What do you think when you hear the word collagen? Bold lips and plump skin? Perhaps. Since the 1980’s, collagen has been a mainstay in the world of cosmetic procedures. But did you know collagen is one of the richest sources of protein on the planet that can heal you from injuries, reverse aging and much much more?
Whether you’re a fitness junkie, stay at home mom, college student, or office bee – here’s why you need collagen in your life.
What exactly is collagen?
Collagen is a protein that is naturally produced in the bodies of animals (especially mammals) and found in connective tissues like cartilage, as well as muscle and skin tissue.
It is the most abundant protein found in the human body. It makes up 30% of your body’s total protein and 70% of the protein in your skin. Put simply, it’s vital to your existence. But as you age, production drops, which is why you get wrinkles and droopy skin.
Collagen is also found in your bones, blood vessels, digestive system, tendons and ligaments. It’s the glue that holds you together.
Benefits of collagen
While collagen is beneficial to the entire body, it is most noticeably beneficial to the skin. Collagen is what gives your skin strength and elasticity. The loss of elasticity as we age is known as elastosis and happens when the outer layer of your skin – the epidermis, thins out. Increasing collagen activates your body’s skin cells to renew and repair, resulting in firmer, smoother skin.
In a 2014 study, women aged 35-55 who took collagen hydrolysate for eight weeks showed a 20% reduction in wrinkles, significantly improved skin moisture, and a reduction in transepidermal water loss (dryness).
Injuries and Arthritis
Since collagen is found in your musculoskeletal system, it is crucial to the repair and healing of your tendons and ligaments. Supplementing with collagen speeds up the recovery time for sprains and other soft tissue injuries.
Even if you’re not injured, you want to maintain the integrity of your joint health as you age, and collagen is essential for this.
Those with osteoarthritis arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis will be pleased to know that studies out of Harvard and The International Journal of Medical Sciences found that type 2 collagen reduced joint pain and swelling, and increased the level of activity for patients suffering from arthritis.
Detoxing, digestive health and energy production
Collagen contains a sub protein known as glycine. Glycine minimizes liver damage caused by foreign substances such as alcohol and toxins from the modern world. As a digestive aid, collagen improves the functionality of your GI and promotes a healthy gut microbiome, which activates the body’s energy production.
Antioxidant and DNA production
Glycine optimizes the body’s use of antioxidants and helps to construct healthy cells from DNA.
Where to buy
Below are links to the most reputable, high-quality collagen supplements I could find.
And here is a useful article, outlining the different types of collagen by health issue: https://fixyourgut.com/the-digestive-benefits-of-using-collagen-as-a-prebiotic/
Give collagen a go, and let me know how you go!
As always, pushing for health