Collagen is one of the most plentiful proteins in the body. Not only does it provide structure for our skin, but it also provides structure to most of the body including tendons, ligaments, and muscles. Collagen also helps our blood clot and helps strengthen bones. Of all the protein in our bodies, collagen makes up one third of that.
There are 16 different types of collagen though the first four types are the main ones. Type 1 collagen makes up 90% of the body’s collagen that are densely packed fibers. This type of collagen provides structure to skin, bones, tendons, fibrous cartilage, connective tissues, and teeth. Type two collagen is elastic cartilage which cushions the joints. Type three, structures the muscles, organs, and arteries. Type four is a filtration collagen that is found in the layers of the skin.
Natural sources of collagen:
As your body starts to age you produce less collagen. Your body needs things naturally to help make collagen. One thing your body needs is proline. Proline can be found in egg whites, dairy, cabbage, mushrooms, and asparagus. Glycine is also essential for collagen production. Glycine can be found in pork skin, chicken skin, gelatin, and bone broth. Vitamin C from citrus fruits and bell peppers. Zinc which you can get from beef, lamb, shellfish, chickpeas, lentils, beans, milk, cheese, and some nuts and seeds. Copper that is found in organ meats, cocoa powder, cashews, sesame seeds, and lentils. Amino acids are also vital to collagen production which is found in meat poultry, seafood, dairy, legumes and tofu.
Ways to damage your collagen:
You could be doing something that could be damaging your collagen production. Eating too much sugar and refined carbs can damage your collagen. Excessive sun exposure can also be damaging. Having an autoimmune disorder such as lupus. As well as smoking.
Oral or Topical?
Collagen supplements are becoming very easy to find as well. Since your body starts producing less and less as you age lots of people are looking for collagen supplements to reap from the benefits of collagen. Supplements can be found in tablets, powders, or even skin creams. Be careful when looking into skin creams that contain collagen. Collagen molecules are too large to be absorbed through the skin so they may not have the same benefits of a pill or powder.
There are lots of benefits of collagen. One benefit is to improve skin health. Collagen can help with skin elasticity, strengthening, hydration, reduce wrinkles and reduce dryness. It also has shown to help relieve joint pain. It can help maintain cartilage strength, improve symptoms of osteoarthritis, reduce inflammation, stimulate tissues to make more collagen. It may even help increase muscle mass. With a collagen supplement on top of strength training has shown that muscle mass can be increased. In regards to arthritis it has shown to play a protective role in disease development and the progression of the disease.
Other benefits of collagen prevent bone loss, stimulate hair and nail growth, gut health, and brain health. Collagen can boost metabolism, leading to weight loss. Collagen can promote heart health by reducing the risk of heart related conditions.
Any collagen supplement side-effects to be aware of?
At this time there doesn’t seem to be any side effects from taking a collagen supplement. Some supplements though are made from foods that are common food allergens, such as fish, shellfish, and eggs. Collagen supplements can also leave you feeling full after taking. Besides this there are no other negative side effects reported. Make sure you look for good quality supplements when choosing.
Collagen decreases naturally with aging. As our bodies stop producing it, it can cause our skin to wrinkle, joints to ache, our bodies to have osteoarthritis, or arthritis. Taking a supplement may help your body boost its collagen production. Damaging collagen with eating too much sugar, smoking, or having too much excessive sun exposure can be stopped to help your body produce collagen properly. There are lots of benefits to taking a collagen supplement, to boost production. Find a good quality of collagen supplement that works for you.
Collagen makes up one third of all the proteins found in the body.
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