Regular physical activity and a healthy diet comprise the main principles of a healthy lifestyle which has become a hot topic of conversation in the modern society. Most people highlight the importance of taking enough vitamins, minerals and proteinswhich play a large role in many functions of our bodies. Collagen is one of the key proteins of the human body and comprises over 25% of all our proteins. Collagenis found in skin, hair, nails, bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, internal organs, blood vessels, teeth, gums, etc. Even though collagen can take more than 20 forms and shapes, the most important ones are these:
- Type I collagen (found in skin, bones and connective tissue).
- Type II collagen (found in joint cartilages).
- Type III collagen (found in muscles, organs and arteries).
The natural production of collagen slows down with the passage of time and its quality falls. Hence, it is important to know how to stimulate the production of this protein in our bodies. Firstly, one should supplement their diet with the following nutrients that directly participate in the synthesis of collagen:
- Vitamin C which can easily be found in citrus fruits, strawberries, bell peppers and potatoes.
- Proline is an aminoacidthat is in abundance in egg whites, dairy products, cabbage andchampignons.
- Glycineis an aminoacidthat is mostly found in pork and chicken rinds and aspic.
- Silicon can be found in vegetables in grains, e.g.oats, millet, wholemealbread, potatoes, beetroot.
- Copper is easily found in offal, sesame seeds, cocoa, cashew nuts and lentil.
Usually,food products are not enough to attain the needed amount of collagen in the body. This is why medical specialists recommend taking collagen supplements. Their benefits have already been proven by a number of medical researches. Hydrolyzed collagen is one of the most popular forms of collagen supplements. Research revealed that the muscle mass of elderly people taking these supplements increased, which is especially important to maintain good health and physical activity in old age . Another research was carried out involving respondents afflicted with arthritis. They had taken collagen supplements for 70 days and had experienced a large decrease in joint pain which alleviated their every-day movements . It has been proven that hydrolyzed collagen improves skin condition. .
One should take note of certain bad habits, e.g. overdosing on sugar and dissolved carbon dioxide, that tend to bring harm to or even destroy collagen in the body. According to the scientific research, quick to assimilate glucose and fructose impede the natural restoration of collagen, which results in decreased content of this protein in the body and earlier skin aging . Research showed that staying too long in the sun was yet another bad habit as ultraviolet rays prevent natural formation of collagen . Smoking is among the most common bad habits. As shown by the research, tobacco blocks the production of Type I and III collagen .
Knowing how to properly take collagen supplements is important to ensure their maximum effects. The following are several key rules of taking collagen:
- Wait for two to three hours after eating before you take collagen supplements. The content of acid increases in the stomach during meal time, preventing the assimilation of collagen.
- It is best to take collagen supplements with a full glass of water right before bed.Your body can better absorb and process collagen during the night when its natural repair processes take place.
- Refrain from eating or drinking after taking the collagen supplements as the meal may reduce the effects of collagen.
Please take note of the composition of collagen supplements when choosing the desired product:
- The content of pure collagen per daily dose.
- Whether the product contains nutrients stimulating the natural production of collagen, e.g. vitamins C and B, silicon, hyaluronic acid.
- Whether the product contains antioxidants which destroy the free radicals preventing the natural formation of collagen.
Faced with the choice of dietary supplements, people always ask one thing: When will I notice the results? It takes approximately half an hour to stimulate the natural production of collagen after the nutrients are assimilated by the body. If the lack of collagen was minor, you will feel the results after the first week of taking collagen supplements: softer skin, glossier and fast-growinghair and stronger nails. If your body experienced a major lack of collagen and was substantially harmed, it might take as many as 8 or 16 weeks of constant use of dietary supplements to feel their full effects.
To sum up, collagen is very important to various structures in our bodies and its lack results in earlier aging and overall worsening of one’s health. It is highly recommended to ensure sufficient amount of collagen in the body by having a proper diet, avoiding bad habits and taking collagen supplements the benefits of which have been proven by many scientific researches.
- Danby. Nutrition and aging skin: sugar and glycation. 2010.
- Ricardo et al. Mechanisms of Photoagingand Cutaneous Photocarcinogenesis, and Photoprotective Strategieswith Phytochemicals. 2015.
- Knuutinen et al. Smoking affects collagen synthesis and extracellularmatrix turnover in human skin.2002.
- Zdzieblik et al. Collagen peptide supplementation in combination with resistance training improves body composition and increases muscle strength in elderly sarcopenicmen: a randomised controlled trial. 2015.
- Schauss et al. Effect of the novellow molecular weight hydrolyzed chicken sternal cartilage extract, BioCellCollagen, on improving osteoarthritis-related symptoms: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.2012.
- Proksch et al. Oral supplementation of specific collagen peptides has beneficial effects on human skin physiology: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study.2014.
- Curinga. How to Take Collagen Pills. 2017. Internet access: https://www.livestrong.com/article/132583-how-take-collagen-pills/