Improving skin elasticity
Astaxanthin and collagen to the rescue of aged skin
It is widely known that hydrolysed collagen increases skin firmness, as it provides peptides which are ready for use by skin cells in the production of collagen. Moreover, it is also well-known that most "antioxidants" (polyphenols and carotenoids) help to prevent collagen and elastin damage and enhance it's production. So, it is no shock that a new food supplement that contains hydrolysed collagen and astaxanthin (a carotenoid contained in prawns and salmon and the pigment that gives flamingos their pink colour) can assist with skin firmness and anti-ageing.
Specifically, scientists in Korea have found that the combination of the two nutrients enhance skin hydration and skin elasticity on sun-damaged skin, after 12 weeks of use. At tissue level, the researchers have demonstrated that the precursor or collagen "pro-collagen type 1" increase and enzymes that break down collagen (the metalloproteinases MMP-1 and MMP-12) lower with supplementation. Unfortunately, the supplement did not make any difference with regard to UV-induced DNA damage.
As a take home message, derived from this and other studies, the supplementation of collagen, hyaluronic acid and antioxidants from vegetables, herbs and fruits (anything from tomatoes to blueberries) is perfect to prevent ageing and keep skin firmness and elasticity. Creams rich in the same nutrients can also provide the same protection externally, in addition to internal protection from food and supplementation.