What is collagen?
Health forums and sites are mentioning collagen and the benefits that this miracle supplement has on your hair, skin, nails, and joints.
Health Nutrition has been importing and supplying pure bovine hydrolyzed collagen powder since 2016.
What exactly is collagen and what is its role in our overall well-being?
Collagen is the chief protein in connective tissue. (A protein is a naturally occurring, extremely complex substance that consists of amino acid residues joined by peptide bonds. Proteins are present in all living organisms and include many essential biological compounds such as enzymes, hormones, and antibodies.)
Collagen is one of the main building blocks for our skin, it is found in our body’s bones, tendons, and ligaments. This protein makes up over 70% of our skin’s support structure!
Endogenous collagen is natural collagen, produced by the body. Exogenous collagen is synthetic. It comes from an outside source, such as supplements. Exogenous collagen is used for medical and cosmetic purposes, including the repair of body tissues.
Why do we lose collagen?
The causes of collagen degradation include the aging process, exposure to ultraviolet radiation, vitamin C deficiency, excess caffeine, dehydration, chronic stress, poor sleep, and malnutrition. Habitual factors that damage the production of collagen include smoking and high sugar consumption. Connective tissue diseases, such as rheumatic fever, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus can also lead to collagen degeneration.
With age, the body produces less collagen, the structural integrity of the skin declines and wrinkles form. We can also see the effects on thinning skin, hair, and weaker nails, and feel the effects in our joints, and ligaments.
It is the substance that holds the body together. Collagen forms a scaffold to provide strength and structure.
Vitamin C plays an essential role in the synthesis and supporting the stability of collagen molecules. Apart from its antioxidant capacity, vitamin C may also be able to reactivate other antioxidants, such as vitamin E, so that they can be reused by the body.
- Collagen occurs throughout the body, but especially in the skin, bones, and connective tissues.
- Some types of collagen fibrils, gram-for-gram, are stronger than steel.
- Collagen production declines with age and exposure to factors such as smoking and UV light.
- Collagen can be used in collagen dressings, to attract new skin cells to wound sites.
- Cosmetic lotions that claim to increase collagen levels are unlikely to do so, as collagen molecules are too large to be absorbed through the skin. It may, however, add a film-like layer to your skin to reduce water loss and act as a barrier from environmental elements.
If you’re eating a healthy diet and feeding your body all the nutrients it needs to make collagen, you probably don’t need a supplement. But there’s nothing wrong with taking one.
Hydrolyzed collagen (or “collagen peptide”) powder usually has no flavor and dissolves easily in beverages, smoothies, soups, and sauces. You can buy yours from our online store or visit one of our suppliers if there is one in your area.
As for skin cream with synthetic collagen, it may work. It will add a film-like layer to your skin to reduce water loss and act as a barrier from environmental elements. But using skin cream is probably not as effective as healthy eating — and protecting your skin from excessive sun exposure and sunburns, especially early in life.