Dr Shivali AhlawatHead of National Reference Laboratory, Oncquest Laboratories Ltd.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body. It is the main component of connective tissues that make up several body parts, including tendons, ligaments, skin, and muscles. It has many vital functions, including providing your skin with structure and strengthening your bones.
Collagen offers many potential benefits, including aiding in skin health and suppleness and is an easy-to-digest protein source. Collagen also aids in boosting muscle mass, relief from joint pains and diseases. Collagen supplementation may help to strengthen your nails by avoiding brittleness. It may also contribute to the growth of your hair and nails.
As early as our 20s, our bodies begin to manufacture less collagen. Collagen synthesis is thought to be decreasing at a rate of roughly 1% each year. Collagen production is drastically diminished by the time we reach the age of 40. Collagen deficiency affects our skin, hair, nails, bones, joints, and gastrointestinal health. As a result, we should start taking collagen early to boost our body’s collagen status before our levels drop too low. A healthy diet can help the body produce collagen.
Nutrients that may support collagen formation include:
- Proline: In egg whites, meat, cheese and cabbage.
- Anthocyanidins: In blackberries, blueberries and cherries.
- Vitamin C: In oranges, strawberries, peppers, and broccoli.
- Copper: In nuts and red meat.
Avoiding tobacco and excess sun exposure and following a healthy diet and exercise regime can help reduce visible aging and protect collagen, keeping the skin, bones, muscles, and joints healthy for longer.
Most collagen supplements are sourced from animals, particularly pigs, cows, and fish.The composition of supplements vary, but they typically contain collagen types I, II, III, or a mixture of the three.
Some evidence indicates that collagen supplements may reduce wrinkles and alleviate joint pain. Early research shows that taking supplements may boost collagen levels in your skin, reduce wrinkles, and improve skin elasticity and hydration. Collagen supplements may also help relieve joint pain associated with exercise and rheumatoid arthritis. However the above are early studies and more research is needed. Though the potential benefits are promising, research on the effects of collagen supplements on bone, muscle, and other areas is required.