Collagen is the glue that holds your body together. It is the most important and abundant protein in your body. Starting around age 40, your body stops replacing Collagen as quickly as it did before. One of the reasons our skin starts to “age” is that our Collagen is breaking down.
The same thing that happens in your skin as you age is also happening in your bones, muscles, and even your gut.
What is Collagen?
Most people have heard of Collagen, which is commonly used in lotions for the skin, and supplements for joint health, but many don’t realize the powerful and broad support Collagen can provide. Collagen accounts for about 30% of the body’s entire protein content. It is because of this broad dispersion throughout the body that increasing dietary or supplemental Collagen may have dramatic health-supporting benefits.
Scientists have identified at least 28 different types of Collagens throughout the body, with the most abundant being type I, II, and III. Each type of Collagen provides tissue specific benefits. The five most common types are:
Type I: Over 90% of Collagen in the human body; skin, tendon, vasculature ligature, organs, and bone.
Type II: Cartilage.
Type III: Reticular and commonly found alongside Type I.
Type IV: Basal lamina.
Type V: Cell surfaces, hair, and placenta.
Just by looking at the small list of the most common forms Collagen takes throughout the body one can ascertain the massive importance of having the proper variety in adequate amounts.
Collagen is created endogenously, most commonly by the fibroblast, but as people age they make less and less thus having a hard time keeping up with demand. Your skin, gut barrier (leaky gut), bones (osteoporosis), connective tissue, cartilage, and joints (osteoarthritis) all depend on Collagen to be healthy, strong and flexible. Especially as you get older Collagen is an essential part of your supplementation. A great dietary source of Collagen is gelatin, which is the result of Collagen being hydrolyzed and is commonly used in food products. You may be familiar with bone broth and the many health-supporting claims with which it is associated. Many of the claims can be largely attributed to the fact that bone broth is rich in gelatin formed from the hydrolyzing of Collagen as you slowly simmer your choice of bones. Additionally, there are several high quality dietary supplement versions of Collagen, many times separating out the type which is most specific to your goals.
What are the health benefits of Collagen?
You’ve probably heard that Collagen has the power to stop aging, support skin, reduce your wrinkles and plump up saggy skin… BUT it is so much more than just a beauty ingredient.
YOUR GUT HEALTH
The amino acids in Collagen heal damaged cells and build new tissue in the intestinal wall, as well as coating, protecting and soothing the lining of the gut wall. Collagen hydrolysate is also rich in glycine and glutamine, which are among the amino acids preferred by the cells of the digestive tract and immune system. This aids in healing and repairing a leaky gut, reducing inflammation and supporting proper digestion.
YOUR BONES & JOINTS
More than 90 percent of the organic matrix of bone is Collagen. It has been found that collagen plays a central role in regulating the growth and maintenance of strong, healthy bones. How? Collagen supports bone health through its ability to stimulate elastin and the formation of type I and II Collagen. Additionally, Collagen structures support bone development by linking growth factors together in the bones such as insulin-like growth fact. During bone re-modelling, Collagen networks are broken down and then the growth factors that promote bone reformation are released. A study found that in humans, adding 5g of Collagen peptides per day for 12 months increased bone mineral density in postmenopausal women at risk of osteoporosis. Collagen can also help prevent joint pain. It is a key component of joint cartilage. It has been shown that supplementation with Collagen peptides provides nutritional support that promotes joint health and recovery from physical activity. Therefore, also beneficial in conditions such as osteoarthritis.
YOUR CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH
You might be thinking… the heart too?! Yes! It has been found that Collagen supplementation improves cardiovascular health. Glycine, is cardioprotective thanks to the known anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties. Many animal studies suggest that supplementing with Collagen can improve cardiovascular health. Low circulating glycine levels are associated with a greater risk of acute myocardial infarction. Another study showed that healthy adults that took 16g of Collagen daily for 6 months had an improvement in their LDL / HDL ratio. As well as a reduced risk of atherosclerosis.
YOUR HAIR, SKIN & NAILS
As the most abundant protein in the body, Collagen plays a central role in skin health. But as we get older, Collagen production naturally starts to decline, resulting in wrinkles and sagging skin. Collagen improves skin barrier function, hydration and wrinkle reduction. It is important to look for a good quality Collagen supplement for skin, hair and nail support. Do you have brittle nails? Well, Collagen is also a component of fingernails. Collagen peptides may support nail health by promoting normal, healthy fingernail growth. It is also present in hair follicles and along those lines, it has been suggested to improve hair health and hair growth.
The amino acids in Collagen, particularly glycine, glutamine, and arginine, play an important role in supporting healthy metabolisms and muscle mass. Collagen keeps the central nervous system healthy which can help maintain optimal energy levels.
Among glycine’s many different functions in the body (like cardiovascular health) is also known to improve sleep!
I could probably keep going with the list of benefits – including that it’s a highly bioavailable source of protein but I think you get the idea.
Here is what you should watch out for?
Grass fed and grass finished – always!
It is without a doubt the best practice when any product is produced from environmentally sustainable produce. Grass-fed animals often have a better life, more sunshine and fresh air with more space to exercise and a reduced risk of infections.
Remember, Collagen comes from cartilage and hide so it is important that you eat organic and grass-fed and grass finished Collagen.
Just like in humans, toxins, heavy metals and chemicals are stored in fat and bone. So, if an animal is grain fed, highly inflamed, sick and constantly on medication – how does this affect the quality of the product made from these “storage” places?
Bovine tracheal cartilage is rich in bioactive compounds including Undenatured Type II Collagen and chondroitin sulfate. Enviromedica Cartilage Collagen provides a concentrated matrix of naturally occurring nutrients in their correct physiological ratios. This ancient nutritional powerhouse plays a fundamental role in supporting healthy joints, cartilage, and immune function.
Want to start supplementing Cartilage Collagen? Click here to get yours!
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