What is Collagen
Collagen is one of those buzzwords you’ve probably come across in the health and beauty aisle of your favorite shop, but it’s not just some attractive marketing lingo. In truth, collagen is one of the most fundamental components of the human body which can be found practically everywhere from inside your bones to surrounding your blood vessels.
Collagen is the most common protein found in mammals, typically making up 25% of their total protein content. The name collagen comes from the Greek word for glue, which makes sense when you consider that these highly-resilient structural proteins work to strengthen blood vessels and tighten skin cells. In fact, collagen is arguably the most important factor in healthy, younger-looking skin.
Underneath the top epithelial cell sheet, connective tissue is comprised of two main types of extracellular protein fibers, namely elastin and collagen. In addition to covering the organs, this tissue is responsible for storing essential materials and providing the basic framework for the body. The essential protein is also used by the body to function as a natural adhesive in tendons and joints to keep the body in its proper form.
The human anatomy is home to over a dozen different forms of collagen. However, the overwhelming majority is split between three of these types found in the skin, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and blood vessels.
Although beauty sleep may seem like an old myth, the truth is that healthy skin is closely linked to a proper sleep schedule. As with the human growth hormone (HGH), your body’s collagen deposits are primarily replenished during the nighttime sleep cycle. In fact, your body is extremely busy at night diligently pumping out hormones and repairing tissue and muscles.
Type I collagen is the body’s strongest and most common form of the protein and is used primarily for holding the body together. As the framework for many parts of the body, type I collagen plays a fundamental role in the healing process and is responsible for skin’s elasticity.
Next, we have type II collagen which can be found in our connective tissue and cartilage. These proteins are typically the most susceptible to aging which leads to a variety of health issues including arthritis and joint pain.
Type III collagen is one of the most fundamental building blocks found in the body, charged with maintaining structure. In addition to contributing to the firmness and elasticity of skin, these fibers play a massive role in forming blood vessels and cardiac tissue. In fact, many cardiovascular diseases have been linked to type III collagen deficiencies.
Last but not least, collagen is one of the primary components in hair, nails, and teeth. As a result, maintaining healthy levels of these proteins can help fight hair loss and strengthen your teeth and nails.
Collagen peptides are just one example of many budding health and wellness trends making their way around the world. While it’s clear that collagen is a fundamental building block of the human anatomy, many are left wondering, what are collagen peptides?
In reality, the only difference between collagen and collagen peptides is that the latter has gone through a process called hydrolysis. While containing the same proteins and amino acids, this process makes it easier for them to be dissolved and absorbed into the digestive system. Likewise, it significantly raises their bioavailability, meaning less gets filtered out by the liver and kidneys.
As we previously mentioned, collagen peptides undergo a process known as hydrolysis, which is a simple chemical reaction used to unbind certain compounds. In this case, hydrolyzed collagen gets divided into small chains of peptides for easier absorption into the bloodstream. While it may sound like a complicated process, it’s actually quite simple and is what gives bone broth its countless health benefits and gelatin its signature jiggle.
Collagen powder is becoming more popular every day especially now that these powders and supplements are practically everywhere. Furthermore, powders are generally much easier to consume than swallowing pills or drinking gallons of bone broth. You can easily just add the powder to your everyday food and drink, but I like mine mixed into a smoothie. I particularly like collagen protein powders like Bulletproof and Sports Research.
Studies show that oral collagen peptide supplementation can significantly increase collagen density and decrease the signs of aging. These supplements work by modulating skin functions and stimulating the synthesis of collagen, elastin, and fibrillin. More often than not, these supplements promote significant wrinkle reduction and improve skin elasticity and pigmentation.
Best Collagen Supplements
There is plenty of debate around which types of collagen supplements are the best. Whether you prefer collagen sourced from eggshell membrane, fish, chicken, or beef, it’s essential that you stick with responsibly sourced supplements from reputable brands. I’m a big fan of NeoCell and their Super Collagen + vitamin C 6000mg BioActive supplement.
Collagen creams are one of the most popular cosmetics on the market and can be found in many bestselling anti-aging creams. In addition to reversing the signs of aging, these cream encourage collagen production which moisturizes and nourishes the skin. Likewise, these creams have natural anti-inflammatory properties which can do wonders for your skin’s overall health. Do yourself a favor and check out LilyAna Naturals or the St. Ives Facial Renewing Moisturizer for a great bargain.
The penis facial is the new and trendy beauty treatment of the stars, but you don’t have to be a celebrity to reap its benefits. This intensive and invigorating skin treatment is formally known as the Hollywood EGF Facial, where the EGF is short for Epidermal Growth Factor. The aim of the new fashionable facial is to energize skin cells and promote healthy collagen and elastin growth.
The “penis” in penis facial comes from the source of the stem cells used in the treatment: newborn baby foreskins. The beautician transfers the penis serum via a specialized machine which creates tiny pathways into the skin. These stem cells are the key to it all, as they essentially reactivate older cells and sort of trick them into producing more collagen.
There are several notable brands which make ready-made collagen drinks but you’re probably better off getting a mix. Reliable companies like Sports Research and Zint make yummy, portable, and effective drink mixes loaded with gluten-free and sustainably sourced collagen.
Bone broth is one of the hottest wellness trends arguably due to its rich collagen content. In general, protein-packed foods, like fish and meat, are great sources of collagen. However, you can also boost your intake by adding more citrus fruits, leafy greens, eggs, and avocados to your diet.
- Collagen is found nearly everywhere in the human body, including bones, muscles, tendons, blood vessels, and skin.
- The body slowly decreases the production of collagen as you get older but can also be affected by other external factors such as poor diet, smoking, and sun exposure.
- The essential protein is particularly important for repairing damaged skin and plays a vital role in the fight against aging, wrinkles, stretch marks, and cellulite.
- Collagen may also promote better sleep patterns due to its unique make-up of amino acids.
- Besides for its role in aesthetics, it’s also an important component of a healthy digestive system. Research indicates that it is an essential facet of protein digestion and is one of the main ingredients in the GI tract’s protective lining.
- Likewise, collagen is also important for liver health as it helps the body detox harmful substances and boosts healthy blood circulation.