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How can you increase your collagen production naturally?

Collagen is an essential protein present in all the body’s tissues. In particular, it plays a key role in keeping the skin supple and hydrated. Here’s a brief overview of collagen and the ways of boosting its production.
Wrinkled skin of a woman lacking in collagen
Collagen plays a major role in tissue resistance and elasticity.
Rédaction Supersmart.
2020-09-22Commentaires (0)

The benefits of collagen

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. It is found in the skin, tendons, bones, cartilage and muscles … A structural protein, it forms a natural framework which allows the body’s tissues to remain supple when subjected to mechanical and chemical tension.

It thus supports and protects the body on a number of levels, helped by other proteins such as elastin and keratin.

There are many different forms of collagen, but the three main ones are:

What happens when collagen levels are too low?

A lack of collagen will inevitably affect the body as a whole. Inadequate collagen levels may have a pathological cause or be the result of aging. Collagen production declines as we get older: the effects of this are seen mainly in the skin, with those famous visible signs of aging: sagging, wrinkles and fine lines… But a lack of collagen also affects the health of our joints, bones and muscles …

That’s why it makes sense to try and stimulate the body’s collagen production, especially as there’s precious little of it available in the diet (sources include egg yolk, bone broth, gelatine, fish skin ...)

Foods and actions which promote collagen production

Certain foods, such as salmon, garlic and avocado are, however, thought to support collagen production. Good hydration may also help to maintain healthy levels of this protein in the body.

But above all, it’s vitamin C which is known to play a role in collagen formation: in doing so, it helps maintain healthy skin, cartilage, blood vessels, gums, teeth and bones (1). Vitamin C is found in many foods: citrus fruit, berries, kiwi fruit, green leafy vegetables … (2) and is also available in supplement form. The liposomal form of vitamin C is especially beneficial because of its high bioavailability.

There are other ways of activating collagen production such as massaging your face (for the collagen in facial skin) and ensuring you get a good night’s sleep.

Eliminate collagen’s natural enemies

Aging is not alone in causing the body’s collagen production to diminish. Several factors can have an adverse effect by generating large numbers of free radicals. Oxidative stress is a major threat to collagen.

You can take the following simple steps to reduce your oxidative stress:

These dietary supplements are a direct source of collagen

Do you want to benefit from a direct supply of collagen? You have the choice of several dietary supplements depending on your individual needs:

As you can see, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to options for supporting your collagen levels.

References

  1. EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA); Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to vitamin C and protection of DNA, proteins and lipids from oxidative damage (ID 129, 138, 143, 148), antioxidant function of lutein (ID 146), maintenance of vision (ID 141, 142), collagen formation (ID 130, 131, 136, 137, 149), function of the nervous system (ID 133), function of the immune system (ID 134), function of the immune system during and after extreme physical exercise (ID 144), non‐haem iron absorption (ID 132, 147), energy‐yielding metabolism (ID 135), and relief in case of irritation in the upper respiratory tract (ID 1714, 1715) pursuant to Article 13(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 on request from the European Commission. EFSA Journal 2009; 7( 9):1226. [28 pp.].
  2. Table Ciqual. ANSES. Consulté en août 2020.
  3. Knuutinen A, Kokkonen N, Risteli J, et al. Smoking affects collagen synthesis and extracellular matrix turnover in human skin. Br J Dermatol. 2002;146(4):588-594. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2133.2002.04694.x
  4. Bosch R, Philips N, Suárez-Pérez JA, et al. Mechanisms of Photoaging and Cutaneous Photocarcinogenesis, and Photoprotective Strategies with Phytochemicals. Antioxidants (Basel). 2015;4(2):248-268. Published 2015 Mar 26. doi:10.3390/antiox4020248
  5. V. Kahan, M.L. Andersen, J. Tomimori, S. Tufik, Stress, immunity and skin collagen integrity: Evidence from animal models and clinical conditions, Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, Volume 23, Issue 8, 2009, Pages 1089-1095
  6. Danby FW. Nutrition and aging skin: sugar and glycation. Clin Dermatol. 2010;28(4):409-411. doi:10.1016/j.clindermatol.2010.03.018
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