What is collagen?

Collagen is a general term for the critical structural proteins found in skin and connective tissues in people and animals. Collagen is the body's most available protein and helps give structure to our bones, tendons, hair, nails, skin, and ligaments. Collagen can also be present in most smooth muscle cells, blood vessels, digestive tract, heart, gallbladder, kidneys, and bladder carrying the cells and tissues together. Collagen is even a significant part of the hair and nails. Due to collagen, we are better able to move, stretch and bend. Collagen is also behind helping hair shine, skin glow, and nails remain strong. 

What's collagen made of? Collagen is a protein comprising amino-acids, which are subsequently constructed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Collagen contains specific amino acids: Glycine, Proline, Hydroxyproline, and Arginine. These amino acids help our body's connective tissues, skin, nails, and hair stay as healthy as you can. As we get older, and the more pressure we place on our body, the greater the effect on collagen production. Adding ingestible hydration into a balanced diet can help our bodies regenerate what has been lost or broken down.  Collagen protein is significantly different than whey and casein protein due to these high levels of amino acids. Muscular development, joint health, and a general luminous appearance can be partly attributed to the amino acid combination in collagen.

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Where's collagen found?

In nature, collagen is located only in animals, particularly in the flesh and connective tissues of mammals. Ligaments are another sort of connective tissue that attach two bones and thus hold the joints together. Tendons are similar but distinct sort of tissue that attach the muscles to the bones. All these cells, the bones, ligaments, tendons, and skeletal muscles, comprise proteins. Among the most predominant proteins is known as collagen.

Collagen is the most abundant protein in your system. It is on your muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, organs, blood vessels, skin, intestinal lining, and other connective tissues.

You can not measure your hydration level, but you can tell when it is falling. Collagen decreases as you get older, contributing to: - Wrinkles in the skin - Joint pain or osteoarthritis because of worn cartilage - Stiffer tendons and ligaments

- Shrinking & weakening muscles

- Gastrointestinal problems because of thinning of the lining in your digestive tract

Aging and poor dietary habits are the top reason people do not have sufficient collagen. Your body can not make collagen if it does not have the right mixture of ingredients.

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Aging and collagen

Collagen is an important building block for the skin as it constitutes 70 percent of it. The dermis, which offers the basis for your skin, is closely involved with the skin's elasticity and flexibility and is the chief source of collagen in the skin. Collagen is essential for the skin in many ways. In regards to aging skin, hydration keeps it firm, plump, supple, and hydrated. From the skin tissue, collagen adds stability and elasticity.

With age, collagen production slows, and the cell's structures weaken. The skin gets thinner and is much easier to damage; hair becomes dead, skin sags and wrinkles, ligaments, and tendons become less elastic, joints become stiff, etc. As we age, our body's natural collagen production starts to decline, which might lead to the appearance of fine lines and sagging skin.

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Structure of collagen

Molecular structure of collagen: After several speculations of the individual peptide chain, the last model developed is the "Madras" version, which provided an essentially correct version of this molecule's quaternary structure. However, this version still required some refinement. It's a triple-helical structure.

Collagen is further packaged into fibrillar collagen types with hexagonal or quasi hexagonal shapes. The microfibrillar structure of collagen fibrils in the tendon, cartilage, and cornea has been directly imaged electronically. The microfibrillar structure of mature tendon was confirmed in 2006 by Fraser, Miller, and Wess (amongst others). They discovered the D-periodic pentameric arrangement and termed it microfibril.

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Collagen boosting diet

Eating a nutritious diet, getting lots of exercise, and such as collagen-rich foods can help boost collagen levels. Foods such as bone broth, berries, citrus fruits, cashews, and gelatin in your diet are a couple of tactics to help keep these critical components of our bodies well-oiled and powerful.

Red bell peppers are full of vitamin C that's an antioxidant that may help with skin regeneration. Nutrient-rich foods may still not offer enough of the amino acids required for the body to naturally produce collagen. Supplementing your diet with ingestible collagen, however, can boost your hydration intake and help to support your health objectives.

The hydration diet is an eating plan to avoid too much sugar and refined carbohydrates and eat foods high in collagen that some sources report maintains youthfulness, energy, and beauty. Other types of the diet could consist of consuming collagen supplements and collagen injections.

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What are food sources of collagen?

Your body makes collagen by combining amino acids or nutrients you get from eating protein-rich foods. These foods include chicken, fish, beef, legumes, eggs, and dairy products. The biochemical reaction also needs zinc, copper, and vitamin C. You can get your fair share of vitamin C by eating citrus fruits, greens, red or green peppers, tomatoes, and broccoli. You can find the minerals by eating meats, nuts, whole grains, shellfish, and legumes.

The body is unable to absorb or synthesize nutrients efficiently with age. Modifications in the diet may be needed to ensure that your body has enough ingredients to produce collagen.

Besides healthy portions of foods packed with protein, minerals, and vitamins, bone broth is a good collagen-boosting alternative. You can purchase it in grocery shops or create it yourself. Bone broth draws collagen from beef, fish, or poultry bones, leaving a flavorful liquid which you can drink straight up or use in other dishes. 

Food sources of collagen include the following:

Fish

Chicken

Egg whites

Citrus fruits

Berries

Red and yellow vegetables

Garlic

White tea

Leafy greens

Cashews

Tomatoes

Bell peppers

Beans

Avocados

Soy

Herbs that help to create collagen Gotu kola, Bala, & Ashwagandha.

The above foods are thought of as foods to enhance skin elasticity, anti-aging, and assist joint pain by people who urge this diet. It's important to remember that while modest, limited studies have demonstrated some benefits of consuming hydration, it's unclear whether these benefits would also have occurred by consuming any sort of protein and maintaining a healthy diet generally. Also, since collagen can't be absorbed and is broken down into amino acids when consumed, collagen usage doesn't ensure that any new collagen is going to be made.

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Symptoms of low collagen levels

The body's production of collagen decreases dramatically with aging. When this occurs, there's a decrease in your skin elasticity and epidermal thickness. This results in skin damage and an increase in wrinkles, crepey skin, and sagging skin. Decreases in hydration may also lead to stiffer and less flexible ligaments and tendons, shrinking and weakening muscles, joint pain, osteoarthritis, and gastrointestinal issues. Low collagen may decrease hair growth and contribute to baldness.

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Hydration diet benefits

Many health benefits are claimed by those who are proponents of the hydration diet or collagen supplements. The claims include improved skin tone, reduced hair loss, restore collagen into the face, improved sleep, build stronger muscles, and promote bone health. 

Although many of these claims haven't been scientifically proven, the general diet recommendations frequently contain many foods recommended by a dietitian for a nutritious diet.

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Hydration diet precautions

There appear to be few if any, cons to a hydration diet (excluding supplements). But, there are a few, such as allergic reactions to possible allergens like eggs or shellfish, or experience heartburn. Too much collagen could also result in thickened skin and organ damage.

Are collagen supplements safe? Most collagen supplements undergo hydrolyzation to form hydrolyzed collagen, making it easier to consume and become tablets, capsules, and powders. Some supplements are infused foods, which are beverages and/or edibles injected with collagen.

Bone broth supplement is a trend to use as a nutritional supplement, but recent data indicate that it might not absorb the hydration very well. Furthermore, supplements can be produced from animal by-products that can possibly contain viruses. Many others have experienced elevated concentrations of toxic metals utilized in the preparation. Check the ingredients before buying.

Before using any dietary supplement, talk with your physician.

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References

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2. Varani, J., Dame, M., Rittie, L., Fligiel, S., Kang, S., Fisher, G., & Voorhees, J. (2006, June). Decreased collagen production in chronologically aged skin. The American journal of pathology, 168, 6, 1861-1868 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1606623/

3. Collagen structure deciphered. (n.d.) http://web.mit.edu/mbuehler/www/research/Collagen/summary_PNAS_Aug15.pdf

4. Ricard-Blum, S. (2011, January). The collagen family. Cold spring harbor perspectives in biology, 3, 1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3003457/

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6. Rodella, L., Favero, G., & Labanca, M. (2011, June). Biomaterials in maxillofacial surgery: membranes and grafts. International journal of biomedical science, 7, 2, 81-88 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3614823/

7. Ulrich, P., & Cerami, A. (2001). Protein glycation, diabetes, and aging, Recent progress in hormone research, 56, 1-21 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11237208

8. Fibroblasts. (n.d.) http://www.fibroblast.org

9. Foods highest in proline. (n.d.)

http://nutritiondata.self.com/foods-000095000000000000000.html

10. Frantz, C., Stewart, K., & Weaver, V. (2010). The extracellular matrix at a glance. Journal of cellular science, 123, 4195-4200 http://jcs.biologists.org/content/123/24/4195

11. Kadler, K.E., Holmes, D.F., Trotter, J., & J.A. Chapman. (1996, May 15). Collagen fibril formation. Biochemical journal, 316, 1, 1-11 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1217307/

12. Ibrahim, R. (2015, April 30). Collagen rich foods http://www.livestrong.com/article/121952-collagen-rich-foods/

13. Lodish, H., Berk, A., Zipursky, S.L. (2000) Collagen: the fibrous proteins of the matrix. Molecular cellular biology, 22, 3 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK21582/

14. Lohrey, J. (2013, August 16). Where is collagen found? Retrieved from http://www.livestrong.com/article/175321-where-is-collagen-found/

15. Ngan, V. (2004). Collagen replacement therapy http://www.dermnetnz.org/topics/collagen-replacement-therapy/

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