Pork hock, also known as “pig trotters” by local is the joint between the tibia/fibula and the metatarsal of the foot. It is usually cooked with sweet vinegar and many Chinese enjoy this traditional dish. Asides from it being packed with flavour, the pork hock is popular because it contains little meat with plenty of collagen.
What is all the hype about?
Why the hype about its collagen content you may ask? Many believe that the intake of collagen rich foods such as pork hock, sharks fin, and fish skin can help prevent ageing to enable them to remain youthful.
Collagen is a protein that is hard, insoluble and fibrous which makes up one third of protein in the human body. This protein is commonly found in skin, bones and connective tissues. It gives strength and structure to the skin and plays a vital role in the replacement of dead skin cells. A person’s collagen production declines with age and is reduced by the exposure of ultraviolet light and other environmental factors (extrinsic aging). According to dermatologists, the lost of collagen in skin causes wrinkles and sagging.
Due its supposed benefits, collagen is widely used in cosmetic products such as revitalizing lotions, which claims to increase collagen levels. The consumption and use of collagen to treat ageing has sparked much debate about its effectiveness.
The practice of ingesting collagen to fight ageing has been going on for years in Japan and has recently been adopted by the western world. Some restaurants in the United States even incorporated collagen rich “wrinkle free meals” in their menus. Unfortunately, the British Skin Foundation claims that the consumption of collagen does not benefit the skin at all. This is because the collagen will be broken down into amino acids during digestion just like any other protein. These amino acids will then be used to produce different kinds of protein, which are needed for muscle and cartilage growth, healthy hair and nails, and haemoglobin production. It is believed that any perceived improvement from the person consuming the collagen might be because of a placebo feel-good effect.
In addition, the protective nature of skin might mean that collagen creams are not effective either. Although the skin is porous to enable perspiration to occur, it also prevents microorganisms from invading the body. Thus, for a substance to enter the skin, it must have a molecular weight of less than 3 000. However, most collagen molecules used in cosmetic creams and lotions have a molecular weight of about 300 000.
What could be the possible health benefits?
You guessed it! Anti ageing!
Where can you eat some delicious pork hock?
Why not try some yummy pork knuckles instead of spending on beauty treatments? Now you can eat some great food here in Kuala Lumpur itself. You needn’t look any further. Try the food at The Black Forest, Kuala Lumpur.
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