The word collagen is derived from Greek meaning ‘glue forming’ and is often termed ‘connective tissue’, as its purpose is to hold cells together.
Collagen is a natural protein that is made up of amino acids – the natural building blocks of our skin. Collagen is found throughout the body – in skin, muscle, tendon and bone and makes up 75% of the total protein of the body.
From around the age of 25, the loss of collagen and elastin leads to a degeneration of the skin, causing wrinkles and loss of smoothness. Research has found that women lose collagen faster than men, particularly following menopause.
In addition, cigarette smoking causes biochemical changes in our bodies which accelerate ageing. Research shows that a person who smokes 10 or more cigarettes a day for a minimum of 10 years is statistically more likely to develop deeply wrinkled, leathery skin than a nonsmoker. It also has been shown that people who smoke for a number of years tend to develop an unhealthy yellowish hue to their complexion.
All sounds very dismal. But there is something we can all do to help prevent the formation of deep lines and wrinkles – whatever the cause. As your natural supply of collagen starts to deplete from the age of around 25, taking a collagen supplement can help maintain a youthful complexion and optimum well-being.
The positive effects of taking a collagen supplement on skin and organs (including nails and hair) has been observed for some time. An 8 week collagen supplementation trial (3500mg, 3 times daily) has been shown to significantly improve periorbital (around the eye) wrinkles and the signs of ageing.