What is Collagen
During our younger years, the body continually discards old collagen and creates new collagen. After the age of 25 or so, the body begins to lose its ability to create new collagen. The lack of new collagen leads to host of aging symptoms, such as fine lines, wrinkles, arthritis, and joint problems.
For many years, animal collagen was used for collagen supplements, although it had many drawbacks. Human skin has a difficult time absorbing animal collagen and also animal collagen has the potential to spread BSE, better known as a mad cow disease, thus posing danger to humans. Since BSE and other issues are found within animal collagen, scientists began looking for safer types of collagen. Polish scientists discovered that salmon fish collagen, is non-toxic alternative. Even better, salmon fish collagen is more readily absorbed by human skin than animal collagen.
Collagen's Protection Against Cancer
Cancer cells spread through the body in such a way that produces large amounts of enzymes capable of digesting collagen, and thus pave the way for cancer to all tissues of the body. However, as long as collagen barrier is stable, they are not going to spread.
Collagen and Joints
Joints are a moving combination of bones. Place where their connection takes place is called placenta. Placenta’s biggest problem is friction; therefore joint surfaces are covered with hyaline cartilage and articular membrane. Their function is to produce so-called synovial fluid, which moistens moving parts of the connecting bones to eliminate possible pain. During illness when deterioration of cartilage occurs or quantity of produced synovial fluid is insufficient, they cease to perform their function in a satisfactory manner. Since bones are not properly shielded, unpleasant pain occurs with every movement. Among other things collagen is responsible for sufficient production of synovial fluid. It also affects the condition of a cartilage by providing it with hardness and elasticity. Additionally, it reduces an activity of enzymes responsible for rheumatic pains and accelerates recovery of the tissues affected.
Collagen and Varicose Veins
Collagen fibers are an important part of the venous endothelium, including the venous valves. Adequate quantity and quality of collagen in the venous walls determine to maintain their normal function and biochemical properties. Veins rich in collagen are resilient and flexible; thereby they better prevent the backflow of blood towards the heart. Studies have shown that proteins such as collagen content are significantly reduced in varicose veins compared to healthy veins.
Collagen and Skin
With age, due to a loss of collagen, condition of our skin worsens and external factors such as sun, free radicals and toxins accelerate this process. Levels of substances (copper, vitamin A, C, E) responsible for natural regeneration of collagen fibers decrease. Results of this process are deepening wrinkles, loss of skin firmness, change of color or dryness of a skin. Also sagging cheeks and eyelids, as well as double chin, deep forehead furrows, wrinkles, cellulite or stretch marks start to show.
Collagen and Cellulite
Cellulite is a natural accumulation of fat in the body, mostly women’s. Cellulite deposited in the skin of hips and thighs is a reserve of energy during pregnancy. The natural way to partially reduce this supply is during breast-feeding. All of it happens because our life styles changed. We eat more and more processed foods, lead more sedentary lifestyles and we became less physically active which unfortunately contributes to cellulite production. In the past people thought that this ailment was associated with obesity. Nowadays it has been stated that cellulite is a concern of 80% of women of every size in the whole world. It is indirectly related to the collagen deficiency.
Collagen and Stretch Marks
Stretch marks are mostly due to an increase in cortisol levels in the blood. It is a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands. Its amount increases during pregnancy, puberty, obesity, weight gain. During pregnancy, the increase in estrogen levels contributes to some extent to enhance the capacity of the appearance of stretch marks. Because hormonal pills also affect female sex hormones, therefore it is likely that they may be one of the factors that contribute formation of stretch marks. Also the regular and long-term use of steroid medications has an impact on stretch- marks production. The formation of stretch marks is associated with abnormal collagen synthesis of the skin. Stretch marks are formed in the dermis, and their formation is associated with impaired fibroblast cells that are responsible for the production of collagen and elastin fibers. Impaired - including due to increased levels of cortisol in the blood - fibroblasts begin to produce modified collagen and elastin fibers, which become more brittle and less susceptible to stretching. During an excessive stretching of the skin for example during pregnancy due to fragility of fibers collagen fibril structure starts to break which results in stretch marks.
Collagen and Menopause
Menopause – inevitably occurs in the life of every woman even when she is still young, healthy, and active. The ovaries stop producing sex hormones – estrogen, which have the greatest impact on woman’s skin. During menopause, enzyme that breaks down collagen fibers becomes more active. The researchers report that the density of collagen in the skin drops by an average of 2% per year. During the first 5 years of menopause, the amount of collagen fibers in the skin is reduced by 30-35%.
Collagen and Osteoporosis
Bone collagen metabolism disorders cause decalcification of the skeleton, which contributes to enhanced bone fragility and susceptibility to the fracture. A bone is a porous tissue composed of 90% collagen, where process of linking of collagen with calcium, phosphorus and magnesium takes place. If during youth, not enough collagen was produced to develop collagen-rich bone structure, in old age we are in danger of osteoporosis.
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