Forgive me but I am a little obsessed with collagen these days. It’s overlooked but essential: Collagen is the most prolific protein in the human body and basically holds the whole body together. It is found in the bones, muscles, skin and tendons, where it forms a scaffold to provide strength and structure.
Collagen is also what keeps our skin smooth and youthful. Declining levels of collagen in our bones translates into osteoporosis, while less abundant amounts of collagen in our skin translates into wrinkles. While the jury is still out on whether collagen supplements can actually turn back the clock, here are some surprising facts about collagen.
1. Protein makes up around 20 percent of the body's mass, and collagen accounts for around 30 percent of the protein in the human body.
2. The word "collagen" is derived from the Greek "kolla," meaning glue.
3. Collagen in medical products can be derived from human, bovine, porcine and ovine (sheep) sources.
4. Type I collagen fibrils (a kind found in the body) are stronger than steel (gram for gram).*
5. Collagen dressings attract new skin cells to wound sites.*
6. For most people collagen production tends to taper off dramatically by the age of 40.
7. Orange vegetables are rich in vitamin A, which can help support collagen production.
8. Red veggies like beets, tomatoes and red peppers are full of lycopene, a collagen-supporter that also protects against sun damage.
9. Controllable factors that inhibit the production of collagen include sunlight, smoking and high sugar consumption.
10. A number of studies suggest that collagen production can be stimulated through the use of laser therapy and the use of all-trans retinoic acid (a form of vitamin A).*
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Interested in adding collagen to your skincare routine? Try it in topical form!