Did you ever wonder why fish don’t show their age?
Well, it turns out they do, in much the same way trees show how old they are by the number of rings they reveal after they’re cut down.
When it comes to fish, the scales tell the story. Scales grow larger as the fish grows, but like a tree, only around the outer edge, so scientists can determine the age of a fish by counting the layers from the edge of the scale. (Ref. 1)
But it could also be the collagen and elastin those scales contain.
The main proteins of not only fish scales, but also human skin, collagen and elastin are responsible for our youthful good looks. These proteins help prevent wrinkles and sagging and keep our skin looking fresh and youthful.
Of course, there are villains around every corner when it comes to skin, including environmental toxins, too much time spent in the sun and a diet that focuses on excessive carbs and too much sugar.
If we expose ourselves to too many skin-altering substances, then unlike fish, we really start to show our age.
Diet and our skin health
While most of us have heard that eating chocolate can trigger outbreaks of acne, we often don’t think about how the foods we eat impact the look of our skin.
But diet is perhaps more important than topical treatments when it comes to looking good.
“If you surveyed a group of dermatologists, many of us would say, ‘Yes, diet has an effect,’” said Dr. Ellen Marmur, author of “Simple Skin Beauty,” in an interview with WebMD.com. (Ref. 2)
And while many would point to chocolate as a problem for skin health, its antioxidants mean that it is certainly not the worst offender. Sugar holds reign as one of the biggest culprits when it comes to damaging youthful skin.
While sugar wreaks havoc throughout the bodies of those with diabetes, even those who don’t have the disease can be tripped up by the sweet stuff.
When sugar molecules enter the body, they attach to fats and proteins in a process called glycation, leading to the aptly-named advanced glycation end products, or AGEs. When created, AGEs cause damage to protein fibers, making them become stiff and malformed.
Sugar is most attracted to the proteins of the skin – collagen and elastin – and when it finds them, the damage it causes leaves skin less resilient and less pliable, and more likely to be wrinkled, less radiant and saggy, all resulting in a less youthful appearance.
Even more destructive, the damaged protein cells of the skin may become free radicals, which go out in search of the molecules sugar has robbed them of, damaging other cells in the process.
“Many clients and friends come to me and say, ‘I’m doing my skincare ritual every morning and evening, but I’m still breaking out.’ My first question to them is ‘How’s your diet?’ The bottom line is that whatever’s going on inside your gut will eventually show in your skin,” said Jessica Crescenzi, founder of Beauty Guru NYC, in an interview with Forbes magazine. (Ref. 3)
A supplement that targets skin
While we have included many essential ingredients to protect the skin from free radicals in our Core Wellness Activator line – including Total Balance
and our Omega-3 Fish Oil
products - two of the products in our new Zupafood line
target skin care with the innovative Collactive™, an ingredient that features marine-derived collagen and elastin peptides that closely mimic those found naturally in our skin.
These products are designed to augment our skincare line, which helps stimulated the collagen and elastin in the dermis, by providing additional critical support from the inside out.
Marine collagen is a fibrous protein extracted from the scales or skin of saltwater fish, and it has long been used as part of Eastern medicine to help promote health and well-being.
Recent studies have shown that Collactive™ helps erase signs of aging by improving the moisture levels of skin, increasing the density of skin and improving the strength of skin, all of which will help make skin look younger and healthier.
A 2008 study from researchers at Beijing University's School of Public Health in China studied the effects of marine collagen peptides on the skin of aging mice, and found that the mice whose diets were supplemented with marine collagen had a thicker epidermis compared to mice that did not receive the supplement, suggesting that the natural, from-the-sea ingredient was turning back the clock for the older mice.
Not only that, the study that appeared in the Chinese Journal of Preventive Medicine found that the mice given marine collagen had an increase in the number of fibroblasts – the cells that create new skin – and the fibroblasts were busier, suggesting faster skin cell turnover.
Collactive™ is found in our premium Zupafood ELITE and Zupafood SKIN which are power-packed superfoods which can be conveniently added to any drink for fast, nutritious hydration.