The Skinny on Collagen.
Lately, for many, collagen is just an expensive, heralded supplement, that doesn’t do a whole lot. Besides, the different kinds can make it quite confusing and challenging which one to use.
Without collagen, we would be in bad shape. Collagen accounts for 30% of the cells in our body and is the main form of protein throughout the body. It is found in connective tissues, bones, cartilage, and supports red blood cells and tissue integrity. The American Heart Association reports that low collagen levels are typically associated with low blood pressure.1
As we age, the body’s production of collagen decreases which may result in many health issues. The decline starts around age 30 and typically becomes most noticeable after age 50. One of the main reasons we now have more problems due to low collagen is that people have been following low-fat diets. Proper fat intake is crucial for normal collagen production and Hyaluronic Acid supports the body’s innate collagen synthesis processes.
Supplementing with collagen can boost the body’s metabolic processes and can help offset the decline in collagen due to aging. Collagen proteins are particularly rich in glycine, which supports metabolic functions and detoxification.
Joint health largely depends on collagen and is also essential for skin elasticity. Collagen is particularly beneficial to the skin’s deep layer, especially for people over age 50.
Collagen has the amazing ability to support muscle, bone, and connective tissue in balance with body fat, thus supporting a favorable muscle mass and body composition.
Depending on what we want to achieve with collagen supplementation, it is helpful to know what the different types are beneficial for.
Types of collagen:
Type I: Skin, tendons, vascular ligatures, bones, and organs
Type II: Cartilage
Type III: Reticulate fibers (forms crosslinks for connective tissue strength and durability)
Type IV: Basement membrane strength (the extracellular matrix and skin support)
Type V: Supports hair health, placenta integrity, and cell structure strength
Type X: Supports articular cartilage
Choose products wisely, favoring sources of organic, wild-caught and/or grass-fed animals. Before starting a supplement regimen talk to your healthcare professional.
- American Heart Association. “Controlling Collagen Levels May Be Key To Fighting Organ Failure Caused By High Blood Pressure.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 August 1998. (www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/08/980817081222.htm)