Organs and muscles expand and contract. Skin moves with our limbs. The connective tissues at the base of these structures permit easy movement. Philadelphia-area dermatologist Dr. Eric Bernstein, a contributor to The Patient's Guide, writes that the connective tissue in normal skin is comprised of two proteins--collagen and elastin. Dr. Bernstein writes that a healthy elastin network of fibers is much like a rubber band, with the ability to stretch and recoil.
Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant, destroying free-floating oxygen molecules in the bloodstream. These unattached molecules, also known as free radicals, can mutate cells and inflame tissue. When metabolized, vitamin A, creates the amino acid known as retinoic acid. Studies referenced by Smart Skin Care showed that vitamin A increases elastin production and synthesis by nearly 300 percent.
The body uses metals to transmit oxygen through the body and contribute to skin and hair pigmentation. The Vitamins and Nutrition Guide writes that copper is necessary for bone, organ and connective tissue growth. The Connective Tissue Disorder Site writes that copper regulates the enzyme lysyl oxidase, which helps collagen and elastin work together. Elastin breakdown may actually be a sign of a copper deficiency. The CTDS reports that desmosine levels in the urine can indicate the body's elastin strength. Low levels of the amino acid can indicate elastin weakness and a potential copper shortage.
Coenzyme Q10 is an antioxidant produced by the human body and found in cell mitochondria--the region of the cell responsible for producing energy. German researchers found that aging causes skin cells to lose their mitochondria quickly. Their article, published in a 2008 edition of the journal "Biofactors," showed that CoQ10 supplementation can positively impact cellular function and combat signs of aging.
Grapeseeds contain bioflavonoids, or nutrients found in fruits and vegetables that can provide positive health benefits. Grapeseeds deliver an antioxidant effect, as well as supplementing connective tissues throughout the body. Author Danial Gastelu, writing for Supplement Facts, reports that grapeseed extract can boost skin structure by protecting and encouraging elastin growth.
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Jared Paventi is the communications director for a disease-related nonprofit in the Northeast. He holds a master's degree from Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication and a bachelor's degree from St. Bonaventure University. He also writes a food appreciation blog: Al Dente.