Collagen is one of those things in your body that everyone talks about the importance of without necessarily knowing what it is in the first place. Fortunately, it isn’t that hard to understand. Collagen is a structural protein within the body. This means it is comparatively rigid and hard to disrupt protein capable of providing support to various areas of the body. It is also fibrous to a degree and capable of being used in areas that move a lot without immediately taking excessive damage. Collagen gets used throughout the body in various ways for these very reasons. Its overall flexibility ensures that it is almost always being repaired and replaced somewhere in your body even if you don’t know about it. Some of the places it seems tend to be a little more obvious than others though. Understanding the full body benefits to support collagen production with a balanced diet should help give you a greater appreciation for the organic machine that is your body.
Most people who do their best to take care of their skin already know that collagen sees heavy use in skin. A number of the issues we experience during aging are actually due to difficulty with repairing and replacing collagen. Collagen within our skin serves to keep our skin filled out and plump. It also ends up taking damage almost constantly. This is because areas that move a lot such as our face and the skin around our joints get folded a lot and damage the collagen within the skin. Gradual damage starts to accrue and is one of the primary reasons we end up experiencing wrinkles relatively early in our lives. Notably, sun exposure is another source of problems. The free radicals that end up in the skin cause a constant amount of low-level damage that reduces healthy collagen levels. Lastly, our skin sags as we age because of these factors and the simple fact that our skin has difficulty maintaining collagen production. As a result, this is why supporting collagen production is crucial to our skin’s health at every age.
One area where collagen helps us constantly is our joints. It is particularly important to major, load-bearing joints that help distribute our weight so that our bodies can function. Collagen is actually one of the dominant components of the cartilage that helps to cushion the movement of our joints. It helps to reduce potential friction damage from our joints moving and thereby helps literally keep us moving. The body’s difficulty in keeping up adequate collagen production is why we end up experiencing increased joint issues as we age. Our bodies simply can’t keep everything in adequate repair. Admittedly, maintaining a regular exercise schedule alongside a healthy diet can keep your body focused on your joints enough to help minimize the issue. That the protein plays such a crucial role in our mobility is telling at how much of our body is dependent on proper collagen production. There is only one example that is potentially better at illustrating our body’s dependence on collagen.
Muscle and Bone
This is a combined category because it hard to separate the two both literally and figuratively. Muscle and bone provide our body’s support and mobility capabilities. That’s why we have such troubles when we damage one or the other. Collagen doesn’t actually make up all of your bones, but it instead makes up a lot of the core living bone that we seldom see. It helps to keep our bones together as well as contributing to their overall function. Muscles use collagen as a strong yet flexible protein that helps to overall reinforce them. Without it, our muscles wouldn’t be nearly as resilient as they are and might be more prone to tearing. This truly speaks to how vital collagen is given the heart is one of your largest muscles and one that we all want to be strong, flexible, and resilient. Muscle is everywhere in our bodies providing structure and function that keeps our body healthy. Without collagen, our bodies simply wouldn’t function right.
Collagen is used all over your body. It supports us in so many ways that it is hard to track. We’ve only touched on three of the most prevalent uses of collagen. There are still plenty of other ways it helps ensure our health and appearance every day. It is all of our best interest to support our body’s production of collagen by eating a healthy diet and keeping our body flexible. This will keep our body resilient and healthy for years to come.