Today I will tell you all you need to know about collagen and why it plays such an important role in your body. Collagen is the most abundant protein present in the body and has various essential roles, from offering structure to the skin, to assisting with blood clotting. It has gained immense popularity as a nutritional supplement in recent years and it is used as an ingredient in body lotions and shampoos.
All You Need to Know About Collagen
Collagen makes up a third of the protein composition in your body and is a significant building block of skin, bones, tendons, muscle, and ligaments. It is also present in other body parts like teeth, blood vessels, and corneas. The best way of describing it is that it is like a glue that gives structure to skin, tendons, ligaments, etc. keeping everything together. Interesting enough, the word collagen is derived from the Greek word “Kòlla” that means glue.
How Does Collagen Work in The Body?
You get at least sixteen types of collagen of which the primary four types are type I, II, III, and IV. Each of them has a different function in your body.
- Type I – Makes up ninety percent of the collagen in your body and contains densely filled fibers. It gives structure to tendons, bones, skin, fibrous cartilage, teeth, and connective tissue.
- Type II – This type is present in elastic cartilage that supports your joints and consists of loosely packed fibers.
- Type III – Reinforces the structure of organs, arteries and muscles.
- Type IV – Assists with filtration in the body and is present in skin layers.
When your body is aging, it produces lower quality and less collagen. You will start noticing your skin becoming less supple and firm. Cartilage also starts weakening with age.
Things That Negatively Impacts Collagen in Your Body
To maintain a good collagen balance in your body, it helps to avoid these collagen-damaging behaviours:
- Eating too many refined carbs and sugar – sugar impedes the ability of collagen to repair itself. Limit your intake of refined carbs and added sugars.
- Smoking – smoking lessens collagen generation which could impair wound healing and cause wrinkles.
- Too much sunshine – Another thing that interferes with collagen generation is ultraviolet radiation. Try to steer clear from excessive sun exposure.
- Autoimmune disorders – certain autoimmune disorders like lupus also impair collagen.
Nutrients That Boost Collagen Production
All collagen begins as procollagen. The body generates procollagen by combining glycine and proline amino acids. This process utilizes vitamin C. To assist you body with producing this essential protein you can make sure you get plenty of these nutrients:
- Proline – Found in egg whites, dairy products, wheat germ, asparagus, mushrooms and cabbage.
- Vitamin C – Found in bell peppers, strawberries, and citrus fruits.
- Copper – Found in sesame seeds, cashews, organ meats, cocoa powder, and lentils.
- Glycine – Found in chicken skin, gelatine, and pork skin, but it is also present in an array of protein-containing foods.
High quality proteins that contain amino acids are also needed for making new proteins in your body. Fantastic resources of amino acids are seafood, legumes, meat, dairy, poultry, and tofu.
Basically, the four primary nutrients for producing collagen in the body is proline, vitamin C, copper and glycine. Eating plenty of high quality protein also provides your body with essential amino acids.
Now that I have shared with you all you need to know about collagen, I hope that some of the information in this post will help you with maintaining this critical protein in your body.
Sending you lots of healthy vibes, love, and healing thoughts.