Collagen is a protein present in your body most abundantly. It performs a wide range of functions.
It does the work of providing structure and strength to your skin, tendons, hair, bones, ligaments, blood vessels, connective tissues, and cartilage. It possesses amino acids like proline and lysine.
Amino acids perform several vital functions and are therefore essential. Collagen helps keep your kidneys and joints healthy.
It helps maintain the efficiency of the cardiovascular system as well. To say the least, collagen is very important and its level in the body should be maintained.
The importance of collagen
Helps prevent premature ageing: Collagen production starts declining slowly but steadily during your forties. This reduction in production leads to problems like joint pain and the appearance of wrinkles. Supplements, when added to your diet, help keep your body healthy and your skin youthful.
Helps eliminate wrinkles: The benefits of collagen for skin care are widely known and most researched. Various studies have found that collagen helps maintain the elasticity of your skin. Collagen ensures that the essential amount of moisture is possessed by your skin. Doing so helps keep your face wrinkle-free and maintains a youthful glow.
Reduces joint pain: Collagen is present in the cartilage. The role of the cartilage is to protect your bones from friction. Lack of collagen can lead to the deterioration of the cartilage which then leads to joint pain. To prevent this, one can use supplementation.
Promotion of gut health: According to some studies, collagen can help rescue your gut from digestive conditions like irritable bowel disease. Collagen is present in the lining of the stomach and the intestines. It rejuvenates the cells in these locations of your body and therefore helps maintain health.
Can maintain bone health: The reduction of bone mineral density occurs among menopausal women. Collagen can help restore bone density by stimulating bone formation.
- Collagen supplements are easy to digest: Various proteins when consumed, are difficult for your body to break down. Most collagen supplements however are hydrolyzed. The size of the collagen is broken down and made easy to digest. It is broken down in such a way that it even readily dissolves in water. Both consumption and digestion, therefore, become easy.
How does collagen work?
Skin: 70% of the dermis comprises collagen. The network of resilient fibres such as elastin and collagen are present in the dermis. Between this hyaluronic acid is present. All this helps maintain the firmness of your skin. Some studies suggest that 5gm of collagen per day for a few weeks will help increases the moisture in your skin and helps maintain its resilience.
Hair and nails: Loss of collagen can lead to thinning of hair. Consuming collagen can eliminate this problem. Collagen-possessing sources like gelatin help treat brittle nails. Each hair collagen receives its nutrients through the routes that pass through the dermis, wherein an abundant amount of collagen is typically present. This is why collagen ratio and healthy hair are linked.
Bones: The cortical and spongy bones are the areas wherein collagen is found. These areas make up 20% of the bone. Collagen helps uphold the structure of the bones and increases the resilience of the tissues. By maintaining the flexibility of the bones, it maintains its health.
- Joints: As stated earlier, the joint of a bone is covered by cartilage which provides cushioning. As collagen which is present in the cartilage deteriorates, the cartilage itself starts to disintegrate. This causes joint pain. Collagen peptides help slow down the ageing process of the cartilage and consequently help minimize joint pain.
What are the different types of collagen that are good for you?
28 types of collagen are known. Your body possesses most of these types in various proportions.
The difference between these types is due to the difference in the way the molecules are grouped, their cells, and where collagen is utilized. Five types of collagen are the most important. Following is a list of them:
Type I: About 90% of collagen present in your body is type I. It helps provide structure to your bones, tendons, skin, and ligaments. After the age of 25, this type of collagen slowly declines, leading to rapid ageing of the skin. Nails and hair are also affected. Collagen peptides can help restore their levels.
Type II: It plays an important role. This type is present in the cartilage. Its job is to maintain the health of the joints.
Type III: It is present in the bone marrow. It coexists with type I collagen in your body. Marine collagen sources are the best providers of type III collagen.
Type IV: The major component of the basement membrane is type IV collagen. Maintaining various bodily structures is its role. This type is therefore present in the layers of your skin.
- Type V: This type is found in the cornea of your eyes. It helps light to pass through the cornea. The formation of tissues and organs occurs when type I, III and V collaborate. It protects the liver, muscles, lungs, and bones. It may help preserve the health of cell membranes and the tissue in the placenta.
How to increase collagen production?
Natural increment: Animals such as cows, poultry, and fish are sources of various types of collagen. There aren’t many vegetarian sources that directly provide collagen, they however help increase its production. Consuming foods that are rich in certain amino acids, copper, and zinc can help with the same.
- Supplementation: Hydrolyzed collagen which is broken down into smaller peptides for better absorption is the best form of collagen to consume. It is typically sourced through bovine and marine sources.
How much collagen should be consumed daily?
Various studies suggest that 10 gm of collagen peptides per day may improve bone and joint health. consuming foods that are high in collagen is a healthy choice.
Often, however, the amount of collagen food sources provide is insufficient. Using supplements is a good option.
However, one should ensure that the proportion of collagen is appropriate and that the supplement is suitable for you. Take guidance from your healthcare professional.
For the best results, consume supplements daily. Collagen has not been associated with any major side effects. consuming it is therefore quite safe.
Overconsumption however can negatively affect the kidneys. Overall collagen plays a very important role and is essential.