Collagen is often thought of as a woman’s beauty aid, something that can support youthful-looking skin.† That notion is only half-right, however: As important to skin as it is, collagen plays other crucial roles in the body—making it valuable for both women andmen.
What is collagen? It’s a protein that accounts for about 30% of the body’s total protein content. Tough and flexible, collagen supplies the basic building material from which your tissues are sculpted.
Collagen in Skin and Hair
Much of your body’s collagen is indeed found in your skin, mostly in a lower layer called the dermis, where new cells grow. Collagen gives your skin not only shape and definition but also elasticity.
Collagen is also found in your hair (as well as your nails). It provides amino acids needed to create keratin, the main protein found in hair, and supports the health of hair follicles, the structures from which hairs grow.†
Collagen in Joints and Connective Tissue
Want joints that move comfortably? That requires collagen, which is a key component of the joint cartilage that allows for free and easy movement.† Collagen is also the main protein found in matrix, the scaffolding on which your bones are built.
In addition, collagen is found in ligaments, which connect bones to each other, and tendons, which connect bones to muscles. In fact, recent research suggests that collagen and vitamin C may work together to support these vital connective tissues.†
Collagen for the Intestines
Good health starts with good digestion, and good digestion requires a gastrointestinal tract lining that is strong and stable. Collagen supplies three amino acids—glutamine, glycine and proline—needed to support a healthy digestive tract lining.†
Collagen Types for Every Need
What allows collagen to fill these and many other roles is that it comes in a number of different types—28, at last count.
Of all these collagens, up to 90% consist of types I, II and III. Of those, I and III are the kinds most commonly found in the skin as well as the hair and nails, while type II is a major component of joint cartilage.
Maintaining healthy collagen requires a healthy lifestyle, which eliminates sugar consumption and smoking while emphasizing a nutritious diet, plenty of water, adequate exercise and consistent stress relief.
In addition, you may want to cover your bases with collagen supplementation.
Look for hydrolyzed collagen, in which the protein molecules are broken down into smaller units called peptides for better absorption, that supplies not only collagen types I, II and III but other types as well, such as IV, V and X. Quality products come from sustainably managed sources and contain enzymes that maximize collagen absorption.
†The information provided is not an endorsement of any product, and is intended for educational purposes only. NaturesPlus does not provide medical advice and does not offer diagnosis of any conditions. Current research on this topic is not conclusive and further research may be needed in order to prove the benefits described.
The conditions and symptoms described may be indicative of serious health problems, and therefore should be brought to the attention of a qualified healthcare practitioner.
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**These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.