Collagen is the most abundant protein in the connective tissue of mammals, including humans. This protein connects skin, cartilage, bones, muscles and tendons and, much like a glue, it holds them together. Collagen and elastin work together in the body to give tissues their strength, flexibility and firmness. Collagen and keratin work together to give the necessary strength, resilience and flexibility to our skin. Our organs and even our teeth all depend on collagen.
As people get older they begin to have less and less collagen in their bodies, ultimately resulting in a deficiency. The deficiency naturally results in undesirable effects such as sagging skin, wrinkles, sagging muscles and impaired joint mobility. The replenishment of vitamins, minerals and other natural compounds in the body is the reason people take supplements. A collagen supplement does the same, replenishing the body’s collagen. Collagen starts decreasing at around age 35 and its levels go down about 1.5% every year, reaching a decrease of 30% by around age 45. Since the 1970s, research studies have shown that taking a collagen supplement helps stimulate the formation of new collagen as well as replace collagen that has been lost.
Many people want to reverse the effects of aging for purposes of improving their appearance, but others do so to try to put an end to their disabling pain and stiffness in their joints. Trying to replenish collagen by taking a collagen supplement appeals to people for different reasons, because this protein is not only required for the supple firmness of youth, but also for flexibility, mobility and strength of the joints and muscles. Collagen is a natural remedy and an alternative to surgery that makes sense.
Looking into any supplement or new treatment regimen is an excellent idea. You need to determine whether you will possibly have an allergic reaction or any interactions with medications you are taking. Many supplements contain gluten, yeast, salt, sugar, soy, wheat and even shellfish. Vegans should be aware that most brands of collagen are extracted from chickens and cows.
In addition to an oral Collagen Supplement, there are collagen injections and topical collagen creams. There is some controversy regarding collagen creams. Whether the creams do what they are claimed to do or not, the moisture benefits are not refuted. Some think the collagen molecule is too large to be efficiently absorbed into the skin.
The injections have their own complications, but the immediate affect is undeniable, though it is certainly a temporary change. Oral supplements seem the most promising and effective. With no risk involved and the gains being hair that shines, strong nails, increased mobility with fewer aches and pains, what do you have to lose?