How much does protein affect skin quality

Collagen: The protein for firm skin and strong bones

Collagen is one of the most important proteins in the body: it strengthens the skin, bones and joints. Collagen production decreases with age. Here you can find out why the building material is so important to you and which foods contain collagen.

What is collagen?

Most of you have probably heard of the term collagen in connection with skin aging or anti-wrinkle treatments. That is not by accident: Collagens are important structural proteins that are responsible for the elasticity and firmness of the skin, among other things. However, they are not only found there, but everywhere in our body, especially in the connective tissue.

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. Our organism can produce it itself. The building material consists of several amino acids, including glycine, proline and hydroxyproline. These are put together to form fibers, which in turn network in the tissue and thus form a kind of Support frame form.

There are different Collagen types, which take on various tasks: The proteins make ligaments and tendons tear-resistant, ensure the flexibility of the bones and the resistance of the articular cartilage, are responsible for the elasticity of the blood vessels and influence the elasticity of the skin. In order to The collagen family takes on important tasks for maintaining our mobility and our youthful appearance.

How does collagen work in the body?

Collagen is very versatile. The protein takes on different tasks in the body. The skin, bones and joints in particular benefit from the supporting collagen fibers:

Collagen in the skin

Our skin consists of up to 80 percent collagen. (1) The collagen fibers form here supporting structure that gives the tissue elasticity. The protein also has the ability to store water. This results in a firm, plump complexion - especially at a young age.

Because with increasing age, the collagen content decreases and thus the elasticity of the skin also decreases. We get wrinkles. This in turn means that the skin has a larger surface area through which moisture can be lost. The drier the skin, the more visible the aging of the skin.

Collagen for bones and joints

Collagen ensures that our Ligaments, tendons, joints and bones remain stable and flexible. The structural protein provides support for the entire musculoskeletal system. A lack of collagen can lead to joint pain or torn ligaments, among other things. For athletes who frequently put stress on their joints, collagen supplementation can be useful. Studies show that even small doses can have a positive effect on joint problems such as those caused by osteoarthritis. (2)

Collagen production in old age

From the age of 25 at the latest, the body begins to slow down collagen production. Every year the collagen content drops by an average of 1.5 percent. (3)

The decline is favored by various factors. This includes:

  • Genetic predisposition
  • Hormonal changes, for example during menopause
  • External factors such as UV radiation and environmental toxins
  • stress
  • Smoke
  • high-sugar diet
  • Vitamin C deficiency

A collagen deficiency can also become noticeable earlier. Typical symptoms are:

  • Wrinkling
  • Loss of elasticity in the skin
  • Breakdown of cartilage
  • Breakdown of bones
  • Loss of muscle strength

Prevent collagen breakdown

Basically, the body can cover its collagen needs by itself. With increasing age, however, the proportion of protein decreases. This process cannot be prevented, but it can be slowed down with a few tricks:

  1. Avoid UV radiation: In particular, the sun's UV-A rays provoke a breakdown of the collagen structures.
  2. Reduce environmental impact: Too many free radicals in our body can attack the collagen fibers. Use natural cosmetics and cleaning products as far as possible without harmful additives and avoid plastic.
  3. Refrain from smoking: Nicotine promotes the breakdown of collagen in the body.
  4. Take care of your skin: Provide your skin with sufficient moisture and use a facial care product with a sun protection factor.
  5. Eat a diet rich in vitamins:Vitamin C is an important stabilizer for the body's own collagen fibers. Take enough of it, for example through our Daily Vitamins.

Which foods is collagen in?

Collagens are mainly found in protein-rich animal food. If you also want to take in the stabilizing proteins through food, a mixed diet is essential.

These foods are high in collagen:

  • Pig skin, salmon skin or chicken skin
  • Meat rich in fiber, for example neck or shoulder steak
  • Bone-based beef, chicken or fish broth
  • fish and seafood
  • Eggs

So far, collagen has not been detected in herbal products. As a vegetarian or vegan, you cannot ingest collagen directly from your diet. Instead, it makes sense for you to focus on your Vitamin C balance to respect and yourself overall eat a balanced diet - with sufficient protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats. Of course, this also applies to meat eaters.

Tips for a healthy diet that benefits skin, bones and muscles can be found here:

More tips

Conclusion

  • Collagens are proteins that our body can produce itself.
  • As an important building material, collagen ensures resilience, elasticity and strength of our connective tissue.
  • Collagen fibers form a support structure in the tissue that tightens the skin, strengthens our bones and keeps joints flexible.
  • Collagen production decreases from the age of 25: The skin develops wrinkles and the musculoskeletal system becomes weaker.
  • A healthy lifestyle can slow the breakdown of collagen, but it cannot prevent it.
  • As a precaution, you can eat a diet rich in vitamins, avoid UV rays and environmental toxins, and do without nicotine.
  • You can get collagen through foods of animal origin, especially skin, bones and fibrous meat, as well as fish and eggs.
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  • (1) Sara Sibilla1 et. al. (2015): An Overview of the Beneficial Effects of Hydrolysed Collagen as a Nutraceutical on Skin Properties: Scientific Background and Clinical Studies

    https://benthamopen.com/contents/pdf/TONUTRAJ/TONUTRAJ-8-29.pdf

     

  • (2) James P Lugo et. al. (2013): Undenatured type II collagen (UC-IIĀ®) for joint support: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study in healthy volunteers

    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24153020/

  • (3) Teresa Figures Juher, Estger Bases Perez (2015): An overview of the beneficial effects of hydrolysed collagen intake on joint and bone health and on skin aging

    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26267777/