The collagen supplement industry was worth $1.8 billion in 2019 and has risen to $4.1 billion in 2021! What’s the hype all about? Let’s take a deeper dive to find out how this protein has taken the world by storm. Is supplementation necessary? We’re here to find out more.
WHAT IS IT?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, where it’s found almost everywhere – including: tendons, muscles, skin, eyes, organs and bones. Collagen is essentially the scaffolding that holds the body together, providing both strength and structure. Within collagen fibers, the molecules are packed together to form long, thin fibrils. Even though there are many different types of collagen, 80-90% belong to type 1, 2 and 3 collagens. It’s been noted that type 1 collagen is stronger than steel, when compared gram-for-gram, how incredible are our bodies!?
Collagen produced by the body is called endogenous collagen, and collagen obtained from supplements/food is referred to as exogenous collagen. Collagen can be consumed in the diet from protein-rich food sources like meat, eggs, fish, seafood, beans and dairy. Bone broth and gelatin are extremely good collagen sources.
As we age, our bodies produce collagen slower, this means that the structural integrity of the skin declines. Collagen makes up for 75% for the skin’s support structure. So, it’s not a shock that this reduction in production would result in wrinkles as well as weakening of the cartilage in joints. This is experienced considerably more in women during and after menopause. Smoking, autoimmune diseases and pollution exposure are also know to decrease collagen production in our bodies.
Now, we’re in support of supplementation only when essential, but if there is a natural way to improve your life that doesn’t require manufactured supplements, we’ll go for natural every single time. So, how do we do that?
RED LIGHT THERAPY AND COLLAGEN:
Red light therapy is used to increase the production of ATP production in the cells. This increase in ATP results in more energy, meaning that our bodies can function more effectively and efficiently. The wavelengths of light that our red light therapy devices emit are known to specifically boost the production of collagen and elastin the our bodies through using the additional energy produced from the ATP.
Through the increase in collagen production from red light therapy, our skin will appear plumper, tighter and reduce the appearance of fine line and wrinkles.
Studies have shown that red light therapy is extremely beneficial in speeding up the process of scar and wound healing, where collagen is extremely beneficial.
The decrease in production of collagen as we age has been linked with increased risk of osteoarthritis. The increase in production of collagen with red light therapy slows down joint collagen degradation, leading to reduced joint pain and arthritis risk.
Collagen forms the structure of the blood vessels and arteries in our hearts. Reduced collagen results in arteries becoming less flexible and elastic, which could lead to atherosclerosis and can lead to heart attack or stroke. Increasing collagen in the body results in significant artery strength and stiffness.
Increased collagen has also been linked with:
- Hair and nail strength
- Gut health
- Brain health
- Weight loss
A 2014 study investigated the efficacy of red light therapy for the reduction of fine lines, wrinkles and skin roughness through collagen density increases in the skin. The 136 subjects were between the ages of 27 and 79 years old, providing a great indication of the benefits of this treatment across a broad range of ages. It was determined that red light therapy was extremely beneficial for improving skin feeling and complexion. There was a gender-specific response that was noted in the results, where women noticed better results than men in the collagen density test. This could be explained by the physiological differences between male and female skin on both the extracellular and endocrine levels. There were high patient satisfaction rates in all subjects exposed to the light treatment with no negative side effects. Subjects noted that it was a safe, non-ablative and non-thermal treatment that was easy to use and provided a long-term and lasting result.
We love our red light therapy device, how could you not when the facts are this good!?
Written by: Caroline Bursey