Collagen supplements are touted as a “fountain of youth” in beauty circles, offering numerous benefits to the skin, bones, joints, hair, nails, and pretty much every other part of the body.
But in addition to helping prevent wrinkles and restore the skin’s elasticity, researchers are beginning to question whether collagen supplements can be useful in other areas.
One condition that collagen supplements might be able to improve is psoriasis. This skin condition causes sore, itchy red patches that might be aided by an influx of collagen cells.
What is collagen?
Collagen is the building block of our body. It’s found in almost every cell in the body and acts a bit like the “glue” that holds us together. In fact, the word “collagen” comes from the Greek word “kola,” which literally translates to “glue.”
Collagen is produced in all animals. However, for humans, our ability to produce collagen decreases as we age. Collagen loss usually starts in our mid-twenties, and women can lose up to 30% of their collagen production in the first five years of menopause.
It’s the loss of collagen that’s responsible for most common signs of ageing, including wrinkles and sagging. Less collagen also results in decreased bone and muscle mass, joint pain, and more.
In addition to ageing, collagen production can also be affected by a poor diet, smoking, and environmental factors. Certain health conditions (particularly those that cause the immune system to attack the body) will also contribute to a loss of collagen. Supplements like Reverse Life Marine Collagen can help combat this loss.
What are collagen supplements?
Collagen supplements seek to slow down the ageing process by adding extra collagen cells to the body. These supplements usually contain bovine (cow) or marine collagen derived from the “unwanted” parts of the animal that would usually be wasted.
Because plants don’t produce collagen, vegan or vegetarian collagen tablets don’t contain any ‘true’ collagen. Instead, they contain the nutrients our body needs to produce this vital protein.
Supplements can be found in numerous forms, from creams to powders that can be added to food or drinks. Many experts believe liquid collagen is the best form as it’s most readily absorbed by the body.
What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a skin condition that usually affects the elbows, knees, scalp, and lower back. It brings red, flaky, or even crusty patches of skin that can be incredibly uncomfortable for the sufferer.
Psoriasis affects around 2% of the UK population and can start at any age. For some, there will only be a few patches of itchy skin that result in minor irritation. For others, psoriasis can have a major effect on the sufferer’s quality of life.
How can a collagen supplement improve psoriasis?
To understand how a collagen supplement can help psoriasis sufferers, it’s important to understand why psoriasis occurs.
Psoriasis is believed to stem from a problem with the immune system, which is your body’s way of defending itself against disease and infection. For psoriasis sufferers, the immune system becomes overactive, attacking healthy skin cells by mistake.
To combat this attack, the body speeds up its production of skill cells. For “normal” people, skin cells are usually built and replaced every 3-4 weeks. However, psoriasis sufferers will create new skill cells every 3-7 days. And it’s this build-up of extra skin cells that create the red patches characteristic of the condition.
Although even the best collagen supplement in the UK can’t cure psoriasis, it can help reduce symptoms and ease discomfort. There are a few ways it does this:
- Reducing inflammation
Collagen contains high quantities of essential fatty acids that can reduce inflammation in the body. It’s believed that increased inflammation in the body can disrupt the body’s ability to regulate the immune system, and may contribute to skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema.
- Rebuilding damaged cells
Because collagen makes up a large portion of the body’s cells, adding a supplement to your diet can help psoriasis sufferers repair damage caused by the condition. It’s best to take a hydrolysed liquid collagen supplement as this is the form the body can most easily digest and absorb, so will offer the most benefits.
- Protecting the scalp
The scalp is a key location for psoriasis sufferers, so it’s vital to keep your scalp and hair happy and healthy. Collagen is vital for delivering key nutrients through the hair follicles, and is well-known for helping maintain thick, healthy hair, which will help lessen some of the symptoms of psoriasis.
- Repairing the gut lining
Psoriasis flare-ups can be caused by several factors. One of the most common is to do with a poor diet. Because collagen supplements deliver essential nutrients to the gut, they can help heal any damage to the gut lining, reducing the impact of psoriasis.
- Boosting hydration
Collagen peptides are also known to increase the production of hyaluronic acid in the skin. This acid is instrumental to skin hydration and preventing water loss, which can help ease itchiness and “scaly” symptoms.
- Easing joint pain
A less talked about symptom of psoriasis is joint pain. Type II collagen is particularly instrumental for reducing joint pain as it helps cushion the joints and build elastic cartilage.
What type of collagen supplement is best for psoriasis sufferers?
There are over 16 different types of collagen found in the human body, but there are five that are most important. Type I Collagen makes up around 90% and is the most relevant for psoriasis sufferers.
Marine collagen supplements like Reverse Life Marine Collagen are the best source of Type I collagen and are likely to be the most effective in combatting skin conditions like psoriasis.
Reverse Life Marine Collagen contains 10,000mg of hydrolysed collagen from responsibly sourced fish in addition to other essential nutrients such as Vitamin C, biotin zinc, and hyaluronic acid. All of these combine to create supplements that:
- Helps support the production and maintenance of healthy body tissues.
- Strengthens the hair, nails, skin, and joints.
- Relieves joint pain.
- Builds firmer, healthier, and younger-looking skin.
- Hydrates and rejuvenates the skin.
These benefits don’t just combat the visible signs of ageing, but can be a huge relief for psoriasis sufferers, as well as a wide range of other skin conditions.
What else can improve psoriasis?
If collagen supplements aren’t your thing, there are other changes to your diet that can help ease the symptoms of psoriasis. Look for foods rich in Vitamins B and C, ginger, and spirulina. Fish oil is also an excellent source of essential amino acids that will help repair and hydrate the skin, as well as support the body’s natural production of collagen.
Finally, many psoriasis flair-ups are caused by stress. Therefore, working to reduce your stress levels and focusing on relaxation can help improve some psoriasis symptoms.
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