Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. It is found in the skin, tendons, bones, cartilage and muscles … A structural protein, it forms a natural framework which allows the body’s tissues to remain supple when subjected to mechanical and chemical tension.
It thus supports and protects the body on a number of levels, helped by other proteins such as elastin and keratin.
There are many different forms of collagen, but the three main ones are:
A lack of collagen will inevitably affect the body as a whole. Inadequate collagen levels may have a pathological cause or be the result of ageing. Collagen production declines as we get older: the effects of this are seen mainly in the skin, with those famous visible signs of ageing: sagging, wrinkles and fine lines… But a lack of collagen also affects the health of our joints, bones and muscles …
That’s why it makes sense to try and stimulate the body’s collagen production, especially as there’s precious little of it available in the diet (sources include egg yolk, bone broth, gelatine, fish skin ...)
Certain foods, such as salmon, garlic and avocado are, however, thought to support collagen production. Good hydration may also help to maintain healthy levels of this protein in the body.
But above all, it’s vitamin C which is known to play a role in collagen formation: in doing so, it helps maintain healthy skin, cartilage, blood vessels, gums, teeth and bones (1). Vitamin C is found in many foods: citrus fruit, berries, kiwi fruit, green leafy vegetables … (2) and is also available in supplement form. The liposomal form of vitamin C is especially beneficial because of its high bioavailability.
There are other ways of activating collagen production such as massaging your face (for the collagen in facial skin) and ensuring you get a good night’s sleep.
Ageing is not alone in causing the body’s collagen production to diminish. Several factors can have an adverse effect by generating large numbers of free radicals. Oxidative stress is a major threat to collagen.
You can take the following simple steps to reduce your oxidative stress:
Do you want to benefit from a direct supply of collagen? You have the choice of several dietary supplements depending on your individual needs:
As you can see, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to options for supporting your collagen levels.
Which foods have the highest collagen content? Which is the very best source of this key protein for our skin and joints? Answers in our top 10.
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