Collagen & Elastin - the natural miracle weapons in anti-aging?
Although the aging of the skin and the formation of wrinkles can not be prevented over the course of a lifetime, the aging process can be delayed. But how should that be possible? Let's take a closer look at the skin and its structure. An essential role in the aging of the skin play collagen and elastin, which are important components of our connective tissue.
What are collagen and elastin anyway?
Elastin and collagen are natural proteins that mainly occur in our connective tissue. Collagen is, with just under a third, even the most common of all proteins in the human body.
The structure of collagen can be imagined as a bicycle chain, which consists of many strung together limbs and is extremely tear-resistant. Whereas elastin is like a net of rubber bands. So elastin, as the name suggests, in contrast to collagen very elastic. As a result, the connective tissue is stretchable and deformable. Both proteins together form a kind of support corset for the cells and ensure that our tissue remains firm and yet elastic.
The extensibility of the connective tissue is important internally for vessels and for the cohesion of the organs. When we laugh or make a face, the collagen and elastin support corset makes the skin move back to its original position after our muscles move. In addition, they can store water and cause our skin to look firm and firm - at least at a young age.
What happens to our skin as we get older?
As early as 30, our body can no longer form collagen and elastin to the same extent as at a young age. As a result, the amount of collagen and elastin in our skin continues to decline with advancing age. The consequence of this is that the functionality of the support corset decreases and the surface of the skin is no longer stretched, but sinks in some places. The unloved signs of aging appear in the form of wrinkles.
If the supporting connective tissue loses its firmness, it no longer fulfills its function as a water and fat store. For this reason, older skin is often very thin and dry.
What external influences destroy our support corset?
Not only the age gnaws on our support corset, much more important are external factors that can affect the degradation of collagen and elastin massively. Unfortunately, while we can not stop the natural changes in our body as we get older, we can reduce the negative external causes.
Influence of the sun on collagen and elastin
One of the most unfavorable factors on natural collagen development is exposure to sunlight. Intense UV radiation not only increases the risk of skin cancer by destroying natural cell structures. Rather, prolonged sunbathing promotes the formation of harmful free radicals, the natural breakdown of collagen and have a negative impact on the body's collagen formation. Already the extended and unprotected stay in the sun for years is enough, it does not even come to a sunburn. The sun dries the skin out faster and changes in its basic structure, threatening to damage the supporting corset of our connective tissue. It comes to photo-aging - the faster skin aging by the intense exposure to sunlight.
Impact of a wrong diet
An improper diet can influence the breakdown of collagen and elastin and inadvertently promote skin aging. It is important that collagen and elastin building blocks are supplied from the outside through the food and the body's own collagen formation is stimulated. In addition, vitamin C and the trace elements manganese and copper are needed as factors for the biochemical processes for collagen formation. These essential nutrients are often inadequately supplied in an unhealthy and unbalanced diet. In addition to collagen and elastin, these substances should therefore be found in sufficient quantities in daily nutrition or be supplemented with supplements.
An overview of other negative factors
Lack of exercise: Regular exercise promotes blood circulation and contributes to a brisk transport of oxygen. Waste substances are more easily broken down and all body cells are supplied with new nutrients. Of course, this also applies to the skin cells in order to transport new collagen or elastin into the cells of the connective tissue. Lack of exercise provides the opposite and promotes aging significantly.
Smoking: The fact that the skin tends to wrinkle after years of smoking and wrinkled, is well known and can be seen in countless people affected. The reason for this is the increased formation of free radicals as aggressive oxygen molecules that can damage the support corset. According to findings of the German Cancer Research Center Heidelberg (http://www.regiomed.net/DAH/themen/rauchen_6.html), these free radicals not only increase the risk of cancer but also ensure premature skin aging.
Stress: Each person responds differently to stress, many physical developments and symptoms are not associated with an overstraining and stressful lifestyle. Often, stress is associated with unhealthy diet, smoking and alcohol consumption, which promotes degeneration or destruction of cells. Elastin and collagen are not produced with enough abundance, the connective tissue relaxes and the formation of wrinkles progresses.
How can the natural collagen scaffold be protected?
Regardless of age, the natural production of collagen and elastin can be boosted and the collagen scaffold protected. The following tips are easy to integrate into everyday life to make a valuable contribution against the formation of wrinkles and the lack of elasticity of the connective tissue.
Sufficient intake of the most important nutrients and vitamins
In order to keep the organism fit and healthy regardless of the threat of skin aging, a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals is important. For adequate production of collagen as part of collagen formation, various nutrients are needed as factors for the biochemical processes. The most important factor is vitamin C, manganese and copper also play an important role as trace elements. These nutrients should be found in sufficient quantities in your daily diet. Vitamin C is found in many types of fruit, manganese is found mainly in rice and legumes, copper in nuts and shellfish. In addition, many fruits and vegetables are rich in natural antioxidants that can defuse free radicals. Often it is difficult in stressful everyday life to take these nutrients in sufficient quantity with the diet. Here, dietary supplements can assist.
Check everyday habits
In addition to a well thought-out diet, sport and fitness are important factors in promoting the production of collagen and elastin and keeping the connective tissue taut. To slow down the effects of photo-aging on aging skin, sunbaths should be used with caution. Otherwise, a stress-free lifestyle and abstaining from smoking are the best basis for firm and beautiful skin.
Your Dr. Schneider Team