Collagen is known asthe most abundant protein in the human body, acts as a building block for various tissues such as bones, teeth, muscles, skin, joints, and connective tissues. Types I and III collagen make up 90% of our hair, skin, and nails. However, as we age, our body’s collagen production decreases, with a loss of approximately one percent every year starting from our 20s. To support collagen growth in the body, it’s essential to incorporate foods that are rich in collagen-supporting nutrients. In this article, we will see the importance of collagen in supporting your body’s health and wellness, including key nutrients and foods that promote collagen formation.
The Role of Nutrients in Collagen Production
Collagen production in the body requires a combination of amino acids, vitamin C, zinc, and copper. Vitamin C is known as the collagen builder and is often used in skincare products. Red bell pepper is knownexcellent source of vitamin C, with one large pepper containing over 200 mg of vitamin C. However, absorption of vitamin C decreases to less than 50% when taking amounts greater than 1000 mg, so it’s important to not exceed the upper limit of 2000 mg per day.
Zinc is a cofactor in collagen production and plays a vital role in collagen synthesis. Wheat germ is a high source of zinc, with one cup providing 14 mg. The recommended daily intake of zinc is 11 mg for men and 8 mg for women, with an upper limit of 40 mg per day for all adults.
Copper is also essential for collagen formation as it activates an enzyme called lysyl oxidase, which cross-links collagen fibers with other supportive fibers, forming a stronger tissue network. Oysters are one of the highest sources of copper, with 3.8 mg in one serving, which is over 4 times the daily required amount. The recommended daily intake of copper is 0.9 mg, with an upper limit of 10 mg per day.
Foods High in Collagen-Supporting Nutrients
To support collagen formation in the body, it’s important to incorporate foods that are rich in vitamin C, zinc, and copper. Some examples of foods high in these nutrients include:
Red bell pepper: One large pepper contains over 200 mg of vitamin C, making it an excellent source of this nutrient.
Wheat germ: One cup of wheat germ provides 14 mg of zinc, making it a high source of this essential mineral.
Oysters: Oysters are rich in copper, with one serving containing 3.8 mg of this nutrient.
Collagen Supplements: Do They Work?
Collagen supplements have gained a geat popularity in recent years, but their effectiveness is still debated among experts. A 2014 double-blind study published in the journal Skin Pharmacology and Physiology found that women who consumed extra collagen had higher levels of skin elasticity after four weeks compared to those who took a placebo. However, more researchs are needed to determine the effectiveness of collagen supplements in promoting collagen production in the body.
Collagen plays a crucial role in supporting the health and wellness of various tissues in the body. Incorporating foods that are rich in collagen-supporting nutrients such as vitamin C, zinc, and copper can help maximize collagen growth in the body. However, the effectiveness of collagen supplements is still under debate, and further research is needed. If you’re considering taking collagen supplements or making dietary changes to support collagen formation, it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice.