Category Archives: Skin Care

What Produces Collagen? Hint: It’s Deeper than the Skin.

collagen molecules

Collagen is the most prevalent protein in the body. What produces collagen is a series of reactions in parts of the body where it’s needed, that occur at different rates as we age.

Ever wondered why our skin was so smooth and firm as children, even though mom scrubbed the dirt off our faces with bottom-shelf bar soap? Why we sled down hills with reckless abandon and rarely broke a bone while a slip in the bathtub in our later years is enough for the dreaded broken hip? Why our knees never ached, even when it rained?

It’s because our little bodies were replete with collagen, a naturally occurring structural protein made by a chemical reaction in our cells. As it’s responsible for firm skin, healthy joint cartilage, and strong bones, it’s in a constant cycle of production and use by these parts of the body.

As children, our bodies produced collagen in abundance, at a rate faster than we could use it. And, like so many processes in our bodies, our natural collagen production declines with age. While so many beauty companies are peddling topical creams and oils claiming to infuse collagen into the skin to restore elasticity and the elusive youthful appearance, collagen production does not occur on the surface. It’s a cellular process that transpires inside the body to yield the results on the outside, and infusing youthful productivity into an aging collagen factory requires more than surface treatment.

What produces collagen is a complex series of chemical reactions at the cellular level.

It starts with two amino acids, glycine and proline. These building blocks of protein form a stranded structure called procollagen, a precursor to collagen. A functional group containing hydrogen and oxygen atoms, called a hydroxyl group, bonds to the procollagen. This process is called hydroxylation, and it’s a critical step to forming the triple helix structure that is collagen.

The hydroxylation process is dependent on the presence of Vitamin C to function as a cofactor, a substance that is essential for the activity of an enzyme. In the case of collagen, the enzymes prolyl-4-hydroxylase and lysyl-hydroxylase are the catalysts for the reaction that bonds the oxygen-hydrogen group to the amino acids. Without Vitamin C, that reaction can’t occur and collagen can’t be formed.

What produces collagen is just as important as what breaks it down.

Cells in the skin, bones, and cartilage are in a constant cycle of creation and destruction of collagen. In the skin, fibroblasts produce the collagen while fibroclasts break it down. In the bones, the cycle is replicated by osteoblasts that assist bone formation and the osteoclasts that absorb the bone tissue. Chondroblasts are responsible for producing cartilage while, you guessed it, chondroclasts help the body use that cartilage. While it sounds negative, the destruction process is vital to putting the collagen to use in the areas of the body where it’s needed; namely the skin, bones, and joints. The problem is that as we age, the destruction accelerates while the production lags.

It’s supply and demand. And the body’s production line can’t keep up with the joints, skin, and bones that become more demanding of collagen as they age and continue to be exposed to the free radicals and other environmental damages that come with just existing.

So, what to do to help your body keep up with the demand? Well, the obvious answer is to give your body’s production facility the materials it needs to produce maximal collagen. As Vitamin C is essential to the process, ensuring that you get an adequate daily dose of this antioxidant can’t hurt. Be cognizant of the other lifestyle factors that can compromise your ability to produce collagen, like sun damage and the accumulation of free radicals.

Discover how to maximize your body’s absorption of this essential nutrient for collagen production with our Lypo-Spheric™ Vitamin C.

Vitamin Deficiencies Can Cause Bruising

Vitamin-Deficiencies-Bruising-LivOn-Labs

Everyone suffers bruises from time to time, usually as the result of some sort of blunt-force trauma. Normally, it’s not a serious problem, but excessive bruising can sometimes indicate an underlying issue such as thin skin, weak capillaries or insufficient collagen levels. These conditions may be linked to vitamin deficiencies.

Bruises typically occur when someone bumps into something. The trauma damages capillaries beneath the skin, causing a tiny amount of blood to seep out and leave a darkened area. The older a person gets, the more they tend to bruise. This is because the skin gets thinner and loses a protective layer of fat as people age. Certain medications, such as blood thinners, can also cause people to bruise more. However, another common culprit is Vitamin C deficiency.

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for the body. It supports the immune system, works as a powerful antioxidant and is necessary for the natural production of collagen. Collagen is a structural protein that aids in the maintenance and repair of blood vessel walls and other connective tissue. When a person does not get enough Vitamin C, their body can bruise more easily. They may also experience joint pain, a weakened immune response and slower healing of wounds.

If a person develops a severe Vitamin C deficiency, known as scurvy, they can also suffer from bleeding gums, the loss of teeth and hair and the degeneration of blood vessels. This condition is relatively rare in the modern U.S., especially given the wide availability of Vitamin C in the diet and  Vitamin C supplements, but it does still occur in some individuals with poor nutritional habits. In order to prevent these health problems, health experts recommend that adults consume at least 60 – 90mg of Vitamin C each day.

In addition to Vitamin C deficiency, insufficient levels of Vitamin K and Vitamin D may also lead to excessive bruising, as they are both essential to the blood coagulation process. Meanwhile, Vitamin B9 and B12 deficiencies can also cause blood vessel damage and increased bruising. While a healthy diet is important for the prevention of vitamin deficiencies, the use of Vitamin C supplements and other supplemental nutrients can give the body an extra layer of protection.

4 Reasons Vitamin C is Great for Skin Care 

vitamin c supplement

It’s no secret that our bodies need Vitamin C. It supports healthy immunity, prevents scurvy, and helps us feel good from day to day. But did you know that Vitamin C is also great for your skin? Here are four of the many reasons you should add Vitamin C to your skin care routine.