What is collagen?
The most abundant protein throughout the human body, collagen offers support and strength to everything from our bones to our fingernails. Collagen not only anchors cells to each other, but it also forms sturdy fibril strands that work as supporting structures for the skin, bones, connective tissues, and more.
There are 28 types of collagen in the body. Type I Collagen is the most abundant in our body and stronger than steel by weight.
Each collagen molecule is a unique building block consisting of 19-28 different types of amino acids connected like a chain that is stronger than steel. It provides strength, rigidity and structural support for our skin. Collagen functions much like the frame of a house. Without the frame, your house will tumble down.
Type II Collagen makes up movable joints and Type III (the so-called ‘baby collagen’) is the second most abundant collagen in human tissue.
Our dermis is made up of more than 80% Type I Collagen and 15% Type III Collagen, fibroblasts, elastin and hyaluronic acid. Together they are the key components for the extracellular matrix which gives our skin its structure, elasticity and firmness. No wonder we describe collagen as the key foundational protein for healthy, youthful-looking skin.
While we’re born with an abundance of collagen in our skin, the body's production of collagen slows in our mid-to-late 20's and continues to slow down after age 30. From there, the collagen levels in our skin begin to drop by 1-2% each year. When collagen starts to decline with age, or with exposure to things like UV rays or cigarette smoke, our skin’s structural integrity is compromised.
This strong as steel yet flexible protein is responsible for a lot in the human body, so what happens when it starts to deteriorate? It’s like the frame of the house or the cushion under the mattress, they start to crumble down. This is why aging skin begins to lose elasticity and firmness, as well as losing the radiance and fullness we associate with youthful skin.
Taking the right collagen supplements can help.
Why Is Hydrolyzed Collagen Used for Anti-Aging Nutrition and Supplements?
Once the collagen molecule has been broken down into pieces that can be easily absorbed into the bloodstream, this essential protein can be used in supplements to help replenish collagen in the body. The right Collagen supplements for skin can increase the appearance of skin’s elasticity, firmness, and hydration, while reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Your skin will look younger and healthier, and you’ll be able to recover your skin’s natural glow.
Does Collagen Provide Other Health Benefits?
In addition to the visible benefits of using collagen for skin, studies show taking collagen supplements could offer other health benefits. Some studies have shown that collagen supplements may help treat osteoarthritis. Because these supplements allow collagen to accumulate in the cartilage, researchers believe this can help decrease the painful symptoms of osteoarthritis and can improve joint function.
Collagen can also help your gut function more effectively, reducing leaky gut and potentially helping your body naturally repair the lining of your gastrointestinal tract so it works properly. Finally, if you’ve noticed that your nails and hair have started to weaken and break easily, consuming more collagen can support your body’s production of this structural protein, reinforcing hair and nail strength.