DO COLLAGEN SUPPLEMENTS HELP MY SKIN?
Some people believe that by ingesting collagen or using collagen creams, they can replace the collagen in their skin. This is not the case.
Collagen is naturally found in many animal products and is considered a type of protein. However, a protein that is ingested will be broken down into various amino acids during digestion. Once broken down, the collagen is no longer collagen, but a collection of amino acids. It’s a bit like if you take apart a table, it is no longer a table, but a collection of wood. Eating collagen or collagen-laced foods will not replace your lost collagen nor will it pass along benefits to your skin in the form of younger-looking skin.
WILL COLLAGEN CREAM MAKE MY SKIN LOOK YOUNGER?
Oftentimes, creams or masks are advertised as containing collagen. However, there is no evidence that this benefits your skin. Your skin is made up of many layers and serves as a protective barrier against the outside world. It is not impenetrable. There are many factors that determine if a molecule is able to pass through the skin, with size being an important factor. It is generally accepted that a molecule smaller than 500 Daltons is able to penetrate the skin. Collagen, however, is a large molecule, and exists as polymeric proteins, which means that the size can vary greatly, from about 80,000 to 120,000 Daltons. That is too large to penetrate and be absorbed by the skin, thereby providing no benefit. At best, the collagen will sit on top of your skin, and be washed off the next time you wash your face.
CAN HYDROLYZED COLLAGEN HELP MY SKIN?
Hydrolyzed collagen, also known as nano collagen, is marketed as collagen that has been chopped up until it is small enough to enter your skin. Even if this can enter your skin, it does not give any significant benefits. Your skin is a complicated organ and is regulated closely. Your skin is not going to take in everything and integrate it into itself just because it has penetrated through the top layers of the skin. It is far more discerning. This “small collagen” will not be incorporated into your skin’s own complex collagen network, and will be removed from the skin by its own regulatory methods via the lymphatic system.
HOW CAN I BOOST THE PRODUCTION OF COLLAGEN?
For beautiful skin, we need to nourish the body from the inside out. Our skin is considered an organ, and it works in conjunction with all the other organs in our body. To stay young and healthy, we need to take care of our entire body and all of our organs. Sometimes we equate the word “young” to mean no wrinkles, but the word “young” can also mean that your organs are, in fact, young. Some people can be 50 years old, but have an immune function of a 40 year old—these individuals will not get sick as easily.
There are many studies that have been done behind why we age, and a lot of research focuses on the effects of free radicals on aging. Numerous studies suggest that we age because our cells are damaged over time by free radicals. A diet high in antioxidants can help prevent free radicals from causing oxidative damage, or reduce the formation of free radicals in our body. This may slow the process of aging.
To do this, we need to keep to a healthy diet high in fruits and vegetables.
Some superfoods that contain high levels of antioxidants include acerola cherry, cactus fruit, rose, blueberries, and cranberries.
Staying young is a lifestyle change. A diet that is high in antioxidants and plant foods, combined with healthy habits such as proper rest and exercise, will be most beneficial.
CAN HYALURONIC ACID CREAMS OR SERUMS HELP MY SKIN?
Hyaluronic acid is much like collagen in that it is far too large to pass through the skin barrier. It has a size of about 80,000 to 110,000 Daltons, far larger than the 500 Dalton limit. It will not penetrate the skin, and so will not help your skin regain lost elasticity or eliminate wrinkles. At best, you have a very expensive polymer sitting on top of your skin.
DOES FRESH CELL THERAPY OR PLACENTA EXTRACT HELP STOP THE AGING PROCESS?
Fresh cell therapy, also known as live cell therapy, or embryonic cellular therapy, involves the injection of fresh embryonic animal cells into the body. It is thought that the embryonic cells will act similarly to stem cells and have a rejuvenating effect. Once injected, the body will supposedly transport the cells to repair and strengthen the target area. It has been advertised to treat a wide variety of conditions, such as cancer and insanity, and even reverse aging. One of the most famous examples is sheep placenta treatment made from placental proteins from Switzerland.
There is very little significant clinical evidence supporting the use of fresh cell therapy in the treatment of any disease. The American Cancer Society has advised people against using it. There is more evidence of harm than of good. The cells are often extracted from animals such as sheep. We are not sheep, we are human. Under normal circumstances, cells from another animal cannot replace the cells in humans. In fact, our immune system is so good at recognizing what cells are not ours that even human-to-human organ transplants can be rejected.
There are some products that contain placental extract in a cream or a gel, but these have not been tested to a satisfactory extent, and the hormones within, such as estrogen, can cause further issues. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regards placenta extract as “potentially hazardous and its use is subject to restrictions and requirements of warnings.”
It also makes no sense taking these by mouth in the form of “nutritional supplements” because the cells will be broken down by our digestive system.
ARE THESE LIVE CELL THERAPIES LEGAL AND CAN THEY CAUSE US HARM?
Animal cells can contain diseases that can be passed to humans. There have been cases in which patients have received live cell therapy in Germany and subsequently were infected with Coxiella burnetti, which causes Q fever. More severe cases involve Guillain-Barré syndrome, coma, and even death.
There is no published clinical evidence that supports the therapeutic use of live cell therapy. Germany has banned sheep cell injections. The USA does not permit the use of live cell therapy. Even Switzerland has renounced fresh cell therapy, stating that it is unauthorized and dangerous. The U.S. FDA cautions patients that any stem cell therapy the patients are considering needs to be approved by the U.S. FDA before use.
CAN HUMAN GROWTH HORMONE SUPPLEMENTS HELP US FEEL YOUNGER?
Human growth hormone (HGH) supplements are often marketed as an aid to help you build muscle, look younger, and feel younger. However, HGH is strictly controlled by the U.S. FDA. HGH can only be legally obtained with a preion for specific medical conditions.
HGH has many benefits to the human body, but also many serious known risks. Some of the risks include, but are not limited to, an increased risk of cancer, elevated glucose levels, or nerve problems. Hence, the U.S. FDA is very strict on controlling its use. It is not approved for the use of muscle building or anti-aging effects. The U.S. FDA prohibits the distribution or possession of HGH for any use other than the treatment of a recognized medical condition.
Source: Dr EE Zhang, eLead Global, EExplanations, Beauty