Also known as the "youth protein", collagen is surrounded by many mysteries. Medical experts have been advocating its positive effects on the human body for a long time.
What is collagen?
Collagen is a fibrous structural protein composed of three polypeptide chains, forming a tight triple helix. It has a structural function by anchoring cells to each other.
It is the most abundant protein in the human body, secreted by the connective tissues (cells that form the inner environment of the body) and therefore very present in them.
Collagen is found in bones, tendons and skin. It has a very important role for the joints, by providing resistance to traction and for the skin by providing elasticity.
What are the different types of collagen?
There are several types of collagen, each with a specific role.
The best known types are types I, II and III and the most abundant is type I collagen, representing 90% of the body's collagen.
The body of a healthy person is highly efficient at producing collagen at a young age, but as time goes by, this building material is produced less and less. After the age of 40, the amount of collagen in the body decreases by about one and a half to two times compared to the age of 20, thus impacting the joints and the aging of the skin.
This aging, affecting the production and quality of collagen, can be explained in two ways:
- The natural aging that occurs over time.
- The aging that occurs due to human behaviors (diet, exercise ...) and environmental damage (pollution, UV ...).
It is to help fight against this decline that it may be important to supplement with collagen.
What are the health benefits of collagen?
Collagen has a multitude of beneficial properties:
- Improves skin condition
Collagen fibers are the "skeleton" of the skin. The condition of the skin depends on them. Collagen also influences the healing speed of scratches, burns and wounds.
- Improves heart function
Collagen forms the walls of the arteries that carry blood from the heart to the organs. If this protein is deficient, they become brittle and break down. This process contributes to atherosclerosis and increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.
- Strengthens bones and joints
Collagen protects cartilage tissue from breakdown, treats inflammation and helps relieve joint pain. It also strengthens bones, protects them from fractures and reduces the risk of osteoporosis.
- Accelerates the growth of muscle mass
Collagen makes up about 10% of all muscle tissue. Consumption of collagen not only keeps joints and tendons in good condition, but also reduces the risk of various injuries.
What type of collagen is best absorbed?
What we find in collagen supplements are called peptides. They are fractions of the initial protein, which after hydrolysis, releases these small strands.
These peptides can have several origins: bovine or porcine (from the skin or bones of the animal), avian, or even marine.
Having a better bioavailability, marine collagen is more and more requested because it is more easily consumed in different diets, than porcine and bovine origins.
With what should you couple collagen in your formulations?
- Hyaluronic acid
For a double effect on the joints but also on the skin. It reduces joint stiffness and plumps and smoothes the skin.
- Vitamin K2
For a better transport of Calcium and a reinforcement of the bones, against osteoporosis.
- Selenium-enriched yeast
Natural selenium contribution for an optimized anti-oxidant effect in nutricosmetic formulas.
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