The relevance of collagen in the human body?

Collagen is the body’s most prevalent protein. Connective tissue is made from its fiber-like structure. This type of tissue joins other tissues, as the name implies, and is a major component of bone, skin, muscles, tendons, and cartilage. It aids in the development of strong and resilient tissues that can endure stretching.
People have shifted to buying these supplements according to trends, but before you buy it, I would want you to know All About Collagen, What is Collagen ? Does Collagen Supplement Works & How to Boost Collagen Naturally ?

As said, Collagen is a Protein that works as glue to hold our body together. 75% -80% of our skin structure is made up of collagen. It’s the building block of our skin and makes up for 1/3 of protein in our body.
Apart from skin Collagen is present in our joints, connective tissues, tendon, ligaments, hairs, nails, and teeth.
Collagen production is at its peak in our 20’s or till 20, after that it starts to drop by 1% every year.
Primarily, Collagen is made up or produced by 3 Non-Essential amino acids, meaning they can be synthesized by our own body:

  • Proline
  • Glycine
  • Hydroxyproline

Collagen is water insoluble in general and have large molecules. hence it’s necessary to break it down into smaller molecules or chains for external and internal absorption.
There are 28 types of Collagens out of which collagens ranging from Type l – 4 are most important.
Type 1 is considered best for your bones.
Likewise, Type 4 is known to be best for hair and skin.

Types of Collagen Supplements.

Collagen are available in two to three types in the market:

  • Non veg – Derived from the skin and connective tissues of animals, Like marine animals ( fish), Bovine – cow, chicken, pigs.
  • Vegetarian – There are many vegetarian food sources, especially Dairy products that yield good amount of collagen.
  • Vegan – Vegan category includes plant based herbs and foods that support production of collagen , they are collagen builders, and they don’t provide collagen directly, instead they support the growth or building of collagen.

Collagen supplement are available in 2 Forms:

The forms in which collagen is supplied in the market are:
Hydrolyzed and Gelatin.
Both of the forms of collagen present in the market are processed.
In hydrolyzed supplements the collagen is broken down in small peptide chains for easy and quicker absorption.

Facts You Should Know!

  • Always check the type of collagen that the supplements have. Once you consume and your body breaks collagen into amino acids you have no control over where your body uses it ( in bones, joints, connective tissues, hair, skin, blood vessels, other vital organs).
  • You can’t decide where it will go. Therefore, it is advised to first have natural food sources of collagen, and if required then you can take supplements, As natural food sources are self-sufficient to provide or at least support the growth of collagen in the body.

The studies showing results of collagen benefits are weak and sometimes funded.

Does Collagen Supplements Work ?

Certain factors come up on list while you are in doubt for your collagen supplements to work!

  • Collagen needs other nutrients for its absorption and metabolism like vit C, Copper, Vitamin A, D etc. Therefore, if you have started to consume collagen supplements, you also have to make sure that you are having enough of other nutrients as well.
  • If you have low stomach acids, your body can’t absorb or break down Collagen properly, therefore before you consume the supplements, make sure you maintain your gut health.
  • Low levels of enzymes can delay the absorption in your stomach as you need enzymes to break collagen in your body.
  • Poor digestion and gut health can make it difficult to absorb collagen as well.

Side Effects of Collagen Supplements.

  • Good collagens are very expensive, and therefore majority of people can’t afford to consume it.
  • Lack of research also mixguides and confuses regarding the importance of this vital nutrient.
  • Collagen supplement Like many others are not properly regulated or controlled by food and drug administration.
  • Poor prior testing in many cases is another side effect of collagen supplements.
  • Some collagen supplements contain toxins in the form of heavy metals, which obviously is not advisable to be consumed.
  • Herbs used in collagen builders can interact with medication and may have side effects.

What Damages Collagen in Our Body ?

Few minor to major things adopted in our lifestyle can damage the production, or absorption of collagen in our body, including:

  • Excessive refined foods and sugar ( carbonates drinks).
  • Crap carbs.
  • Smoking.
  • Stress and lack of sleep.
  • Poor digestion.
  • Overexposure to Sun.
  • Poor lifestyle ( low activity levels).
  • Low protein diet.

Natural food sources to Boost collagen!

Consuming dietary collagen is far more effective than depending upon collagen supplements, until and unless advised by a doctor. So, here is a list of food sources or the presence of nutrients that yield collagen or if not support its growth naturally.

Non-Vegetarian SourcesVegetarian SourcesSupportive Nutrients
ChickenBeans (Especially Soy)Vitamin C
Fish (Skin on)Green leafy veggiesVitamin B12
EggsCitrus fruits (Rich in Vitamin C)Zinc
Bone brothTomatoesCopper
Bell peppersVitamin D
Nuts and seedsOmega 3
Aloe vera juiceVitamin A
Herbs like ashwagandhaManganese

This is what all basics you needed to know before the people around you make “Collages” a hype alike other food trends.

Be aware and crosscheck what you see and listen , and make wise choice, be it food sources or supplements.

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