Collagen

Collagen, What exactly is it and why do we need it?

Our bodies contain more of this Collagen protein than any other protein.
It provides structure to your skin and helps your blood clot.
It has gained popularity as a nutritional supplement and ingredient in shampoos and body lotions. Collagen accounts for about a third of your body's protein composition.

Collagen is one of the major building blocks of skin, bones, muscles, ligaments and tendons. Collagen is found in many other parts of the body, including teeth, blood vessels & corneas. You can think of Collagen as the 'glue' that holds your body together.  Below is an example of what collagen looks like





WHAT DOES COLLAGEN DO IN YOUR BODY?


Although there are more than 16 types of collagen, there are only 4 main types used in your body and they are called type I, II, III & IV Trusted Source.

  • Type I: This accounts for 90% of your body’s collagen and consists of densely packed fibres. this is what provides structure to skin, bones, tendons, connective tissues, cartilage and teeth.
  • Type II: Is made of more loosely packed fibres and is found in elastic parts like cartilage which cushions joints.
  • Type III: Supports the structure of muscles, organs, and arteries.
  • Type IV: Helps with filtration and is found in layers of your skin.

As we age past our mid 20's your body produces less and less Collagen and of a lower quality. As they say 'Old age doesn't come by itself!'

One of the first major visible signs of losing collagen is in your skin, which becomes less firm and supple. Your cartilage also weakens as you get older.

Your body makes collagen by using Vitamin C and combining glycine and proline (two amino acids).

You may be able to help your body produce collagen by making sure you get plenty of the following:

  • Vitamin C
  • Proline
  • Glycine
  • Copper (Large amounts are found in sesame seeds, cocoa powder, cashews, and lentils)

Your body also needs high quality protein that contains the amino acids needed to make new proteins. This is where a protein supplement like GelPro Peptipro Collagen Hydrolysate can really help out.

Collagen can be destroyed or eaten away by the following collagen destroying factors:-

  • Too much sun, UV radiation can hamper and even reduce collagen production. 
  • Refined Carbohydrates and Sugar interferes with collagen’s ability to repair itself. 
  • Smoking,  seriously reduces collagen production and can impair wound healing and increase wrinkled skinTrusted Source.

Note: Lupus and  some other autoimmune disorders can also damage collagen


Natural food sources

Collagen is found in the connective tissues of animal foods. For example, it’s found in large amounts in chicken and pork skin.

One particularly rich source is bone broth, which is made by boiling down the bones of chicken and other animals.


Benefits of collagen supplements

There are two main types of supplement. Hydrolyzed collagen (collagen hydrolysate) and Gelatin. Gelatin is created when collagen is cooked.

Collagen is also available as a Marine alternative and there is some evidence to show that you need 50% less Marine Collagen for the same benefit as

beef collagen.

collagen hydrolysate has already broken the large protein down into smaller peptides, which are then more easily absorbed in the body.

There aren’t too many studies on collagen supplements, but those that exist show promise for the benefits of a Collagen supplement. There is 

also a fair amount of anecdotal evidence and visible changes in peoples skin, hair, nails and joints, that point to a visible reduction in the 'appearance' of ageing skin in as little as 3 weeks of use.

  • Muscle mass: A 2019 study in recreationally active men showed that a combination of collagen peptide supplements and strength training increased muscle mass and strength more than a placebo.
  • Arthritis: A 2017 animal study looked at the effects of giving collagen supplements to mice with post-traumatic osteoarthritis. The results indicated that supplementation may play a protective role in the disease’s development and progression.
  • Skin elasticity: Women who took a supplement showed improvements in skin appearance and elasticity in a 2019 study. Collagen is also used in topical treatments to improve the appearance of skin by minimising lines and wrinkles.

Collagen supplements also seem to help treat leaky gut syndrome.

There are currently no substantial reposts of side effects unless you already have an allergy to the supplements source ingredients.

Collagen supplements come in a powder that can be easily incorporated into foods, juices, smoothies or just plain old water.

The Hydrolysed Collagen peptide form doesn’t form a gel, so you can mix it into practically anything without affecting the texture, you can even bake with it.

if you are considering taking Collagen as a supplement you should look for a high quality source for example GelPro Peptipro Collagen Hydrolysate or a Marine Collagen which is made from fish skin.

The take away from all this?

Collagen is a very important protein that provides much of the structure for many parts of your body.

It does seem highly likely that you can supplement this protein into your diet for a visible effect and may help with improving skin quality, muscle function, Hair & Nail quality and growth and even reduce the pain associated with osteoarthritis.


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