Collagen and Does It Help Fight Aging?

What is Collagen and Does It Help Fight Aging?

A popular choice for skincare today is taking collagen supplements in powder or pill form and has also been used in cosmetic procedures as an injectable filler used for treating wrinkles and making lips plump.

A popular choice for skincare today is taking collagen supplements in powder or pill form and has also been used in cosmetic procedures as an injectable filler used for treating wrinkles and making lips plump. It has become a hot trend that continues to grow due to its claim of increasing the elasticity of the skin and giving a youthful complexion. In addition, collagen has shown to have other benefits including giving the body healthy hair, strong bones, and keeping the joints working optimally.

What is Collagen?

Collagen is an important building block of the body found in bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and the skin as a fibrous supportive protein. Other important body parts that have collagen are teeth, blood vessels, and corneas. It is considered the most plentiful protein of the body, about one-third overall. This protein acts as the glue that keeps the skin cells adhering to one another giving it strength and elasticity. Blood clotting is another important function of this protein.

It essentially works to keep the body together and functioning at its best. In fact, the word collagen comes from the Greek word kolla, which means glue. It is no wonder it is such an important component both for functionality and aesthetics.

What Role Does Collagen Play in the Body?

To understand collagen further, we will look at the different types of collagen and its functions. There are 16 or more types of collagen in the body, we will discuss the four major types classified as I, II, III, and IV. Let's review each type and the role they play:

Type I Collagen:

These are densely packed fibers that account for approximately 90% of all the collagen in the body. It is the glue that allows structures of the bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, fibrous cartilage, connective tissues, teeth, and skin to come together and function properly.

Type II Collagen:

This type is composed of loosely packed fibers that cushion the joints. They are found in elastic cartilage such as the external ear flaps, some parts of the larynx, and particular areas of the respiratory tubes.

Type III Collagen:

These collagen fibers give support to muscles, arteries, and organs. It is a major component of hollow organs as in the case of blood vessels, the bowel, and the uterus.

Type IV Collagen:

This type of collagen is found in the layers of the skin. It helps with filtration being that is a major part of the dermal-epidermal junction.

As you can see, collagen is a vital part of the body that plays many roles. As the body ages its production decreases, which leads to sagging and wrinkling skin along with a weaker musculoskeletal system and other decreased body functions. Thus, it is crucial to pay attention to ways you can increase collagen production to maintain optimal levels as you age.

How Collagen Helps Fight Aging

Now that you know what collagen is and its role, you can clearly understand the importance of it in the aging process. Let's review four evidence-based advantages of using collagen as part of an anti-aging regimen:

1. Increases Skin Hydration and Elasticity

Many clinical studies indicate that taking collagen supplements improve the skin's elasticity and hydration. The sebaceous gland within the dermis is key to the quality of the skin. The gland produces sebum, which aids the skin in staying hydrated. Collagen helps sebaceous glands in the dermis along with other structures of the skin. It results in improved strength of the skin and optimum function of all tissues and glands. Hydrated skin is not only healthier but also more resilient and looks great. Taking collagen supplements is a complete way to support the skin, which is the largest organ of your body.

2. Helps to Suppress UV-Induced Photoaging and Skin Damage

As part of the normal aging process, the body experiences a breakdown of collagen and a decrease in its production. According to scientists, 50% of decreased collagen is related to aging, but about 30% is due to photoaging, which is the breakdown of collagen after exposing the skin to UV rays. Research shows a beneficial effect from taking a collagen peptide supplement to reduce sun exposure and skin damage.

3. Improves the Volume and Depth of Wrinkles

Taking collagen supplements has a visual effect on the wrinkles of the face, especially around the eyes. They appear to have a more plump appearance and show an overall improvement.

4. Helps to Reduce Stretch Marks and Cellulite

Because collagen makes the dermis of the skin stronger, it helps reduce thinning skin preventing it from sagging and showing stretch marks and cellulite. Collagen works by increasing the elasticity and thickness of the skin, which is a perfect way to improve its appearance.

5. Improves Functionality of Bones and Muscles

Another great benefit of using collagen supplements is the way you'll feel. Strength, flexibility, and endurance will improve. It keeps the whole body strong from the inside out. As you age, strong muscles and bones will prevent injuries and fractures.

What's Next For You?

Now that you know more about collagen and its functions, the next step is to find a practitioner that can help you implement solutions for you to benefit from this essential component of youth and vitality. Collagen is key in not only improving aesthetics but also staying healthy. Vitality is experienced from the inside out with this important factor that plays such a major part is your body's function and appearance.

Dr. Ross helps patients by implementing unique solutions that will help them look younger with increased collagen volume; in his blog Can You Rebuild Collagen he reviews essential information all patients should be aware of. One therapy often used is Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT). Being familiar with all the ways collagen can benefit you allows you to choose better solutions for what you would like to improve with your body.

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