Do you know the benefits of supplementing collagen increase with age?
Discover what are the different types of collagen, where they are found within the body and the top 5 benefits of boosting your levels…
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June 6th 2019 By
Table of Contents
What is collagen?
Collagen is the primary protein in our extracellular space, acting as a glue, it keeps together various tissues within our body. It is the most abundant protein, with concentrations ranging between 25% and 35%.
Depending on the degree of mineralization, there are three types of collagen: rigid (found in bones), compliant (in tendons) and a gradient from rigid to compliant (in the cartilage).
Structures rich in this collagen include; corneas, blood vessels, the gut, intervertebral discs, muscles and even dentin (in the teeth).
What are the benefits of collagen?
Collagen benefits heart function by providing the structure to the collagenous heart skeleton (the four heart valve rings, interventricular septum, atrioventricular septum).
Collagen also keeps the walls of the arteries from stiffening while protecting the cartilaginous structures of your body.
By maintaining these structures, collagen can play a role in reducing the risk of heart-related conditions.
2. Anti-ageing effects
The ageing process results in a reduction of collagen production within your body. As a result, as you age, supplementing collagen, will provide more significant benefits. More to follow on this later in the blog post…
3. Muscle maintenance and growth
Collagen has a positive effect both by protecting and boosting your bodies muscle mass. It aids in the proper functioning of the musculoskeletal system and increases strength and recovery time after physical exercise.
4. Glowing hair, skin and nails
Collagen has a positive impact on hair and nail growth because it is one of their most essential components. Collagen also fights against skin related ageing problems, because it balances the collagen levels which you will use for toning and strengthening of your skin.
Collagen is also commonly used in cosmetic surgery, as it plays an essential part in having young, firm and glowing skin.
5. Regenerative properties
Due to its regenerative properties, collagen has an application for those who need bone grafting after skeletal trauma, for creating artificial skin, and for patients suffering from severe burns, keeping the wounds sterile by fighting infection.
Who can benefit from supplementing collagen?
Generally, collagen is suitable for anyone who wants to maintain a youthful appearance mainly because one of its primary functions is to promote skin health and elasticity.
As you age, supplementing collagen brings more benefits to the table. It reduces the risk of osteoarthritis and other degenerative joint disorders while reducing the symptoms for existing issues. Collagen also has an application for athletes diminishing joint pain after exercise.
Furthermore, collagen is helpful in osteoporosis, a condition more common in women that weakens bones, making them fragile. It inhibits bone mass reduction, the mass that is made mostly out of this type of protein. People over the age of 50, especially women, can benefit from supplementing collagen together with calcium, which will also have a positive impact on bone mineralization.
Another useful application is for people with sarcopenia (an age-related disease in loss of muscle mass) as it promotes healthy muscles and even muscle gain.
Last, but not least, collagen supplementing is essential for those people who suffer from collagen-depleting illnesses such as lupus, rheumatic fever, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Does collagen production reduce with age?
As you age, your body produces less and less collagen. Combined with prolonged exposure to the sun, pollution and other chemicals, your collagen levels decrease over time. As a result, your skin begins to dry, and wrinkles start to appear. Supplementing collagen may slow down this process because it stimulates your body to increase production while also boosting your elastin and fibrillin levels.
What time of day should I take collagen supplements?
There is a general belief that you should take collagen at night, so the body has time to process it effectively while sleeping. The truth is that the supplements have hydrolyzed collagen, which means the molecule has been broken down into smaller peptides, 90% of which are available in our blood flow within an hour after ingestion. You can, therefore, take the supplements at any given time, as long as you meet the daily recommended dose.
Why is collagen beneficial on a ketogenic diet?
For those of you that are not familiar, a ketogenic state means that your body starts to burn fat instead of glucose and glycogen for energy (future blog posts on this topic coming soon). This process may be hard at times because it requires significant effort from the body. Collagen supplements help in this case by boosting the energy levels and by shortening the recovery time after physical exercise, improving muscle, joints, skin and bone health. It has also been shown to help with detoxification and digestions in people who opt for this type of diet.