europa skin care : natural, organic & science-based skin care

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Collagen

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, forming strong sheets and cables that support the structure of skin, internal organs, cartilage and bones, as well as all the connective tissue in between. 

At the molar mass of 102,000 grams per mole, collagen is an extremely large protein, consisting of thousands of atoms. Its three dimensional structure consists of thickly woven fibrils that wrap around into a triple helix conformation. This structural support is what makes skin thick, and plump, and elastic.

Collagen’s role in the aging process is well confirmed. This structural supporting network is what gives skin its appearance. It’s what gives (makes or breaks) the youthful look of firmness, evened tone, elasticity, and a smooth, unwrinkled surface. Protein structures are what make skin look aged and wrinkled or radiant and youthful. When the structural support of these protein fibrils becomes compromised, it becomes less bulky, takes up less space, and brings skin cells out of alignment.

As the effects of aging are due to improper protein production (the breakdown of proteins), this preparation is the first to fight directly with the cause of aging, not just the effects. Since stifling protein breakdown is the only way to prevent aging, reinforcing protein configurations is the most effective means to that end.
  • Preventing further wrinkles from forming.
  • Supplementing diminished collagen levels
  • Stimulating collagen-producing cells into renewed activity.

8 Foods That Boost Collagen
Collagen is essential for young-looking skin because it gives structure to our skin cells. But as we age, the body produces less of it, since naturally occurring enzymes break collagen down, in turn, causing the skin to thin, lose fullness and form wrinkles. Here are 8 foods that boost collagen.

WATER-RICH VEGETABLES: Veggies like cucumber and celery have a high sulfur content and collagen can’t be produced if sulfur isn’t present.

FISH: Fish like tuna and salmon are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids. Skin cells are surrounded by a fatty membrane that protects them. When the cells are healthy, they are able to support the structure of the skin.

SOY: Whether sourced from soy milk, cheese or tofu, soy contains genistein (plant hormones that serve as antioxidants), which prompts collagen production and helps to block enzymes, like MMPs, that can age the skin.

RED VEGETABLES: Tomatoes, peppers and beets contain the antioxidant lycopene. Lycopene also acts as a natural sun block, protecting the skin from damage while increasing collagen levels.

DARK GREEN VEGETABLES: Rich in vitamin C, dark green vegetables like spinach and kale can rev up collagen production. In topical products, vitamin C has antioxidizing properties that stabilize the messenger enzymes that break collagen down. It also protects against free radicals to prevent weak collagen.

BERRIES: Blackberries and raspberries scavenge free radicals while simultaneously increasing collagen levels.

WHITE TEA: White tea may protect the structural proteins of the skin, specifically collagen. It’s believed to prevent enzyme activity that breaks down collagen, contributing to lines and wrinkles.

ORANGE VEGETABLES: Vegetables that are orange in color, like carrots and sweet potatoes, are rich in vitamin A, which restores and regenerates damaged collagen.