What is Collagen Really?

After the age of thirty, our reserves of collagen diminish steadily. Yet we need a good supply of this essential protein to maintain a youthful glow.

Connective Tissue

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body due to its presence in all connective tissue. Collagen is responsible for the formation of tendons, ligaments, bones, cartilage, joints and even blood. Without the structure that collagen provides, the body would literally fall apart. Low levels of collagen can also lead to pain, stiffness and brittle bones. As with all proteins, collagen is made up of peptides. What are Peptides? Peptides are a combination of up to fifty amino acids that are linked together to create a protein molecule.  

Detoxification

One of the primary amino acids found in collagen peptides is glycine. Glycine helps to break down various toxins so that the liver can effectively remove them from the body. 

Circulation

In addition to its presence in the blood, collagen is a vital component of blood vessels. When collagen is diminished due to poor diet or age, blood vessels weaken and have difficulty pumping. The body initially produces cholesterol as a bandage to temporarily support compromised blood vessels. Cholesterol retreats after successfully achieving this repair. As collagen levels drop further, cholesterol must remain in blood vessels to provide structure. This results in a thicker coating of cholesterol and dangerously narrow pathways through which blood can flow. Heart disease is the inevitable result of this process. 

Skin

Have you ever wondered why collagen is hailed as the dominant force behind many skincare products? The reason is that collagen is responsible for elasticity and hydration that is necessary for young-looking and healthy skin. Unfortunately, many topical beauty products are ineffective at boosting collagen, which the body can only absorb through proper nutrition or supplements.

Hair and Nails

The amino acids in collagen peptides give hair its strength and elasticity. They also prevent free radicals that cause cell damage and contribute to graying. Collagen also helps nails to grow by inhibiting brittleness and splitting. 

Wound Care

Collagen peptides are essential for wound healing. When severe wounds resist healing, medical professionals introduce live collagen to facilitate the body’s natural collagen production. This is an instance when the topical application of collagen is useful and beneficial. 

Digestive Support

Insufficient collagen can lead to various gastrointestinal ailments, such as irritable bowel disease and gastroesophageal reflux disease. Connective tissue in the digestive tract consists of collagen, which regulates the secretion of stomach acids that help to digest food.

Weight 

Collagen promotes the release of the hormone, leptin, that tells you when you are full and prevents overeating. Collagen also encourages the development of lean muscle, which burns calories efficiently, thereby aiding weight loss. 

Diet, stress and age can all contribute to diminished collagen levels in the body. The result is a loss of efficacy of the crucial amino acids found on the chain of peptides that form this essential protein. Many wellness professionals can provide guidance on how to combat the adverse effects of collagen loss.

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