What is collagen and what is it for?

The collagen is a protein that is present in the human body, is he responsible for connecting and holding body tissues together such as muscles, cartilage, joints, bones, ligaments, blood vessels, tendons, dentin, cornea, skin, adipose tissue, hematological, and different organs.

About 7% of the body is made up of collagen, and its importance is that clothes, supports and holds organisms together in a structure, It is the tissue that connects and surrounds our vital organs, and its operation is of utmost importance because it is responsible for giving elasticity and firmness to the structures in which it is found (bone, muscle, of the different organs), as well as hydration .

What is collagen for?

This substance serves to provide the body tissues with elasticity, firmness and resistance, and gives protection to the organs involved in movements, as well as to keep us standing and upright, it is present and distributed throughout the body, and it is the primary protein for the proper functioning of the whole organism.

One of the consequences of the lack of collagen in the body, caused by a genetic defect, is the disease known as crystal bones, whose clinical name is osteogenesis imperfecta. These are children born without enough collagen in the bone structure, which causes weak, brittle and deformed bones to form. This genetic defect can be inherited from one of the parents.

What are the types of collagen?

Aging appears due to the decrease in the production of this protein. However, it is present throughout the body and has several types, 19 in total; its presence and interaction with other substances and tissues determines the functioning of various organs.

These protein molecules are related but differ from each other, and the main types are:

  • The type present in the cornea, dermis, bones, and tendons, and is shaped like a network that makes up a fiber, forms a chain that gives the body tissues resistance and elasticity.
  • The collagen that is in the cartilage, in the vitreous humor of the eyeball and in some structures of the embryos, its function is to give resistance to these organs.
  • That of the muscle tissues, the skin and the veins, which works as a support for the organs that expand and contract when they are in motion. The collagen that is in the skin has the function of supporting it, keeping it hydrated while filtering substances that affect its functioning.
  • The one found in internal tissues and organs, and its main function is to give them support and resistance.

Other functions of collagen

When the body begins to decrease the production of collagen, joint pains appear, as well as loss of bone density, and with it, pains in the bones, mainly in the upper and lower spine, in the feet and in the hips .

These changes, as well as the presence of wrinkles in the skin that deepen over time, are the obvious signs of the lack of collagen; The dreaded varicose veins can also appear, as well as hair loss and dental fragility.

The health of the skin, hair and nails is a consequence of the amount of collagen that the body produces, and although this production decreases over the years, some products have been designed to help restore the levels of this protein in the body.

Replenishing collagen helps the body maintain muscle and joint function, and consuming this protein naturally can come from plant or animal sources.

There are also synthesized products, such as collagen that has been processed through hydrolysis, for the body to absorb and be effective, and can be consumed in powder or pills.

Knowing its functions and its importance, it is also good to know which are the most successful combinations when consuming this protein to help the body function.

Some products that combine collagens with other ingredients:

  • Some products that offer combinations are those that contain magnesium and collagen, which helps muscles and ligaments in their proper functioning, since magnesium, as a mineral, enhances the effect of collagen.
  • The combination of hyaluronic acid and collagen is also very common, particularly in creams and other products to improve the appearance of the skin, and when consumed in tablets, it helps in the improvement of the joints and muscles. Both collagen and hyaluronic acid are present in the skin and bones, and act as lubricants, giving elasticity, tension and support; Consuming products that contain both components helps in the lubrication of ligaments and cartilage and protects in the functions of force and movement. Likewise, it helps to recover and strengthen elasticity, reduce pain and improve joint mobility; it also helps strengthen muscles, helps prevent injuries such as sprains, tendonitis and strains.

Natural sources of collagen

The main source comes from foods of animal origin, such as beef, lamb or pork; however, it is better to opt for lean meats such as chicken, hen, rabbit and turkey, and, without a doubt, fish.

Those who are deficient in collagen, either due to age or due to an unbalanced diet that is low in protein, should consume foods that contain it, such as eggs, as well as the parts of animals with the highest concentration of this protein: cow’s snout, corns (beef belly), pork feet, in addition, broths prepared with beef or fish bones, jellies.

As for fish, those that provide us with the most collagen are sardines, salmon and mackerel. Foods such as onion, peppers, tomatoes, nuts, celery, cucumbers, milk and tofu, among others, also help its production.

Coconut oil and coconut milk also provide collagen naturally.

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