Keep­ing your body younger and stronger

Col­la­gen is our friend against the force of grav­ity which makes every­thing droop and sag as we get older.

Living Now - - Editorial - by San­dra Cabot

Col­la­gen is our friend against the force of grav­ity which makes every­thing droop and sag as we get older.

In the year 2016 those of us aged in our 40s can look for­ward to liv­ing on av­er­age another 45 to 50 years. Fan­tas­tic if we can stay look­ing and feel­ing younger than those ad­vanced years. This should be highly likely if we can main­tain, or even bet­ter re­pair, the col­la­gen in our tis­sues.

Col­la­gen is found through­out the body and sup­ports our skin, gums, mus­cles, con­nec­tive tis­sues, bones, joints, heart valves, brain and ab­dom­i­nal and pelvic or­gans.

As we age the pro­duc­tion of col­la­gen be­gins to slow down. As a re­sult, skin starts to be­come more frag­ile, less elas­tic and wrin­kles set in. In ad­di­tion, hair starts los­ing its colour, joints lose their flex­i­bil­ity, and bone qual­ity be­gins to de­te­ri­o­rate. Bones be­come less flex­i­ble, in­creas­ing the risk of frac­tures. We be­come more stooped and our ab­dom­i­nal and pelvic mus­cles stretch and de­scend.

Col­la­gen is nec­es­sary for con­serv­ing the youth­ful­ness of skin and re­duc­ing wrin­kles. It is also es­sen­tial for the elas­tic­ity of the con­nec­tive tis­sues, al­low­ing them to ex­pand and con­tract with­out dam­ag­ing any tis­sue. Mil­lions of peo­ple world­wide seek out ways to stim­u­late the pro­duc­tion of col­la­gen when the signs of age­ing start to show.

What symp­toms can be helped by im­prov­ing col­la­gen?

• Wrin­kling of the skin • Sag­ging of the skin • Weak­ness of the pelvic floor which causes pro­lapse and/or uri­nary in­con­ti­nence • Stiff­ness of the joints • Loss of flex­i­bil­ity • Poor sup­port of in­ter­nal or­gans • Weak gums and loose teeth • Weak hair and nails • Easy bruis­ing • Leak­ing heart valves (mag­ne­sium is also re­quired here)

What can dam­age col­la­gen?

• Ex­ces­sive ex­po­sure to the sun’s UV

rays • A diet low in vi­ta­min C and/or the

min­eral sul­phur • Loss of oe­stro­gen af­ter menopause • Free rad­i­cals pro­duced by tox­ins, stress, ex­cess al­co­hol and smok­ing cig­a­rettes • Age­ing • Di­ets high in su­gar and in­dus­trial seed

oils high in omega 6 fats • Au­toim­mune dys­func­tion, which means that your im­mune sys­tem at­tacks your con­nec­tive tis­sues which con­tain col­la­gen (these are known as con­nec­tive tis­sue dis­eases); these dis­eases are not un­com­mon, and in­clude lu­pus, der­mato­myosi­tis, polymyal­gia and vas­culi­tis • Some drugs such as steroids and

chemo­ther­apy • Ra­di­a­tion ther­apy

How can you build and strengthen col­la­gen?

• Have a diet which con­tains all the es­sen­tial amino acids from com­plete protein foods such as eggs, dairy prod­ucts, poul­try, seafood and meat. If you are vegan you will need to com­bine three of the fol­low­ing food groups to­gether at one meal — seeds, nuts, legumes and grains; oth­er­wise… • Eat foods high in sul­phur; these in­clude cru­cif­er­ous veg­eta­bles (broc­coli, cab­bage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower) onions, gar­lic and eggs • Take a sup­ple­ment con­tain­ing vi­ta­min

C, MSM and Sil­ica in the right doses. • To make healthy col­la­gen your body

needs sul­phur, Vi­ta­min C and sil­ica:

MSM (methyl sulpho­nyl meth­ane)

Sul­phur is needed to man­u­fac­ture hair, nails, skin and con­nec­tive tis­sue. With­out ad­e­quate sul­phur tie-bars (-S-S- or disul­phide bonds) within con­nec­tive tis­sue, the body would be re­duced to a pool of liq­uid pro­to­plasm.

MSM is an or­ganic nat­u­ral source of sul­phur. MSM was an im­por­tant

sub­stance in the di­ets of our an­ces­tors as far back as the Mid­dle Ages.

Since most mod­ern-day di­ets in­clude a con­sid­er­able amount of pro­cessed foods, MSM is nor­mally present in very small and in­ad­e­quate quan­ti­ties.

Sul­phur is nec­es­sary for the pro­duc­tion of col­la­gen and ker­atin, which are pro­teins es­sen­tial for the health and main­te­nance of hair, skin and nails. Col­la­gen binds the struc­tures of skin to­gether while ker­atin is the pri­mary com­po­nent in hair, nails, skin and tooth enamel.

MSM en­hances tis­sue pli­a­bil­ity and en­cour­ages re­pair of dam­aged skin.

Sul­phur is crit­i­cal in the for­ma­tion of col­la­gen and glu­cosamine - for healthy bones, joints, lig­a­ments and ten­dons. Sul­phur makes cells more per­me­able, al­low­ing flu­ids to flow freely through the cells and re­move tox­ins; ul­ti­mately re­duc­ing pain and inflammation.

Vi­ta­min C

Vi­ta­min C is es­sen­tial for the build­ing of col­la­gen, which has struc­tural and sup­port­ive func­tions in­dis­pens­able to heart tis­sue and blood ves­sels — in fact, they could not pos­si­bly per­form their func­tions with­out col­la­gen. The heart and blood ves­sels can­not be main­tained in healthy con­di­tion with­out Vi­ta­min C. Many peo­ple have sub­op­ti­mal lev­els of vi­ta­min C in their body and this greatly in­creases the risk of heart dis­ease and strokes. Amaz­ing that most peo­ple, and a lot of doc­tors too, do not recog­nise how crit­i­cal vi­ta­min C is to youth­ful­ness and the pre­ven­tion of car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease. Li­nus Paul­ing was a fa­mous two-time No­bel prize win­ning phar­ma­cist who made the sci­en­tific com­mu­nity aware of the pro­found abil­ity of vi­ta­min C to pro­tect hu­mans against many age­ing dis­eases

The body has a con­tin­u­ing need for the syn­the­sis of large amounts of col­la­gen for re­place­ment of the col­la­gen de­graded by daily wear and tear, free rad­i­cals and age­ing.

Sil­ica

When we are young, lev­els of sil­ica in our body are high and our bones and joints are flex­i­ble. Our skin is sup­ple and strong. As we age, sil­ica lev­els de­cline and, with­out ad­e­quate tis­sue lev­els of sil­ica, we man­i­fest many of the symp­toms of age­ing such as joint dis­ease, weak­ened di­ges­tion, and wrin­kled skin, to name a few.

Sil­ica can strengthen con­nec­tive tis­sues, gums and teeth, hair and nails and bones. In­side bone, sil­ica is the es­sen­tial com­po­nent mak­ing up the col­la­gen ma­trix upon which cal­cium is de­posited. This re­la­tion­ship is so fun­da­men­tal that it is truly im­pos­si­ble to form bone with­out both cal­cium and sil­ica. n

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