The Collagen Craze

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By Kay Leaman, Health Architect

From commercials to magazine ads, it’s all about collagen. But what is it and why do we need it?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body. It has an adhesive quality that is only matched by its ability to provide connection, structure and strength. About 30 percent of our body’s proteins are one type of collagen or another and it is also top dog in the animal kingdom.

Saying collagen is found throughout our bodies is kind of an understatement. It’s a structural element of bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments. Collagen and skin are always talked about together, because it’s a major component of our largest organ. Collagen is also found in blood vessels, the cornea of your eye, teeth, cartilage, discs between your vertebrae and the digestive tract.

Age is the main enemy, with the sun coming in a close second in regards to production. Collagen production starts to decline in our 20s or 30s. The structure is somewhat complex and there are 16 different types that exist in our body, each having different structures and functions.

I also discovered three things:
1. Sugar and refined carbohydrates can hamper collagen’s repairing capabilities. This is just another reason to limit these in our diet.
2. It’s a large molecule which cannot be absorbed by skin so don’t waste money on creams, lotions or potions that tout collagen for your skin.
3. There can never be a vegan collagen; it doesn’t exist.

Type I (90 percent of our collagen) is the strongest and a component of bones, skin, tendons, cartilage, teeth and other connective tissue and it can stretch a lot without breaking. Our muscles, organs, and arteries rely on Type III.

If you’re considering adding collagen to your diet, remember that it requires consistent consumption on a daily basis. The role it plays goes far beyond what I’ve covered here. High quality is a must. I’ve seen some amazing before and after photos as well as several surprising health improvements. These individuals consumed a high quality collagen daily for a minimum of three months. Remember, it takes time for the body to do what it does so well, repair and heal itself. Our job is to nourish it to the best of our ability and rejoice as we reap the benefits. Find me at succeed.hdhl@gmail.com.

Here’s to health!