Why Collagen is The Key For Healthy Hair, Nails and Skin
When you buy cosmetics or skin care products, you may or may not have noticed how often they promote collagen on their covers or labels. Why is that? And for that matter, what is collagen and why is it so important for the body?
What is Collagen?
Collagen is the main structural protein that is also the most abundant in mammals including human beings. In fact, collagen is found in our bones, muscles, skin, blood vessel walls and tendons.
Collagen is a polypeptidethat is composed of 19 aminoacidsincluding hydroxyproline and proline. These amino acids collectively make up the protein that is found in our body’s connective tissue and due to this,collagen is referred to as the “glue” that binds our body together.
Apart from keeping your skin health clean and smooth, collagen also improves and strengthenshair and nail growth. If you want to know how that is possible, then let this article show you how:
1. Improves Skin Condition
The human skin is made up of approximately 75-80% collagen. While the body naturally produces collagen, that ability gradually decreases with age. This is how the skin starts showing fine lines and wrinkles, followed by waning skin moisture and plumpness due to the decline of skin elasticity.
Many skin care companies realized this and introduced countless skincare creams and conditioners made from collagen and other amino acids. Butthe collagen from these products have huge molecules that cannot be absorbed into the deeper dermal layers of the skin where collagen production takes place. Hence, the cream just lies on top of the skin doing nothing more than moisturizing.
However, there have been studies that found better results by orally consuming collagen. One study observed a group of 69 women aged between 35 and 65 for eight weeks who took oral collagen supplements,showed tremendous improvement in skin elasticity over those who took a placebo.
Another study showed that oral intake of specific bioactive collagen peptidesdecreasedskin wrinkles by 20% after 8 weeks of intake.
When taking collagen peptides, make sure the product is derived from cattle, not chicken. According to experts at KetoVale.com, your product should be sourced from grass-fed and pasture-raised animals for the best quality.
Also, collagen treats inflammatory skin conditions as it consists of amino acids such as proline and glycine that reduce inflammation.
2. Promotes Hair Growth
Collagen is what surrounds each strand of our hair that serves as the key to its quality and is able to structurally reinforce it.
The hair on our scalp is made up of keratin protein, which is what our bodies produce when the blood supplies it with amino acids. In order to increase the supply of amino acids in our blood, we must take collagen supplements orally, which are then absorbed into our small intestine. The cells in our hair follicles usethose amino acids to then produce keratin protein.
Additionally, collagen improves blood flow to the scalp which is a great way to promote hair and scalp growth. Eventually, the hair follicles retrieve the nutrients essential for faster growth.
Even as you grow older, collagen can improve your hair’s moisture levels to repair dry and brittle hair and repair splitting ends. This is backed up by one studywhich also results in thicker, shinier and silkier hair texture. What’s more is that collagen also decreases gray hair from showing up.
3. Repairs Brittle and Broken Nails
When nails become brittle with age, they become more prone to breaking, splitting or peeling. What’s worse is that if you go without a nail file, your nails will be able to pierce through objects or another person’s skin.
According to several studies, including this one, daily oral supplementation with collagen peptidesreduces nail brittle symptoms and promotes nail growth. 25 participants took 2.5 g of specific bioactive collagen peptides (BCP, VERISOL®) once a day for 24 weeks, and then held a 4-weekoff-therapy period.
The results presented a 12% increase of nail growth rate and a 42% decrease of nail breaking. 64% of the participants achieved an overall improvement from brittle nails and 88% of them experienced improvement after 4 weeks.
Other than skin, hair and nails, collagen offers a slew of other positive benefits such as:
1. Strengthens Your Joints
Glycine, one of the most important amino acids in collagen, is responsible for the growth and function of joints, ligaments and tendons. Our body needs at least ten grams of glycine daily for basic metabolic functions.
Collagen is important for creating the connective tissue that keeps our joints flexible and shock resistant. You will notice that exercising puts a lot of pressure on our joints. And when we grow older, weend up with brittle bones, aching joints and worn-out cartilage, because the collagen in our bodies gradually decline.
And that’s why taking collagen both improves joint resistance and prevents pain. A study from the University Of Illinois College Of Medicine at Chicago shows that collagen was useful for the treatment of osteoarthritis as well as other joint problems.
2. Provides a Healthier Digestive System
When we consume muscle meat, large amounts of amino acids such as tryptophan and cysteineenter our bloodstream. They’re not really bad, but can create problems if they are taken in large proportions. To balance them out, we must take in collagen hydrolysate and gelatin.
Gelatin helps your metabolism by releasing serotonin, which suppresses your thyroid. The glycine in gelatin prompts stomach acid production by absorbing water and keeping fluid ‘in’our digestive tract. This then repairs the gut and improves assimilation of nutrients in our body.
3. Prevents Heart Disease
Collagen helps prevent our cholesterol levels from building up, which thus prevents the risk of developing heart disease.
In one study, participants were given collagen two times a day for six months and found that there was a significant decrease of cholesterol. As a result, it diminishes the chances of heart disease.
Collagen also preventsplaque from building up in our arteries, which would otherwise clog them and stop blood from flowing to other organs, thereby causing a heart attack or a stroke.
How to Get Collagen
Now that you are aware of the benefits of collagen, we hope that you will make it a part of your diet plan. You can opt for collagen powder, collagen supplements, or liquid collagen.
Or you can also find collagen natural diet foods such as shellfish, cheese, egg whites, nuts or red meat. Peppers, oranges and broccoli also promote collagen production in your body.