Skin and Collagen IV
Beautiful, glowing skin is only an IV away…
Skin and Collagen IV
About This IV
Do you suffer from dry, flaky skin? Acne? Rosasea? Dermatitis, psoriasis, or some other skin condition? Has your skin gotten saggy? Does it simply not have the glow it once did?
If so, you may not be giving the largest organ in your body (your skin!) the nutritional support it needs to function at its peak. The result? Any of the skin conditions above as well as a host of others.
This IV was formulated to provide the key ingredients in the formation of skin’s most important components: collagen and elastin. It includes amino acids like l-proline, l-lysine, and l-glycine; minerals such as manganese, magnesium and zinc; and even powerful antioxidants like vitamin C and glutathione. These nutrients are important in building new skin, protecting the skin you already have, and mitigating the oxidative and inflammatory damage that is keeping your skin from the healthy, beautiful glow you desire.
While this IV alone can be an effective treatment for your skin, optimal results are obtained when you combine it with dietary changes (such as 6 weeks on an organic Paleo Diet for example), oral supplementation, and stress modification. We can guide you on these interventions in our clinic.
As always, we recommend specific laboratory testing to best customize this IV to your unique metabolic needs.
Beautiful skin starts with an understanding of how healthy skin is made. So let’s take a look at some of the key biochemical reactions that govern the creation and maintenance of healthy skin.
Collagen and Elastin Synthesis
Elastin is a relatively small part of the dermis of the skin (the thick layer of tissue below the epidermis). As its name suggests, it is an elastic protein that is integral in the skin’s ability to stretch and return to its original shape and position. Elastin along with microfibrils such as fibrillin builds extensively cross-linked elastic fibers throughout your skin tissue. Both of these molecules—elastin and fribrillin—are made of simple amino acids such as glycine, valine, alanine, and proline. When you don’t get enough of these amino acids, your body has a more difficult time producing elastin. This has additional downstream effects on your health as elastin is very important in the maintenance of the aorta in your lungs, the ligaments between your joints and more.
Collagen comprises 70 to 80 percent of the skin’s dry weight and gives the dermis its structure. As we age, collagen production gradually declines, and our skin becomes thinner.
Proline and lysine are two amino acids essential in the formation of the collagen helix from the immature pro-collagen molecule. The critical step occurs when these amino acids become “hydroxylated” to hydroxy-proline and hydroxy-lysine. The enzymes that cause the conversion are called “hydroxylases”. Hydroxylase enzymes require vitamin C and iron as cofactors. (4) If your eyes are starting to glaze over after that description, don’t worry. The punchline is simply this:
If a person is Vitamin C deficient, this reaction will not occur and adequate collagen cannot be made.
In the absence of hydroxyl-proline, collagen chains cannot form a proper helical structure, and the resulting molecule is weak and quickly destroyed (3). Hydroxy-lysine is essential in collagen cross-link formation, and in its absence collagen is structurally unstable.
Are you starting to see why amino acids like l-proline and l-lysine as well as antioxidants like vitamin C are such a critical component of this IV?
Well, the fascinating connections between nutritional status and skin health don’t end there.
Sheldon Pinnell, MD at Yale studied the effect of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) on human skin fibroblasts, the cells that make collagen. He did this in two cultures. In one culture he stimulated the formation of skin with vitamin C and in the other he didn’t.
Guess what happened?
Vitamin C stimulated fibroblast collagen synthesis was markedly improved at Vitamin C A levels greater than 20, uM concentration. Here’s why this is important for our discussion here: These levels can easily be achieved with IV administration of vitamin C but not with oral intake.
Another fascinating point that came out of this study: vitamin C was shown to independently DOUBLE the DNA to collagen mRNA transcription, meaning that vitamin C actually “talks to” your DNA telling it to make more collagen. (1)
Another important ingredient in the formation of a mature and fully functioning collagen molecule is the mineral Manganese (Mn). We added Manganese to this IV, because it has been shown to make the collagen fibers thicker as they are typically found in young individuals.
Collagen and Elastin: Damage and Degradation
As important as it is to keep healthy synthesis or collagen and elastin it is also important to prevent their damage and degradation.
Skin the largest organ in our bodies, and it provides a visual clue to your overall health. If metabolic aberrations are at play that have the power to damage your internal organs, your skin will manifest them. Blotchy, dry, red, wrinkled skin is outward sign of an internal process affecting the whole body. Here are some main culprits:
1. Oxidative damage: You may have heard of “oxidative stress” or “free-radicals”—substances that form during normal metabolism or infections which can be dangerous if left unattended. Free radicals cause damage to all cell structures including DNA, protein and cell membranes. They are thought to be a contributing factor in illness, aging and cancer.
Oxidative damage increases with smoking, heavy alcohol use, heavy metal and toxin accumulation, sun damage and also chronic illnesses such a diabetes, metabolic syndrome or autoimmune illness. Oxidatively damaged skin will likely be more wrinkled, less elastic and thin. Antioxidants like vitamin A, E, alpha lipoic acid, vitamin C and glutathione help alleviate this damage.
2. Inflammation: Is part of your normal immune reaction. It occurs during stress, infections and trauma. When it is in balance, your immune system releases very toxic substances such as interleukins and cytokines to kill invaders. Once the invaders are tended to, these powerful molecules are swept away quickly leaving your own cells undamaged.
However, when your immune system swings out of balance, inflammation go into overdrive. Now your body is constantly in high alert and defense systems are constantly running at full capacity. In some cases your immune system even turns on its host and attacks your cells. This is called chronic inflammation, and it is thought to be a major player in chronic illness like diabetes, atherosclerosis, obesity and even cancer.
Often this process begins in the gut which is where a tremendous portion of your immune system lives. However, problems can arise when the billions of bacteria that call your gut home cause the immune system to become overactive. This can lead to permeability in the lining of your intestines often referred to as “leaky gut” or “high intestinal permeability”. When you suffer from this condition a downward spiral of chronic inflammation can be set off, because foreign substances can “leak” through the lining in your gut and get absorbed into circulation.
“Leaky gut” and inflammation may manifest in your skin as blotchiness, rashes, eczema and redness as just a few examples.
The good news is that the condition seems to respond well to changes in diet, supplements like l-glutamine, probiotic use and lower stress levels.
3. Glycation: Have ever seen what happens to the surface of meat when it’s cooked at high heat? Well, what you’re looking at is glycation at work. In your body it occurs when glucose in tissue and blood starts to attach to structures like proteins, cell membranes even DNA. When this happens proteins such as elastin and collagen can be altered, damaged, and degraded. The result is thinning of skin, wrinkles, and more. When it swings to the extreme glycation can be a contributing factor to many chronic illnesses such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and more.
Consuming a diet low in simple carbohydrates and rich in vegetables and protein, such as the Paleo Diet, is an ideal way to avoid excess glycation and inflammation.
- The Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine 58 (1985), 553-559
- Robert F. Diegelmann, PhD, From the Medical College of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, Wounds. 2001;13(5)
- Bienkowski RS, Baum BJ, Crystal RG. Fibroblasts degrade newly synthesised collagen within the cell before secretion. Nature. 276:413-6.
- Mussini E, Hutton JJ, Udenfriend S. Collagen proline hydroxylase in wound healing, granuloma formation, scurvy, and growth. Science, 157:927-9.
- Improved Skin Quality
- Wound Healing
- Joint Strengthening
- Ligament Strengthening
- Tendon Strengthening
- Bone Strengthening
- Blood Vessel Integrity