Let’s chat about collagen: the glue that holds your body together

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Collagen is what holds the body together. Collagen supplements have recently become popular for their ability to produce pouty lips and youthful looking skin; however, it is also the most abundant protein in the body and is known as “the glue that holds the body together.” For this reason, we are telling you how bringing collagen into your everyday beauty routine as well as your diet can help you live a healthier life overall.

Breaking down the benefits
Collagen for skin health

As we age, the amount of collagen in our skin begins to decrease. After our 20s, our skin loses it’s youthful bounce-back feature and begins to fall victim to wrinkles, sagging skin and cellulite. Environmental factors such as pollution and cigarette smoke can also add to this aging effect.

Collagen injections done by plastic surgeons are extremely popular for their ability to help rebuild the network of cells called fibroblasts located in the dermis, or the middle layer of the skin. By working from the inside of the body you can help the outward appearance. This report displays that oral supplements of collagen can improve the elasticity of your skin. Creams and other beauty products such as lipsticks and cheek tints that contain collagen and are applied to the epidermis, or the top layer of the skin, can contribute to the suppleness of the skin, but do not have as lasting of an effect on the youthful appearance of your skin.

It should also be noted that drinking plenty of water and applying sunscreen regularly also plays a large role in the health of your skin.

The secret to digestive health?

According to this article by University Health News, collagen could be a saving grace for those that struggle with leaky gut syndrome. Leaky gut is when the single layer of cells lining the inside of the bowel becomes less effective at absorbing nutrients and preventing germs from passing into the bloodstream. Glutamine, one of the amino acids in collagen has been recognized for reducing gut inflammation. While there is no significant evidence of this, one report finds that glutamine supplements can be useful in reducing symptoms of diarrhea and inflammation often caused by leaky gut or inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS).  Many diseases and health issues that manifest on the skin begin in the gut, so it’s a great place to start improving

Strong muscles, joints and bones

Collagen doesn’t just decrease with age in our skin, but in our muscles, tendons and joints as well. There are three main types of collagen. Type one is found  in scar tissue, tendons, skin, arterial walls, cornea, surrounds muscle fibers, fibrocartilage, intervertebral disks, bones and teeth. Type three is what is found in your muscles. Adding types one and three can help repair damage.

In one study, 27 men took 15 grams of collagen while participating in a 12-week exercise program. Compared to men who exercised but did not take collagen, they gained significantly more muscle mass. In addition, collagen can help maintain your cartilage which is the rubber like structure that protects your joints. As collagen begins to decrease with age it can also increase your chances of developing joint diseases such as osteoarthritis. As a vital protein in all animals, humans included, collagen is necessary for holding the body together and adding supplements to your diet can help increase bone mineral density (BMD) and lower levels of proteins in the blood that stimulate bone breakdown.

The bottom line

Adding collagen to your daily routine has been known to have several health benefits. While some benefits are less researched than others, there are very little side effects for using collagen so even though the story isn’t quite complete and it shouldn’t be considered a quick fix, it can definitely help you feel your best.

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