About the author
Sources
Sources

[1] Ricard-Blum S. The collagen family. Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in biology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3003457/. Published January 1, 2011. Accessed March 21, 2022. [Source]

[2] Yazdanparast T, Hassanzadeh H, Nasrollahi SA, et al. Cigarettes smoking and skin: A comparison study of the biophysical properties of skin in smokers and Non-Smokers. Tanaffos. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7230126/. Published February 2019. Accessed March 23, 2022. [Source]

[3] Goodman GD, Kaufman J, Day D, et al. Impact of smoking and alcohol use on facial aging in women: Results of a large multinational, Multiracial, cross-sectional survey. The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6715121/. Published August 2019. Accessed March 23, 2022. [Source]

[4] R; NHPK. Sugar sag: Glycation and the role of Diet in aging skin. Skin therapy letter. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27224842/. Published 2015. Accessed March 23, 2022. [Source]

[5] vBudden T, Gaudy-Marqueste C, Porter A, et al. Ultraviolet light-induced collagen degradation inhibits melanoma invasion. Nature Communications. https://econpapers.repec.org/RePEc:nat:natcom:v:12:y:2021:i:1:d:10.1038_s41467-021-22953-z. Published January 1, 1970. Accessed March 23, 2022. [Source]

[6] Diaconeasa Z, Știrbu I, Xiao J, et al. Anthocyanins, Vibrant Color Pigments, and Their Role in Skin Cancer Prevention. Biomedicines. 2020;8(9):336. doi:10.3390/biomedicines8090336 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7555344/ [Source]

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Everything You Need to Know About Collagen

Collagen is a fundamental building block found in skin, tendons, bones, and cartilage, but many people don't know what it does, or how collagen supplements can support physical well-being. To find out what you need to know about the most abundant protein in the body, keep reading.

What is collagen?

Collagen is a protein that makes up 75% of the skin's support structure, and features in connective tissue, tendons, bones, and cartilage. Its main role is to provide structural integrity to these areas, but collagen also plays a part in tissue repair, immune response, and cellular communication.

The good news is that the body produces collagen naturally, provided you have enough protein in your diet. The bad news is that the speed and efficacy of this process declines as we get older. And, unfortunately, without collagen, our skin loses the support and elasticity it needs to stay strong and supple, while bones and tendons become weaker too.

What does collagen do?

Given just how important collagen is to physical health, it makes sense to scrutinise the production process. In areas of the body where structural integrity is crucial (think skin, tendons, and bones), fibroblast cells secrete collagen, which works alongside elastin and other molecules to create a fibrous network.

Think of this fibrous network like springs in a mattress. While they provide structural integrity, they also have a small degree of flexibility, adapting to different shapes, weights, and pressures.

Other potential benefits of collagen include:

• Improved bone density
• Healthier nails
• Thicker hair
• Enriched skin hydration and elasticity

The problem, however, is that, just like you need to replace a mattress after a few years, the quality and amount of collagen in the body also decreases with age. Encouragingly, you can replace or top up your collagen reserves with external sources, such as protein-rich food and supplements (something we'll cover shortly).

Types of collagen

While collagen itself is mostly made up of three amino acids (glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline), the composition of those elements differs depending on where in the body collagen is produced.

There are 28 types of collagen in total,[1] but the most notable include:

• Collagen I: Produced in skin
• Collagen II: Produced in cartilage
• Collagen III: Produced in bone marrow
• Collagen IV: Produced in connective tissue (basement membrane)
• Collagen V: Produced in hair

Nearly all of the collagen in your body is type I (roughly 80–90%), as this is the variation that supports your skin's structure and elasticity. The rest are still important, but not produced in the same concentration.

What damages collagen?

Aside from the natural, age-related decline of collagen, several risk factors disrupt its production and integrity. These include:

• Smoking: Cigarette smoke damages the elasticity and integrity of the skin by lowering the density of the epidermis (the outermost layer).[2]
• Excessive alcohol: Heavy drinking (consistently above 14 units per week) contributes to wrinkles, eye puffiness, and loss of blood vessel integrity.[3]
• Processed food: Ultra-processed and high-sugar foods may contribute to glycation, reducing collagen production and function.[4]
• UV exposure: Excessive sunlight exposure degrades collagen and contributes to primary cancers.[5]

Food rich in collagen

The body mainly produces collagen by breaking down protein from foods we consume, turning them into amino acids. However, it's also important to balance protein intake with certain vitamins and minerals to create a balanced ecosystem.

For example, vitamin C is essential for collagen synthesis, too, while anthocyanins from fruits may help to protect against UV skin damage.[6] Below are examples of foods to focus on:

• Collagen-rich: Chicken skin, pig knuckle, egg whites, bone broth
• Protein-rich: Chicken, fish (including shellfish), cottage cheese, beef
• Vitamin C: Oranges, peppers, broccoli, black currants
• Anthocyanins: Blueberries, cherries, raspberries, aubergine
• Copper: Liver, dark chocolate, shiitake mushrooms, almonds, cashews

As you can see from the suggestions above, dozens of foods can support collagen production. The best approach will always be a balanced diet combined with a focus on reducing the harmful activities we outlined earlier.

Collagen supplements

Another excellent way to keep collagen levels topped up is with supplements. Not only can this help to fill any gaps in nutrition, but it ensures you can support natural collagen production whenever and wherever.

These supplements don't just come in tablet form either, with collagen powders, capsules, creams, and liquids all designed to help boost levels. As for which supplement is right for you, that will depend on your current diet and lifestyle.

• If you find it challenging to eat a balanced diet of the foods highlighted earlier, then collagen powders or capsules are preferable.
• If you want to support the skin in a particular area, it's better to focus on collagen creams and beauty products.

The major watch-out with any collagen-infused product is quality control. While collagen itself appears well-tolerated with few potential side effects, some products may include extra ingredients that can cause problems. To bypass these issues, source collagen powders, capsules, and creams from reputable manufacturers that test and verify their formulas.

Why collagen is important

Collagen is a foundational building block in the human body, forming an integral part of healthy skin, joints, muscles, and bones. Without it, our body wouldn't be half as good at supporting an active lifestyle. Unfortunately, the body's ability to produce collagen decreases with age, but we can still take steps to keep levels topped up.

Whether through a balanced diet or collagen supplements, there's no doubt that a few sources of exogenous collagen may work wonders for physical well-being. The key, as always, is sticking to high-quality supplements and food sources.

Ready to browse a complete selection of high-quality natural wellness products? Then head over to the Cibdol store. Or, to learn more about the skin's delicate ecosystem, visit our CBD Encyclopedia.

Sources

[1] Ricard-Blum S. The collagen family. Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in biology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3003457/. Published January 1, 2011. Accessed March 21, 2022. [Source]

[2] Yazdanparast T, Hassanzadeh H, Nasrollahi SA, et al. Cigarettes smoking and skin: A comparison study of the biophysical properties of skin in smokers and Non-Smokers. Tanaffos. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7230126/. Published February 2019. Accessed March 23, 2022. [Source]

[3] Goodman GD, Kaufman J, Day D, et al. Impact of smoking and alcohol use on facial aging in women: Results of a large multinational, Multiracial, cross-sectional survey. The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6715121/. Published August 2019. Accessed March 23, 2022. [Source]

[4] R; NHPK. Sugar sag: Glycation and the role of Diet in aging skin. Skin therapy letter. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27224842/. Published 2015. Accessed March 23, 2022. [Source]

[5] vBudden T, Gaudy-Marqueste C, Porter A, et al. Ultraviolet light-induced collagen degradation inhibits melanoma invasion. Nature Communications. https://econpapers.repec.org/RePEc:nat:natcom:v:12:y:2021:i:1:d:10.1038_s41467-021-22953-z. Published January 1, 1970. Accessed March 23, 2022. [Source]

[6] Diaconeasa Z, Știrbu I, Xiao J, et al. Anthocyanins, Vibrant Color Pigments, and Their Role in Skin Cancer Prevention. Biomedicines. 2020;8(9):336. doi:10.3390/biomedicines8090336 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7555344/ [Source]

Author
Luke Sholl

Title/author.

Luke Sholl
Cu peste 10 ani de experiență în crearea de conținut despre CBD și canabinoizi, Luke este un jurnalist consacrat care lucrează ca scriitor principal pentru Cibdol și alte publicații despre canabinoizi. Angajându-se să prezinte conținut autentic real, bazat pe dovezi, pasiunea sa pentru CBD se extinde și în domeniul fitness-ului, nutriției și prevenției bolilor.
Luke Sholl

Title/author.

Luke Sholl
Cu peste 10 ani de experiență în crearea de conținut despre CBD și canabinoizi, Luke este un jurnalist consacrat care lucrează ca scriitor principal pentru Cibdol și alte publicații despre canabinoizi. Angajându-se să prezinte conținut autentic real, bazat pe dovezi, pasiunea sa pentru CBD se extinde și în domeniul fitness-ului, nutriției și prevenției bolilor.
Sources

[1] Ricard-Blum S. The collagen family. Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in biology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3003457/. Published January 1, 2011. Accessed March 21, 2022. [Source]

[2] Yazdanparast T, Hassanzadeh H, Nasrollahi SA, et al. Cigarettes smoking and skin: A comparison study of the biophysical properties of skin in smokers and Non-Smokers. Tanaffos. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7230126/. Published February 2019. Accessed March 23, 2022. [Source]

[3] Goodman GD, Kaufman J, Day D, et al. Impact of smoking and alcohol use on facial aging in women: Results of a large multinational, Multiracial, cross-sectional survey. The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6715121/. Published August 2019. Accessed March 23, 2022. [Source]

[4] R; NHPK. Sugar sag: Glycation and the role of Diet in aging skin. Skin therapy letter. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27224842/. Published 2015. Accessed March 23, 2022. [Source]

[5] vBudden T, Gaudy-Marqueste C, Porter A, et al. Ultraviolet light-induced collagen degradation inhibits melanoma invasion. Nature Communications. https://econpapers.repec.org/RePEc:nat:natcom:v:12:y:2021:i:1:d:10.1038_s41467-021-22953-z. Published January 1, 1970. Accessed March 23, 2022. [Source]

[6] Diaconeasa Z, Știrbu I, Xiao J, et al. Anthocyanins, Vibrant Color Pigments, and Their Role in Skin Cancer Prevention. Biomedicines. 2020;8(9):336. doi:10.3390/biomedicines8090336 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7555344/ [Source]

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