In this article we will look into another one of those terms that we use frequently in our blogs about skincare which is collagen. This term is used a lot when discussing topics about skin and skincare since it is an essential part of the skin. Collagen is a very important protein that makes up 30% of our body’s total protein composition.

This essential protein is key for providing support and structure to various parts of our body. The parts of our body that collagen provides support and structure to are skin, muscles, bones, and connective tissues. So, as you can see collagen plays a key role when it comes to the health of various parts of our body. Although some people believe that taking collagen supplements can help with building your collagen needs, there is little evidence to support this theory. The best source of collagen is through healthy foods for skin which helps to provide our body with the natural supply of collagen needed.

Being the fundamental building block when it comes to our skin, muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments and other connective tissues the role of collagen is very important. The proteins that make up collagen are amino acids. Specifically, those main acids are glycine, proline and hydroxyproline. Together these amino acids form a protein fibrils in a triple dimensional formation. In addition to collagen other elements such as zinc, vitamin C, copper and manganese are needed by our body to makeup this triple dimensional formation.

What is the function of collagen?

As we mentioned earlier the essential role of collagen is to furnish support and structure for our body. When looking more closely at the function’s collagen performs throughout our body certain things stand out which are worth mentioning. When it comes to those specific support that are provided to the skin collagen helps with the supply of fibroblasts in our dermis. This support provided to the dermis in turn will help new skin cells grow. Further specific supports provided to the skin includes replacing dead skin cells and giving elasticity to the skin. In addition, collagen helps with our blood to clot and provides protective covering of our organs.

The aging process and collagen

The aging process and skin changes with age play a key role when it comes to the supply of collagen available in our bodies. The aging process causes our body to produce less collagen. In addition, when it comes to the collagen present in our body due to aging process it breaks down at a faster rate. As well the quality of collagen present in our body is of a lower quality compared to collagen we had when we were younger. It’s worth noting that the aging process effects women in a more particular way. After menopause women produce less collagen. In general, after the age of 60 most people being men or women will see a reduction in the amount of collagen.

Things that damage or reduce collagen

Since collagen is an essential protein when it comes to numerous parts of our body, we need to avoid doing things that can damage it. Smoking is one of those habits that can decrease levels of collagen. By damaging collagen and elastin, smoking can lead to the appearance of wrinkles and cause wounds to heal slower. On top of that since nicotine present in cigarettes narrows our blood vessels which are near our skin’s surface it prevents delivery of oxygen and nutrients.

Our diet also plays an essential role when it comes to collagen. By consuming too much sugar and refined carbohydrates our proteins can get damaged which in turn causes collagen to get weak, dry and fragile. Last but not least are the effects of sun on our collagen production. Exposure to too much UV light produced by the sun makes collagen more fragile and easier to breakdown. UV lights cause the appearance of wrinkles and is best to avoid being exposed to too much sun light and when exposed apply sunscreen.

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