Collagen is the most abundant protein form found in the body. It is present in the tendons, fat, and ligaments, among other places. Its key role is to help tissues resist stretching, preventing wrinkles and sagging skin. We have shared on the aspects on how to choose collagen supplements earlier. Now in this article we will discuss in depth on the other supplements that stimulate collagen production, giving it the boost the collagen needs to perform the key job scopes in our body.
Grape seed extract (GSE) is a nutritional supplement prepared by removing, drying, and pulverizing the bitter-tasting seeds of grapes. Grape seeds are rich in antioxidants, including phenolic acids, anthocyanins, flavonoids, and oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes (OPCs). Increasing flavonoid consumption may enhance collagen production and bone synthesis. As a rich source of flavonoids, GSE may thus help increase our bone density and strength. In a study, GSE is proven to have significantly reduced pain, bony spurs, and joint damage in osteoarthritic mice, improving collagen levels and reducing cartilage loss1.
Carefully sourced from Japan, the pearl extract comprises of essential amino acids, trace minerals, rich of calcium, and antioxidants. Celebrated as the mother of pearl, nacre, could stimulate the cell adhesion and tissue regeneration of skin fibroblasts2, which accelerates wound healing and helps collagen regenerate itself. The increased in collagen content from nacre and essential amino acids in pearl extract gives rise to the upsurge in the production of hyaluronic acid as well as elastic fibres in the skin in 12 weeks3,4.
Royal jelly contains complete nutrient profile of fatty acids, unique proteins, phenols, flavonoids, vitamins and minerals5. 10-HDA found in royal jelly has been shown to increase collagen synthesis and production of the collagen promoting factor, transforming growth factor β1, in human skin fibroblasts6. Such an effect is thought to mediate royal jelly skin protection against UVB-induced photoaging.
Aloe vera gel has long been used for healing and soothing wounds. The reason it works to treat cuts and burns is because the aloe vera plant increases collagen production when applied topically or even taken orally. Aloe activates fibroblast which synthesizes the collagen and elastin fibers effecting the skin more elastic and less wrinkled7. It also has cohesive effects on the superficial flaking epidermal cells by sticking them together, which softens the skin7.
Vitamin C plays a major role in the production of pro-collagen8, the body’s precursor to collagen. Being a cofactor for prolyl hydroxylase and lysyl hydroxylase9, these enzymes catalyze the reaction involved in supporting the proper folding of the stable collagen triple-helix structure. In other words, vitamin C promotes collagen cross-linking and synthesis.
The interesting fact about collagen is that stimulating its growth causes a domino effect. The more collagen we have, the more our body is able to produce and maintain. Boosting collagen formation improves not only our appearance through more supple and elastic skin, but the rest of our health as collagen helps in maintaining flexible tendons and ligaments too.
- Cho ML, Heo YJ, Park MK, Oh HJ, Park JS, Woo YJ, Ju JH, Park SH, Kim HY, Min JK. Grape seed proanthocyanidin extract (GSPE) attenuates collagen-induced arthritis. Immunol Lett. 2009 Jun 4;124(2):102-10.
- Li YC, Chen CR, Young TH. Pearl extract enhances the migratory ability of fibroblasts in a wound healing model. Pharm Biol. 2013 Mar;51(3):289-97. doi: 10.3109/13880209.2012.721130. Epub 2012 Oct 9.
- Asserin J, Lati E, Shioya T, Prawitt J. The effect of oral collagen peptide supplementation on skin moisture and dermal collagen network: evidence from an ex vivo model and randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology. 2015 Dec;14(4):291-301.
- Kim DU, Chung HC, Choi J, Sakai Y, Lee BY. Oral intake of low-molecular-weight collagen peptide improves hydration, elasticity and wrinkling in human skin: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Nutrients. 2018;10(826):1-13.
- Kunugi H, Ali AM. Royal jelly and its components promote healthy aging and longevity: from animal models to humans. International Journal of Molecular Science. 2019;20(4662):1-26.
- Cornara L, Biagi M, Xiao J, Burlando B. Therapeutic Properties of Bioactive Compounds from Different Honeybee Products. Front Pharmacol. 2017; 8: 412.
- Surjushe A, Vasani R, Saple DG. ALOE VERA: A SHORT REVIEW. Indian J Dermatol. 2008; 53(4): 163–166. doi: 10.4103/0019-5154.44785
- Pullar JM, Carr AC, Vissers MCM. The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health. Nutrients. 2017 Aug; 9(8): 866. Published online 2017 Aug 12. doi: 10.3390/nu9080866
- DePhillipo NN, Aman ZS, Kennedy MI, Begley JP, Moatshe G, LaPrade RF. Efficacy of Vitamin C Supplementation on Collagen Synthesis and Oxidative Stress After Musculoskeletal Injuries: A Systematic Review. Orthop J Sports Med. 2018 Oct; 6(10): 2325967118804544.