Collagen is a type of protein containing amino acids, oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon. There are over 20 types of collagens present in our bodies. The most dominant ones are collagen type 1, type 2, type 3, type 4 and type 5. Collagen is present in all parts of our bodies, including bones, blood vessels, and skin. You can add collagen in your body by having a healthy eating plan. But you should also avoid some foods, including processed foods, sodium, sugar and wheat. These foods break down collagen present in the body thus reducing it. Additionally, you have to avoid excess exposure to the sun.
Functions of collagen in the body
1. Enhances skin health
Collagen supports growth and development of body tissues. It sustains cartilage, skin, and tendons. Its gives these structures their elasticity, integrity, and firmness. If you lack collagen, your skin will start developing fine lines and wrinkles. The collagen makes the skin smooth and flexible. Many studies have proved the effectiveness of collagen as an anti-aging agent, and that is why this ingredient has become very popular in anti-aging supplements. As you get older, the ability of your body to produce collagen also reduces leading to the formation of wrinkles. So you can slow this formation by using collagen and other collagen products.
2. Supports bone health
Our bones are made up of a combination of hydroxyapatite (a type of mineral) and collagen. These two form the bone’s structure, strength, and flexibility. About 30% of bones consist of organic materials of which around 95% are collagen.
3. Enhances muscle health
Collagen plays a crucial role for our muscles. The collagen provides the necessary structure and strength for the bones to function and moves all day. Besides making up skeletal muscle fibers, collagen fibers are also important components of cardiac muscles and smooth muscles (reproductive system and bladder). So you can make your muscles stronger and more flexible by increasing intake of collagen.
4. Supports blood vessels
Collagen also plays a crucial role in the blood vessels. This protein is part of veins’ walls, capillaries, and arteries of our bodies. This provides the blood vessels with structure, flexibility, and strength required for their effective function of transporting blood to all parts of the body.
5. Improves gastrointestinal tract
Collagen fiber offers your gastrointestinal tract the needed structure and strength for the breakdown of food. This eliminates numerous gastrointestinal problems associated with an improper breakdown of food.