I think it is important to get an understanding of how our bodies work to help them to keep young and healthy in the most natural way possible.
Today I will talk about Collagen, what it is, what it does for us and what can we do to increase it in a natural way.
I have realised that there are misconceptions and misunderstandings about this wonderful protein.
What is collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, found in the bones, muscles, skin, and tendons.
Collagen is a hard, insoluble, and fibrous protein that makes up one-third of the protein in the human body.
There are at least 16 different types of collagen and each one of these types have different structures and functions. In most collagens, the molecules are packed together to form long, thin fibres (fibrils).Type 1 collagen fibrils are particularly capable of being stretched. Gram-for-gram, they are stronger than steel.
These fibrils act as supporting structures and anchor cells to each other, they hold the body together. Collagen forms a scaffold to provide strength and flexibility to the structure (skin, cartilage).
Roles: What does collagen do?
Nutrition Review reports that collagen binds cells together giving them structure and support. Collagen accounts for the largest amount of protein in the body, appearing in the dentin of the teeth, connective tissues, major organs, vessels and the eyes. Collagen produced in the brain protects against the plaques of Alzheimer’s disease, reports Stanford and University of California researchers. The Vitamin C Foundation states that a lack of collagen causes blood vessels to break down resulting in haemorrhage.
Collagen works with keratin to provide the skin with strength, smoothness, elasticity and resilience. When you are young, you have an abundance of collagen in your body, which is why young children have such lovely shiny hair and smooth skin. It is referred to, as the cement which holds everything together.
Let see what happens in our skin:
The skin is made up of three layers, epidermis, dermis and hypodermis. The second layer of the skin (dermis) is where the protein collagen is found. Collagen molecules are bundled together throughout the dermis.
It is found in the extracellular matrix. This is an intricate network of macromolecules that determines the physical properties of body tissues. A macromolecule is a molecule containing a large number of atoms.
With age, collagen weakens, leading to wrinkles and cartilage problems.
In the dermis, or the middle layer of skin, collagen helps form a fibrous network of cells called fibroblasts, upon which new cells can grow. It also plays a role in replacing and restoring dead skin cells.
Some collagens act as protective coverings for delicate organs in the body, such as the kidneys.
With age, the body produces less collagen. The structural integrity of the skin declines. Wrinkles form, and joint cartilage weakens.
Women experience a dramatic reduction in collagen synthesis after menopause.
By the age of 60 years, a considerable decline in collagen production is normal.
What damages collagen?
Some factors can deplete the levels of collagen within the body. Avoiding them could keep the skin healthy for longer.
High sugar consumption: A high-sugar diet increases the rate of glycation, a process where blood sugars attach to proteins to form new molecules called advanced glycation end products (AGEs).
AGEs damage nearby proteins and can make collagen dry, brittle, and weak.
Smoking: Many chemicals present in tobacco smoke damage both collagen and elastin in the skin.
Nicotine also narrows the blood vessels in the outer layers of the skin. This compromises skin health by reducing the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to the skin.
Sunlight: Ultraviolet rays in sunlight cause collagen to break down more rapidly, damaging collagen fibres and causing abnormal elastin to build up.
The UV rays in sunlight damage the collagen in the dermis, and the skin rebuilds incorrectly, forming wrinkles.
Autoimmune disorders: Some autoimmune disorders cause antibodies to target collagen.
Genetic changes can affect the extracellular matrix. The collagen that is produced can be lower, or it may be dysfunctional, mutated collagen.
The aging process causes collagen levels to deplete naturally over time. There is no way to prevent this.
Avoiding tobacco and excess sun exposure and following a healthful dietary and exercise regime can help reduce visible aging and protect collagen, keeping the skin, bones, muscles, and joints healthy for longer.
Endogenous collagen is natural collagen, synthesized by the body. Exogenous collagen is synthetic. It comes from an outside source, such as supplements.
Most of anti-wrinkle creams containing collagen and elastin and will not do anything for the skin at all since that these two ingredients are structurally too dense to readily enter the skin. Unless both substances undergo extensive processing that will allow them to be absorbable then they will stay on the surface of the skin doing nothing.
How can I help the production of Collagen?
A healthful diet can help the body produce collagen, sleeping at least 8 hours per night and controlling stress.
In sum, nutrients that may support collagen formation include:
- Amino acids: Lysine, Proline: In egg whites, meat, cheese, soy, and cabbage.
- Anthocyanidins: In blackberries, blueberries, cherries, and raspberries.
- VitaminC: In oranges, strawberries, peppers, and broccoli.
- Copper: In shellfish, nuts, red meat, and some drinking water.
- Vitamin A: Occurring in animal-derived foods and in plant foods as beta-carotene.
- CoQ10: Fish, meat, nuts and seeds
As we have seen, Collagen is a naturally occurring fibrous protein that is important in maintaining the health and vitality of connective tissue. Collagen is found in virtually all body organs, including the bones, skin, tendons, ligaments and cartilage. Collagen works with elastin, another structural protein, to maintain connective tissue elasticity. It is destroyed by inflammatory processes, and its synthesis in the body is dependent on the abundance of amino acids. Collagen fibres may benefit from the two amino acids lysine and proline, and the presence of collagen promoting nutrients such as vitamin C.
According to Dr. Howard Murad, a board-certified dermatologist and clinical professor of dermatology at the University of California at Los Angeles, collagen production within the body’s connective tissue depends on adequate levels of amino acids. There are nine essential amino acids, which can’t be manufactured by the body itself and must be obtained through diet. Generally, animal sources such as poultry, fish, cheese, milk, and eggs provide all nine essential amino acids.
Lysine and Proline
According to “The World’s Healthiest Foods,” collagen fibres are comprised largely of hydroxy lysine and hydroxyproline. Lysine is an essential amino acid and must be obtained through foods; proline, on the other hand, is a non-essential amino acid that can be manufactured in the body. Good sources of lysine include lean meats and legumes. For optimal collagen synthesis, however, add dietary sources of proline such as egg whites and wheat germ.
Fruits rich in the bioflavonoid anthocyandins, according to WHFoods, have been shown to link collagen fibres and support the connective tissue matrix. Anthocyanidins are present in deep red and purple food sources such as cherries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries. According to Michael T. Murray in his book, “Healing Foods,” anthocyanidins increase vitamin C levels in cells, protect against free-radical damage and help prevent the destruction of collagen in skin and connective tissue.
According to “Healing Foods,” the nutrients vitamin C and copper are of importance in collagen production and tissue repair. Eat foods rich in vitamin C, such as kiwi, broccoli, watercress, oranges, peppers, cantaloupe and dandelion greens. Regarding copper, according to Patrick Holford, author of the book “The New Optimum Nutrition Bible,” daily copper requirements are met simply by drinking water that has passed through copper pipelines.
Lysine–An Essential Amino Acid
Lysine is an amino acid that the body cannot manufacture — it must be consumed in food, reports the University of Maryland Medical Centre, or UMMC. Burn victims, athletes and vegans may need lysine supplementation. Lysine is important in the production of the amino acid, carnitine, which converts fatty acids into energy thereby lowering cholesterol, reports the UMMC. Other names for lysine are L-lysine and amino acid K.
Importance of Lysine
The journal “Nutrition” reports that lysine supplementation increases calcium absorption and reduces calcium loss in women with osteoporosis. Lysine acts as a building block for proteins and builds the fibrils and fibres of collagen, according to Research Gate Scientific Network. The UMMC states that lysine in combination with the amino acid, L-arginine, enriches the environment for bone-building cells allowing for production of collagen.
Actions of Lysine
Lysine acts to block enzymes which break down collagen, according to Pacific Health Centre. Nutrition Review reports that vitamin C in combination with lysine and the amino acid, proline, form procollagen from which different types of collagen are formed in the body. The UMMC states that some people supplement with lysine to protect against the virus that causes cold sores and genital herpes. The university goes on to say that some studies show no symptom relief from lysine supplementation when taken at the beginning of a herpes outbreak.
According to Pacific Health Centre, lysine does not build up in tissues as an excess is excreted from the body. About one pound of lysine is stored in a 150 lb. person. Chronic deficiency of this essential amino acid occurs, principally because, it is excreted from the body, reports the Pacific Health Centre. Lysine supplements are in the form of capsules, tablets, creams and liquids usually as L-lysine, according to the UMMC.
Dietary Sources of Lysine
Protein sources containing lysine include red meat, poultry,pork, cheese, cod, sardines, nuts, eggs, soybeans, legumes, and dairy products, reports the UMMC. Parmesan cheese and tofu contain high amounts of lysine. Brewer’s yeast and spirulina also contain lysine.
Soy products contain an element known Genistein. The presence of genistein gives soy products their collagen production qualities, as well as helping to block enzymes that tend to break down and age the skin. Just about any soy product contains enough genistein to be helpful, including soy products that have been developed as substitutes for meat products. However, as it is a phytoestrogen I will be cautious about these products.
Dark green vegetables are also excellent examples of food containing collagen producing agents. Add dark green leafy veggies such as spinach, cabbage and kale to your diet every day. They are packed with an antioxidant called Lutein. You need 10 mg to get results – which equates to about 4oz. of spinach or 2oz. of kale. Recent French research suggests this will boost skin hydration and elasticity, fighting wrinkles. Rich in Vitamin C, regular consumption of kale, spinach,collards, and asparagus help to strengthen the body’s ability to manufacture collagen and to utilise the protein effectively.
Beans help your body produce a vital anti-ageing substance calledhyaluronic acid (essential to keep moisture in the skin). Aim for at least two tablespoons of beans each day – broad or butter beans make a great substitute for mashed potatoes.
Red fruits and vegetables also are excellent sources to up the collagen content of foods in the diet. The presence of Lycopene in these types of foods helps to act as antioxidants, which in turn increases collagen production. Try adding red peppers, beets, and fresh or stewed tomatoes to the diet. Also include sweet potatoes, carrots and more.
Research from Dr Ronald Watson at the University of Arizona has found that the antioxidants in red, yellow and orange foods build up under the skin creating extra UV protection. “The effect is so strong that eating six portions a day for about two months will build a natural barrier equivalent to a factor four sunscreen,” says Dr Watson.
Vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables are natural sources of collagen production. You should try to include citrus fruits like oranges, lemons and strawberries into your daily diet.
Prunes One of the biggest causes of skin aging is attack by substances called free radicals, that break down healthy skin tissues. Antioxidants helps neutralise these free radicals before they can do any damage – and prunes are the fruit containing the absolute highest level of antioxidants. Blueberries are a close second. Eat five to six prunes, or a small basket of blueberries, daily to get a great health boost.
Omega Acids also help to create an ideal environment for collagen production. Fish such as sardines, salmon and mackerel are excellent sources of omega fatty acids. Nuts such as cashews, pecans, almonds and Brazil nuts contain healthy amounts as well.
Flaxseed is vegan option for omega-3, however, it is not as efficient as the animal source. Skin cells membranes have a fatty layer made from this fat and other fats such cholesterol; the higher your omega-3 intake the stronger that layer is, and the plumper your skin cells are.
Foods that are rich in sulphur content are also important to collagen production. Among these are green and black olives, fresh cucumbers, and fresh stalks of celery. Working in conjunction with the sulphur, vegetables that are rich in Vitamin A also aid in keeping collagen levels high. Try adding raw carrots, fresh cantaloupe and baked sweet potatoes to the diet for an extra boost.
Turkey contains a vital skin-friendly protein called Carnosine that slows down a process in the skin called cross-linking. When this happens, fibres grow into the collagen of the skin making it stiff and inelastic. This then stops it snapping back when you do things like smile, laugh or frown – and this is what causes smile lines or crow’s feet. Eat turkey two to three times a week.
Chocolate is really good for your skin. In studies in Germany, it was found that after drinking a cocoa-packed drink, blood flow to the skin was boosted (meaning it gets higher levels of nutrients and moisture). It also seemed to be more protected against UV damage – the number-one skin aging. But…Only dark chocolate! contains enough antioxidants to have effects, though.
Manuka Honey is a special honey from New Zealand with unique healing properties. It has been used in skin care for centuries by the Maori people of New Zealand and it’s easy to understand why. When used topically, Active Manuka Honey can restore and rejuvenate your skin. It supports the skin cell renewal process and assists in the formation of stronger collagen protein. As an added benefit, active manuka honey is rich in antioxidants and helps to reduce blemishes.
Rose hips are one of the plants extract that can present a rich source of collagen. They contain a high level of vitamin C, which is good to produce collagen.
Avocado Oil If you want to know how to naturally produce collagen, you need to use face masks or creams that contain avocado oil. Avocado oil is deeply hydrating and highly compatible with the natural oils in your skin. Avocado oil is high in plant steroids,which help to reduce blemishes and age spots. It also helps to regenerate and rejuvenate skin damaged by free radicals.
Avocado oil is important because it is scientifically proven to stimulate collagen production and it increases the proportion of soluble collagen in the dermis of your skin. And don’t forget to include fresh avocadoes in your favourite salad and soup recipes. They are very rich in several vitamin B, essential fatty acids and minerals!
Collagen and CoQ10
CoQ10, also known as ubiquinone or coenzyme Q, is an enzyme produced naturally in the human body, found in every cell and tissue. It is involved in a great number of biological functions including helping to produce energy, neutralizing free radicals, and keeping cells both inside the body and in the skin healthy.
A young body can produce as much CoQ10 as it needs. However, various factors such as aging and stress can lower levels of CoQ10. As a result, the ability of cells to regenerate and withstand stress declines.
Because CoQ10 decline correlates with the aging process, it is regarded as one of the most accurate biomarkers of aging.
There are several important roles CoQ10 plays in your body. CoQ10 is vital for many chemical reactions in cells; in fact, it helps produce 95% of your body’s energy. Without these types of biochemical reactions, your cells would be unable to grow and divide.
Coenzyme Q10 may help diminish fine wrinkles around the eyes, according to the Mayo Clinic. An animal study published in 2005 in the journal Bio-factors found Q10 intake improves the epidermal (inner) layer of the skin, which may be a precursor to its anti-aging effects on in skin. The study, involving hairless mice, was led by Yutaka Ashida of Pharmaceutical Research Laboratories, Shiseido Research Centre, Yokohama, Japan.
As skin gets older, the fibres that keep skin firm, known as collagen and elastin, gradually deteriorate. A gradual decline in the natural production of Q10 that occurs with age may also weaken the effectiveness of these fibres. Coenzyme Q10 supplementation may reduce the breakdown of collagen.
The antioxidant effects of Q10 may also protect the skin against both intrinsic and extrinsic aging, notes SkinTherapyLetter.com. Intrinsic aging is due to genetics, while extrinsic aging is largely the result of lifestyle choices such as smoking and environmental factors like sun exposure.
Applying Coenzyme Q10 prior to going out in the sun may protect your skin from sun damage. Unlike sunscreens, antioxidant ointments like Q10 build up in the skin and may be longer lasting, notes the University of Maryland Medical Centre. A study published in 1999 in the journal Bio-factors indicates that Q10 could prevent many of the detrimental effects of photoaging. Photoaging is the term used to describe skin damage caused by excessive sun exposure, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Signs of photoaging may include skin roughness, blotchiness and fine wrinkles. U. Hoppe of the Paul Gerson Unna Research Centre (Beiersdorf AG) in Hamburg, Germany, headed up the study.
How to Take CoQ10 With Other Supplements
The Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University reports that this compound can be effective in the treatment of hypertension, diabetes, congestive heart failure, Huntington’s disease, myocardial infarction, Parkinson’s disease, and more. It is essential that you take this important and ubiquitous nutrient properly in order to maximize its health benefits.
Take your dose of coenzyme Q10 with a meal containing oil or fat. CoQ10 is hydrophobic: it does not dissolve very well in water. CoQ10 is very soluble in oil, however. If for some reason you must avoid fat in your diet, it may be necessary to take a larger dose of CoQ10 to compensate for reduced absorption.
Schedule your CoQ10 dose when you take fat soluble supplements such as vitamin E, A and D. Most fat-soluble nutrients are dissolved in oil and packaged in capsule form. If taken at the same time, the capsules will work together for maximum nutrient absorption.
Take your CoQ10 at the same time you take your vitamin E. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that CoQ10 enhanced the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of vitamin E.
Take CoQ10 if you are taking supplements containing red yeast rice. Nutritional supplements with red yeast rice may contain the statin compound lovastatin. Lovastatin is the ingredient of Mevacor: a prescription cholesterol-lowering drug. Statins are known to reduce natural levels of CoQ10 up to 40 percent.
- Many of the health benefits of CoQ10 take some time to manifest. It may take four to twelve weeks to see the full beneficial effects of CoQ10 supplementation.
- Be cautious when taking CoQ10 with prescription blood pressure lowering drugs. CoQ10 can lower diastolic pressure enough to cause dizziness is some people.
Fish and meat contain the most coenzyme Q10 of any foods, says the University of Michigan Health System. Eating a 3-oz. serving of fried beef — which is about the size of a deck of cards — will give you 2.6mg of coenzyme Q10, a 3-oz. serving of herring will give you 2.3 mg, and a 3-oz. serving of fried chicken will give you 1.4mg.
Nuts, seeds and vegetable oils are also sources of coenzyme Q10. You can get 0.8 mg of coenzyme Q10 from eating a 1-oz. serving of roasted peanuts, 0.7mg from eating a 1-oz. serving of roasted sesame seeds, and 0.6mg from eating a 1-oz. serving of roasted pistachio nuts, according to the Linus Pauling Institute. If you use 1 tbsp. of soybean oil when you’re cooking, you’ll get 1.3mg of coenzyme Q10, the Linus Pauling Institute says, and you’ll get 1mg if you use 1 tbsp. of canola oil.
You can get much higher amounts of coenzyme Q10 from supplements than you can get through foods, according to the University of Michigan Health System. Adults who take coenzyme Q10 supplements usually take between 30 and 90mg per day, says the University of Michigan Health System, but people with heart conditions who participated in coenzyme Q10 research studies often took between 90 and 150mg per day to experience heart health benefits. The Linus Pauling Institute says that therapeutic amounts of coenzyme Q10 are generally between 100 and 300mg per day, but Parkinson’s disease patients have taken doses of up to 3,000mg per day under a doctor’s care. It’s best to take a fat-soluble type of coenzyme Q10 supplement rather than one in powder form, according to the University of Michigan Health System, because the body tends to absorb coenzyme Q10 better from fat-soluble supplements than from powder supplements.
As you all know, Spatium works with Nutri Advanced as for me, after testing several labels, I realised they have pretty good range of products. Some other companies sometimes offer more complete or higher concentrated and easier to absorb products and when it would be the case I will let you know.
If you are targeting to increase collagen for your skin, I recommend you: Skin within by Nutri Advanced.
Nutri do not sale in the high streets, and only sale through practitioners and offer products that are cost effective when you compare quality, concentration and ability for the body to absorb the nutrients to some of the labels of the High street.
You can order the products by using our Professional Registration Number: 3098736 as Spatium’s clients.
You can order online www.nutri.co.uk or Freephone to 0800212742. Remember for any queries we are here to help you, just contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Product code: 3202 Price £37.75 60 capsules / 2 capsules a day
Formulated with unique extracts and key nutrients, Skin Within™ improves skin appearance, firmness and elasticity whilst reducing wrinkles and fine lines. *
- Features exclusive ingredients – Cosmythic® (Maritime pine bark extract) & Nutroxsun™ (citrus & rosemary extract)
- Provides 200mg of Collagen per capsule
- Also contains Astaxanthin, CoQ10, Biotin and Vitamin C
- Skin Within™ may improve skin elasticity & skin smoothness, reduce skin roughness, improve skin hydration and improve skin tonicity and firmness*
- Easy to Take – one capsule twice daily
How does Skin Within™ work?
Cosmythic® has been shown to improve skin tone & elasticity, to reduce the number of fine lines & wrinkles, and to lighten & reduce the size of dark skin spots.
NutroxSun™ has demonstrated significant sun protection & anti-aging benefits – it reduces UVB-induced redness (providing better resistance to sunburn) & signs of aging; plus, it increases skin elasticity and reduces wrinkle depth
Skin Within™ contains collagen, the main structural component of skin; and vitamin C. Supplemental collagen may result in smoother, firmer skin with fewer wrinkles. Vitamin C is an essential component of collagen & its formation & functioning.
Biotin is a B vitamin that is necessary for the maintenance of normal skin.
Why choose Skin Within™?
Skin Within™ has been expertly formulated resulting in unique offering: a formula bringing ingredient extracts new to the UK – Cosmythic® and Nutroxsun™ – both of which have been extensively tested with excellent clinical results. Skin Within™ combines these targeted extracts of maritime pine bark and citrus/rosemary with key nutritional support for the skin – collagen, astaxanthin, CoQ10, biotin & vitamin C – enhancing beauty from within. Skin Within™ may help to improve skin moisture, firmness and smoothness, resulting in enhanced appearance of the skin.
Who is it suitable for?
Skin Within™ is suitable for anyone wanting targeted support and nourishment for their skin. For those who understand that beauty comes from within, and may be enhanced by a potent, synergistic formula that has proven results.
Product Code: 3314 soft gel capsules £29.90 50 capsules or liquid form
Eskimo® Advanced EPA is a high EPA omega-3 fish oil which provides the fatty acids EPA in a 6:1 ratio with DHA. Fatty acids are really important in supporting your brain’s ability to perform. In fact, 60% of your brain is made up of fat. In addition, high EPA fish oil may help support a balanced mood and provide support for balancing inflammatory processes. Each capsule typically provides 550mg of EPA, 100mg of DHA and 1mg of Vitamin E.
Omega-3 supports brain function, heart health, vision, normal blood pressure, skin health and normal triglyceride levels.
Eskimo®-3 Advanced EPA fish oil contains vitamin E to ensure long term stability meaning no fishy odours or aftertaste. Vitamin E also has the health benefit of contributing to the protection of cells from oxidative stress and damage. Oxidative damage can lead to premature ageing and DNA damage.
Collagenics Product Code: 44018 £18.25 60 tablets.
Collagenics™ is a comprehensive blend of important vitamins, patented mineral chelates, free form amino acids and other nutrients such as MSM and horsetail. It is very good for your joints, bones and muscles as it provides targeted nutritional components known to be involved in the biochemical processes that support the growth of connective tissue present in the skin, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, joints and bones.
Provides specific support for acute musculoskeletal conditions.
Supports the health of skin, hair and nails.
Each tablet typically contains:
|Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)||50mg|
|Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride)||10mg|
|Pantothenic acid (d-calcium pantothenate)||10mg|
|Methyl Sulphonyl Methane||50mg|
|Horsetail (Equisetum arvense) (a natural source of silica)||25mg|
*Patented mineral amino acid chelates; US patent #4,830,716, # 4,599,152 Albion®
Product Code: 3850 30 caps. £19.94
High potency, all-natural Coenzyme Q10 and natural vitamin E in an easy-to-swallow soft-gel. Each capsule provides 100mg of CoQ10 per capsule. CoQ10 is needed everywhere in the body and is particularly concentrated in the heart and liver. It often referred to as nature’s “spark plug”.
Our CoQ10 formula contains vitamin E which may support the activity of CoQ10, providing stability and increasing its absorption. Vitamin E contributes to the protection of cells from oxidative stress from free radicals. Oxidative damage can lead to premature ageing and DNA damage.
CoQ10 is a fat-soluble substance, which mixes and dissolves best in oil. The best way to supplement CoQ10 is in an oil base, as ours is, for enhanced absorption and bioavailability.
Virtually every cell of the human body contains CoQ10. It is concentrated in the mitochondria, the area of cells where the energy is produced from the conversion of glucose. CoQ10 is a crucial part of the process of converting food into ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the energy source that runs the body.
Our CoQ10 is incredibly pure and is made using all-natural CoQ10 from a fermentation process. This prevents any of the impurities associated with synthetically-processed CoQ10.
CoQ10 can be taken alongside Plant Sterols which help to maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Our ability to make CoQ10 decreases as we age, so supplementation may be beneficial.
Statins & CoQ10 – The cholesterol lowering medication statins have been shown to reduce the amount of CoQ10 in the body. People taking statins may find it helpful to take a CoQ10 supplement.