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Is your skin wrinkled, dull, or thin, perhaps with poor healing, easy bruising or signs of ageing? You might need to support your collagen production.
Skin is our main external barrier that protects us from the world outside – infections, trauma, sun (UVA) damage, or toxins. Healthy skin needs the right balance of strength and suppleness, provided by collagen, elastin, hyaluronic acid, and antioxidants.
Collagen is a type of protein that makes up to 35% of all body protein and is a key component of our connective tissue. It is the most widely distributed tissue in the body, which binds, holds, supports and strengthens other body tissues, as well as insulating and protecting the organs. It makes up our ligaments, tendons, skin, joints, cartilage, bone and even the gut lining, blood vessels and our teeth! It is therefore absolutely vital to health and proper integrity and function of ALL body tissues and organs.
Our body produces collagen by breaking down dietary protein into amino acids, which are then used as building blocks to form long, robust structures. Nutrient cofactors, including vitamin C, are required to help with collagen formation.
There are multiple types of collagen found within the body, but the predominant forms are types 1, 2 and 3 and they all have different functions. For example, type 1 collagen is more structurally dense and supportive and is found in things like bone and teeth, whereas type 2 is found in cartilage. Type 1 collagen is the most abundant in our body and when taken in supplements, it can be converted into other types if needed.
Our skin is the largest structural organ in the body and covers up to an incredible 2m2 of our body’s surface. Collagen is a critical component of skin health and so poor production or synthesis, can result in poor skin quality such as wrinkles, sagginess, and poor skin healing after burns/cuts.
There are many factors that can affect how we produce and breakdown collagen. Unfortunately, collagen production can reduce as we age and so is why sore joints, fractures and poorer skin quality is more common the older we get. Protein contains the amino acids the body needs to make collagen so if there is inadequate dietary intake, the body will not have enough to produce collagen. This is the same for cofactors including vitamin C needed to form collagen.
A damaged skin surface from repeated sunburn, exposure to UVA rays, or skin contact with chemicals e.g. through cleaning products or skincare products, can impair the body’s ability to produce collagen. Similarly, ingestion of chemicals through exposure to cleaning products, mould, toxins and cigarette smoke can also damage the cells responsible for the production and breakdown of collagen.
Hormones such as oestrogen, have a direct influence on collagen production and changes after menopause due to declining levels of oestrogen, result in the loss of about 30% of skin collagen. Women may notice as they transition through the menopause that their skin feels less plump, thinner and with darker under eye circles.
Inflammation caused by autoimmune conditions, thyroid disorders, stress and diets high in inflammatory foods such as sugar and alcohol, can damage cells involved in collagen production, meaning we do not produce enough or as efficiently as our body requires.
Although we can buy collagen in powders or supplements, it is not guaranteed that it will be used properly in the body. Collagen is a large molecule and it gets broken down in the stomach, after which point it is less useful, so it’s important to get the right type of collagen, with proven benefits. Marine Collagen displays high resemblance to human collagen and is therefore easily absorbed through the gut wall and quickly delivered to the target tissues.
Common signs of weak connective tissue and decreased collagen synthesis:
So, how can we support our collagen production and synthesis to support our connective tissue and improve our skin appearance? How can taking collagen alongside vitamins and other nutrients in supplements help?
The key to supporting your collagen synthesis is to provide your body with the necessary building blocks, by managing your diet and including the necessary nutrients. Managing stress and inflammation is also critical to help maintain the health of the cells involved in collagen production.
Below you’ll find some useful tips on supporting your collagen production for your skin health.
Our Collagen Complex is a unique combination of powerful nutrients including collagen, hyaluronic acid nucleotides and antioxidants for skin, joint and bone support:
Prefer something vegan or in a powder form? Try our Vitamin C Rosehip Complex with zinc, vitamin C for skin support, alongside rutin, hesperidin, rosehip: