We should be very familiar with collagen because it makes up a third of all the protein in our body. Skin, bones, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, muscles, blood vessels – collagen is everywhere. Our body makes it naturally, but its levels decrease as we get older.
Read on to find out how to protect, maintain and boost your collagen levels.
What does collagen do in your body?
Different types of collagen have different roles in your body. The three main types are type I, II, III.
Type I accounts for 90% of your body’s collagen and is made of densely packed fibres. It provides structure to skin, bones, tendons, fibrous cartilage, connective tissue, and teeth. Levels of type I collagen begin to decline after about age 25.
- You will often see the decrease of the kind I collagen resulting in characteristics such as sagging skin, fine lines, brittle nails and thinning hair.
- Type II is made of more loosely packed fibres and is found in elastic cartilage, cushions your joints. Though somewhat less prevalent in the body than type I, type II collagen is critical, especially for active people who need to rely on their joints.
- Type III supports the structure of muscles, organs, and arteries. It is generally found in reticular fibres, such as the bone marrow.
How can you get enough collagen?
There is no test to measure the amount of collagen in your body, but you can tell when you don’t have enough. Your body naturally starts to make less collagen in your mid-to-late 20s.
Through various conditions, you can feel this: your skin becomes less elastic, tendons and ligaments get stiffer, muscle mass decreases, and cartilage wears down. As a result, you form wrinkles, become weaker and less flexible, and develop joint pain.
Therefore, as you get older, you might need to replenish your body’s nutrients to make collagen through your diet. Certain foods contain a bioavailable form of collagen your body can use right away. Some of the best sources of collagen are bone broth, egg whites, avocado, garlic, seafood, citrus, and leafy greens.
It is also essential to know what to avoid in your diet, so be sure to stay away from too much sugar and refined carbohydrates, which can cause inflammation and damage collagen.
Your body makes collagen by combining various amino acids. In addition to a balanced diet, you can take collagen supplements to get extra amounts of some amino acids.
Collagen supplements usually come in the form of powder or capsules. In either form, manufacturers usually break the collagen in the supplements down into peptides, making it easier for the body to absorb and use.
Collagen supplements are generally made from connective tissue, bones and other parts of pigs, cows, and chickens. In bovine-, pork- or poultry-sourced collagen, the words “pasture-raised” or “grass-fed” guarantee a good source. Pasture-based, grass-fed animals roam freely and graze on native and cultivated pastures.
Another high-quality source is marine collagen, which is made from fish skin. It is a more sustainable alternative to many other collagen sources.
Good collagen supplements often contain Vitamin C. This micronutrient helps produce collagen and has an active role in collagen synthesis. It also acts as a sort of glue that binds collagen fibres together.
Some collagen supplements can also include hyaluronic acid, promoting optimal skin moisture.
Goodwill Pharma provides an optimal solution in the form of Cartinorm®+ BIOcollagen (10 g / 20 sachets). This protein shows promising results in arthritis and osteoporosis management, muscle recovery, and prevention of cartilage loss.
Collagen isn’t anything new. Your body has been making it your whole life. It is the glue that holds your body together. So, do you need to look for it on store shelves? Is it something you should buy? First, you should consider if your body is already making enough collagen on its own.
Wrinkles, muscle weakness, or aching joints might be your body’s way of telling you that you are low on collagen. In this case, you should consider adjusting your diet or boosting your collagen levels with carefully chosen quality supplements.
Read our blog regularly if you want to learn more about collagen and other exciting topics.