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What is Collagen and Why Do We Need It?

 

Collagen is essentially the glue that holds us together, put very basically. More formally, the definition of Collagen is a hard, insoluble and fibrous protein that makes up one-third of the protein in the human body. Collagen is the principal protein of the skin, tendons, cartilage, bone, and connective tissue and is an essential part of the framework of the design of our various body tissues. *

Here are a few facts about Collagen:

• Protein makes up around 20% of the body's mass, and collagen makes up around 30% of the protein in the human body.
• There are at least 16 types of collagen, but 80-90% of the collagen in the body consists of types I, II, and III.
• Type I collagen fibrils are stronger than steel (gram for gram).
• Collagen is most commonly found within the body in the skin, bones and connective tissues.
• The word "collagen" is derived from the Greek "kolla," meaning glue.
• Collagen gives the skin its strength and structure, and also plays a role in the replacement of dead skin cells.
• Collagen production declines with age (as part of intrinsic aging), and is reduced by exposure to ultraviolet light and other environmental factors (extrinsic aging).*

 


 

Why do we need Collagen? Up there with water, collagen is vital for our bodies and is imperative as the structural substance. Without collagen our ligaments, tendons, bones and skeletal muscles wouldn’t hold together. It is also one of the primary components of our hair, skin and nails. Knowing how important collagen is to our bodies, it makes sense to also be aware of what we can do to help protect against any collagen damage.

By avoiding the sun, sugar and smoking we are one step closer to preserving our collagen supplies and by incorporating nutrients that support collagen formation like, Proline – found in egg whites, meat cheese, soy and cabbage, Anthocyanidins – found in blackberries, blueberries, cherries and raspberries, Vitamin C – oranges, strawberries, capsicum and broccoli, Copper – shellfish, nuts, red meat and Vitamin A – found in animal-derived and plant based foods as beta-carotene – we are giving our collagen the best possible chance at being preserved.

 

*Source - http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/262881.php

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