Years ago I trained department store employees on several different brands of skin care products and why and how to use them. At that time the use of topical Vitamin C products was just beginning to be talked about. It wasn’t so much that Vitamin C in and of itself applied to the skin was so beneficial, it was the fact that the addition of Vitamin C in the cream caused the skin to produce more collagen.
We used to describe collagen as the mortar between the bricks of your house. As your house ages and the mortar begins to deteriorate and fall out, then there is nothing left to hold the bricks together, therefore the house falls down. Just like a house, as your skin ages it loses collagen, therefore the skin thins, becomes wrinkled and starts to sag. YIKES! After we scared all those ladies to death with that “lovely” word picture, we then touted particular skin care products in order to combat that scenario. Effective!! That was the first time I heard about the benefits of collagen.
Fast forward to today and there is much talk about collagen. It is the most abundant form of protein found in the body. It is found in the bones, skin, tendons and muscles. Simply put, it helps to hold the body together and provides strength, elasticity and structure. It helps our skin cells to keep renewing and repairing themselves. Unfortunately, as we age the production of it naturally slows down and we begin to show and feel the effects of that loss. (Smoking, excessive alcohol use and a high sugar diet also increases the loss.)
Our joints may begin to ache and get stiffer. Dr. Axe at draxe.com says collagen acts like grease on a creaky door hinge. It helps the joint to move more easily and therefore reduces associated pain. (If you are a runner then you probably know how it feels when your knees are “creaky”). Our lean muscle mass decreases as we age but the addition of collagen in our diets is one ingredient that can help prevent that. It helps to strengthen our hair, nails and teeth and it really does help the skin to remain younger looking longer. It also has benefits for our heart because it encourages our arteries to remain clear of plaque build up.
Sounds great, so how do you increase your collagen intake? Beef, chicken, fish and eggs are some of the very best foods to add to your diets because they are high in protein. Bone broths are a much talked about source of collagen. (Here’s our basic chicken bone broth recipe.) There are also some great collagen supplements that can be used in order to meet your daily collagen/protein needs. I take Dr. Axe’s Multi Collagen Protein. It contains 5 different types of collagen that are found in beef, chicken, eggs and fish. (Taking Vitamin C with your collagen supplement will help ensure that the collagen is properly utilized.) With a little research you will be able to find a brand of supplement that will work for you.
Some people report feeling an increase in their energy levels and seeing a difference in their skin within weeks of adding a collagen supplement. But, in order to be “fair” I recommend that you take a supplement for 3 months before you decide its effectiveness
Added collagen, another great way to combat aging and to be healthy in 2017 and beyond.