Collagen plays an important role in strengthening the body. In this article, we explain the importance of this protein for healthy body development and how collagen supplements help to improve our health.
What is collagen?
Collagen is a protein that the body synthesizes from two amino acids, glycine and proline, with the participation of vitamin C. In the body of an adult, collagen makes up about 1/3 of the total volume of proteins. This amount is not surprising when you consider that collagen is present in bones, teeth, cartilage, blood vessels and skin.
At the moment, scientists have identified 16 types of collagen in the human body, but type I collagen accounts for 90%. The most common types and their role in the activity of organs are as follows:
Type I - dense fibers that ensure the structural integrity of the skin, bones, tendons, cartilage, teeth;
Type II - elastic fibers that play the role of a building material for cartilage;
Type III - participates in the structure of muscles and arteries;
IV type - performs protective properties in the skin.
The body creates collagen in the form of fibers, which most often provide strength or elasticity to the structural element. At the same time, collagen in the circulatory system ensures blood clotting in case of injuries.
Collagen's role in skin health has been well established. Skin is a multi-layer structure, each layer of which is held in place by collagen fibers. Protein fibers can be compared to columns, with cells, blood vessels and hair follicles between them.
Since fibers degrade over time, the body constantly synthesizes new ones. In people under the age of 30, the regeneration of protein compounds occurs efficiently, resulting in firm, light skin. However, from the age of 30, the number of new fibers regularly decreases. In the absence of a "supporting structure", the layers of the skin begin to sag - this is how wrinkles are formed. And since collagen fibers are white, the fewer there are, the more yellow the skin becomes.
Benefits of Taking Collagen Supplements
#1. Improving skin condition
The most popular goal of taking collagen is to strengthen the skin. In recent years, studies have been carried out in different countries, investigating the relationship between the passage of the treatment course and the smoothing of wrinkles. The results prove that in people the skin condition improves even visually within a few weeks after the start of the course.
Collagen hydrolyzate or collagen peptides become a source of missing synthesized fibers for the body. The result is literally reflected on the face: the skin acquires a dense structure, which provides elasticity and smoothing of wrinkles.
It should be remembered that the use of food additives is not a panacea, since the degradation of the body's elements is caused not only by the slowing down of the organs, but also by negative external factors. The degradation of collagen fibers in the body, especially in the skin, is influenced by solar radiation (ultraviolet radiation), smoking and the consumption of large amounts of sugar. Therefore, in order to obtain a positive result, it is necessary to generally adhere to a healthy lifestyle and not spend a lot of time in the open sun without using SPF creams.
# 2. Reduced joint pain
Collagen provides elasticity to the cartilage, thus contributing to the health of the joints. With a slowdown in the regeneration of protein compounds, the elasticity of the cartilage is disrupted, which can lead to the development of diseases such as osteoarthritis. Research with athletes is currently underway to determine how collagen supplementation affects cartilage health.
The findings suggest that oral administration of collagen improves joint health and even reduces pain, but if taken regularly over a long period.
# 3. Strengthening bone tissue
The collagen protein in the bone tissue acts as a "cementing" element. The fewer proteins in the bones, the more fragile they become. This process is associated not only with the risk of bone fractures, but also the development of diseases such as osteoporosis.
Foreign experts tested how collagen and calcium supplements affect bone strength. With the passage of a long course, from 6 months, the subjects' performance improved.
#4. Muscle gain
In the muscle structure, protein is no more than 10%. Once again, collagen is responsible for the strength of the tissue. However, a limited study in athletes conducted by the German Institute for Sports and Sports Sciences has shown that taking collagen peptides in combination with regular training significantly increases the rate of muscle gain.
It is hypothesized that supplementation with collagen stimulates the body to synthesize more of the protein creatine needed for muscle growth.
#5. Improving heart function
The latest line of research with encouraging data focuses on the effects of collagen supplementation on cardiovascular health. Similar to previous examples, protein provides vascular wall strength. More protein means stronger arteries, less protein means weaker arteries. Taking collagen supplements can reduce your risk of atherosclerosis and heart attack.
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