All about Collagen
Posted by : Monte Diaz /
It’s purported to help reduce wrinkles, improve joints, build bones, strengthen hair, skin, and nails with collagen.
Collagen has had one of the biggest buzzes the health industry has seen in years. You’ve no doubt seen it on TV, heard your friends talking about it or noticed the dozens of collagen products on store shelves lately. It can be a bit overwhelming trying to figure out which one is best for you or even what benefits collagen promises. Today we will be answering those questions, and more so you can better incorporate this vital nutrient into your daily regimen.
Ever wonder what holds our bodies together? What gives organs their shape? Collagen. Simply put, collagen is a type of protein that acts as the glue that holds your entire body together. Collagen is found in most tissues of the body including muscles, bones, skin, blood vessels, internal organs, the digestive system, and tendons1—so yes, it’s pretty essential. When one of these systems need to be repaired or is under stress, collagen is one of the first things you should consider.
The body makes at least 16 different types of collagen to address the needs of various organs however some are more abundant with types I, II, and III making up 90% of the collagen in the body1. Type I and III are primarily in bones, tendons, and ligaments, while type II is concentrated in joints1. Types IV, V, and X are found in skin muscles and hair. Here are some of the top research-backed benefits of collagen supplementation:
- Hair: Studies show that collagen stimulates the production of proteins that promote hair growth2, slow thinning3,4, and even prevent graying5.
- Skin: Collagen makes up over 70% of the volume of our skin1 and supplementation increases skin hydration and elasticity while reducing fine lines and wrinkles6.
- Nails: Participants in one study found collagen significantly grew their nails faster and had 42% fewer breakages7.
- Joint health: Our joints are almost entirely made of collagen. Multiple studies show that collagen reduces joint pain and inflammation in joints8. Supplemental collagen also appears to stimulate the production of collagen in joints.
- Bone: Our bones have more collagen than calcium! Collagen provides that scaffolding that calcium attaches to in our bones. Bones should be strong and flexible, but with declining collagen stores they become weak and brittle9. Taking collagen may help remineralize bones and slow osteoporosis10.
- Heart and Vein health: Collagen provides structure to veins and arteries. Without collagen, arteries become weak and inflamed which are the primary risk factors in developing arteriosclerosis11.
Note: Most studies use a daily collagen dosage between 5 and 12 grams for maximum benefits.
Our body usually makes all the collagens that we need but as we age production slows down and tissues begin to degenerate, think fine lines, wrinkles, joint wear, osteoporosis, weak veins, and brittle nails, etc. To make matters worse stress, poor sleep, toxin exposure, poor digestion, and nutrient deficiencies, especially vitamin c, further halt production and wear out collagen. Our modern lifestyles are making us collagen deficient.
Where do we get collagen? Why supplement? Dietary sources of collagen are meats, organs, and especially bone broth and while healthy and beneficial a shortcoming of dietary collagen is its pretty difficult to absorb without processing. Collagen is a complex protein with over 19 amino acids forming molecular chains over 1,400 amino acids long12! These complex structures are hard for our bodies to break down without some help.
Collagen Peptides are collagen supplements whose proteins have had their long amino acid chains broken down via enzymes into smaller pieces that your body can absorb. In addition to better absorption collagen peptides are easily mixed into all liquids making incorporating them into your daily regimen easier.
Multi-Collagens are collagen supplements derived from multiple sources such as beef, chicken, turkey, fish, and even eggs. Multi-collagens give the widest variety of collagen and are best for total body support.
Now that you have the scoop on collagen it is time to add it to your daily routine and experience these amazing benefits for yourself.