What is Collagen?
Collagen is a type of a protein that is found in abundance, especially type 1 collagen within our body. It consists of amino acids. It is found in bones, muscles, skin, digestive system, blood vessels and tendons. It helps in strengthening different organs of our body and give our skin strength and elasticity, along with replacing dead skin cells. It is also involved in the process of structuring our skin, bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments.
The word Collagen is derived from the Greek word called “Kolla”, which means glue. Thus the meaning refers to the function of collagen that is to glue our skin along with providing it with elasticity.
Collagen is extremely beneficial for us, but as we age the amount of collagen that exists within our body decreases, thus leading to skin problems like poor elasticity, wrinkles and other problems like loose skin. If the body is producing excess collagen then people will notice that their skin is a lot firmer and younger than others. It will have a very smooth texture. People who experience various skin problems can increase the production of collagen in their body through the consumption of various types of natural ingredients.
People should drink a lot of water, avoid any sort of exposure to the sun, eat blueberries and green leafy vegetables as these types of foods are rich in nutrients like that of Vitamin C and Vitamin A. Vitamin A and Vitamin C can boost in the production of collagen within your body. Garlic is also rich in nutrients that can boost the production of collagen. Apart from this, fruits and vegetables like potatoes, carrots, mangoes etc., can increase the production of natural collagen.
Many researches have revealed that some of the reasons for the collagen-related diseases result from a combination of either genetic defects, nutritional deficiencies, improper intake of collagen-rich foods, and digestive problems affecting the production of collagen.
Different Types of Collagen, Collagen Sources and their Primary Benefits
There are many types of collagen and each of them has a different effect on our body. Following are some of the types of collagen and their importance in our life.
Type 1: The strongest type of Collagen is Type 1. It is made up of eosinophilic fibers that are involved in the formation of different parts of the body that includes tendons, ligaments, organs and skin. Type 1 collagen is extremely important as it provides skin with elasticity.
Type 2: The collagen that is found in different connective tissues is referred to as Type 2 collagen. It helps build cartilage and thus prevents problems like joint pain or arthritis.
Type 3: The type 3 collagen is made up of reticular fibers and they play a vital role in the formation of their organs and skin. Type 3 collagen is often found with Type 1 collagen and hence collectively they provide elasticity to the skin. Type 3 collagen also forms blood vessels and tissues within the heart and therefore deficiency or lack of Type 3 collagen can lead to serious problems like early death or ruptured blood vessels.
Type 4: Type 4 collagen is involved in the formation of basal lamina that is found mainly in the endothelial cells. The endothelial cells further helps in the formation of tissues that protects our organs, muscles and fat.
Type 5: the surface of cells, hair strands, and tissues that surrounds the placenta of women is made up of type 5 collagen.
Type 10: type 10 collagen helps in the formation of new bones and articular cartilage.
Collagen has the following benefits
- The first benefit that collagen brings along is that it improves the skin of humans. As people get old the outer layer if their skins starts losing its elasticity. This process is referred to as elastosis. The process of elastosis makes the person look older as more wrinkles and other aging elements are visible. Collagen is important to avoid such problems as it can increase the overall elasticity of skin and moisture thus making the skin look more young and fresh.
- Another benefit is that collagen reduces joint pain. If there is a deficiency of collagen in our body, our tendons and ligaments will move in an uncomfortable manner and they will become stiffer. Therefore, the consumption of collagen can make sure that the joints can move effortlessly without any pain. It can help in treating problems like osteoarthritis and other joint related problems.
- Collagen also helps in the process of digestion as it coats the digestion tract. Thus it makes sure that the protein is broken down into small particles, which makes digestion easy. More consumption of collagen can help form connective tissues, which can help the protective lining of the digestive tract in case of any problem. Furthermore, it can also help in the absorption of water within the intestines thus easing out the process of passing our faeces.
- Collagen can also help prevent problems like hormonal imbalance as the amino acids that are found in collagen can improve the amino acid balance in the body that can lead to a normal and natural production of hormones.
- It can also strengthen hair, nails and teeth of humans. If people consume collagen every day, they will notice that their hair and nails are getting healthier day by day.
- It improves liver health of individuals as it helps in detoxifying different harmful substances that are present in our body. Glycine helps in the minimization of any factor that can damage the liver.
- It also helps protect the heart as it has an amino acid i.e. lysine and proline. Lysine and proline are used mainly to help the artery walls release the fat that has built up in the blood steam thus making sure that less amount of fat is accumulated within the human body.
- It also contributes in factors like helping in getting peaceful sleep at night. It also helps improve daytime drowsiness.
- The last benefit that collagen provides is that it helps release stress. It relieves anxiety thus making sure that people can perform their daily tasks without any element of stress as stress can damage and affect our health to a great extent. The anti-anxiety properties of collagen lie mainly in the concentration levels of glycine that can be found in collagen. Boosting the glycine levels in our body can help us treat and deal with stress in a much more effective manner.
People across the world have now started paying much attention to the benefits that are caused by collagen-rich foods and prefer eating foods that helps in the production of collagen in order to strengthen their bodies.