Have you heard? Collagen is one of the secrets to slowing the aging process. It has become pretty popular over the past few years, but what is it exactly, and what does it do?
Nearly 70% of our skin is made from collagen. It’s a protein that helps give our skin strength and elasticity and helps to replace dead skin cells. It helps hold our body together and is found in bones, blood vessels, the digestive system, skin, and tendons. Like with other hormones and processes, collagen production tends to slow down with time.
As early as age 21, the body’s production of new collagen slows and existing collagen begins to deteriorate. At age 60, people have half as much collagen as they did at 21. Because it controls so many parts of the body, the signs of low collagen production are often pretty noticeable. Skin starts to wrinkle and sag, and cartilage and joints become weaker. UV rays make all of this worse and can contribute to wrinkly, dry, and saggy skin. Both estrogen and testosterone affect collagen production, so both men and women are susceptible to these changes.
While collagen sounds like it may just affect the way our skin looks, it has a plethora of benefits that affect how our body operates on the inside and how it protects itself from the outside world. Some of the benefits of collagen include:
Reducing UV-ray related skin damage
Collagen helps the skin repair itself, so it’s no secret that it can help the skin bounce back from UV related damage. Assisting your body with collagen production can increase skin hydration and reverse damage, as well as protect from the rays of the sun.
Eliminate stretch marks and cellulite
Collagen strengthens the dermis layer of the skin, which dramatically affects appearance. By improving skin elasticity, it’s easier to hide marks and fat below the skin.
Decreased collagen levels may lead to a formation of precancerous or cancerous cells, especially when skin is left vulnerable to UV radiation.
Collagen is a source of amino acids, which aid in hormone production.
Collagen helps to support a healthy thyroid and may help to control cortisol imbalances.
As collagen decreases, our joints and ligaments start getting a little rusty. Collagen creates a smooth structure that covers our joints and bones, which allows them to move more easily. Adding collagen to your diet may help with arthritis or other issues with painful joints.
Amino acid glycine helps the body to form muscle tissue by converting glucose into energy. Glycine (found in collagen) also helps the body produce more healthy cells from DNA and RNA
Collagen has a significant number of benefits and can be very helpful in slowing aging and helping the skin regain elasticity and youthfulness. Consult your doctor before making any drastic changes.