Collagen is a structural protein of paramount importance for the human body. It’s found in muscles, bones, skin, blood vessels, digestive system, and tendons. As far as the skin is concerned, it keeps it firm, elastic and supple.
Many of us are vaguely aware that when signs of aging appear on the face, a collagen-containing cream could probably help. This information is ingrained in us by the hordes of anti-aging advertisements in the media today. Here are 6 major facts about collagen you need to know.
1. It Is A Must For Great Hair, Nails, And Skin
Like most bodily processes, collagen production also declines with age. This means your skin starts to sag with the loss of elasticity and increase in wrinkles. Studies have proved that oral intake of collagen hydrosylate over a long period of time made the skin look firmer and smoother. It can also prevent the appearance of cellulite and stretch marks on the skin. Collagen in the diet boosts hair follicle regeneration which can be helpful in preventing hair loss. It’s also needed for preventing flaky nails.1
2. It Makes Your Joints More Flexible
If you think your stiff joints are making it painful to carry out your daily routine painful, you are more likely deprived of collagen. Collagen is present in the joint fluid and bone matrix of all joints in the body. Several studies have proved that collagen can be very beneficial in relieving preventing arthritis and degenerative diseases of the bones which are usually associated with aging. It maintains flexibility of joints and the fluidity of their motion.2
3. It Relieves Digestive Disorders
For individuals who suffer from leaky gut syndrome, collagen can heal the gut lining and prevent harmful toxins from leaving your digestive tract. Even in IBD, collagen intake can relieve symptoms of acid reflux, diarrhea, and bloat thereby making bowel movements regular.3
4. It Helps In Muscle Gain
It promotes the production of creatine in the body which is necessary for muscle building. which is essential for new muscle growth. Collagen is broken down into essential amino acids like arginine and glycine which assist in connective tissue and protein synthesis. This is the reason why collagen containing foods are recommended for people following exercise regimes.
5. It Protects Your Cardiovascular And Liver Health
Glycine formed as a byproduct of collagen’s breakdown supports the liver’s detoxification function in the body. This is especially needed on the days when you indulged in binge-eating or excessive drinking. It even protects the liver from alcohol-induced liver damage.
The amino acid proline, also a byproduct of collagen, removes fat buildup from blood vessels, thereby lowering the risk of arteriosclerosis and heart diseases.4
6. Its Intake Can Be Increased Via Diet
For non-vegans, there are many sources of collagen available in the animal kingdom in the form of poultry, meat, fish, and dairy. If you are a vegetarian or a vegan, it’s best that you increase the intake of vitamin C-rich foods. Ascorbic acid is essential for collagen synthesis.5
Now that you are aware of all the benefits of collagen and how to include it in your diet, you should also be wary of what can damage it too. Although collagen production declines as we age, regular exercise and diet rich in antioxidants can maintain collagen production. Going out in the sun without sunblock, smoking, drinking, excess sugar intake and stress are factors that can destroy collagen in your body. Make healthy choices and let collagen take care of your body.
|↑1||Proksch, E., D. Segger, J. Degwert, M. Schunck, V. Zague, and S. Oesser. “Oral supplementation of specific collagen peptides has beneficial effects on human skin physiology: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study.” Skin pharmacology and physiology 27, no. 1 (2014): 47-55.|
|↑2||Bello, Alfonso E., and Steffen Oesser. “Collagen hydrolysate for the treatment of osteoarthritis and other joint disorders: a review of the literature.” Current medical research and opinion 22, no. 11 (2006): 2221-2232.|
|↑3||Koutroubakis, I. E., E. Petinaki, P. Dimoulios, E. Vardas, M. Roussomoustakaki, A. N. Maniatis, and E. A. Kouroumalis. “Serum laminin and collagen IV in inflammatory bowel disease.” Journal of clinical pathology 56, no. 11 (2003): 817-820.|
|↑4||Whittaker, Peter, Derek R. Boughner, and Robert A. Kloner. “Role of collagen in acute myocardial infarct expansion.” Circulation 84, no. 5 (1991): 2123-2134.|
|↑5||Hashim, P., Mohd Ridzwan, J. Bakar, and D. Mat Hashim. “Collagen in food and beverage industries.” International Food Research Journal 22, no. 1 (2015).|