Watch Out, These 7 Things Can Plummet Your Collagen Production

Watch Out, These 7 Things Can Plummet Your Collagen Production

When it comes to collagen, you’ll want to protect it like your life depends on it. Steer clear of these 7 things to keep feeling young, energetic, and pain-free.

Collagen is something that always seems to be fleeting. By the time we reach our 20s, its natural production begins to decline, and once we hit 40, it’s game over.

Okay, we may be exaggerating a bit...it doesn’t have to be game over. Your body used to be the one to call the shots, but now, with a top-tier grass-fed collagen supplement, you can regain control of your own collagen production.

On top of that, if you steer clear of the following 7 things, you’ll turn your disrupted collagen production into a force to be reckoned with.

But first…

What Is Collagen?

As the building block of the body, collagen makes up 33% of the protein in your muscles, bones, tendons, and cartilage, and 75-80% of the protein in your skin.

You may notice lower collagen levels in your body when your skin starts to lose elasticity, making it look saggier than it used to be. Or you may notice a nagging joint pain. These are two possible signs that your collagen levels need to be replenished.

Take heart though—decreased collagen production is 100% natural. It’s something that unfortunately just happens with age.

Luckily, collagen peptides can totally take care of it.

7 Things that Decrease Collagen Production

As with most wellness lifestyles, there are things to run towards and things to run away from. In this article, you’ll learn the 7 things to run away from—fast.

           1. UV Damage

Slather on some sunscreen, because UV radiation is one of collagen’s biggest enemies.

Our skin is what protects us from external factors like pathogens, dehydration, and yes, UV rays.

Here’s the thing though: Your skin can only do so much. 

It already receives the majority of the blow as the primary target of UV radiation.

This is how skin and collagen and UV radiation are all linked: Type I collagen is the most abundant element of human connective tissue (skin, bones, tendons), and thanks to the sun, it’s always under UV stress. It’s likely that wrinkles and even skin cancers are linked to decreased collagen production due to UV rays. Thus, with a grass-fed collagen supplement rich in both type I and type III collagen, your skin can stand a chance.

      2. Sugar

Got a sweet tooth?

This may be hard to hear, but it will benefit you, your skin, and your collagen production if you cut back—or better yet—eliminate it altogether.

Dr. Andrew Nish—doctor at UnityPoint Health—gives us an analogy of what sugar in our body looks like: “If you put a banana out on the counter and unpeel it, what happens in 24-48 hours? It gets brown. What’s happening is the sugars in that banana are reacting with proteins, causing cross-linking and the brown color. The exact same thing is happening in our bodies. We’re browning from the inside out.”

So, your insides are browning with each bite of sugar…

Not the best news for fellow chocolate lovers to hear. But, we come bearing good news—there are delicious, nutritious ways to cure that sweet tooth of yours! Here are a few of our favorites…

You’re welcome ;)

        3. Smoking

Not only is smoking bad for your health (duh), it also speeds up the aging process (yikes).

When you smoke, oxygen isn’t able to make it to your tissues, which means that your tissue is more likely to become damaged and die off.

And when your tissues die, collagen is damaged and your skin begins to lose elasticity.

If your first reaction is to shrug this off and say, “I’m fine. I’ll defy aging”, here’s the evidence to back it up…

In a study conducted from 2007 to 2010, researchers identified 79 sets of twins where one twin smoked, and the other didn’t. Their age-related facial features were then ranked on a four-point scale.

The results were quite significant— with the smoking twins having worse scores for upper eyelid skin, lower lid bags, malar bags, nasolabial folds, upper lip wrinkles, lower lip vermillion wrinkles, and sagging skin below the chin and jawline. 

       4. Not Enough Vitamin C

Vitamin C is basically collagen’s BFF. Why?

Because it actually helps boost its production.

It’s what decreases oxidative stress, protects your cells, and maintains healthy skin, blood vessels, bones, and cartilage.

Sounds a lot like what collagen does. So when vitamin C enters the picture—along with collagen—our body reaps the benefits.

(Not so) fun fact: Your body doesn’t produce vitamin C naturally, so it’s vital to get it from whole foods or a high-quality supplement.

           5. Stress



In a world with standards and expectations as high as the Empire State Building, stress lingers over just about all of us.

In fact, 3 out of 4 people report experiencing at least one stress symptom in the past month.

One of the things that stress spikes—inflammation.

And when inflammation spikes, collagen plummets. This is because the body’s resources are needed to tackle inflammation head-on to get itself back into homeostasis (its resting, balanced state).

Inflammation isn’t the only suspect at the stand, though. Cortisol—the body’s main stress hormone—lowers collagen too.

Natural ways to combat stress can be as simple as taking a walk outside in the fresh air, doing a breathwork exercise, or reading a novel.

         6. A Highly-Processed Diet

With more and more packaged, processed foods crowding out our grocery stores, knowing what to eat has become more confusing than ever.

Food is the foundation of our lives, and collagen is the glue that holds us all together. A diet rich in organic fruits and veggies, olive oil, nuts, grass-fed meat, pasture-raised chickens, and wild-caught fish will enhance energy, recovery, and collagen production.

For even better results, steer clear of refined carbohydrates (white bread, pizza dough, pasta, pastries) and sugary foods (granola bars, cereal, candy bars, salad dressings).

Not sure where to start?

Check out our favorite recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner here.

       7. Age

Unless you’ve discovered the fountain of youth, age isn’t something you can run away from.

Age is a natural, beautiful thing to get to experience. You can brag about all the #wisdom you’ve gained over the years while also getting away with the “because I said so” comeback.

Think of collagen production like a balance scale. It starts high in the sky when you’re young and starts to dip with age. This is because when you’re young, your body produces more collagen than you break down. And as you begin to age, tissue regeneration slows and the scale tips the other way.

In fact, collagen production decreases by about 1% every year by the time you reach your late teens to early 20s.

Although age is inevitable, collagen can sweep in and save the day. If your collagen production decreases by 1% every year—specifically in types I and III collagen (the types most prominent in bovine collagen)—you may as well restore that 1% with a grass-fed collagen supplement, right?

The Bottom Line

Collagen plays many important roles in the body.

From supporting joints to strengthening muscles to keeping skin supple and luminous, it’s essential for a wide variety of functions.

To keep your collagen levels up to par, let the seven items above be your guide. What’s encouraging is that each one—with the exception of age—is within your full control. Avoid these while incorporating a premium collagen supplement into your daily wellness routine to feel (and look) healthy from the inside out.

As always, be sure to consult a health care professional before adding anything new to your diet, supplement, or exercise regimen. NativePath and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any diseases. All NativePath material is presented for educational purposes only.


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