Collagen is much more than just an incidental “ingredient” showing up on a supplement or appearing on the label of the latest facial cream. It is the most abundant protein in our body and has often been referred to as the ‘glue’ that holds our body together.
Individuals that are committed to achieving optimal fitness and looking their best should make a serious effort to monitor and improve their collagen levels.
Our body consists of more than 20 types of collagen. Type I is the strongest collagen. It’s predominant in skin, bones, teeth, tendons, ligaments, our various organs, and healed wounds. It is vital to bodily repair.
Type III Collagen is the second most abundant collagen in the body. It can be found in intestinal walls, muscles, blood vessels and frequently working synergistically with Collagen Type I. Type III Collagen is often used in supplements to achieve healthy skin, bones and muscles.
Types I and III are the most closely related in terms of their manner of synthesis and location in the body. Together they could be considered collagen’s ‘powerhouse’ as they have a lot to do with how we look and how we feel.
Collagen production diminishes significantly as we age but sagging, wrinkly skin; dull hair; sore muscles and joint pain, should make people of every age take notice. Collagen deficiencies can happen at any time. However, these symptoms of ‘ageing’ can be addressed.
Simple Lifestyle Changes Can Deliver Tangible Results
Incorporating a few changes in your daily regimen can begin to restore lost collagen and deliver results you can both see and feel.
Collagen naturally contains large quantities of lysine and proline. Eating foods high in these two amino acids can help to replenish your body’s supply. Wheat germ and egg whites are excellent sources of proline while lysine is found in fish, lean meats, and some dairy foods.
Protein is also necessary to support the growth of healthy collagen. The protein found in meat, eggs, and fish supports this growth.
Vitamin C is necessary to make all types of collagen found in the body. It also acts as an antioxidant protecting existing collagen from damage. Vitamin C should be consumed on a daily basis.to prevent the breakdown and loss of collagen. Supplement if necessary.
Exercise stimulates the formation of collagen .Adhering to a regular weight training program is especially important as we age. Proper body composition is paramount to our mobility and motor control .
A large amount of the collagen lost from our face is due to UV damage from the sun. Prevent premature ageing by preventing the breakdown of collagen and elastin in the first place. By limiting sun exposure and using sunblock as required, skin can be kept smoother, more supple and wrinkle-free longer.
When current habits aren’t delivering the results you desire, you may consider adding a dietary collagen supplement. It can enhance your collagen levels and your entre daily routine. More and more studies are reporting positive results using collagen supplementation. Note the following examples.
Collagen: A Natural Anti-Ageing Skincare Ingredient
An 8-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled study with women 35-55 years old revealed statistically higher skin elasticity levels with those consuming dietary collagen hydrosylate (CH).(1.) Findings also suggested a positive influence of CH treatment on skin moisture and skin evaporation.
A 4-week follow-up study also suggested that elderly women saw the most significant change from baseline. A comforting thought for those who were thinking that it may be too late to change.
Collagen Supplementation and Joint Pain
A 24-week study to investigate the effect of collagen hydrolysate (CH) on activity-related joint pain in healthy, physically active athletes showed statistically significant positive results in the following areas: (2.)
Joint pain at rest
Joint pain when walking
Joint pain when standing
Joint pain when carrying objects
Joint pain when lifting
Joint pain when running a straight line
Joint pain when changing direction
While further studies are required to support the findings, the results suggest that CH can contribute to reduced pain during athletic performance.
If you have questions about your own levels of collagen, requesting a bone density test from your physician is a good place to start. Since bone density is highly dependent upon the bone’s collagen content, a density test is a good indicator of where you stand with your collagen levels as well.
You only get one life. Why not look and feel the best you can? Collagen may be a natural way to help you get there.