Collagen for skin, hair and nails – don’t let your PESEL number limit you!

Collagen for skin, hair and nails - don't let your PESEL number limit you!

The word “collagen” triggers an avalanche of questions in your head: is collagen deficiency really responsible for skin aging? Which products contain the most collagen and is diet enough to replenish deficiencies? Does collagen supplementation make sense and if so, which collagen is best? One by one.

“People have the wrong idea of ​​beauty. For some reason they think that youth is beautiful and old age is not. In my opinion, that’s a mistake. (…) Wrinkles are more interesting than a smooth face. You can see the soul in wrinkles. And grey hair is a miracle” – how much easier our lives would be if we all took this maxim to heart. However, most of us may theoretically approve of this lofty idea, but in practice we want to stay young at all costs.

We fight stubbornly with “interesting” wrinkles, and the desperate resort to methods as exotic as using supposedly rejuvenating masks made of nightingale droppings, not to mention aesthetic medicine. We have no idea how to obtain nightingale droppings, so we cannot recommend this method in good conscience. Plastic surgery, on the other hand, ends in various ways – read: sometimes uninterestingly, towards: caricatural, of which many Hollywood stars, who are unlikely to smile anymore, are a living example. However, there is something that works and does not cause side effects visible to the naked eye. It is collagen.

The use of collagen is effective – so says science

No, we did not invent this phenomenon hastily for marketing purposes. Many scientific studies have shown that collagen supplementation slows down your metabolism aging processes. Published in April 2023, a meta-analysis of 26 randomized, controlled trials involving 1,721 patients, conducted by researchers from Taiwan, found a significant positive effect of hydrolyzed collagen supplementation on skin hydration and elasticity compared to placebo1.

Let it not be said that we approve of vanity. Collagen action is invaluable not only for beauty. According to published studies, orally administered collagen hydrolysate is absorbed in the intestines and accumulates in cartilage. Collagen supplementation may therefore reduce the pain associated with degenerative joint diseases, although further research is needed on the effectiveness of this mechanism2.

Keeping your skin young means replenishing collagen

Collagen is a protein that occurs naturally in the human body – constitutes 30% of all human proteins. Collagen works with other substances such as hyaluronic acid and elastin to maintain elasticity, volume and hydration of the skin. However, the trick of nature is that with age, the synthesis of endogenous collagen decreases, which worsens the condition of the skin. Of course, this is also facilitated by external factors, such as: solar radiation, too high and low temperatures, free radicals and toxins. As we age, the concentration of vitamins E and A, called the vitamins of youth, also decreases (vitamin E not only improves skin hydration thanks to its ability to bind water, but also strengthens and elasticizes blood vessels, while vitamin A has an antioxidant effect), as well as vitamin C, which is necessary for proper collagen production.

To slow down skin aging, you could of course use creams with its addition, but this is only a drop in the ocean of needs. Collagen is made of amino acids that join together to form a long thread. “As the body ages, cross-links develop between the strands. As a consequence, there is less space for water between the chains, which is why, for example, the skin becomes dry. To fix this, it is not enough to apply a cream with collagen, because not everything penetrates the skin,” explains Prof. prof. Ph.D. Alina Sionkowska from the Faculty of Chemistry of the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń3. The effect is poor condition of hair and nailsas well as deterioration skin condition, crow’s feet, worse skin hydration and elasticity.

If not creams, then maybe a varied diet containing products rich in collagensuch as fish, pork shanks or other headcheese rich in animal protein? Unfortunately, even the best composed menu (pork contains the most collagen, as well as offal, such as hearts or livers) does not solve the problem, because it is impossible to provide the right amount of this protein in the diet to replenish its deficiencies. Even a tanker of bone and chicken feet broth will not be of much use. The only thing left are dietary supplements – and this is a bull’s eye!

The best collagen – properties of collagen preparations under the microscope

Supplementation is the most effective remedy for collagen deficiency. However, for collagen supplementation to be effective and actually have a chance to improve the appearance of the skin, the structure of the collagen protein must meet certain requirements. The molecular weight of collagen is given in Daltons (Da). The lower the molecular weight, the more bioavailable and assimilated the collagen is to the human body. Natural collagen (unprocessed) has a molecular weight of approximately 300,000 Da. Collagen hydrolysis is a complex process in which long chains of collagen proteins are shortened. This is how the best absorbable collagen is created in the form of a hydrolyzate (collagen peptides) – with a molecular weight of around 2000 Da.

Many people wonder whether to choose fish collagen, beef collagenor maybe collagen based on pork gelatin? The type of collagen is not very important – the difference in action is small, it rather concerns the source of collagen. The first one comes from the skin and scales of fish, the second from cattle skin or bones, tendons, cartilage, hooves or animal horns. Certainly fish collagen will be a better choice if you avoid meat. Some scientists also suggest that marine collagen (from sea fish) has high efficiency, lower molecular weight than beef, therefore better digestibility, and does not pose the risk of transmitting zoonotic diseases.

Collagen supplementation – nothing without vitamin C

What is more important, however, is whether a specific dietary supplement also contains vitamin C. Although the main ingredient is collagen, the addition of vitamin C is like the cherry on the cake. Vitamin C it determines the synthesis of collagen in the body – it accelerates the action of enzymes that regulate this process (prolyl and lysyl). It is worth looking for it on the label, because in addition to collagen synthesis in the human body, it performs a number of other important functions – from supporting the immune system, through scavenging free radicals, which can slow down the aging process, to stabilizing blood pressure. When choosing a supplement for yourself, it is worth checking not only the collagen content in a specific preparation and its form, but also whether it contains this important vitamin.

Exactly this optimal composition, i.e. a combination of collagen in the form of hydrolyzate with vitamin C, contains Collagen Beauty jellies from Hello!GUMMIES. To replenish collagen, every day you just need to reach for this small snack, which not only contains active ingredients, but also brings to mind carefree childhood, and not a dramatic fight to stop your face from looking like a dried plum. Three jellies with a delicious fruit flavor will provide the body with 300 mg of hydrolyzed collagen and 96 mg of vitamin C. By eating the jellies, you not only take care of the fresh appearance of your skin, but also the condition of your hair and nails. Using collagen can be not only effective, but also pleasant!

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