What Is Collagen
Collagen protein is different than whey protein or protein from chicken, fish, steak, soy, eggs and milk, in that it contains two amino acids that are not present in regular protein-hydroxylysine and hydroxyproline. The three best-known types of collagen are types I, II & III. They represent more than 90% of total collagen in the body and are involved in most of the body’s systems.
The amount of collagen in the skin and the quality of that collagen is a major determinant of one's appearance. However, a simple increase in collagen is not the answer to improving appearance, since the various types of collagen produced in the body are complex, as each body has a specific composition of collagen depending on age and health. Collagen productivity declines with age, yet this occurs with different collagen types at different stages in life. Natural collagen declination processes can be dramatically expedited by poor health choices, such as smoking and drinking, as well as excessive sun exposure. As collagen declines, the skin weakens and thins, which can result in wrinkles and reveals discoloration caused by sun damage. This thinning skin also begins to sag and lose its protective functions, which leaves it even more vulnerable to visible texture and color irregularity, bacterial infection and UV ray damage.
Collagen can easily be considered one the most overlooked least understood daily supplements in North America today. First of all, what is collagen? Collagen is a food protein. It is not a chemical or a drug. Collagen is the most abundant protein found in our body. Nearly 65% of our body’s protein is collagen. Our connective tissue is mostly composed of collagen. What is connective tissue? To complete the physical framework of the body there is an outer covering (skin), which incidentally when laid out flat, would measure 1 ½ square meters or 17 sq. ft. And an inner packing material (connective tissue). Connective tissue is made up of a variety of cells and fibers. All the nooks and crannies of the body are filled with loose connective tissue. If you wiggle your nose, touch your toes, or extend your arm, all this is possible because of connective tissue. It is important to know that collagen is not just an element of the connective tissue, but is mostly the connective tissue. I think you may be starting to understand the importance of collagen!
Collagen is the essential and major component of muscles, tendons, cartilage, ligaments, bones, gums, teeth, eyes, blood vessels, skin, hair and nails. Collagen is literally the glue that holds the body together. We are born with abundant amounts of collagen, but each year we lose 1% of our collagen, which may explain why we lose elasticity in our skin, why our joints begin to hurt, and why we have less energy. Sure much of this is caused by aging and general wear and tear. But how would we move? How would we feel? How would we look? If we started supplying and replenishing our body with the very predominant protein we were born with rather than continuing to burn it out as each year goes by. Remember, collagen is literally the glue that holds the body together. For the people that have already discovered the benefits of collagen, I can confidently tell you these aforementioned questions are not an enigma or a mystery.
The most predominantly known types of collagen are Types I & III (pronounced 1 and 3) and Type II (2). Collagen Type I & III represents more than 90% of the collagen in your body. So, one can imagine how many parts of the body Collagen Type I & III caters to. Collagen Type II specifically targets arthritic conditions, degenerative joint disease, cartilage injuries and inflammatory conditions caused by osteo and rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. Amino acids as you know are the essential building blocks of protein that form virtually all body structures; connective tissue, muscles, hair, skin, bones, glands and organs.
We need muscle, strength and support in our joints, our lower back and other ache and pain areas on our body. Collagen Type I & III builds the muscle tissue and lends more strength and support to these areas. Collagen Type I & III also lubricates these areas allowing us to bend and move easier.
The scientific fact is our body needs collagen. Without it our entire physical structure would be in a significant amount of trouble. But let’s take a more detailed look at the massive importance of collagen and how it literally holds our body together! Collagen? That’s a type of cream you put on your hands, or on your face or it’s something you inject into your lips – right? Yes, that’s true; collagen can be used for these very mild exterior applications. However, the real significant worth and benefits of collagen begin when it is orally administered as a drink, capsule or tablet. When collagen is orally administered the benefits are light years away from a simple dab of cream on your skin or a pouty pucker in the mirror.
The fact is collagen can improve our energy, our physical appearance, and most importantly our overall general health. It plays such a vital role in alleviating if not eliminating arthritic conditions, joint pain and joint disease vastly improving the quality of one’s life. If our body can’t imagine living or functioning without collagen then I would suspect we should listen to our body.