Collagen is a group of fibrous proteins found in all multicellular animals that impart tensile strength to connective tissues. There are 28 different types of collagen in our body. The main types of collagen are type I, type II and type III. Type I collagen is found in skin, nails, hair, muscles, tendons and bones. In bones, collagen is reinforced with calcium ions to support the body's weight. Type 2 collagen is found in joint cartilage. Animal gelatin is also produced from collagen by partial hydrolysis.
Collagen is obtained from the connective tissues of animals mainly cattle and pigs and from fish. Collagen taken internally is in the form of hydrolyzed collagen. Hydrolyzed collagen is collagen protein that has been processed by hydrolysis (breaking down the collagen molecule by heating in water). The product obtained is parts of the collagen protein chain.
Collagen has been used in skin creams for decades, usually making them more expensive. However, to reduce rather than just cover wrinkles, new collagen must become a part of the skin's inner layer, the dermis. Unfortunately, collagen molecules are too large to penetrate into the dermis when applied to the surface of the skin. Thus, when simply applied in a cream, collagen remains locked outside without affecting the skin structure, at best just temporarily covering wrinkles and helping moisturize the skin.
As was mentioned, aging of the skin shifts the balance between collagen production and breakdown leading to wrinkles, facial sag and rough skin texture. Stimulating skin cells to produce collagen can partly reverse this process. Stimulating collagen synthesis in aged skin was shown to reduce wrinkles and improve skin texture. The benefit of stimulating your own collagen production is that collagen is deposited in an orderly, structured manner and that there is no risk of allergy, immune reaction or injection-induced infection. Furthermore, many ingredients useful in stimulating collagen synthesis are relatively inexpensive and safe.
Stimulation of collagen synthesis in aging skin is realistic and can substantially improve the appearance of fine lines and even deeper wrinkles when done correctly. However, it often requires a comprehensive approach and specific stimulants. Among those the most effective are key amino acids. Like any other protein, collagen consists of amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. Altogether there are 20 different kinds of amino acids in human cells. However, collagen is unusually rich in a few particular amino acids (glycine and proline). Supplying these key amino acids in abundance helps stimulate collagen synthesis. The best mixture of amino acids in order to stimulate and facilitate the production of collagen within our body is hydrolyzed collagen derived from animals. The collagen fragments contain identical amino acids with our body’s collagen and therefore the new collagen synthesis becomes easy.
Curcumin, the main ingredient of turmeric, increases fatty acid oxidation, lipase levels, and kinase activity. The oxidation of fatty acids and the action of the enzymes lipase and kinase result in the dissolution of the fat already present in the body, preventing the production of new fat and increasing the metabolism.
Turmeric (scientific name: Curcuma longa - Long turmeric) or yellow root, is a rhizomatous, herbaceous, perennial plant of the Zingiberaceae family.
Turmeric is a perennial herbaceous plant that reaches up to 1m in height. Multi-branched, yellow, orange, cylindrical, aromatic rhizomes are found. The leaves are alternately arranged in two rows. They are divided into leaf sheath, petiole (stem) and leaf blade. The stem is 50 to 115 cm long. Simple leaf blades are usually 76 to 115 cm long and rarely up to 230 cm. They are 38 to 45 cm wide and are elongated to elliptical, tapering towards the tip.
It is native to southern Asia, where it requires temperatures between 20 and 30 °C and a significant amount of annual rainfall to grow. The plants are harvested each year for their rhizomes and propagated in the following season from some of these rhizomes.
When not used fresh, the rhizomes are boiled for about 30-45 minutes, then dried in hot ovens and then ground into a bright orange-yellow powder.
Turmeric has been used in Asia for thousands of years and is an important part of Siddha medicine. Initially, it was used as a pigment and then later for its healing properties. The name comes from the Spanish "cúrcuma".
Curcumin, the main ingredient of turmeric helps to reduce weight in three ways: (a) by stimulating the production of new mitochondria which in turn increase the rate of oxidation of fatty acids, (b) by increasing the production of the enzyme lipase which is responsible for breaking down fats, and (c) by increasing the activity of the enzyme kinase which increases the "metabolic homeostasis" which is usually out of balance in overweight and obese individuals.
Curcumin also has a significant anti-inflammatory effect which is responsible for the elimination of bloating.
Ginkgo Biloba is an ancient deciduous tree that has experienced very little change over millions of years. Ginkgo biloba leaf extract consists of groups of active plant compounds, the most important of which are flavonoid glycosides and terpenoids. Their properties are the increasing of blood circulation and the increased oxygenation of the blood vessels. Ginkgo biloba is widely known to increase cerebral blood flow and support the brain function.
It is the only surviving species of the Gingoid family in the Gingid order. It holds a special place in the evolutionary tree as it is the only living link between ferns and conifers. Its name comes from the Chinese word Ginkyo which means silver apricot.
Although a gymnosperm, it is a particularly impressive, beautiful, deciduous tree. In autumn, its leaves change color from green to gold. It reaches a height of 50 meters and its trunk is cylindrical, having a diameter of up to 3 meters. Its bark is gray in color with deep furrows. Its leaves are large, broad, fan-shaped with a length of 9 cm and a width of up to 15 cm. They are divided into two characteristic lobes that have a central section in the middle. The fruits of the tree are silver in color and surrounded by a fleshy casing with a strong unpleasant smell like rancid butter due to the presence of butyric acid. The growth pattern is generally narrow in young trees and only really widens when they reach about 100 years of age. Unlike other gymnosperms it has separate sexes. This means that the female tree needs the presence of a male in order to be fertilized. Occasionally both sexes are found on the same tree.
The tree is considered a "living fossil", a term used to describe organisms that have experienced very little change over millions of years. In the case of the Ginkgo biloba species, there are 270,000,000 year old Paleolithic specimens from the Permian period.
According to a study by Chinese scientists, the genome of the Gigko tree is huge and includes about 10.6 billion "letters" of DNA. The human genome, by comparison, contains just three billion "letters" of DNA.
The first ginkgos appeared 270 million years ago, in the Permian period. During the middle Jurassic period there was a huge increase in species with peak biodiversity in the Cretaceous period (144 million years ago) in areas known today as Asia, Europe and North America. Due to cataclysmic disasters and gradual climate change, the ginkgo disappeared from North America 7 million years ago and from Europe 2.5 million years ago. Today it grows naturally mainly in areas of southwestern and eastern China, but it is also found in temples in Korea and Japan because of its symbolic importance in Confucianism.
Ginkgo biloba has multiple beneficial effects on the brain and its function:
(a) The active components of Ginkgo biloba are flavonoids and terpenoids. Diflavones, dilobalide, catechins, flavones, flavonols, glycosides, gigolites, ketones and steroids. Flavonoids and terpenoids improve blood circulation to the brain, resulting in more oxygen being supplied to the brain, which enhances mental function such as problem solving, cognitive function and good memory. In senile dementia, Ginkgo biloba is particularly useful when administered in the early stages of this disorder. According to many studies it can also be beneficial in the early stages of the Alzheimer's disease.
(b) Ginkgo biloba can stimulate brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein in the brain and peripheral nervous system, essential for the regulation, growth and survival of brain cells, which is very important for the long-term memory. Its ability to increase BDNF means it can improve brain and cognitive function.
(c) Ginkgo biloba enhances neural stem cell differentiation and performance in the brain. Specifically, it positively modifies neural stem cells, a subset of cells in the brain that can give rise to the many different types of cells that make up the brain.
Industrial cannabis, the cultivation of which is legal, contains the compound cannabidiol (CBD) known since ancient times for its relaxing and calming effect without other side effects. Medicinal cannabis, the free cultivation of which is illegal, contains the psychoactive substance Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, known as THC.
Cannabis is a plant genus in which three distinct plant species are usually classified: Cannabis sativa, Indian cannabis (Cannabis indica) and Cannabis ruderalis.
In Greece it exists as a native and cultivated plant and has been known since ancient times. It is considered a fiber plant since from it, especially Sativa, fibers are obtained that are used for weaving and making ropes, canvas and other materials. Hemp is a tall plant, dioecious (ie male and female flowers on separate plants) and pollinated by the wind. In its fibrous varieties, the male plants have a higher fiber content and are of better quality. In recent years, of course, some self-cultivated varieties of uniform seed ripening have been selected which are considered more suitable for fiber production. It is found as a crop in the EU on a large scale in France followed by the Netherlands as well as Italy, the Czech Republic, Poland, Germany, Spain, etc.
Man's relationship with Cannabis is lost in the depths of millennia. From its original area, which was probably in Central Asia and northern India, cannabis spread over the centuries throughout the Eurasian space, almost in every inhabited place. The 18th century Swedish botanist Linnaeus believed that hemp was a type of plant that originally flourished in northern India. In the 1930s, however, the Russian botanist Nicolai Vavilov demonstrated in his studies that this plant came from the region of Samarkand, north of Afghanistan and the Indian Caucasus.
Traces of hemp in the form of clothing, resin and seeds have been discovered in many archaeological sites in Central Asia and northern India, thus indicating that its use, in one form or another, was endemic to these regions since ancient times. Despite all this, the oldest archaeological finds with hemp come from regions of China and date several thousand years before Christ.
Traces of rope made from cannabis plants have been found in fragments of pottery, while pieces of clothing and paper made from cannabis have also seen the light in archaeological excavations. Herodotus, in 450 BC, compared clothes made of cannabis with those of linen, remarking that only an expert could decide whether they were made of cannabis or linen.
The Greek name Cannabis, by which this plant is now known throughout the world, probably comes from the Assyrian words "Qunuby" and "Qunabu", which mean a kind of intoxicating smoke, as the psychotropic and euphoric properties of cannabis were known since ancient times.
CBD achieves relaxation and anxiety reduction in two ways: (a) by increasing anandamine levels and (b) by activating serotonin receptors.
Anandamine is a neurotransmitter that contributes to many processes such as mood, sleep and appetite. Research shows that low levels of anandamine lead to mood disorders and anxiety. High levels offer better mood and reduced stress. CBD increases anandamine levels by blocking the enzymes that break it down.
CBD binds to serotonin receptors which are activated and affect the body's response to stress, creating greater mental balance and calmness.
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