Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and whilst we usually think of skin when we think of collagen, it is also an integral component in bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels and connective tissue.
Collagen production decline can start as early as our late twenties and progressively worsens due to diminished nutrient absorption and general aging.
Collagen and elastin fibres within our bodies also begin to reduce flexibility over time and can become stiff or glycated. The acceleration of this glycation can be influenced by factors such as poor diet, stress, high blood sugar and excess alcohol.
Nutrients required for healthy collagen
Vitamin C – Vitamin C is essential for healthy collagen production. Vitamin C acts as a co factor for hydroxylation. Enzymes prolysyl and lysyl hydroxylase are responsible for stabilizing and cross-linking the collagen molecules. Include - Cherries, berries, kiwi, citrus, tomatoes, cauliflower
Iron - Iron is as an essential cofactor for hydroxylation of prolyl and lysil residues of procollagen. Iron is required for strong, healthy collagen. Include - Spinach, lentils, red meat, poultry, beetroot, cherries, eggs, peanuts
Copper – Copper activates an enzyme called lysyl oxidase which is required for collagen maturation. Lysyl oxidase cross-links collagen fibres to help form the scaffold that supports your tissues. Include - Dark chocolate, lentils, leafy greens, oysters, crab, beetroot and sunflower seeds
Zinc – Zinc is a co-factor for collagen production, which means that it helps to activates the amino acids essential for collagen synthesis. Include - Oysters, meat, poultry, pumpkin seeds, cashews, almonds
Magnesium – Magnesium is a co-factor for collagen production. Magnesium is required at the early stages of collagen production for protein translation. Include - Oats, almonds, green leafy vegetables, wholegrains, beetroot
Amino acids - Lysine, Glycine, Proline, Hydroxyproline form the building blocks of collagen. Hydroxyproline is found in mainly only in collagen however the body can manufacture it from other amino acids. Include – Eggs, fish, milk, tofu, legumes, poultry, lean meats
Collagen is the primary structural protein found in skin, and is comprised of long, fibrous strings of amino acids.
Collagen is produced by specialized cells called fibroblasts. These cells are signalled by fibroblast growth factors to produce small units of collagen called pro collagen. The procollagen is then transported out of the cell and strung into long peptide chains that resemble fibres. A series of processes occur to modify, strengthen and mature the collagen all of which rely on the important nutrients fore mentioned.
Collagen native proteins are unable to be absorbed directly into our blood stream – they first need to be broken by the protease enzymes in our stomach into single amino acids. Collagen from food such as bone broth or partially hydrolysed collagen in the form of gelatin is absorbed this way.
When it comes to collagen supplements look for hydrolysed collagen or collagen peptides which means that the long collagen chains of amino acids are broken down via enzyme hydrolysis to smaller pieces (peptides) to make them more bio-active and bio-available. Collagen peptides have been shown to be able to cross the intestinal mucosa via the transporter PEPT-1 and be absorbed directly hence why the molecular size of the collagen peptides is important.
Collagen peptides have been shown to directly increase collagen and hyaluronic acid synthesis in our skin by mimicking the fibroblast like growth factors and stimulating the fibroblast cells.
Marine collagen peptides are the gold standard when it comes to an improvement in the condition of the skin. Marine collagen peptides are thought to have superior bioavailability and improved skin hydration and elasticity. To keep your glow game strong we recommend taking both Infinity and Collagen Boost to ensure your skin is getting the nutrients that it needs for healthy collagen production.
When taking collagen daily results are usually seen after 6 – 8 weeks.