When you read articles about promoting healthy skin, getting rid of scars, or how to get a youthful glow, collagen will almost always be part of the list. It’s understandable – after all, this component does many good things for your skin to make sure that it is in tip-top shape.
The Question Now Is This: How Much Do You Know About Collagen?
Admit it. No matter how many times you come across this term and read about its many benefits especially on your skin, you probably don’t know how your body forms this humble protein or how to promote it. Don’t worry. Here are important things you should know about collagen and seven of the most amazing things it could do to your body.
What Is Collagen?
It may be a simple solution for your skin-related problem. For the experts, collagen is a fibrous and insoluble protein made up of amino acids. It makes up one-third of protein in your body, which comprises of alpha-chains. These alpha-chains are genetically distinct molecules with unique triple helix configuration of three polypeptide subunits.
Collagen found inside your body is flexible and strong – even stronger than steel. It is also found all over your body, including bones, ligaments and tendons.
Where Can You Find Collagen?
You already know that collagen makes up 30 percent of proteins in your body. The next thing you need to know is where you can find it.
Collagen is found in the flesh and connective tissues, which helps keep your skin firm and supple. In fact, collagen is the main component of connective tissues. Aside from them, you could find collagen in your body’s ligaments, bones, tendons and skeletal muscles.
This shows that aside from maintaining your skin’s elasticity, collagen ensures that everything in your body stays in place. It provides structural support and strength, so you can function properly. In other words, collagen is your body’s superglue or the cement that keeps it together.
What Does Collagen Do For Your Body?
A lot. Collagen is present in your body, including the muscle tissues, kidneys, heart, digestive tract, blood vessels and the bladder, holding the tissues and cells together. Aside from making sure that your skin is firm, supple and elastic, collagen gives strength to various structures of your body. At the same time, it protects your body by preventing the absorption and spread of pathogenic substances, cancerous cells, environmental toxins and harmful microorganisms.
Specifically, here’s how collagen could help your body in its simple but amazing way:
1. Collagen And Aging
What if someone tells you experts finally discovered the fountain of youth? Would you go for it? Why not?After all, looking 30 while in your 60’s is not a crime.
At the same time, the aging process means slower collagen production and your cell structures weaken. This makes your skin thinner and easier to damage. Worse, wrinkles and sagging skin set in.
This is where collagen comes in. It may not be the fountain of youth, but it surely helps a lot in preserving your youth and vitality. This is because collagen is the most abundant connective material in the dermis area and responsible for maintaining your skin’s firmness. It also provides a solid foundation to retain elastin and hyaluronic acid – components needed by your skin to help maintain its shape and keeps its moisture.
The more collagen you have in your body, the more elastin and hyaluronic acid you will produce, and the better your skin will look.
2. Collagen For Burns
No matter how hard you take care of yourself and everything inside your home, there will be accidents that could lead to minor burns. When it comes to burns, washing with cool water and applying aloe vera could be your first line of defense. Did you know that collagen could help you a lot, too?
Collagen is responsible for keeping your skin strong and healthy. At the same time, it attracts cells to the wound to heal and replace the burned skin and encourage faster healing. Using a collagen dressing stimulates new tissue growth and encourages the formation of collagen fibers and tissues on the wounded area.
Keep in mind that a collagen dressing is only applicable for first and second-degree burns. For more severe ones, it is best to consult a doctor.
3. Collagen For Joint Mobility
Aging and obesity are among the many risk factors affecting one’s joint health. Regardless if you are an athlete, someone working in the corporate world or a housewife, there will come a point where your joints won’t cooperate.
In this case, collagen would be helpful. According to a number of studies, collagen could act as a lubricant for your joints to help relieve arthritic conditions. This could help you move easily and comfortably, thus adding comfort on your joints.
Despite all the promising studies, some experts think that the effects of collagen and collagen on rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis still require more study.
4. Collagen As Skin Fillers
As you age, you will start to experience various skin conditions such as wrinkles, lines and scars on your face. This could be annoying to look at and for sure, you will constantly look for ways to get rid of them.
Good news. Injecting collagen on affected areas could improve the contours of your skin. Using either human or bovine sources, collagen could fill out depressions on your skin and remove any fine lines on your face.
However, you can only use collagen in superficial defects. For deeper scars and more extensive defects, silicone, fats and implants are your best options.
5. Collagen To Revitalize Your Skin
How much do you love your skin? For sure, you use tons of cosmetic products to ensure that your face remains soft, smooth, supple and revitalized. In all the products you use, does it have collagen in it?
It turns out that collagen is effective as a skin revitalizer. There are many products on the market that claim they could revitalize your skin. Although effective, keep in mind that collagen products won’t strengthen your skin by increasing collagen levels. The collagen molecules are too big for your skin to absorb easily.
6. Collagen For The Wounds
Wounds come and go, but admit it. You want to get rid of wounds as fast as possible. Apparently, antibiotic treatments won’t give you the results you want. If you want to speed up healing, then collagen could be your best friend.
Collagen attracts new skin cells to come to your wound. When this happens, it helps promote healing and encourages growth of new tissues in the area. This could give your healing process a boost and treat the wound, whether it is a chronic, non-healing wound, second-degree burns, granulating wounds and exuding wounds among others, in the shortest time possible.
7. Collagen For Guided Tissue Regeneration
Did you know that doctors and dentists use collagen-based membranes in implant and oral surgery? This is because it helps promote the growth of specific types of cells for regeneration. The collagen’s healing qualities are something you also need to look into to make recovery faster. More importantly, collagen-based membranes can be resorbable. This means you don’t have to go through second surgical procedure to remove the membrane.
Given these benefits, here are tips on how to increase your body’s production of collagen.
- Increase Consumption Of Animal Products. Just like all proteins, collagen is made up of amino acids, which you could get from proper diet. Eat animal products such as fish, eggs, milk and poultry products to make sure you will get the right amount of amino acids for collagen production.
- Take It Easy On The Sugar. Fact: A high sugar diet damages collagen. At the same time, it increases your chances of glycation, or the process where the sugar in your blood attaches to the proteins to form new molecules. This is called advanced glycation end products or AGEs, which makes collagen weak, brittle and dry.
- Kick The Butts. Smoking is bad, period. Aside from increasing your chances of getting lung cancer, the chemicals in the tobacco smoke damages collagen and elastin. It also narrows the blood vessels of your skin’s outer layers, which affects your skin’s health in a bad way.
- Be Careful With Mr. Sun. Vitamin D is one of the important nutrients your body needs. Yes, you could get it from the sun. However, too much of it and exposing yourself at the wrong time could break down the collagen and damage collagen fibers. This could also trigger the accumulation of abnormal elastin, which produces an enzyme that breaks down collagen. The next time you go out and stay under the sun, make sure to wear a sunblock.
- Check Your Health Levels. Did you know that autoimmune disorders could produce antibodies that target collagen? When this happens, your body willeither reduce the amount of collagen secreted or secrete mutant collagen that is dysfunctional. Therefore, get yourself checked at least once a year to ensure that your health is A-okay.
Are you amazed by what collagen can do for your body? If so, adopt some healthy lifestyle habits to keep it at a healthy level. You’ll be much healthier and you’ll look better, too. You entire body, from the inside to the outside will thank you.