What is Collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein found in the body. It comprises one-third of all the protein in the entire body. Collagen is the main connective tissue in tendons, ligaments, and skin. The protein has been described as the glue that holds everything together in the body. It is vital for skin elasticity. When you press your skin and it immediately shifts back into place the movement is possible because of Collagen.
Where else is collagen found?
Collagen is found in muscles, blood vessels, digestive tract, the heart, gallbladder, kidneys, bladder, hair and nails. Essentially, collagen is present in every vital system of the body.
Collagen Distribution in the cells of our body’s tissues:
Skin – 70%
Tendons – 85%
Joint Cartilage – 70%
Bones – 90%
What are the Types of Collagen?
There are 4 main types of collagen.
Type 1 – Consists of 90% of the body’s collagen; composed of dense fibers; found in the skin, bones, tendons, fibrous cartilage, connective tissue and teeth.
Type 2 – Loose fibers found in the elastic cartilage of the joints.
Type 3 – Found in the muscles, organs and arteries
Type 4 – Aids with filtration and located in the skin
Causes of Collagen Loss
Aging – the most obvious and common reason. As we age the loss of collagen becomes unavoidable.
Sugar – Sugar harms the body in many ways including Collagen production. The consumption of sugar produces proteins known as Advanced Glycation End products (AGEs) is a factor in aging and the development of many degenerative diseases. These AGE molecules attach to collagen molecules and stiffen them.
Excessive sunshine – UV radiation damages the skin’s epidermal cells which then creates inflammation. In general, inflammation occurs during the aging process and it serves as a precursor to many diseases such as diabetes.
Tobacco – Smoking causes the skin around the lips to lose collagen. The blood vessels may constrict, thus causing a reduction in blood flow. The collagen becomes rigid and steadily dies. Eventually, the loss of collagen causes wrinkles, dryness and discolored skin.
A body lacking in antioxidants can cause collagen damage.
So in many ways, the rapidity of losing collagen is largely influenced by lifestyle choices. If the body is low in collagen it will be revealed on the face, skin, nails, teeth and bones.
What are the Benefits of Collagen Powder?
Many healthy practitioners contend that inflammation is at the root of every illness. Personally. I’ve employed foods/supplements such as Collagen and Tumeric to prevent inflammation.
There are amino acids in collagen that have a three-fold benefit:
– Anti-inflammatory – Collagen possesses a nutrient (Gelatin) that protects and heals the gut. The negative effects caused by bad bacteria, such as leaky gut syndrome, can be alleviated with the consumption of a collage protein supplement.
– Immunomodulatory – enhances the immune response to disease by protecting against shock caused by hemorrhage, endotoxins from bacteria, and sepsis (a body’s reaction to an infection that can cause a life-threatening situation. For example, a lung infection triggering pneumonia.)
– Cyto-protective – combats or prevents ulcers by protecting gut mucosa. Collagen also helps blood flow to your heart, liver, kidney, intestine, and skeletal muscle.
I found it interesting that Collagen has such a profound for the health of the gut. Again, I’ve heard many people claim that the cause of a disease can be rooted in the gut.
Staying Young with Collagen
Does Collagen help the skin?
A study in 2014 concluded that oral intake of collagen reduced wrinkles and provided overall benefits to skin appearance.
Another study from 2012 posted similar results. This study demonstrated the potential of using collagen supplements to alleviate the effects of photaging, which involves the negative effects of ultraviolet rays.
After doing some research I’ve found the following purported benefits of Collagen powder:
Collagen helps to increase skin hydration and elasticity
– Collagen may help to reduce skin damage caused by the sun, which is linked to aging effects, including wrinkles and reduced skin hydration
– Collagen supplementation may help to reduce wrinkle depth and volume
– Collagen supplementation may help to hide cellulite and stretch marks by strengthening the dermis layer of our skin
– Oral collagen peptides are absorbed into the bloodstream, making them more effective than topical collagen skin creams that do not get absorbed by the skin
A popular supplement on the market is Bone Broth. Collagen is abundant in Bone Broth. In fact, the supplement is typically marketed as “Bone Broth Collagen” or some similar jargon.
The Collagen in the Bone Broth has been found to alleviate the painful effects of hip pain and arthritis. Collagen supports the establishment of healthy cartilage because the blood concentration of hydroxyproline (a major player in collagen stability) is increased.
Moreover, Collagen can help wounds and fractures heal faster. Also, Collagen can lessen the seriousness of the initial injury because of the elasticity created by the protein. For example, a cut may not be as long or deep because of the increased elasticity.
Collagen can improve muscle strength; allowing improved tone and mass.
Here are 7 ways to get more collagen into your diet
1) Vitamin C – Vitamin C is a required element in the body’s production of collagen. Foods rich in Vitamin C include broccoli, cantaloupe, cauliflower, kale, kiwi, oranges, papaya, red, green or yellow pepper, sweet potato, and strawberries.
2) Vegetables – Dark, leafy greens such as spinach and kale have antioxidants that protect against free radicals that destroy collagen. Red vegetables such as beets and red peppers contain lycopene, which serves as a boost to collagen. Orange vegetables such as carrots and sweet potatoes have Vitamin A, which helps restore damaged collagen.
3) Sulfur is a contributor towards the production of collagen. Broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, onions, shallots, leeks, and cabbage are all rich in sulfur.
4) Copper activates an enzyme that serves a role in collagen production. Copper can be found in foods such as leafy greens, spirulina, nuts and seeds, and shitake mushrooms.
5) White Tea – Research has shown that white tea counters the activity of enzymes that destroy collagen.
6) Blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries are abundant in antioxidants that battle the free radicals that damage collagen.
7) Garlic contains lipoic acid and taurine. Both these elements contribute towards the rebuilding of collagen.
One Guy’s Opinion
For many years, I had heard about Collagen supplementation and the botox procedures. Other health topics interested me so I didn’t pay much attention. In retrospect, my diet does contain many of the foods important in the production of collagen.
Then, earlier this year I had heard Collagen benefited joint health. I’ve had chronic shoulder aches after years of bench pressing. So, I figured I’d give Collagen a shot. If it helped with anti-aging and shoulder problems then I figured Collagen could be more beneficial than I presupposed.
I’ve been using a Collagen powder in my morning concoction blended with a Vitamix. My shoulder has felt better. I try to do daily pushups. Lately, I’ve been able to do more without my shoulder forcing me to stop. And, people have commented that there’s been a healthier glow in my countenance.
Either way, I’ve read many product reviews related to Collagen and many people seem satisfied with the results. So I would recommend researching and then using a collagen protein supplement.