Does Your Skin Bruise Easily? You May Need Amino Acid Supplements

Do you have unexplained bruises on your body? Do you find that light pressure on your skin ends up causing bruises? Many people bruise easy and this can be a source of frustration. However, the mystery of these unexplained bruises can be explained, and it all relates to collagen and amino acids.

What is collagen?

collagenOne of the most important and prolific structural proteins in the body is collagen. Not only is this insoluble, fibrous protein vital for the development and protection of bones and ligaments, it also takes care of our skin and other connective tissues. There are approximately 16 different forms of this structural protein, with types I, II and III the most common.

The skin relies on collagen to provide strength, elasticity and structure. The middle layer of the skin known as the dermis hosts a network of collagen fibrils. From here new skin cells develop with the help of collagen. As the body ages the production of this structural protein declines. This compromises the skin’s structural integrity and can increase susceptibility to bruising. However, this doesn’t mean that only older people bruise easily.

The link between collagen concentration and bruising

The skin has 3 layers; the epidermis, dermis and hypodermis. The epidermis is the thin outer layer. The dermis is made from connective tissues that help to cushion the body from stress.  The inner-most hypodermis layer is primarily made up of fat cells.

If the skin is met with a sufficient blunt force, blood vessels within the hypodermis and/or dermis rupture. This blood then leaks into the surrounding tissue resulting in bruising. It can take one or two days for a bruise to appear. The severity of bruising will depend on which layer of skin was damaged. The darker the appearance means the deeper the bruising.

The network of  fibrils in the dermis help to hold the skin structure together and protect the blood vessels. By comparison, the subcutaneous fat within the hypodermis offers little protection from blunt force. If the dermis layer only has a thin layer of fibrils then the risk of bruising is accentuated. The amount of collagen in the dermis will vary from person to person and decline as the body ages.

Enhancing collagen production with amino acids

Collagen is endogenously synthesised. This means that our body is able to manufacture this protein. By providing the body with the right nutrients to support collagen production, it is possible to help increase the availability of this structural protein. One of the resulting benefits is a lower susceptibility to bruising.

There are many different amino acids needed to manufacture collagen fibrils. These include:

  • Arginine
  • Glycine
  • Leucine
  • Glutamine
  • Histidine
  • Alanine
  • Isoleucine
  • Lysine
  • Prolone
  • Tyrosine
  • Valine

*Hydroxyproline and Hydroxylysine are also notable compounds important for collagen fibril production.

If the body is lacking sufficient availability of these amino acids it will struggle to produce structural proteins. A healthy balanced diet rich in protein should provide adequate supplies of these compounds. However, for people who don’t consume enough protein or suffer from health problems, these amino acids may be in shorter supply.

Quality nutrient supplements can help to bolster amino acid levels. This may improve collagen production and reduce bruising susceptibility. There are also plenty of other health benefits, including anti-aging advantages.