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The Best Ways to Build Collagen in Aging Skin

By Skyler White ; Updated July 18, 2017

Collagen, the majority composite of skin, is what grants skin its elasticity. In her book, “Feed Your Skin, Starve Your Wrinkles,” Allison Tannis asserts that promoting collagen production also promotes “plump, smooth skin.” Subsequently, engaging nutrients and behaviors conducive to collagen should result in skin that appears healthier, younger and more attractive. Nonetheless, consult a physician before assuming any dietary or exercise regimens.

Vitamin C

In the book “Secrets of Great Skin,” David Goldberg and Eva Herriot affirm that vitamin C deficiencies often result in “poor wound healing, bleeding gums and skin hemorrhages.” Alternatively, Goldberg and Herriot assert that excess vitamin C can result in increased collagen production and enhanced collagen synthesis, effectively improving the health and appearance of skin. According to Dr. Jeanne D. Decuypere on the website Health Alternatives 2000, vitamin C can be found in fruits like oranges, pineapples and lemons; vegetables such as squash, green peppers and broccoli; and organic foods, including cod and perch, goat's milk, soybeans and low-fat yogurt.

Lifestyle Changes

Goldberg and Herriot state in their book, “Secrets of Great Skin,” that environmental toxins, sun exposure and habits like smoking damage collagen while hindering collagen production, thus increasing the skin aging process. Supplementing your diet with foods rich in antioxidants can reduce the impact of toxins introduced to the body. According to Dr. Ben Kim, an acupuncturist and chiropractor with a doctorate in clinical sciences, of Ontario, Canada, blueberries, blackberries, cranberries and dried prunes are especially high in antioxidants. Moreover, Goldberg and Herriot assert that studies show that smoking inhibits collagen synthesis up to 18 percent, reducing healing in similar proportions.

Aerobic Exercise

In “Secrets of Great Skin,” Goldberg and Herriot posit that physical exercise can improve skin condition by producing thicker skin with better blood flow and higher oxygenation as well as greater nutrients and growth hormone secretion. The increase in hormone secretion results in greater cell activity and production, also increasing collagen production. Goldberg and Herriot offer support through a study conducted by researchers Elizabeth Whitmore, M.D., and Michael A. Levine, M.D., of Johns Hopkins University. In this study of 146 women, results reflected that women who exercised exhibited thicker skin and a decline in many problems associated with aging, including physical changes to the skin.

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