What Is Collagen?chshkt
Collagen: Your Body’s Favorite Protein
Protein, long heralded as the so-called “building block” of organic tissues, is a crucial part of our physical make up—as well as our diet. We need to consume high quality protein so that our bodies have enough to build and repair itself.
Proteins are made up of molecules called amino acids. To use an analogy, if proteins were like the walls that created buildings, then amino acids are like the bricks making up those walls. And with 20 different types of amino acids to choose from, it’s no surprise that so many different types of proteins exist.
Up to 30 to 40% of the protein in our bodies is collagen. Collagen contains amino acids including glycine, arginine, proline, and hydroxyproline. This unique concentration is what sets collagen apart from other types of protein (including whey and casein). Primarily, collagen fibers provide structure to several different tissues—highlighting its important role in our bodies.
The Many Roles of Collagen: Skin, Connective Tissues & More
Collagen is tough yet flexible—perfect, since it makes up a whopping 70% of your skin! It keeps your skin looking tone, supple, healthy, and radiant.
Collagen is also found in tendons, ligaments, muscles, bones, fascia, joints, hair, nails, and even in the lining of the digestive tract. As the “glue” holding us together, collagen helps us move better, look better, and feel better. Without an adequate amount, we’re at risk for wrinkles, a weakened immune system, brittle nails, dull hair, achy and stiff joints, weaker muscles and bones, and plenty of other things most of us just don’t want.
Aging, Life Stress & Diet: The Case for Collagen Supplementation
You may wonder what could cause collagen depletion in our bodies. And while many factors are at play, one of the most significant issues is that as we age, our bodies’ natural production of collagen slows down. Exposure to toxins and environmental stress (like UV radiation) can also impair your body’s collagen production.
This is why adding quality collagen to your diet is so essential. And while collagen is naturally found in things like beef, eggs, chicken, and fish, it’s often more cost-effective and efficient to get even more into your body via a quality supplement.
In other words: taking a collagen supplement is like an extra insurance policy for your health.