over 40? You’re losing collagen

Collagen, the most abundant protein in our bodies, serves a multitude of essential functions. It provides our skin with a youthful glow, maintains a healthy gut, supports joint health, aids in cartilage formation, and promotes lean muscle mass. Picture collagen as the “glue” that holds our body together. In fact, the word collagen derives from the Greek term ‘kolla,’ meaning ‘glue.’ This fibrous and structural protein is found throughout our entire body, from organs and muscles to skin, hair, nails, teeth, bones, blood vessels, tendons, joints, cartilage, and the digestive system.

Accounting for approximately one-third of our body’s protein, collagen is truly vital for our overall well-being. It provides strength and elasticity to our skin, structure and support to our muscles, tendons, bones, and blood vessels. While there are 16 different types of collagen, the majority found in our bodies comes from five main types.

Our bodies naturally produce collagen, but around the age of 35, collagen production starts to decrease. By the time we reach 40, collagen depletes faster than our bodies can replenish it, and by 60, over half of our collagen is gone. Aging is not the only factor influencing collagen levels; genetics, smoking, air pollution, excessive sun exposure, and nutritional deficiencies also play a role. ( antioxidants, free radicals)

Fortunately, incorporating a collagen supplement into your daily routine can help maintain the benefits of collagen as you age. Let’s explore the different types of collagen and their specific advantages.

Type I collagen is the most common, accounting for 90% of our body’s total collagen. It can be found in the dermis, the layer of skin below the surface, making it crucial for maintaining healthy skin, hair, and nails. However, as we age, type I collagen breaks down, leading to loss of skin elasticity and the development of wrinkles.

Type II collagen differs from type I in that it is not tightly packed together. It is particularly beneficial for supporting joint and bone health, as it helps maintain a healthy inflammation response and supports smooth joint movement. Type II collagen contains chondroitin and glucosamine, which aid in cartilage rebuilding.

Type III collagen, the second most abundant type in our bodies, partners with type I to support our gut, muscles, blood vessels, and the uterus in women. Its involvement in major organ systems also means it plays a significant role in diseases associated with inflammation.

When it comes to collagen sources, there are several options. Our bodies naturally produce collagen by combining amino acids from high-protein foods such as cage-free chicken, grass-fed beef, and fatty fish. Collagen is also derived from animal sources, such as bones, making bone broth an excellent choice for collagen-rich nutrition. Marine collagen, extracted from fish skin, promotes skin health and cartilage growth. Chicken collagen, produced naturally in chickens, is particularly rich in type II collagen, essential for healthy joints, cartilage, and ligaments. Lastly, collagen-like proteins similar to type I and V are found in eggshell membranes, supporting healthy tissue growth.

To ensure optimal collagen production, it is important to consume foods rich in vitamin C, such as berries, broccoli, and leafy green vegetables. Or consider IV infusions of Vitamin C for immediate bioavailability. Additionally, collagen peptides or collagen hydrolysate are recommended for supplementation. These forms of collagen are highly bioavailable, easily absorbed by the body, and provide maximum benefits for skin, bones, and joints. Collagen peptides are widely available in supplements, powders, or liquids offering convenience in incorporating them into your daily routine.

Now, let’s delve into the astounding benefits of collagen.

Repairing a Leaky Gut: A healthy gut is vital for overall well-being, as it houses nearly 80% of our immune system. When the gut becomes leaky, toxins, food particles, and infections can penetrate the intestinal wall and enter the bloodstream, leading to chronic inflammation and potential autoimmunity. Fortunately, the microscopic folds or “villi” in our intestinal lining, built from collagen, act as a protective barrier, promoting tissue growth and cellular health, effectively sealing the leak and restoring gut integrity.

Improving the Appearance of Hair, Skin, and Nails: Collagen protein plays a crucial role in maintaining healthy hair, skin, and nails. As we age, our skin loses elasticity, becomes thinner, and cellulite becomes more prominent. Collagen promotes healthy skin aging by increasing moisture retention, boosting elasticity, and reducing the appearance of wrinkles and cellulite. It also supports strong and resilient hair and nails, helping them grow and maintain their health.

Impacting Joint Health: Collagen is essential for the health of our joints, tendons, and ligaments. It allows for smooth movement and flexibility, similar to how oil benefits a car’s mechanics. However, as collagen production declines with age, joints can become stiff, swollen, and painful, limiting mobility. Collagen contains amino acids like glycine and proline, which support joint mobility and a healthy inflammatory response, promoting overall joint health.

Supporting Optimal Weight: One remarkable benefit of collagen is its impact on weight management. The amino acid glycine, found in collagen, helps convert glucose into energy, promoting the formation of lean muscle tissue. Since muscle burns more calories than fat, having more lean muscle boosts metabolism, effectively turning the body into a fat-burning machine even during periods of rest. Some evidence suggests that collagen supplementation may also contribute to a feeling of fullness after meals, aiding in appetite control.

Supporting Bone Formation, Growth, and Repair: Collagen plays a crucial role in maintaining healthy bone development. Approximately one-third of our bones consist of collagen, providing them with flexibility. As bone cells regenerate continuously, incorporating collagen protein into our diet can increase bone mineral density and promote healthy cell formation in bones. This supports overall bone health, growth, and repair.

Incorporating collagen into your routine can be a game-changer for your health and beauty. Its numerous benefits extend beyond external appearance, impacting gut health, joint mobility, weight management, and bone strength. Choose from various sources such as bovine, marine, chicken, or eggshell membrane collagen, and consider collagen peptides for optimal absorption. Enhance your collagen production by including vitamin C-rich foods in your diet and/  or IV infusions containing Vitamin C. Embrace the power of collagen and experience the transformative effects it can have on your overall well-being.

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