (C57/BL). Journal of nutrition, 129:1891-1895. Referenced from http://jn.nutrition.org/content/129/10/1891
Postlethwaite, A.E., Seyer, J.M., and Kang, A.H. 1978. Chemotactic attraction of human fibroblasts to type I, II, and II collagens and collagen-derived peptides. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 75(2): 871-875.
Minaguchi, J., Koyama, Y-I., Meguri, N., Hosaka, Y., Ueda, H., Kusubata, M., Hirota, A., Irie, S., Mafune, N. and Takehana, K. 2005. Effects of ingestion of collagen peptide on collagen fibrils and glycosaminoglycans in Achilles tendon. Journal of nutritional science and vitaminology 51:169-174.
Matsumoto, H., Ohara, H., Ito, K., Nakamura, Y. and Takahashi, S. 2006. Clinical effects of fish type I collagen hydrolysate on skin properties. ITE Letters on batteries, new technologies and medicine, 7(4):386-390.
Lochner K, Gaemlich A, Südel KM, Venzke K, Moll I, Knott A, Stäb F, Wenck H, Döring O, Böttger M, Gallinat S. 2007. Expression of decorin and collagens I and III in different layers of human skin in vivo: a laser capture microdissection study; Biogerontology, 2007 June; 8(3) 269-82;
Puig A, Antón JMG, Mangues M. A new decorin-like tetrapeptide for optimal organization of collagen fibres. International Journal of Cosmetic Science. 2008;30:97–104.
Proksch E, Segger D, Degwert J, Schunck M, Zague V, Oesser S. Oral supplementation of specific collagen peptides has beneficial effects on human skin physiology: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2014;27(1):47-55. doi: 10.1159/000351376. Epub 2013 Aug 14. PubMed PMID: 23949208.