The most vital and abundant protein in your body, collagen is providing structure and strength to your bones, muscles, tendons, blood vessels and skin, holding the entire structure together just like glue does. As a matter of fact, the word collagen comes from “kólla” which in Greek means glue.
This structural protein is making up around 30% of the total protein composition of your organism and it has important roles aside providing structure to much of your body parts. Unfortunately, your collagen production begins to declineas you grow older and this is the main reason, collagen gained so much popularity lately, as a nutritional supplement.
But better let’s see exactly what are its uses, what can damage the collagen production in your body and how you can restore its healthy levels.
What Does Collagen Do for Your Body?
Your body contains at least 16 types of collagen, but four of them have a really important role in maintaining your overall well-being.
Let’s take a closer look at these main types of collagen!
Type I Collagen
Up to 90% of your body’s collagen is type 1 collagen fibers. It can be found in your skin, tendons, fibrous cartilage, bones, connective tissue and even in your teeth. Studies suggest that among the various types of collagen, type I can aid wound healing & blood clotting, can minimize cellulite, reduce wrinkles and improve the health of your skin.
Type II Collagen
Mostly found in elastic cartilage, type II collagen promotes joint health and it’s helpful for those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. Being the main component of your cartilage, this fibrillar collagen provides your tissue integrity and resiliency to stress.
Type III Collagen
Supporting the structure of muscles, organs and blood vessels, type III collagen is the second most abundant collagen after type I. It is mostly prevalent in the intestines but it also facilitates the process of coagulation. Type III collagen deficiency can lead to blood vessel ruptures, muscles issues or intestinal problems.
Type IV Collagen
This type of collagen exists in the layers of the skin that surrounds your organs, muscles or fat cells. Basically, it forms the deep layer that works as a membrane between the outer layers of your skin and the inner layers of your body. As the body produces less collagen, the skin begins to be less firm and the cartilages weaken.
Nutrients That Increase Collagen Production
Your body produces procollagen (a biosynthetic precursors of collagen) by combining glycine and proline. For this process to happen, Vitamin C is needed. Even if your collagen production diminishes as you grow older, causing thinner hair, brittle nails, sagging skin and weaken, stiffen bones and joints, the process is not irreversible.
Luckily, you can boost the production of collagen by making sure you add large amounts of nutrients in your diet, such as:
Vitamin C: mostly found in fruits and veggies such as berries, citrus fruits, parsley, apples, bell peppers;
Proline: easily found in egg whites, dairy products or cabbage, asparagus and mushrooms;
Glycine: found in protein-containing foods or skin and gelatin from pork and chicken;
Copper: found in seeds, legumes and nuts (sesame seeds, lentils, cashews), organ meat or cocoa powder.
By boosting your diet with lots of leafy greens, veggies, legumes, fruits, nuts and seeds or foods that contain these compounds, you can provide your organism the nutrients it needs to support collagen synthesis.
On the other hand, a diet high in sugar and carbs, excessive sun exposure, alcohol and cigarettes can damage the collagen in your body, interfering with its ability to repair itself or reducing its production.
How to Supplement
Another good way of incorporating these foods into your diet is to consider trying collagen boosting supplements. But it’s very important to look for high-quality formulas, especially if you want to make them a part of your daily routine.
Make a research before you buy because the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) does not evaluate dietary supplements. Look for capsules or powders that are made from natural sources of vitamins and minerals, make sure they don’t come from allergenic sources such as fish, eggs or shellfish- if you have these kind of issues -and check that they were tested by nutritionists or other medical profession.
Depending on your needs, select a brand that provides the type of collagen that works best for you. As we said before, collagen type II works best for joints health and collagen type I is perfect if you’re looking to enhance your youthful look, by taking better care of your skin texture, nails and hair.
We usually recommend collagen boosters that have a synergistic effect on your health and can maximise your results.
Benefits of Collagen Supplements
Support Healthy Brain Function
By increasing your supplement intake, you can support the health of your brain, protecting it from degenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. Studies have shown that collagen type IV can fight against amyloid-beta proteins that are known to attack neurons and cause this disease.
Promote Heart Health
Since collagen is providing structure to your arteries, taking collagen supplements can improve your heart health, reducing the risk of atherosclerosis, stroke, heart attack or any other disease that is associated with fragile and weak blood vessels. Collagen not only reduces the artery stiffness but it can also increase the levels of good cholesterol, preventing this way plaque building in their arteries.
Support Healthy Gut Function
Collagen supplements are one of the best ways to alleviate the symptoms of a leaky gut or other gastrointestinal disorders. They can treat intestinal permeability, helping the nutrients to be absorbed and the toxins that leak into the bloodstream to be processed.
Ease Joint and Knee Pain
Taking collagen supplements can help you maintain the integrity of your cartilage, decrease the risk of developing joint disorders, lower inflammation and reduce stiffness and physical limitation. Studies have shown that collagen can improve symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, by providing natural relief while standing, resting or lifting heavy objects.
Boost Muscle Mass
Since this protein is necessary to keep your muscles strong, taking collagen supplements can stimulate muscle growth after exercise, by promoting the synthesis of creatine, an essential compound for muscular mass.
Support Healthy Skin
Being a major component of your skin, collagen has an important role in its structure and texture. Supplements that can boost the collagen synthesis have the ability to slow down the process of ageing, by increasing the hydration levels of your skin and decreasing the formation of wrinkles. By stimulating your body’s ability to produce collagen you can experience less skin dryness, an increased elasticity and firmness and prevent acne or other skin conditions.
Help Brittle Nails and Hair
Collagen consumption can help you strengthen your hair and nails, preventing hair loss and nail brittleness. Also, it can stimulate your hair and nails to grow longer, providing them structure and improving their quality.
In conclusion, collagen serves a lot of health purposes within your body. Unfortunately, collagen fibers break down as we get older and no longer regenerate, leading to all kinds of unpleasant effects from sagging skin to joint pains, digestive problems and other health conditions that occur when collagen cannot meet the body’s demand.
Though you can obtain extra collagen by eating animal gelatinous meats or cartilages, a high-quality collagen booster supplement can represent a better solution since it stimulates the natural production of collagen of your body. Easy to use, available in powder, capsule or chewable form, collagen supplements are not only beneficial for adults of all ages but they also support all of your bodily requirements. If they’re also natural, plant-based and safe, they definitely worth trying! Have you ever tried Youth Fountain, from ALLKME?