Is Collagen The New Super Supplement?
Oxygen Magazine Australia|Issue 93

Promising new research suggests that collagen supplementation may improve skin appearance and joint health.

Dwayne N. Jackson, Ph.D.

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. Collagen acts as the glue that holds our body parts together. As such, our many forms of collagen provide the structural basis for skin, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, bone, the digestive tract, heart, blood vessels and spinal discs. Thus, it should be no surprise that collagen (in all its forms) is an important and abundant protein in the body.

Although we produce collagen naturally and abundantly, like most things, collagen production slows as we age — as it does with stress and illness. Combine this with daily exposure to ultraviolet radiation and environmental pollution and you may find that collagen production fails to meet demand. It’s this process that makes us susceptible to premature ageing, joint problems and cellulite. However, supplementing with collagen can assist with stopping (or at least slowing) the clock on premature ageing, helping you look and feel great.

FOR YOUR SKIN

There are about 16 types of collagen, but about 80 to 90 per cent belong to Type I, II and III. Collagen (specifically, Type I) makes up about three-quarters of the dry mass of your skin. A quick scan of your skin will reveal that areas that are typically covered up have aged with minimal environmental influences and are generally soft, smooth and well-preserved. Contrast this with skin of the face, neck and hands — body parts that are chronically exposed to the sun and other sources of oxidative stress. Although the degree of skin damage varies from person to person, we can all agree that damaged skin has less tone, shows significant wear and tear, and more wrinkles. This is mainly because of a breakdown of collagen and elastin in our skin.

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