What is collagen and why is it good for us?
The benefits of collagen have been in the spotlight a lot lately. Good Morning America even featured it in a special interview with dermatologists! I’ve seen everything from collagen-infused shampoo to collagen facial treatments offered at medispas. It got me wondering, what is collagen? Why is it good for us?
It may be news to you is that collagen is the most abundant protein found in the human body. It forms the underlying structure of our hair, skin, nails, and bones. Collagen can make up to 70% of the protein found in our skin. Your body’s natural collagen production decreases in your 20s, causing fine lines, dull skin and hair, and weaker tendons and ligaments.
Collagen is an up-and-coming supplement that has my interest. It has no taste and many people add powdered collagen into their daily cup of coffee or their morning protein shake. Does it get much easier than that? Powered collagen is supposed to be more readily available for digestion and absorption into the bloodstream than natural collagen. We find the natural form in the bones and skin of animal meat. If you prefer natural sources, bone broth is a great option.
As I said, powdered collagen hits the bloodstream quickly, and your blood transports it to body systems, like your bones, skin, and tendons. By ingesting collagen, you can increase your body's own collagen production. Collagen supplements have gifted people with younger skin, stronger bones, and healthier guts. What about topical collagen products though? If you have a trouble area, like skin on your face and neck, then a topical product may make sense. But there is some debate about collagen absorption through the skin because collagen is a relatively large molecule. I’m betting on consumption as the least invasive and most effective means of introducing more collagen into your body.
This is just the surface of the information that is available on collagen. If I piqued your interest, I encourage you to do some research on your own and come back and comment on what you have found!