Collagen is our skin’s building block – it’s the most plentiful protein in your body – making up approximately 30% of all the proteins you have. It’s in your muscles, tendons, bones, organs and blood vessels as well as in your skin – it’s essentially the ‘glue’ that holds everything together.
Whilst it has many important bodily functions, the role it plays in skin health and in slowing the ageing process of your skin is significant – it strengthens and improves the integrity of your skin, it provides structure and firmness, it improves moisture and dryness levels and in combination with another skin protein called elastin – it helps maintains skin elasticity and plumpness.
As your skin cells become less active as you age, the collagen network that provides skin firmness and structure breaks down. Your skin becomes dehydrated and thinner, while lines, wrinkles and deep furrows start to appear. Whilst you can’t measure the levels of collagen in your body, you can tell when levels are starting to drop as you’ll start to see the development of these wrinkles and the onset of crepey skin when you look in the mirror – this a completely natural part of the ageing process – but there are things you can do to increase the level of collagen to help you keep your skin in tip top condition as you age.
So, what are the benefits of taking collagen supplements to aid skin health?
Collagen supplementation is the only way to absorb collagen directly, although there are foods you can consume which will help your body create more collagen (which we’ll come on to later in the article) unless you are consuming them by the bucket load you are probably not getting enough through diet alone and once you hit 25 you start to break down more collagen than your body makes – that’s why you can start to see fine lines and wrinkles from this age onwards.
It’s also noted that a high proportion of those over 50 are failing to reach the recommended intake for many of the nutrients which are responsible for helping your body with collagen production and for healthy hair, skin and even nails too, therefore a good supplement is a convenient way to reap the benefits of this protein powerhouse as you age.
One brand highly recommended is the Prime Fifty “Beauty from Inner Health” formula as it has been formulated to nourish and protect your skin, hair & nails from within – using an advanced age-specific multi-nutrient formulation which comprises the most essential vitamins, minerals, natural extracts and other scientifically researched ingredients such as bioperine, evening primrose oil, copper, zinc, vitamin C and bamboo extract in addition to bio marine collagen peptides – a highly absorbable bio-available form of hydrolysed collagen peptides, researched over many years as a front line skin health nutrient. You can buy a 3-month supply for £65 with a 15% discount using code PRIME15.
Collagen consumption can help to increase skin elasticity and support your body’s skin repair process and encourage your body to form new collagen. It can increase skin hydration and smoothness and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
Studies have also shown that by regularly taking hydrolysed collagen it can improve overall skin health and combat the effects of ageing. This form of collagen is best as your gut immediately absorbs it and sends it directly to your skin through your bloodstream.
However, it’s not just a beauty product – collagen has multiple functions in the body and by taking a collagen supplement you can also support the health of your bones, decrease joint pain (which is good news if you work out) and improve flexibility.
What foods can help with collagen production?
It’s pretty much just animal skin and bones that actually contain collagen itself – hence why bone broth – one of the most on trend of health food elixirs at the moment – is popular. However, this is no good is you are a veggie or just don’t fancy downing a beefy beverage every day.
What you can do is eat foods that boost collagen – these foods don’t contain collagen but can deliver nutrients that your body use to make it. Foods that may help your body create more collagen include wild salmon, cod, tuna, eggs, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, garlic, avocado and leafy greens such as kale and spinach.
An even better way of getting collagen in an even purer form is to use hydrolysed collagen sourced from fish…..This way the collagen molecules are far better absorbed than collagen itself and will be a better way of absorbing that much needed extra collagen.
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