When you think of any anti-aging product or advert, what is the first thing that pops into your mind? Could it be collagen? While this seemingly magic elixir of youth is promoted in films and on television, what do you actually know about it? You may even already be taking a supplement or using a facial cream jam-packed with this substance ( click here for more on collagen supplements at Authority Reports) – so let’s take a look at what it is, what it does and why collagen is important.
What Is Collagen?
Collagen is a protein that is found abundantly in the body. Think about this protein as the glue that helps to maintain the structure of your skin, hair, nails, and bones. With the sufficient amount of collagen, you are able to move better, your hair will be healthier and your skin stays looking supple and youthful. This protein consists of amino-acids: glycine, proline, hydroxyproline, and arginine – all promoting the health of your body’s connective tissue.
Unfortunately, as we age the less collagen we produce and the more stress you put on your body – the greater the impact on collagen production.
What Does It Do?
As collagen is found in most parts of the body, it plays many important roles. The functions of this abundant protein include:
- Skin – Collagen provides structure to the skin, keeping it more flexible.
- Bone – Collagen keeps your bones stronger.
- Muscle – Collagen fibers keep your muscles functioning properly.
- Blood vessels – Collagen is present in arterial walls and promotes vessel strength and structure.
What Are The Benefits?
There are many benefits associated with collagen, here are some that you may not have known about.
- Joints – Collagen can actually help you with joint pain. As you age, the cartilage in your joints weakens, making you feel stiff and causing your joints to ache. Increasing the levels of collagen in your body will help reduce this pain and assist with the symptoms of arthritis.
- Skin – Collagen is most commonly associated with its ability to help the skin appear more youthful. This protein maintains the skin’s elasticity, keeping it healthier.
- Muscle – Collagen is an important component in muscle tissue and as such aids in building muscle mass and provides muscles with the fuel it needs to function at an optimum level.
- Cellulite – Apart from keeping your skin flexible and promoting healthy muscular structure and function – collagen may also improve the appearance of cellulite.
Different Types Of Collagen
It may come as a surprise that collagen is not just one protein. In the body, there are many different types of collagen and thus far, an approximate 28 types have been identified. The most common variations of this protein include:
- Type I – (found in the skin, tendons, vascular cells, organs and bone)
- Type II – (found in cartilage)
- Type III – (found in reticular fibers)
- Type IV – (found in the epithelium-secreted layer of the basement membrane)
- Type V – (found in cell surfaces, hair, and placenta)
Collagen Rich Foods
While collagen naturally occurs in the body, you can supplement your collagen levels by eating foods rich in this protein. Bone broth, wild salmon, leafy greens, citrus fruits, eggs, berries, avocado, pumpkin and chia seeds are all packed with this essential protein. It is advised that you should include one or more of these into your diet, particularly after the age of 25.
Should You Take Collagen Supplements?
As the production of collagen in the body decreases as we age, it is important to supplement it with the right types of foods. While the collagen you eat, automatically transforms into collagen in the body, many people opt for supplements to further assist the production of this protein. But should you take a collagen supplement? Studies have shown that collagen supplements could be a healthy and safe way to get more of this protein into your body. However, it is always important to stay wary of the other active and inactive ingredients in dietary aids. Choose reliable and transparent brands that have a credible standing in the industry to get the best results.