Collagen: scientific facts and no cheating
Collagen is the most abundant protein in our body and is responsible for tissue stretching. It affects the condition of the skin, the work of muscles, the functioning of the cardiovascular and digestive systems. You may have heard of collagen as a "glue" that binds our body. This description is somewhat far from the truth, but describes the role of this substance in our body.
While evolving, the human body acquired not only useful qualities and properties, but also inherited age-related changes visible to the naked eye: wrinkling, dryness, thinning of the skin in old age, dull hair, etc. The ways to solve this problem changed from era to era and, finally, collagen appeared on the horizon of the fight against aging skin.
Collagen is a protein, the main element of the connective tissue of the human body. It is used in medical and cosmetic products to maintain skin elasticity and healthy hair and joints.
As the basis for tissue, collagen can be produced directly by the body. However, production slows down with age, leading to signs of aging. And it's not just about lax skin and wrinkles. A lack of protein can have a negative impact on the functioning of the brain, joints and even bones.
The situation is aggravated by our bad habits, unhealthy diet and bad ecology. These factors decrease the level of collagen in the body, thereby accelerating aging.
Clinically tested collagen properties:
• Improves skin and hair condition
• Relieves joint pain
• Treats leaky gut syndrome
• Improves metabolism and accelerates muscle growth
• Makes nails and teeth stronger
• Helps restore liver
• Protects the cardiovascular system
Cosmetology has introduced three varieties of this protein into production: animal, marine and plant origin.
The first is extracted from the skin cells of cattle (cattle), it does not fit well with human skin due to its low ability to penetrate deeply. This type of collagen (bovine) is rich in glycine and proline and belongs to types 1 and 3. It is used in sports nutrition to improve muscle growth. There is also chicken collagen, it belongs to type 2 collagen and is used to treat joints.
The second variety - marine - is extracted from the skin of large marine fish, sharks. This variety is characterized by greater permeability into the skin of a person than that of animal protein. Marine collagen is almost entirely type 1. The procedure for isolating marine collagen is complicated, and the resulting compounds are unstable, and fluctuations in temperature or acidity of the environment lead to their destruction. The cost of this variety is much higher than the animal product, therefore the prices for products with marine collagen are higher. They are used to improve the health of the skin, joints, blood circulation, bones and the digestive tract. Most often, fish collagen is found in anti-aging creams, this is due to the possibility of reducing age-related degradation.
The third type is the so-called plant collagen, although there is no such substance in nature - plants do not produce collagen. In this case, we are talking about plant proteins (most often wheat proteins), which can be used with the same effect as collagen. Obtaining this type of protein is an expensive process. And, despite the good assimilation by our body, due to the small size of the molecules, the cost of both the product and cosmetics containing it is quite high.
Also, you can find egg shell membrane collagen. It consists almost entirely of type 1, but there are also types 3, 4 and 10.
The use of a collagen face cream is not designed for quick results.
Collagen - a protein in the human body that has a specific feature - contains an increased concentration of amino acids such as pyrrolidine-α-carboxylic acid and hydroxyproline, 4-hydroxypyrrolidine-α-
carboxylic acid. In protein, pyrrolidine-α-carboxylic acid is oxidized to hydroxyproline, 4-hydroxypyrrolidine-α-carboxylic acid with the help of vitamin C. The protein molecule has acquired the properties of elasticity due to its three-helix twisted structure.
Collagen structure formation begins in connective tissue cells - fibroblasts: amino acids form separate sections of chains that create spirals. The cells of the tissue remove these molecules outside their limits, and there the molecules form stable structural connections of the fibers, which form a network that holds the skin layer in shape. The fibers can not only stretch, but also perfectly return to their original position, which gives the skin elasticity and firmness. The importance of collagen is high, since in the dermis (this is one of the skin layers) the percentage of its fibers reaches 80.
Factors affecting the decrease in elasticity and firmness of collagen fibers
• Age. Collagen production decreases over time.
• Lack of water in the body for swelling and accumulation of collagen fibers.
• Action of the sun (photoaging). When the skin is exposed to ultraviolet rays, collagen molecules are destroyed. As a result, the skin becomes thinner, drier, wrinkled. By acting on the skin, ultraviolet light causes the appearance of pigmentation.
• Bad habits: smoking. The body of smokers is able to produce more substances (matrix metalloproteinases) that can break down collagen fibers. Smoking inhibits the formation of collagen by cells in the dermis.
With age, the skin becomes flabby due to a lack of collagen, but proper care will help keep you young for longer.
How to choose collagen products?
The effectiveness of the purchased product will be higher if:
• In the composition of a cosmetic product, an active substance with greater permeability.
• High percentage of active substance (collagen, amino acids).
• The presence of other useful and protective components: amino acids, moisturizing substances, protection from ultraviolet radiation.
• There are special substances-conductors of active components, but their effectiveness and safety have not been proven.
Measures to help the body maintain collagen levels
Organization of proper nutrition:
• Eat foods with vitamin C that stimulates collagen production, such as oranges, tangerines, kiwis, cranberries, etc.
• Use protein products in the diet - sources of amino acids - the building blocks of collagen molecules: fish, poultry, meat products, shellfish, legumes.
• Do not forget about foods that are high in iron, copper, zinc. These elements help maintain healthy and fresh looking skin.
Improves skin and hair condition
Your body is aging every second. Including while you are reading this text. These changes are so small that they cannot be noticed, but over the years, a lack of collagen leads to the appearance of wrinkles and low skin tone.
Increasing collagen levels will help restore skin elasticity, renew cells and repair damage.
A double-blind test on a group of women aged 35 to 55 showed that consuming 2.5-5 grams of collagen over 8 weeks significantly improved skin condition. The changes affected skin elasticity, fluid loss and relief. With all this, not a single side effect was found.
Collagen reduced cellulite and stretch marks in a study.
Cellulite is a deep skin damage that is nearly impossible to fix. With a lack of collagen, the protective layers of the skin become thinner, so deep damage becomes more visible. With collagen deficiency, cellulite becomes more visible.
Relieves joint pain and inflammation
The presence of type 2 collagen, like a gel, allows the articular cartilage to move smoothly without creating pain for the person.
Age-related degradation negatively affects the joints, therefore, with age, pain may appear during movement. This pain can be reduced by taking collagen. This is often recommended to athletes even at a young age. Recent studies have shown the possibility of effective treatment of osteochondrosis with collagen.
Research in Boston has shown that using type 2 collagen can help patients with arthritis. And the reduction in pain from regular activity (walking up the stairs, sleeping) is confirmed in the publication of the International Journal of Medical Sciences.
Treats leaky gut syndrome
The disease known as "leaky gut syndrome" (leaky gut syndrome) is common in many civilized countries, while most patients do not even know the causes of their problems. The syndrome significantly impairs the quality of life: it causes general malaise, irritability, lethargy, indigestion, sleep disturbances, pressure, skin problems, and much more.
Harmful toxins pass through the intestinal wall and are sent to the body. In turn, collagen improves the condition of the digestive tract and solves many problems. Studies have shown that people suffering from digestive problems often have low collagen levels.
Improves metabolism and accelerates muscle growth
By taking collagen along with vitamin C, you can help the body convert collagen into protein, which can be used to restore energy and muscle building.
This is important not only for athletes, but also for older people, as muscle degradation lowers the standard of living.
Makes nails and teeth stronger
One of the reasons for brittle nails can be a lack of collagen, as it is a building block of nails, teeth and hair.
A study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology pointed to the potential use of collagen as a therapeutic agent in the treatment of baldness and skin problems.
Helps restore the liver
If you are looking for a way to detox your liver, improve your circulation, and want your heart to work like you did when you were young, collagen can be extremely beneficial. All of these benefits come from glycine, which will help minimize the damage to your liver from toxins.
Protects the cardiovascular system
Collagen improves the condition of the walls of blood vessels, and also helps to get rid of fat adhered to the walls. This property becomes more important with the age of a person and will help to avoid problems with high blood pressure as long as possible.