Collagen, which makes up approximately 30% of the body's protein, plays a crucial role in providing support, structure, and strength to various tissues like the skin, muscles, bones, and connective tissues. While scientific research on collagen supplements is limited, Collavance will give you a on the go, premium collagen solution which can be taken daily.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, accounting for around 30% of total protein. It acts as a fundamental building block for the skin, muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, organs, blood vessels, and intestinal lining.
Collagen is composed of amino acids, primarily proline, glycine, and hydroxyproline, which assemble into protein fibrils in a triple helix structure. Additionally, the body requires adequate amounts of vitamin C, zinc, copper, and manganese to form this triple helix.
The primary function of collagen is to provide structure, strength, and support throughout the body. It plays specific roles such as assisting in the formation of fibroblasts in the middle layer of the skin (dermis) for new cell growth, participating in the replacement of dead skin cells, protecting organs, maintaining the structure, strength, and elasticity of the skin, and aiding in blood clotting.
Collagen is classified into different types based on their assembly, added cell components, and location within the body. At least one triple helix structure is present in all collagen fibrils. The main five types of collagen are:
- Type I: This type constitutes 90% of the body's collagen and is responsible for providing structure to the skin, bones, tendons, and ligaments.
- Type II: Found in elastic cartilage, it provides support to the joints.
- Type III: Present in muscles, arteries, and organs.
- Type V: Found in the cornea of the eyes, certain skin layers, hair, and placental tissue.
- Type X: A reliable marker for new bone formation in articular cartilage.
Collagen production decreases as the body ages, leading to a faster breakdown of existing collagen. The quality of collagen also diminishes over time. Women experience a significant reduction in collagen production after menopause, and generally, collagen production decreases after the age of 60. Thus taking Collavance collagen capsules can be highly advantageous for some people.
Although collagen levels cannot be directly measured through a blood test, several signs indicate a decrease in collagen levels, including wrinkled, sagging, or crepey skin, hollowing around the eyes and face, weakening and shrinking muscles with muscle aches, less flexible tendons and ligaments, joint pain or osteoarthritis caused by worn cartilage, loss of mobility due to joint damage or stiffness, gastrointestinal problems due to thinning of the digestive tract lining, and issues with blood flow.
Certain lifestyle habits can damage collagen and should be avoided to minimize the risk. These habits include smoking, excessive consumption of sugar and refined carbs, and overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. Smoking reduces collagen production, damages collagen and elastin, resulting in wrinkles and delayed wound healing. Excessive sugar consumption leads to the formation of advanced glycation end products that weaken collagen, making it dry and brittle. UV light from the sun decreases collagen production and accelerates collagen breakdown, leading to wrinkles. Therefore, it is essential to limit sun exposure and use sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher when outdoors.
Collagen can be damaged by autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, dermatomyositis, and scleroderma, where the body's immune system attacks its own tissue. Genetic mutations can also impair collagen production, causing conditions such as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and osteogenesis imperfecta. Additionally, collagen levels naturally decline with age.
To slow down skin ageing, it is recommended to use sunscreen daily to protect against UV light damage. This includes wearing a wide-brimmed hat, UV-protective sunglasses, and lightweight clothing that covers the skin while outdoors. Following a well-balanced diet, like the Mediterranean diet, rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts, seafood, meats, poultry, dairy, and eggs, can also contribute to healthy collagen levels.
Collagen finds applications in medicine and cosmetics. It can be broken down, converted, and reabsorbed into the body. Medical uses of collagen include dermal fillers to address skin depressions, wound dressings to promote wound healing, periodontics to act as a barrier against gum tissue growth, and vascular prosthetics for reconstructing arteries and assisting nerve regeneration.
Consuming collagen-rich foods doesn't directly increase collagen levels in the body because collagen proteins are broken down into amino acids during digestion. However, a healthy diet can provide the necessary amino acids (such as proline and glycine) and vitamins (such as vitamin C, zinc, and copper) that support collagen production. Vitamin C can be found in oranges, strawberries, bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and potatoes. Proline is present in mushrooms, cabbage, asparagus, peanuts, wheat, fish, egg whites, and meat. Glycine can be obtained from red meats, turkey, chicken, pork skin, peanuts, and granola. Copper is found in liver, lobster, oysters, shiitake mushrooms, nuts, seeds, leafy greens, tofu, and dark chocolate. Zinc sources include oysters, red meat, poultry, pork, beans, chickpeas, nuts, broccoli, green leafy vegetables, whole grains, and dairy products.
Collagen peptides are small pieces of animal collagen that can be absorbed by the body. Unlike whole collagen, collagen peptides can be broken down into smaller peptides or amino acids, making them suitable for oral supplements. Collagen peptides or hydrolyzed collagen are available in the form of pills and powders, often containing two or three amino acids. They are absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract.
The effectiveness of collagen supplements lacks sufficient evidence due to the limited number of randomized controlled trials. Some studies suggest potential benefits of collagen peptides in improving skin hydration, skin elasticity, relieving pain, and enhancing joint function in individuals with knee osteoarthritis. However, it's important to note that collagen supplements are not regulated by the FDA like medications, and manufacturers are not required to prove their safety or effectiveness before market release. Many studies on supplements are funded by the supplement industry or involve authors with financial ties to the industry. The true efficacy of collagen supplements as advertised on the label remains uncertain. Additionally, when ingesting collagen peptides, the body utilizes them for various purposes, such as collagen synthesis or protein production, based on its specific needs.
In conclusion, collagen plays a vital role in the body's structure, strength, and support. While the benefits of collagen supplements are often exaggerated in the media, further research is necessary to establish their true health benefits. In the meantime, maintaining a balanced diet with nutrient-rich foods is recommended to support natural collagen production. Adopting healthy habits such as avoiding smoking, reducing sugar intake, protecting the skin from UV light, and wearing sunscreen can help minimize collagen damage.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This article should not be seen as medical advice. Always consult your medical professional before taking any new supplement.