Boost Your Collagen Production
Not many people know what collagen is or what it does for our skin. In this article, we’ve outlined what affects collagen and what we can do to boost its production.
Table of Contents
What is Collagen?
Collagen is a protein that is abundant in the body, and it is the primary building block for the body’s skin, bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and other connective tissues. Its main role is to provide structure, support, and strength throughout the body.
Some of the collagen’s other roles include:
- Forming fibroblasts in the skin
- Replacing dead skin cells
- Giving elasticity to the skin
- Helping the blood clot
Why Collagen Levels Drop
There are several different reasons why collagen levels drop in the body.
As we age, there are changes in our collagen structure. This weakens the bond between different layers of skin and can explain why we develop wrinkles and other features associated with aging.
Smoking tobacco ultimately decreases collagen production. It damages both collagen and elastin, which leads to wrinkles and slows wound healing. The presence of nicotine constricts blood vessels near the surface of the skin, which prevents the delivery of oxygen and nutrients.
Too much sugar is bad for collagen. The sugar attaches to proteins, and the molecules it creates damage proteins and weakens collagen.
Too much exposure to sunlight can cause collagen to break down faster and reduce its production. Ultraviolet sunlight causes wrinkles.
There are also autoimmune diseases and genetic mutations that can damage collagen.
Boost Collagen With Food
Our bodies combine amino acids to make collagen; these acids are nutrients our bodies absorb from different food products. Our bodies also require vitamin A, vitamin C, and antioxidants.
Ginseng has several possible health benefits, and some studies have found that it can increase the amount of collagen in the bloodstream. Ginseng has both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and it may improve the elasticity of the skin.
Retinol and other carotenoids help boost skin health, and they are derivatives of vitamin A. Food sources that contain vitamin A include sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, and pumpkin.
Vitamin C is vital for the production of collagen, but the human body cannot make this vitamin. That is why we get it from food sources like citrus fruits, strawberries, broccoli, and green or red peppers.
Various antioxidants can help protect and rejuvenate the skin by promoting collagen production, and they are present in many different plant-based foods like blueberries, green tea, pomegranate extract, cinnamon, and mulberry extract, just to name a few.
Collagen supplements are also available to boost their presence in our bodies. The supplements come in the form of pills and powders, and they usually contain two or three amino acids.
Most collagen supplements go through the process of hydrolyzation, which means the collagen is broken down into peptides to make it easier for the body to absorb and use. Collagen peptides are small pieces of animal collagen.
Red Light therapy
Red light therapy is another way to stimulate the production of collagen in our bodies. Fibroblasts are the cells in our bodies that use amino acids to create collagen, and they require a lot of energy. This energy comes from adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production in the mitochondria.
Red light therapy is the near-infrared low wavelength of natural light, and it stimulates the mitochondria. Ourselves absorb the light from the therapy and can produce energy more efficiently, which in turn allows our bodies to create more natural collagen.
There are at-home red light therapy devices available on the market, and they are FDA approved and safe to use.