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What is Collagen and How It Can Change Your Life

Collagen is the primary protein found in skin and connective tissues such as ligaments, tendons, and skeletal muscles of mammals, including humans. It is also found in the scales, skin, and bones of many types of fish. Collagen powder is made up of these connective tissues, bones, skin, and nails of cows. It is also made up of sources from fish and even chickens.

There are many benefits to collagen powder. In addition to making your skin, hair and nails healthier and stronger, it also has many overall health benefits. Studies have shown that it is good for cardiovascular health, gut health, and joint health. It is also important for building muscle and weight loss.

Collagen was first discovered and studied in depth in the mid-1930s. Researchers worked tirelessly to understand this protein, its molecular makeup, and how it was connected to health as well as evolution. They found that it was and important part of the evolution of multi-cellular organisms. Research has continued over the years to discover the many health benefits of collagen. It was first used in cosmetics and cosmetic surgery in the 1970s, and the first supplements came on the market in the mid-1990s.

Collagen Function

Collagen has many functions in the body. It is what holds the body together. This protein is the most prevalent in the body, making up about 30 percent of all the proteins in humans. The majority of your hair and nails are made up of this protein. Your joints, ligaments, and tendons are also made up of this protein.

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The collagen in your body has many other important functions. It strengthens the lining of the stomach and intestines, as well as the arteries. All of the connective tissues in every system of the body are made up of collagen. Without it, you would quite literally fall apart. The production of this protein is organic and made by the body, but as you age production begins to decrease significantly.

Collagen Benefits

There are many benefits to increasing collagen in the body. One of the primary reasons people use these supplements is to improve the appearance and health of the skin, or for anti-aging purposes. Studies have proven that it has a great benefit to the skin, making it more easily moisturized, more elastic, and more supple. Many women have discovered that they were able to stop aging in its tracks with the judicial use of collagen.

However, collagen has many other more important health benefits. Studies have found that it eases joint pain and reduces the effects of osteoarthritis. This is due to the fact that it reduces inflammation while also supporting the connective tissues in the joints.

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The anti-inflammatory properties of collagen have also been found to be helpful in gut health. Those suffering from leaky gut syndrome, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, or stomach ulcers may get relief through supplements of this protein that helps reduce inflammation that causes flareups of these disorders.

Collagen has also been shown to have some positive effects on cardiovascular health, because it supports the development and strength of the arteries. Narrowing of the arteries can lead to heart attack or stroke, but studies have shown that this supplement can help prevent that narrowing.

Collagen Fibers

There are many different types of collagen, but the fibers are only found in Type I. Type I collagen fibers are so strong that they are often compared to the tensile strength of steel. They are also the most prevalent type of protein in the body, making up around 90 percent of the collagens in the human form. These fibers are a part of and important for connective tissues, including internal organs, skin, tendons, and the organic non-mineral part of bone. Without collagen fibers, growth and regeneration of tissues, including healing, is compromised.

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Types of Collagen

There are currently over 40 different types of collagen that have been identified by scientists, but only five of them are important for biochemistry and only three of them are really important for overall health. The primary five types of collagen are named by roman numerals, such as Type I, II, III, IV, and V. The two most common types, and the most similar, are types I and III. Type II is the third type that is really important for your health.

You can get supplements that have Type I and Type III only, Type II only, or all three types combined. The ones that are combined to give you the most types of collagen are the best supplements to buy. These include certain powders that are available.

Type I and III

Type I and III collagens are primarily responsible for hair, skin, nails, and bones. Over 90 percent of the collagen in the body is either Type I or Type III. This protein is made up of 19 different amino acids that are important for your overall health and bodily functions, including metabolic processes and biosynthesis of proteins. These two types are also the best for gut health and cardiovascular health, as they are supportive of the connective tissues in all areas of the body, including internal organs and the arteries.

Type II

Type II collagen is responsible for joint health. The cartilage that supports your bones and joints is 50 to 60 percent Type II. As you age the production of this and other collagens decreases, which is one reason why older people have joint problems. Type II supplementation has been found to greatly improve mobility and decrease pain in the joints for those with osteoarthritis.

Collagen for Skin

You will hear again and again that collagen is good for the skin. This is because about 80 percent of your skin is made up of collagen. Production of this important protein starts to decrease as early as age 25, and as it decreases your skin loses suppleness, elasticity, moisture, and begins to show the signs of aging. Taking a supplement can help your skin regain its elasticity and be more hydrated, which in turn reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

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Many people have tried cosmetics, lotions and creams with collagen in them trying to reverse the effects of aging. However, this will not be effective. The molecules in this important protein are too large to be absorbed by the skin. Instead, a supplement such as powders that can be mixed into beverages and food are far superior. These powders are made up of hydrolyzed collagen molecules, making them small enough to be easily absorbed when taken internally.

Collagen Side Effects

If you take a collagen supplement for your skin health, joint health, or digestive health, you may notice some side effects that you didn’t bargain for when you started. While there are no real harmful side effects of pure collagen powder, there are some side effects that you will enjoy when you start these supplements.

One of the side effects of having more collagen in your system is that your hair and nails will grow more easily and stronger. Many people find that their hair is thicker, stronger, and grows faster when they are taking these supplements. Nails also grow faster, stronger, and healthier. This simply adds to the vision of glowing health that you can enjoy with these supplements.

Another side effect that you may or may not notice is suppression of hunger. For some people, collagen powder gives them a feeling of fullness that helps them stave off cravings and work harder to achieve weight loss goals. This is because the powder is essentially just proteins, and protein gives you a full feeling as well as energy to burn calories and fat.

Vegan Collagen

You may be wondering if collagen is vegan friendly. Unfortunately, this protein cannot be derived from plants. You can only get it from the connective tissues and bones of animals and fish. Some vegetarians are willing to eat fish, and if that is the case you can get supplements derived from marine life only. However, if you are truly vegan and you do not want to consume the parts of any living things, you will not be able to take these supplements.

Grass Fed Collagen

Just as important as getting collagen in your diet is where that compound is sourced. Different types of supplements are sourced from different breeds and types of cattle and other animals. For supplements with a bovine source, grass-fed cows are the most effective. Grass-fed beef is much healthier for you overall, because they are healthier. Grass-fed cattle will have the strongest and healthiest connective tissues, which is what the collagen supplements are made up of.

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