If you’ve ever heard the name before and wondered just what this substance is and how it can improve your health (or detract from it, should you be lacking in it), this article is for you. It might surprise you to know that collagen is the most abundant protein in the mammalian body, but by the time you’ve finished this article you’ll know just how it fits in your body and can help you be and stay healthy.
What is Collagen and How Important is it?
Collagen is found in fibrous tissues like skin, tendons and ligaments, blood vessels and even the bones as well as the cornea of the eye and in the stomach. Without it strengthening our blood vessels and giving our skin its elasticity, we’d be much more prone to cuts that could be fatal.
There are more than 25 types of collagen which are naturally occurring in the body. These fibers give strength and structure to many parts of the body and act as one of the main components of the connective tissues of your body. It’s also important to the youthfulness of skin. When collagen degrades over time, it shows on our body as wrinkles or skin malformations.
As we age, our bodies produce less collagen and our skin becomes less and less elastic as wrinkles set in. Joints loose their flexibility and bone strength begins to suffer, making the chances of a fracture or breakage much more likely.
Were you to ask your local health and beauty expert ‘what is collagen?’ you’d get a number of different responses, but as we’ve already discussed, collagen is important both inside and out. To the skin, collagen is important in order to remain young looking and healthy. Just under the skin, of course, are your blood vessels and joints which will likewise benefit from it. But how do we get more into our body as we continue to age?
Unfortunately, many people turn to taking a pill in order to rebuild collagen, not realizing that the specific kind of collagen that they need will need to be combined with other supplement forms in order to get the full effect. Peptide injections are the most common and best way to deliver collagen into your body, but boosting your intake of vitamin C in addition to supplementing your collagen will help you rebuild safely, even as you continue to age.
Collagen creams are a popular alternative to costly and sometimes painful injections. These creams are applied to the skin and come in various strengths– over the counter and even prescription strength. Both types of cream are designed to replenish collagen in your skin cells and will not penetrate into the body.
The next time someone wonders what is collagen, you’ll be able to explain the benefits of it and how it relates to your health and well being, as well as being able to identify just how you can improve your intake of one of nature’s most prevalent natural compounds.