What is collagen?
Collagen is a natural substance in our body that supports and protects tissues such as: skin, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, muscles, bones, organs, hair and nails.
It is the wider protein substance of the body. This fibrous protein makes up more than 80 % of the connective tissue in all the body parts.
Collagen acts as glue which holds tissues together. Without it, we would be only a puddle. Collagen proteins are composed of amino acids which are key nutrients for the body.
These amino acids insure new protein production for connective tissues to regenerate, for their elasticity and their cohesion. They also play a key role in the joints' integrity and the tendons' and ligaments' flexibility.
What happens when our body produces less collagen?
With age, the body's capacity to produce collagen decreases and tissues lose of their tonicity. Skin and flesh wither and loose there young appearance. Muscles and tendons become more fragile. Cartilage and bones can deteriorate. A collagen production slow down can lead to:
Lack of Suppleness
Lack of Energy
No restorative sleep
Collagen and Cartilage
Cartilage is present in joints and is composed of over 70% collagen. It acts as a shock absorber and allows joints to move easily. It's the body's production of collagen which insures cartilage and joints protection's integrity. A collagen lack in cartilage leads to cellular destruction and encourages degeneration. As degeneration continues, bone ends can rub together, resulting in pain and difficult movement in the affected joints.
Collagen and Tendons
A tendon is a fibrotic connective tissue linking a muscle to a bone. Tendons are mainly composed of collagen. Collagen contributes to maintain their structure and their strength. They help to support and stabilize joints.
Collagen and Bones
ones are composed of collagen lamellae produced by bone cells. Without them, the fixation of minerals in the bone would not be possible. The decrease of collagen production by cells can cause a loss of bone resistance. With time, mineral deficiency will increase; bones will become porous and fragile and could easily fracture.
Collagen and Ligaments
Ligaments are composed of fibrotic tissues that are rich in collagen and link bones all together. They insure proper joint motion. A lack of collagen weakens ligaments and produces awkward movements which predispose to injuries and tissue damage.
Collagen and Muscles
Muscles contain connective tissues mainly composed of collagen. During muscular contraction, collagen allows the muscular cells to adapt to mechanical distortions. The reduction of collagen production provokes muscle weakening and favors muscular micro traumas which lead to a healing delay. This decrease affects the intramuscular nerve fibers and pain tolerance threshold reduces.
Collagen production in muscles helps to enlarge thin muscle mass. Conditioning studies show that a muscular mass augmentation generally helps the metabolism to use fats and sugars in a more effective manner, leading to a decrease of fatty mass. Actually, many people will be able to wear smaller clothes without noticing any difference on the scale.
Collagen and Skin
To preserve its young appearance, skin must have the capacity to permanently renew. The skin is composed of three different zones: from the outside inward: epidermis, dermis and hypodermis.
The dermis feeds epidermis and helps as skin tissue support. It is made of cells that make up the extracellular matrix composed of collagen fibers. In dermis, collagen fibers provide skin with resistance, tonic effect and elasticity. With age, these fibers gradually rarefy. This dermis reduction provokes wrinkles, stretch marks, a dry and rough aspect, loss of tonic effect, a softening and a lack of skin flexibility. At the age of thirty years old, we observe dark rings under the eyes which cause little wrinkles and small pockets.
Collagen and Eyes
The human eye is mainly composed of connective tissues. The sclera (tissue composing the white eye part) is made of collagen and represents 80 % of the eye. The cornea is also mainly composed of collagen fibers. Their main role is to insure the regular spacing preservation.