Collagen: The Anti-Aging Superpower
What Is Collagen?
Collagen, scientifically, is an insoluble fibrous protein found in the extracellular matrix and connective tissue. Every individual naturally produces collagen, but with age your body starts to slow down its production. Collagen comes in roughly 16 different forms, but most of your body is made up of types one through three. Different types of collagen are found in different parts of your cellular composition such as cartilage, tendons, and connective tissues. Each type of collagen has a slightly different structure, but they typically all have the same key functionality; strengthen and sustain tendons, skin, muscle and cartilage. Maximizing collagen levels will ensure your skin remains supple and healthy as you age.
Why Is It Important?
If our bodies produce collagen naturally, why do we need more of it? It is true that our bodies create this important protein on its own and it is also true that this protein is the most abundant protein your body produces, but starting at just the young age of 20 (varies per individual) the body begins to reduce the amounts of collagen it produces. When your body produces less collagen, you will start to see those wrinkles, saggy skin, and possibly weaker bones.
The sad truth about aging is we slowly begin to lose our shining properties that we once gawked over. That does not mean you should just give up! Adding supplements, among many other great options, can get you back to your prime, as well as provide you with an array of other beneficial effects.
How Can It Reduce Signs of Aging?
Collagen is the main component of the dermis. The dermis is the thick layer of living skin tissue below the epidermis. Â It is also the layer that forms our true skin, contains our blood capillaries, nerve endings, and hair follicles. It gives us that healthy, flexible, and moist skin we all know (or used to know) and love. As you age, you start to produce less collagen, which in turns allows the skin to thin and form wrinkles. Giving your collagen levels a boost as you begin to age will ultimately help maintain your skin and keep it elastic as you get older. Alongside elasticity, collagen can significantly help hydrate and maintain moisture in your skin. Protecting and rebuilding collagen can counteract the impact of UV exposure, allowing you to do more and fear less throughout the day.
What Products Can It Be Found In?
You can certainly find traces of collagen in a variety of topically applied products such as face washes, cleansers, lotions, etc., but you can also find it in other places. Dietary collagen is a natural protein that produces amino acids for your body. It is available as a supplement in pill form, but you can easily find it in powdered form as well. The next time you are out, have a look in your local pharmacy and you could absolutely find yourself gazing at some over-the-counter collagen supplements that can provide the amino acids needed by cells rebuilding collagen for younger, healthier skin.
Did you know that collagen is also in plenty of healthy food options? That is right! Well, almost right. There are a ton of healthy food choices that contain essential amino acids that support, or enhance the synthesis and production of collagen in your body. So, you can begin to eat your way back to healthy skin. Unfortunately, this is not about chocolate bars here (but do consider bone broth). However, some foods that support collagen production are animal sources such as fish and poultry, fruits such as cherries, blueberries, and raspberries, or foods rich in vitamin C and copper such as broccoli and peppers.
What Else Does It Do?
As you certainly know by now, collagen is essential for great skin. It helps you to keep that youthful look and ensure your skin is healthy and wrinkle free as you age. However, collagen does so much more than work wonders for your skin. Collagen has been linked to several beneficial health factors, much more than providing supple skin over time.
Collagen not only supports younger skin, but it also works to build and restore your muscles. It helps keep your joints strong and can also improve your appetite, maintain your metabolism, reduce inflammation, and even improve your digestion. Your hair and nails can also reap the benefits of collagen, as it supports healthy hair growth amongst all its other superpowers.
All of this from just one thing? You got it! As you can see, collagen is extremely important and beneficial to your overall health. Getting that young, early 20s skin again is just a wonderful bonus.