Anti-Age Your Skin with Collagen

September 5, 2017 | Dr. Linda J. Dobberstein, DC, Board Certified in Clinical Nutrition

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 Anti-Age Your Skin with Collagen
Skin care products line the shelves of stores promising healthy skin. Many products are filled with unrecognizable terms made from synthetic chemicals. The real key to youthful skin is to nourish your skin from within. Healthy skin focuses on three major goals – keeping collagen levels intact to retain healthy structure, keeping moisture in and the barrier intact, and providing antioxidants to help protect the skin from various stressors. Bioactive collagen peptides and antioxidants help support these goals. Studies have shown they can increase collagen production, reduce wrinkles and cellulite, strengthen nails, and improve skin elasticity and hydration. Talk about the fountain of youth!

What Is Collagen?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body. It is a crucial structural part of the connective tissues in your skin, hair, nails, and joints. Several types of collagen exist, but the most abundant collagen is type 1 collagen. Type 1 collagen is found in skin, bones, tendons, ligaments, lungs, heart valves, fascial tissues, scar tissue, dentin (part of the hard surface of teeth), and the cornea of the eye. It makes up about 80 percent of skin structure. Collagen provides strength and elasticity to skin and durability and toughness to nails, tendons, bones, and blood vessels.

Collagen breakdown occurs with age, oxidative stress, excessive sun exposure, smoking, hormone changes, stress, poor diet, and even digestive challenges. Sometimes there are genetic disorders that affect type 1 collagen, like osteogenesis imperfecta.

Collagen formation requires several peptides or amino acids and benefits from other nutrients. They can be obtained through foods like bone broth, cabbage, vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables, omega-3 rich fish and plants or through supplemental forms like standardized extracts of bioactive collagen peptides.

Bioactive Collagen Peptide Supplements

Supplementation of collagen peptides has been shown to effectively improve skin quality. Wellness Resources Skin Rejuvenator contains VERISOL bioactive collagen peptides, a high quality bovine-derived collagen providing type 1 and type 3 collagen. Research shows that it increases skin elasticity, collagen production and elastin production. It helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles within four weeks of supplementation. VERISOL is the only collagen to be approved by Health Canada for the reduction of wrinkles.

Collagen is in the deeper layers of the skin, below the epidermis and dermis. Rather than topical application, research demonstrated that oral ingestion of bioactive collagen peptides was able to help from the inside out. Taking collagen peptides stimulates fibroblast cells in the deeper, dermal layer of the skin. This prompts fibroblasts to increase collagen metabolism within the skin and overall extracellular matrix. This helps replenish what is lost with aging and other factors of collagen loss.

Bioactive Collagen Peptides Reduce Wrinkles

New clinical studies show that bioactive collagen peptides (type 1) promote healthy collagen regeneration. VERISOL was shown to improve skin surface structure, reduce cellulite, and improve nail growth with less breakage and chipping of fingernails. A 2014 study involving 69 women 35 to 55 years of age, evaluated skin response to specific bioactive collagen peptides.

The women received 2.5 grams, 5.0 grams, or a placebo for eight weeks. Skin hydration and elasticity were measured before, during, and after the trial period. A statistically significant improvement was found in skin elasticity in both groups that received the collagen peptides. Skin moisture and softness was also visibly improved. The older women in the group were found to have the best response.

Another double-blind, placebo-controlled study evaluated wrinkles around the eyes and the underlying health of the collagen via a small skin biopsy. The study included 114 women 45 to 65 years of age. The women either received bioactive collagen peptides or placebo for eight weeks. Again, a statistical improvement in skin wrinkles and elasticity was found at weeks four and eight during the trial period. The participants that received the oral collagen peptides were tested again at 4 weeks after the completion of the study. It was observed that the benefits had continued and were considered long-lasting. There was a 65% increase in type 1 collagen and an 18 percent increase in elastin.

Strengthen Nails with Collagen

An August 2017 study published in the Journal of Cosmetology and Dermatology evaluated oral supplementation of bioactive collagen peptides for broken nail syndrome. Participants took 2.5 grams of bioactive collagen peptides once per day for four weeks. Nail health was measured before, immediately after, and then four weeks after the completion of the study.

Results showed a 12 percent increase in nail growth and a 42 percent decrease in the frequency of broken nails. Other findings demonstrated that four weeks after completion, 88 percent of the participants continued to have healthier, less brittle and broken nails. Sixty-four percent of participants had an overall improvement in the entire nail bed.

Cellulite and Collagen

Cellulite, another concern related with aging collagen, may also benefit with oral bioactive collagen peptides. A study evaluated the effect of bioactive collagen peptides on cellulite in 105 women ages 24 to 50. The participants were either normal body weight or overweight and had moderate cellulite. The women either received placebo or the bioactive collage peptides for six months. Multiple measurements occurred before, during, and after the study. In both normal and overweight women suffering from moderate cellulite, there was a clear improvement in skin appearance at the end of the study. Women with healthier body weights responded better than those who were overweight. The daily dosage used was 2.5 grams.

Synergistic Effects with Antioxidants

When bioactive collagen peptides were combined with hyaluronic acid, the healthy omega-6 oil GLA, and antioxidants, results showed a significant increase in skin elasticity. This was demonstrated in a 2017 double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial with 120 participants. Important skin antioxidants include grape seed extract, vitamin C, vitamin E, green tea extract, and lycopene.

The skin is the largest organ of your body. It provides an integral barrier and is essential for health. This barrier breaks down from aging, hormone changes, inadequate water, harsh weather, inflammation, and imbalanced skin flora. We see this with dry, cracked, itchy skin and more significant skin disorders. The skin, however is not a vital organ and gets the “left-over” nutrition, i.e. the internal organs and the brain receive nutritional support first.

However, we do not want the skin to breakdown. Adequate collagen and intact skin barriers are two key components. When these are coupled together with a diet of healthy oils, fruits, vegetables, proteins, and nutrients like green tea extract, MSM sulfurgrape seed extract, lycopene, and other antioxidants, the integrity and durability of the skin can start to revitalize. Babies have beautiful skin, rich in collagen, free from oxidative inflammatory skin stress. A lifetime of stress to the skin creates just the opposite. Aging is inevitable, but gracefully aging is up to you.

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