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Collagen ‒ Fountain Of Youth Or Silly Spoof

Written by: Taryn Roberts, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

It's all the rage but should we be taking collagen supplements? Everything you need to know! Maybe you have tried a collagen shot, collagen latte or even a super-collagen facial? Perhaps you’ve been tempted by collagen supplements with the promises of better skin and a fresh glow!

Collagen isn’t a new fad, it is actually already a part of all of us! But with the exponential rise of celebrity and influencer endorsements, collagen has become a health trend in the wellness world, particularly for its aesthetic benefits but it is actually so much more important than beauty alone.


So getting down to it – should we take collagen? What are the benefits? Are all collagen supplements equal? Below is all you need to know.


So what is collagen?


Collagen is a hard, insoluble and fibrous protein, making up one-third of the protein found in the human body! It is one of the major building blocks of bones, skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments. I actually recommend this to my sports clients to improve performance, prevent injury and aid recovery. If you want gains in the gym or on the track, a Cologne list-approved collagen is well worth the money!


It is often referred to as the “glue” that holds things together, giving the skin strength and elasticity. The word actually comes from the Greek word “Kólla” which means glue!


What does collagen do in the body?


There are many types of collagen in the body but the main types are 1, 2, 3 and 4.


Type 1: Accounts for 90% of the body’s collagen, providing structure to skin, bones, tendons, fibrous cartilage, connective tissue and teeth.


Type 2: Made of more loosely packed fibres and found in elastic cartilage, which cushions your joints.


Type 3: Sports – the structure of muscles, organs and arteries


Type 4: Helps with filtration and is found in the layers on the skin


As you age, your body produces less and lower quality, in fact, it starts to decline from around the age of 20 :(!


One of the most visible signs of this is that your skin becomes less firm and supple, with cartilage also weakening as we age. What fun!


The Benefits of Collagen


For bone health:


Collagen and calcium are two substances found in our bones that help to keep them strong and flexible. We all grew up hearing how important calcium is for healthy bones ‒ but you actually need collagen here too!


Collagen is a major component of our connective tissue, which helps us to move more easily.


From the age of 20, collagen in the body starts to decrease by 1% each year, and this percentage reduction increases over the age of 40.


Research has shown that collagen supplements may help to discourage bone breakdown, which if left untreated, may lead to osteoporosis. Menopause increases the risk of osteoporosis, and it is thought that by using a calcium-collagen supplement, we may be able to help prevent bone loss and improve bone mineral density.


For Skin health:


Collagen is the main component on our skin, helping to strengthen it, support elasticity and boost hydration. Several studies have demonstrated that collagen peptides and supplements may help slow the ageing process of the skin by reducing dryness and wrinkles.


The wrinkle-reducing effects of collagen supplements have been shown to help stimulate the production of collagen by the body itself and promote the production of proteins such as elastin and fibrillin to help with skin structure.


For Gut health:


Collagen plays a key role in building and maintaining healthy connective tissues throughout the digestive tract. This is thanks to the number of amino acids such as glycine, glutamine and proline found in collagen, that can be beneficial to the intestinal tract and the stomach.


Maintaining a strong digestive tract and stomach lining is key for the prevention of gut health concerns such as leaky gut. Leaky Gut can occur when there are damages in the barrier lining your intestine, allowing food and waste particles to pass into the bloodstream.


How to add collagen into your diet:


Bone broth ‒ made by simmering bones to enhance the beneficial nutrients of the bone marrow. This is a great source of collagen, and so easy to add into the diet through soups, stews, or sip it throughout the day like a tea. To ensure the quality of your bone broth is top-notch, try making your own with bones from your reputable local butcher ‒ quality definitely makes a difference here.


Supplements – Collagen peptides are a simple way to get in more of this important amino acid. If you’re eating a diet which in these, you may not need a supplement, but it will certainly give you a great boost. If you are on any medication, breastfeeding or pregnant, check in with your doctor or health advisor before taking.


Powdered collagen peptide or Hydrolyzed collagen usually has no flavour and dissolves easily in hot drinks, smoothies, soups and sauces.


For improved digestibility and optimal absorption, taking a collagen powder formulated with ingredients such as Vitamin C, Zinc and Hyaluronic acid can really give it an added punch.


What damages collagen in the body?


Having a diet high in sugar and refined carbohydrates interferes with collagen’s ability to repair itself ‒ skin looking a bit lacklustre anyone?


Having too much sun exposure, as ultraviolet radiation can reduce production in the body is also a factor. Avoid excessive sun exposure and always wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30. Your priority should be to protect the collagen you already have, instead of trying to make up for bad sun protection habits later on.


Smoking reduces the production in the body, impairing wound healing and leading to wrinkles. Smoking allows free radicals to attack collagen fibrils, resulting in them being weak and of poor quality.


A number of autoimmune disorders can damage collagen in the body, such as Lupus.


A low protein diet will alter your body’s stores. Protein-rich foods supply the amino acids the body requires to produce collagen. To maximise production in the body, eat a varied, balanced diet filled with whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds.


So in summary, collagen is incredibly important for our well-being and, whether through diet, supplementation or a combination of both, a great addition to a healthy lifestyle.


Considering supplementation? Feel free to contact me on Instagram or via email should you have any questions about the right collagen for your health goals. A key watch out when it comes to supplements is making sure the type aligns to your health goals. I see far too often people being recommended one that they are told does it all and then not getting the results they are looking for so do your research.


Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


 

Taryn Roberts, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Taryn Roberts is a health and nutrition coach, empowering high performing women to achieve their dream bodies and next level life. Taryn works with clients to achieve total transformation, using her unique 3 step power method, which encompasses the power of gut healing, mindset and nutrition to ensure clients get the results they desire and deserve.


After the birth of her twins, her high flying corporate finance career became less of a passion as she realised that the part she really loved was unleashing the true potential of others versus her own progression. Juggling it all, an awkward conversation with her HR Director, that started with "what do you want more, the promotion or the pay rise" (not quite the discussion with her male counterpart) and an ever-increasing feeling of being unfilled and burnt out made her call time on her corporate career to follow her passion, get her qualifications in Nutrition and Health coaching, and help others to optimise their wellbeing so that they can truly live life and thrive.


She works with clients on a 1:1 and group basis and has also built a successful corporate well-being arm for her business, taking her closer to her vision of helping 1 million people to heal their guts, achieve their optimum well-being and truly thrive. Taryn works fully online with her clients globally.

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