What is Collagen? 5 Incredible Ways It Can Benefit Your Health

You can thank age for many things; wisdom, life experience—you get better with age. But, along with age comes wrinkles, joint pain, and other issues that you can thank diminishing collagen levels for.

Collagen is natural. It’s found seemingly everywhere in your body, from your muscles to your digestive system. It offers many benefits and is almost like the “glue” that holds you together. Without it, you may feel like you’re falling apart.

 

What Is Collagen?

Collagen is a protein in the body. In fact, it is the most abundant protein in the body. There are many different types of collagen, type 1 collagen making up most of the body’s supply.[1] Type 1 collagen is especially important for wound healing, skin elasticity, and keeping tissue from tearing. Collagen is what gives our hair, skin, tendons, and ligaments structure—allowing us to move and stretch better.

When collagen is strong and plentiful, your skin seems to bounce right back after damage. But, when collagen is weak, and the production process has slowed, even the repetitive movement of smiling will leave lines. Everyone deserves to smile often without worry.

 

Top 5 Collagen Benefits

 

  1. Healthy Skin, Hair, and Nails

As collagen production declines, its effects will become visible. Less elasticity means more wrinkles and sagging skin. Thinner skin due to less collagen means you can now see cellulite that’s been hiding under the surface. Collagen is also a building block for your fingernails, and a lack of it can cause them to split and peel.

Increasing your collagen levels can not only help your skin look firmer and more smooth[2]—it can also keep your nails strong and maybe even reverse signs of hair loss.[3]

 

  1. Reduces Joint Pain

A lack of collagen can cause you to have difficulty moving with ease. It leads to stiffness, swollen joints, pain, and more. Essentially, you need to “oil” your joints. Collagen acts like a gel covering your bones and holding them together.

Studies have shown consuming more collagen can reduce your risk of joint deterioration.[4] Collagen supplements have also been found to treat people suffering from osteoarthritis[5] as well as, help people with rheumatoid arthritis.[6]

 

  1. Boosts Metabolism and Energy

A boost in collagen may also boost your metabolism. Collagen can help you gain lean muscle mass which can be vital as you age. Certain parts of collagen are essential for boosting metabolism and aiding in growth and development. Glycine, a part of collagen, can turn glucose into energy causing you to gain back your energy and vitality.

 

  1. Healthy Gut

Collagen has been known to do wonders for the gut—soothing the lining and healing damaged cell walls. Inflammation and irritation can cause an unhealthy gut leading to illness. Consuming collagen can help seal the lining of the gastrointestinal tract—healing and protecting it. Increasing collagen intake can also help with absorption as well as help heal conditions like leaky gut syndrome.

 

  1. Healthy Heart

Proline is an amino acid in collagen that is very beneficial for the heart.[7] Proline helps shrink the fat in arteries and minimize fat accumulation. It is needed for tissue repair in the arteries and helps control blood pressure. Proline can also help keep our arteries clear of dangerous plaque build-up and protect against hardening of the arteries.

 

How To Get Collagen Into Your Life

As you age or because of lifestyle choices, your body’s natural collagen production begins to slow down.[8] Thankfully, there are ways like taking collagen supplements that can help you get plenty of this essential protein. Incorporating a quality collagen supplement into your routine can help keep you looking and feeling healthy from the inside out.

 

[1] http://www.bu.edu/aldolase/biochemistry/html_docs/CollagenTypes&Disorders.pdf

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23949208

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25989472

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22500661

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17076983

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8378772

[7] http://www.biology.arizona.edu/biochemistry/problem_sets/aa/proline.html

[8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1606623/

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