Nourish Skin From the Inside Out with Collagen
Written by Nicole Crane, B.S., NTP
Everyone wants to turn back the clock when it comes to the appearance of their skin. Time, gravity and the sun are the factors to blame when skin starts to wrinkle, sag and lacks a youthful glow. We slather on expensive creams, avoid the sun like vampires, and some even resort to cosmetic surgery to get the skin they want. Many people find their skin appearance does not match how they feel inside. Many do not know a lot of those visible changes have to do with a decline in a single valuable structural protein called collagen.
The Importance of Collagen
Collagen is the most important element in our skin and 70% of our skin is sheets of Collagen - the older we get, the less we make.1 Our skin loses collagen at a rate of 1.5% percent per year starting in our late 20s!2 By the time we’re 60 we’ve lost half our skins collagen content. Women may face a steeper incline than men do in the uphill battle against skin aging. Women’s skin actually ages faster than men’s.3 Further, after menopause, when estrogen levels drop off, collagen production drastically declines. In the 5 years following menopause, women go through an acute loss of collagen in their skin and can lose an additional 30% of their total collagen.4 After menopause, loss of collagen also leads to thinning skin with loss of elasticity. That’s the bad news. Here’s the good; when you give the body what it needs, it can and will heal and return to a younger-healthier state. True, lasting beauty comes from the inside out.
About 30% of the dry weight of our body is collagen with a higher proportion in our skin. It keeps our skin firm, smooth and elasticity. When we do not have enough collagen, skin easily forms wrinkles and sags under its own weight. The plump, smooth skin we associate with youth has a lot to do with the significantly higher amounts of collagen we have when we are young. Collagen is an essential building material, but all superheroes need their sidekicks. Collagen’s sidekick is the undervalued and widely under consumed mineral silica. When silica is present, new collagen grows and is incorporated into skin much faster and more efficiently.5 Silica also plays an important role in how collagen attaches to the other components of our skin and allows skin to be stronger and more resilient.6 Silica can be very hard to absorb, so a bioavailable form, like that sourced from the herb horsetail, is ideal. Collagen and silica are a dynamic duo for healthy, firm, youthful looking skin.
Collagen is available as a supplement. Look for a Type I and III collagen from a company sourcing raw materials. Collagen is best take in powder form in combination with Silica from horsetail for best potency and absorption. Mix a scoop into juice, yogurt or any beverage of your choice, once or twice per day.
The skin goes through dramatic changes as we age. If collagen is what is missing, replenishing collagen internally is the great natural solution. Collagen (and silica too!) just might be exactly what skin needs to regain glowing vitality. Your skin is what people notice first, so put your best face forward.
- Fenske, et al "Structural and functional changes of normal aging skin." J Am Acad Dermatol (1986): 571-85.
- Koehler, M.J. Optical Letters, Oct. 1, 2006; vol 31: pp 2879-2881
- Verdier-Sévrain S."Effect of estrogens on skin aging and the potential role of selective estrogen receptor modulators." Climacteric. (2007): 289-97.
- Reffitt, D.M et al., Orthosilicic acid stimulates collagen type 1 synthesis and osteoblastic differentiation in human osteoblast-like cells in vitro, Bone , Volume 32 , Issue 2 , 127 - 135
- Jugdaohsingh R, Anderson SH, Tucker KL, et al. Dietary silicon intake and absorption. Am J Clin Nutr . 2002;75:887–93.
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