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“I’ll never graduate from collagen.”
Collagen is a fibrous protein found in the spaces between cells in the body’s connective tissues.
Extremely important to good health, it’s the body’s most abundant protein. Providing firmness and strength, collagen is in many ways the glue that holds the body together. In fact, the word “collagen” derives from the Greek word meaning “glue.”
Collagen is found throughout your body in teeth, bones, tendons, joints, cartilage, etc. It’s also abundant in your corneas, blood vessels, intestines, and muscles, and in the discs between vertebrae in your back.
There are 16 types of collagen. The following 4 types are the best known:
Collagen, then, is among the most abundant tissue found in the body. This is one reason natural collagen (both human and animal) has numerous applications in biomedical sciences.
It may be that when you think of collagen, your first thought is of a cosmetic procedure. And this is, indeed, one of its best-known and most-prevalent applications. Collagen has been used for decades as a dermal filler for the treatment of wrinkles and other signs of skin aging, particularly in the lips and elsewhere on the face.
Collagen has many other medical uses, too, in part because it’s bacteria-resistant and it promotes healing.
These uses include applications in heart surgery, reconstructive plastic surgery (among burn victims, for example), bone grafts, and wound care.
Collagen, especially Type 1 (see above), is the most abundant protein in your body. It helps the body heal, it assists in replacing dead cells, it assists your joints and tendons in working properly, and it helps hold your body together. In women, it also reduces the appearance of cellulite and stretch marks.
For your skin, collagen helps maintain strength and elasticity (along with replacing dead skin cells). This strength and elasticity keeps your skin young-looking.
Collagen accounts for 75 percent of youthful skin, and it forms the primary structural element in the dermis (the layer between the outer skin and subcutaneous tissues). In so doing, it imparts a supporting structure, giving skin its fullness.
At the heart of your skin’s beauty are proper hydration, good nutrition, and protection from air pollution and sun damage. These measures maintain healthy collagen levels, so your skin will look younger longer.
When collagen molecules are damaged—through such things as low hydration, poor diet, or excessive sun exposure—skin loses elasticity. The unfortunate result is that with this loss of collagen, the skin begins to wrinkle, sag, and look “old.”
The production of collagen in your body naturally slows over time.
According to cosmetic practitioner Benji Dhillon, “Collagen production begins to decline at a rate of around 1 percent per year from our mid-twenties and goes rapidly downhill in our forties and fifties, with the majority of women experiencing a 30 percent drop in the first few years post-menopause.”
Unless collagen production is supported, signs of aging appear, such as wrinkles and sagging skin. Over time, poor personal habits—a bad diet, cigarette smoking, or excessive sun exposure, for example—contribute to collagen depletion.
Dhillon adds, “However, regardless of external factors, our bodies will naturally produce less collagen as we age.”
As noted above, healthy collagen levels keep your joints and tendons working properly.
As we age and as collagen levels fall, joint problems, such as stiffness and soreness, may appear.
Decreased collagen leads to decreased cartilage (the tissue that helps the bones to move). Cartilage contains Type 2 collagen as noted above, and decreased cartilage may result in joint degeneration—leading to aches, pains, and movement problems.
Fortunately, the gentle manipulative and massage techniques of osteopathy have been proven to help those who suffer from joint pain. Treatment typically involves gently moving and stretching your joints and massaging your surrounding muscles and tissues. These techniques usually help ease some if not all discomfort.
If you’re experiencing joint discomfort from DJD or other causes, you may wish to contact the staff osteopath at Ella Di Rocco Wellness MediSpa.
One way to support your body’s collagen levels is to pursue a collagen-rich diet.
Dhillon points out, “You can easily boost collagen levels from . . . the inside.”
The richest sources of collagen are high-protein foods derived from animals. These include beef, chicken, fish, and eggs.
You might also wish to use collagen nutritional supplements made from animals or fish. Collagen supplements are generally well-tolerated among users with no major side effects.
Collagen supplements are rich in amino acids that not only play an important role in building and maintaining healthy levels of joint cartilage, but they offer soothing, anti-inflammatory effects, as well, especially in the joints.
Another essential nutrient for good health, vitamin C is required for the formation of collagen. Without this vitamin, tissues can begin to break down, leading to bleeding gums, muscle and joint pain, tiredness, and other symptoms associated with the vitamin C deficiency of scurvy. It’s important for your healthy collagen levels that you get adequate vitamin C through your and/or supplements. Doing so helps maintain healthy collagen levels in your skin, bones, joints, etc.
Note that if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, you can stimulate collagen production by eating certain fruits and vegetables rich in collagen-boosting nutrients. Some of these are: broccoli, carrots, kale, peppers, squash, sweet potatoes, apricots, papaya, kiwi, berries, mushrooms, nuts, and beans.
Cosmetic expert Dhillon advises, “For quicker results—usually in around two to three weeks—try a collagen-based supplement. I recommend Skinade, a drink which should be taken daily to kick-start collagen production; those who use it report better skin as well as glossier hair and stronger nails.”
The Skinade drink increases your body’s natural production of collagen. Developed by leading UK scientists, Skinade delivers the perfect ratio of liquid to active ingredients to create an advanced and effective skincare beverage.
Containing natural peach and mangosteen flavours, plus active ingredients that boost your body’s natural collagen, Skinade can improve the way your skin looks and feels in as little as thirty days.
Skin experts around the world recognise the importance of “working from within” through such things as diet. Skinade collagen drinks provide a breakthrough “inside-out approach” to skincare. Its six powerful active ingredients affect the skin at the cellular level to maintain and support normal skin functions, and to deliver a youthful, glowing, radiant complexion.
If you would like to know more about Skinade or to purchase some, contact us.