Collagen is one of those skincare words that is heard or read about a lot, especially on blogs and websites discussing natural skincare items. As someone who is closely involved in beauty assisting, I see the term regularly: on serum bottles that claim to preserve it and collagen supplements promising to “plump” it. However, most end up wondering what really collagen is.
What is Collagen?
Our body has amino acids that are used to build bones, skin, cartilage, connective tissue, muscle, etc. While there is a wide range of amino acids in our body, most combine to make up collagen. Collagen is the fundamental protein that structures your connective tissues and skin.
Since the rate at which your body generates collagen slows down as you age and you need it for strong bones, joints, and skin, adding collagen based foods and supplements to your diet is important. That is the reason many supplement producers have begun selling collagen powders and pills, made using animal parts, such as fish scales or cow bones.
Collagen is a hard and fibrous protein that makes up 33% of the protein in the human body. Molecules in collagen are packed closely to form long and thin fibrils. These make the skin strong and flexible.
There are 16 unique kinds of collagen, however 80 to 90 percent of them are type 1, 2, and 3. These various kinds have varying structures and functionalities. Type 1 collagen fibrils have a characteristic feature that allows them to be stretched. Moreover, these fibrils are way stronger than steel. Don’t believe me? Well, you probably can’t question this MIT research paper on Collagen Structure.
One way to see if the collagen supplement you’ve bought is authentic is to tip it in water. Collagen, by nature, is insoluble. And so, if the supplement dissolves in water, you can be sure that it is in fact anything but collagen.
The Benefits and Uses of Collagen
I started taking collagen powder five months ago. And since then, I’ve seen my skin regaining its glow and feeling much more moist and hydrated than before. Long gone are the days when I had to cover my face in layers of foundation and concealer to hide wrinkles and aging spots. However, that’s not all. Collagen has much more to offer!
One interesting fact about collagen is that it can be broken down and absorbed by the body. This makes it easy for manufacturers to make collagen supplements, in the form of powder or pills, which can be used for treating various common skin and hair related problems.
1.Improves the quality of your skin
Collagen is an essential element of our skin. It strengthens the skin, increases its elasticity, and hydrates it. As you grow old, the levels of collagen production goes down , leading our skin to go dry and abets in wrinkle formation. Research has demonstrated that collagen supplements and peptides may help moderate skin aging by decreasing sking dryness and wrinkles.
In a survey, women, who used collagen supplements for a couple of months experienced less dryness in their skin dryness and noticed an increase in skin elasticity.
Another study found that women,who mixed collagen supplements in their beverage every day for the next three months, got to experience optimally hydrated skin hydration and a significant decrease in wrinkle formation.
Collagen supplements boosts collagen production in our body, thus reducing the formation of wrinkles substantially.
2. Helps reduce joint pain due to osteoarthritis
Collagen ensures that the joint cartilages stay in good health. As the level of collagen decreases in your body with growing age. with age, the odds of you developing degenerative joint disorders like osteoarthritis increases.
A few studies have demonstrated that consuming collagen supplements can improve the side effects of osteoarthritis and lessen joint pain. In a survey, 73 respondents, who had consumed 10 grams of collagen powder every day for 6 months experineced less joint pain while walking.
Medical specialists claim that supplemental collagen may collect in ligaments and cartilage and invigorate your tissues to make collagen themselves.
When I went to see a doctor to consult him for my grandfather’s increase in joint pain and inflammation, he prescribed him 8-12 grams of collagen powder daily. And I kid you not, within a month, we saw dramatic results. My grandfather was able to ride his favorite motorcycle to the park again!
3. Helps generate tissues
Medical practitioners use collagen-based layers in periodontal and implant treatment to stimulate the development of some specific types of cell. When it comes to oral surgery, collagen is used to prevent fast growing cells in and around the gums from moving to an injury in a tooth. This leaves enough space for tooth cells to regenerate.
Collagen membranes promote wound healing and they do not need to be removed surgically, due to their characteristic absorbable nature.
4. Prevents loss of bone
Collagen forms a large part of our bones and provides them with strength and structure. With age, the quantity of collagen decreases, thus causing bone decay. This may lead to osteoporosis, which, if not controlled, might lead to bone fractures and other issues.
5. Improves heart health
Collagen supplements help decrease the danger of heart conditions. Collagen gives structure to your arteries, the veins that carry the blood from your heart to the body. Without enough collagen, these pathways may become weak and delicate, leading to atherosclerosis, which can cause heart attacks.
The Bottom Line
I would say that collagen supplements must be added to the daily diet, considering the large number of benefits they offer. Sure, avoiding smoke, tobacco, and the sun might help prevent loss of collagen, but think about it, can you really escape the sun? And is it worth the effort when you can easily promote collagen growth with the help of supplements? They’re safe to consume and are made of organic components. Worth a shot!