Collagen is known to be a skin plumping agent and low levels are linked to an increase in sagging skin and wrinkles. However, the loss of collagen affects so much more than just skin; it is also crucial for bone and brain health too.

Bone consists of 70% minerals and 30% collagen, making collagen a vital organic aspect of bone giving it flexible strength. A lack of collagen and essential minerals can lead to brittle bones, aching muscles, joint pain and arthritis.

Collagen also supports brain activity and creates the scaffolding that protects the neurons from damage so good levels of collagen can help protect against neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

What affects collagen production?

The synthesis of collagen production can be impaired by a number of factors, particularly toxins. A poor diet high in sugary and processed foods and low in antioxidants such as vitamin C will increase toxins, as will smoking and environmental pollution. High levels of stress or a lack of exercise also cause collagen deterioration.

Non-organic cosmetics, skin care and cleaning materials can also increase exposure to pollutants, affecting collagen production.

How to protect collagen production

A healthy diet is the best place to start in improving collagen levels as this will ensure a higher antioxidant intake. Organic fruit and vegetables will provide nutrients needed to support collagen, particularly Vitamin C which is crucial to collagen synthesis.

Sufficient protein is also essential in collagen production; nuts, seeds, pulses, vegetables, spirulina and protein powders are excellent sources.

Reducing stress can help and this can be improved with enjoyable hobbies, meditation, breathing exercises and yoga.

Taking supplementary collagen in the form of absorbable hydrolysed collagen can have great benefits on inflammation, joint health and cartilage. This has also been shown to have very positive effects on the appearance of skin, improving wrinkles, dryness and signs of photo-ageing. See Rejuvenated and Drasanvi

For skin, brain, mood, strength and flexibility it is worth making sure collagen gets the support it needs through dietary and lifestyle