The saying "youth is wasted on the young" has stood the test of time. Wisdom from those who've come before us echoes that as we grow older, we tend to appreciate things we once took for granted. With the passing years, our youthful agility diminishes, and simple pleasures can be dampened by minor aches and pains, when even running our fingers through our hair may become a cautious endeavor.
Hair loss, dry skin, and weak nails are some of the natural ways our bodies can be impacted by the effects of aging. Those are the warning signs that indicate our bodies are producing less collagen and keratin.
In this blog, we will delve into the significance of these super proteins and explore ways to support the body in maintaining their production.
What Is Collagen?
Collagen is a vital structural protein in our bodies that maintains the strength and flexibility of our skin, bones, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage. It keeps our skin firm and elastic for a youthful appearance, and in our joints, it helps preserve cartilage and lubrication, improving flexibility and reducing joint pain.
There are more than twenty types of collagen, with the most common being Type I, II, and III. Each type has specific roles in the body. Type I is mainly in the skin, bones, tendons, and ligaments. Type II is found in cartilage. Type III supports organs and tissues with reticular fibers that help us heal.
Our bodies naturally produce collagen by utilizing amino acids from protein-rich foods or collagen-rich sources like bone broth, meat, and fish. However, as the body ages, collagen synthesis naturally decreases, resulting in weaker and less organized collagen fibers. This can manifest as the development of crow's feet, thinning hair, or sudden joint pain.
Want to protect your body’s production of collagen? Carefully consider some of your lifestyle choices, because aging isn’t the only cause. Collagen production can further be damaged by the following:
- UV Radiation - Exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun’s rays can accelerate the breakdown of collagen fibers, leading to premature aging, fine lines, wrinkles, and a loss of skin elasticity.
- Smoking - Smoking releases harmful chemicals into the body that interfere with collagen production, thin the blood vessels, reduce blood flow to the skin, and deprive it of essential nutrients.
- Poor Diet - Certain vitamins are necessary for collagen production within the body, including vitamin C, zinc, and amino acids. These are essential for healthy collagen fibers, so a poor diet lacking these essential nutrients may weaken collagen production.
Sugar Consumption - Consuming high amounts of sugar can lead to a process called glycation, where sugar molecules attach to proteins, including collagen. That process can weaken the collagen fibers and make them susceptible to damage.
Making lifestyle changes to address these behaviors can have a positive impact on collagen production, helping to maintain its efficiency as we age. Although the natural decline in collagen production is expected with aging, being aware of and adopting positive good-health habits is crucial.
What is Keratin?
Keratin is a vital yet often overlooked structural protein in our bodies. It forms the foundation for our nails, hair, and the protective outer layer of our skin, providing strength, durability, and a shield-like function. Think of it as the body's construction worker, creating the framework that holds everything in place.
Like collagen, keratin production decreases as we age. This decline is influenced by changes in hormonal levels and reduced blood circulation to the hair follicles. The result is often weakened hair and brittle, chip-prone nails. Additionally, our skin loses moisture during this aging process.
Keratin production relies on the following:
- Biotin (vitamin B7) - Biotin plays a central role as the primary vitamin for keratin production. It orchestrates the creation of keratin protein strands and can be found in foods such as eggs, nuts, seeds, sweet potatoes, and spinach.
- Vitamin A - While it's renowned for its role in maintaining good vision, vitamin A also contributes to keratin health. It supports the production of keratinocytes, the cells responsible for generating keratin. Incorporate items like carrots, sweet potatoes, and leafy greens such as kale and spinach into your grocery list.
- Vitamin C - Vitamin C is not solely about warding off colds; it also acts as a behind-the-scenes catalyst for aiding in the creation of the amino acids necessary for keratin production. By ensuring an adequate intake of vitamin C, you facilitate a seamless keratin-creation process. Oranges, strawberries, bell peppers, broccoli, and kiwi are all excellent options rich in vitamin C.
Where diet may fail to offer adequate nutrition to address keratin deficiency, supplementation can help.
Pure Essentials Can Help
Our Pure Essentials C Buffered Powder and C Buffered Capsules include carefully formulated buffering minerals, ensuring the highest absorption of vitamin C while being gentle on the stomach, for maximum effectiveness. If aging gracefully is on your mind - supporting the production of collagen and keratin for overall good health - we invite you to learn more about how our C Buffered powder or capsules can help. Give your body the building blocks it needs.
Aging gracefully means finding joy in life's simple pleasures while addressing its challenges. Collagen and keratin play vital roles in maintaining the health of our bones, hair, skin, nails, and joints. You can support the production of these essential proteins by incorporating a diet rich in vitamins such as biotin, vitamin A, and vitamin C, along with considering supplementation. Together, collagen and keratin work as a dynamic duo to help us age gracefully by preserving our appearance and overall well-being.