Collagen is a type of protein which is found in our body and is also used in skin and body lotions and vitamin supplements. This protein is a vital constituent of our skin, bones, tissues, and muscles. Mainly it has an animal origin, and its derivative is also available as gelatin.
As our bodies naturally produce collagen, but its regular production suffers from increasing age factor. Collagen intake may be beneficial for persons suffering from a protein deficient diet, patients, and elderly people. Also, Collagen can be taken in natural form or as collagen powder.
Collagen – An Introduction
Collagen is a form of insoluble protein made up of amino acids and constitutes about one-third of our body proteins. There are 16 different types of collagen, but most common in complicated human body are type I, II & III commonly known as hydroxyproline, proline & glycine.
Natural Collagen Sources
Most common natural sources of collagen are of animal origin and rich protein sources such as,
- Bovine Collagen
- Fish Collagen
- Chicken Collagen
- Egg Collagen
Benefits of Collagen
There are several ways collagen is beneficial for our body. We discuss some of them in detail.
- Improves skin and hair Health
- Helps to heal leaky gut
- Strengthens Nails and Teeth
- Increases metabolism
- Helps detox our body
- Heals and repairs joints
- Helps improve skin elasticity, marks, and aging signs
- Improves digestion
Gelatin & Collagen relation
Gelatin is a derivative of collagen. Collagen breaks down to form gelatin. Gelatin is an excellent source of getting collagen from ancient times. The process of converting collagen into gelatin can, during cooking of bone broth in which collagen breaks down into gelatin gradually during cooking.
Gelatin helps patients digest food during illness and help repair gastrointestinal tract. It also improves nutrient absorption through intestines and healing of internal linings.
Ways of using Collagen
Collagen being an essential component of our body, we need to have a good supply of protein intake so that our body can produce enough of it for healthy functioning. Some common ways of taking collagen are,
- Using protein-rich foods which can provide you with sufficient amount of collagen so that body can cope with its collagen needs
- Having wholesome real bone broth is an excellent source of collagen especially for patients and elderly people
- Adding protein or collagen powder in your daily food and recipes
- Using collagen supplements
- Using gelatin as a collagen source in daily food intake and various methods
People are having an average consumption of collagen usually look younger than other people of their age with brighter, more firm and smoother skin with fewer wrinkles. This is not only visible with skin but also teeth, hair and body joints of these people are healthier and show very little to no degeneration.
An average healthy person can have his body collagen requirements fulfilled by a regular balanced diet with proper protein portions. But as our body collagen production reduces with aging, there is a need for an additional supplement for elderly persons and those suffering from illness. A better way is the use of collagen supplements in food intake and should be administered by a healthcare professional. As skin, bone, joints and digestive system more likely to be affected in older age so those persons, in particular, should compensate the deficiency.
Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis patients are known to have been benefitted with type-2 collagen in some recent researches.
Collagen is particularly useful for women in keeping their skin, hair, nails and teeth healthier and young looking. Internal intake of collagen is more valuable than its use in skin lotions and creams as larger molecules are very difficult to be absorbed through the skin.