Collagen is a protein molecule composed of a chain of amino acids that have been twisted into a triple helix structure. It is produced in the body through a process known as collagen synthesis, which mainly occurs in fibroblast cells. While many beauty companies sell topical creams and oils that claim to infuse collagen into the skin to restore elasticity and the elusive youthful appearance, collagen production does not occur on the surface. It is instead produced internally, and can be supported with foods rich in the amino acids, vitamins and minerals that make up this essential protein.
Endogenous collagen is natural collagen that the body synthesizes, while exogenous collagen comes from an external source, such as supplements. Consuming hydrolyzed collagen and certain nutrients can help increase collagen production or prevent collagen loss, researchers say. The good news is that you can also support your body's collagen production with foods rich in the amino acids, vitamins and minerals that make up this essential protein. Citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes are full of vitamin C, which is a cofactor for collagen production.
Berries are another excellent source of vitamin C, with strawberries providing more than oranges ounce for ounce. Raspberries, blueberries and blackberries also offer a good dose of this nutrient. Tropical fruits such as mango, kiwi, pineapple and guava are also rich in vitamin C, with guava having a small amount of zinc as well. Tomatoes are another hidden source of vitamin C, with a medium tomato providing up to nearly 30 percent of this important nutrient for collagen. In addition to food and supplements, there are a number of topical skin care treatments that can help increase collagen production in the dermis.
A study saw a 13 percent reduction in the appearance of lines and wrinkles in healthy women after 12 weeks of taking a collagen supplement. Consuming collagen can have a variety of health benefits, from relieving joint pain to improving skin health. The collagen you'll find in supplements and products comes from external sources, that is, animal and fish by-products. While recent research finds that bone broth may not be a reliable source of collagen, this option is by far the most popular by word of mouth. Made by boiling animal bones in water, this process is thought to extract collagen.
When you make it at home, season the broth with spices for flavor. Several studies have used chicken neck and cartilage as a source of collagen for the treatment of arthritis. Like other animals, fish and shellfish have bones and ligaments made of collagen. Some people have claimed that marine collagen is one of the most easily absorbed. Now that you know how collagen is produced in your own body, you may wonder where the collagen in your supplements and skin care products comes from.
Because a good quality collagen supplement is expertly formulated with hydrolyzed collagen peptides, you can trust that it will reach your bloodstream and activate collagen production right away.