Collagen: Τhe secret of anti-ageing

by nektaria karakosta

Every woman’s (and man’s) dream, pursuit and aim is to live long, fine and beautiful years. Nowdays, this is possible by strengthening the body from ... inside. Liquid collagen is the new entry in the field of beauty and anti-ageing, which contributes to the reduction of deep lines and wrinkles.
Can collagen actually help us?
How does it succeed this?
The dermatologist-venereologist Mr. Pantelis Souvatzidis reveals all the secrets of liquid collagen.

What is collagen and why is it valuable? Where is it good for us?
The main role of collagen as its name shows(collagen "glue + gen") is to maintain the connective structure of cells and tissues. It is therefore very important for the structure, cohesion, functionality, reproduction and health of every cell. Our skin constitutes by 75% of collagen. Thus, the soft, fresh appearance of a youthful, healthy skin comes largely from the presence of collagen at normal levels. The degradation of healthy collagen and the reduction of its production over time, leads to the appearance of undesirable wrinkles and mature skin. In our body there are 28 different types of collagen, the main types of which are type I, type II and type III. Collagen type I is mostly found in the skin, nails, hair, muscles, tendons and bones.

Why is it a key ingredient for anti-ageing?
The main cause of skin ageing is the destruction of skin cells, due to reduced collagen and elastin production. Collagen plays a central role in the structure, health and resilience of the skin. That is why it is important over time to enhance its reserves or the natural production process by the body.

What reduces the levels of collagen in the body?
With the burden of various external conditions (sunlight, smoking, poor diet, obesity, little or excessive exercise) and various internal factors (eg menopause), fibroblasts, which produce collagen and elastin lose their ability to create these two substances. Research1 has proven that collagen decreases over time. Furthermore, the amount of structural materials, such as protein molecules, which provide moisture in the upper layer of the skin, for collagen’s composition decrease.

Are there ways to replenish the levels of collagen? Which are they?
Yes, there are. Applying skin creams containing collagen or any of its ingredients, placing hyaluronic acid implants in the deeper layers of the skin (which promotes collagen production locally, where we place it) or even taking collagen or ingredients that form it, from food or specific food supplements, are some.

Can we get collagen ready for absorption or the body must synthesize it itself?
A balanced diet, with adequate intake of all necessary nutrients is essential, so that our body can synthesize sufficient amounts of collagen. If, at the same time, we boost ourselves with a reliable food supplement containing collagen, the situation can be improved, regardless of age. Collagen supplements contribute to the replenishment of organic collagen reserves in a natural way, and thus in prevention and treatment of various problems associated with the lack of it.

Why collagen differs from other protein sources (eg food sources);
Liquid collagen differs from collagen we take with food. During the digestive process, the human body breaks down the proteins into smaller parts (peptides of amino acid), which are then absorbed and utilized in various organic processes.
Similarly, the protein of collagen needs to be broken down several times, in order to be absorbed by the body. The intake of hydrolyzed collagen, guarantees that its substances will be taken, intact and unaltered, with all their features. The process of hydrolysis plays an extremely important role for the quality of the amino acids provided by a product.

Are there any studies to support the contribution of collagen in anti-ageing? What do they indicate?
Dermatological clinical studies in various countries have shown the effectiveness of collagen. In particular, studies have shown that collagen helps improve the functioning of skin and its hydration, promotes fibroblasts’ density and thus it enhances the formation of collagen fibrils in the skin, so is to tighten it.
Also, clinical studies with PEPTAN ™ hydrolyzed collagen have shown that improvement of the condition and structure of the skin can be achieved, with the use of 12 weeks. More specifically, it proved2,3,4 that skin’s hydration improves by 28% and wrinkles may be reduced by 24%.

What are the differences between an external application (creams) and ingestion (liquid, drinking collagen)?
The application of creams to the skin affects only the superficial layers of the skin. Taking collagen orally, also has an effect on the deeper layers of the skin, providing a more comprehensive approach to anti-ageing.

What are the criteria for choosing the formulation that we will use?
Hydrolyzed collagen, due to its specific composition and the peptides that it contains, is considered to be the most absorbable form, without causing unwanted effects. You should always use branded and tested products, with disclosure to the EMEA and in accordance with the instructions of the expert, scientist, doctor, pharmacist or dietitian.

Who can take collagen?
Anyone can consume collagen and benefit from it, as no matter how healthy our nutrition is, no food provides us with collagen in the form of peptides.
From the intake of collagen can really be benefited men and women over 35, men and women with pale skin, thin hair and weak nails. It is also suitable for women in menopause, for men and women with problems in connective tissue and joints, for athletes, sportsmen and seniors over 50.


who is who

Pantelis Souvatzidis
He graduated from the Medical School of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and then specialized in Dermatology at the University Dermatology Clinic of Siena in Italy. He post-graduated in Atlanta and San Diego, USA. He is a professor in Doctor's Medical School of AUTH. He is a member of the European and the American Academy of Dermatology. He deals with invasive and aesthetic dermatology, skin operations, the prevention (mapping - dermoscopy) and treatment of skin cancers, laser applications and pediatric dermatology. He owns a practise in the centre of Thessaloniki Ermou 75, tel. 2310242033,

Sources: 1. Varani J., Dame M., Rittie L., Fligiel S., Kang S., Fischer G., Voorhees J., Decreased Collagen Production in Chronologically Aged Skin, Roles of Age-Dependent Alteration in Fibroblast Function and Defective Mechanical Stimulation, Am J Pathol. Jun 2006; 168 (6): 1861-1868.
2. Sumida, E., Hirota, A., Kuwaba, K., Kusubata, M., Koyama, Y., Araya, T. Irie, S. and Kasugai, S. 2004. The effect of oral ingestion of collagen peptide on skin hydration and biochemical data of blood. Journal of nutritional food, 7 (3): 45-52.
3. Clinical study YNTKK-2008-4144, Souken, Japan.4. Clinical study 2008-AOO654-51, Dermscan, France