What other benefits does collagen have besides keeping skin healthy?

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This protein is found in the connective tissues. iStock
This protein is found in the connective tissues. iStock

People are usually interested in consuming collagen because it is associated with youth and skin firmness; However, the interest in having healthy levels of this protein in the body should go beyond the search for physical beauty.

Collagen is involved in a large number of processes in the human body, mainly in areas where connective tissue exists, such as tendons, ligaments, skin, muscles and bones but also in less known areas such as the iintestines and cornea.

In this sense, the association between collagen and skin youth exists because the skin has connective tissue and it is collagen that provides elasticity to this structure. In this way, when the body begins to generate less collagen, elasticity is affectedso the skin loses firmness, according to information from the Food and Development Research Center.

Collagen provides elasticity to the skin (Illustrative image Infobae)
Collagen provides elasticity to the skin (Illustrative image Infobae)

But that elasticity that collagen provides not only gives us firm skin. Here we tell you other benefits of collagen in addition to healthy skin:

-Helps prevent joint pain: Because collagen maintains the firmness of the ligaments and tendons, adequate levels prevent pain and stiffness from appearing in the area, that is, it prevents knee pain in addition to allowing us to retain mobility despite age.

-Prevents the onset of osteoporosis: Although osteoporosis is an illness that increases the risk of suffering with age, collagen helps delay its appearance.

-Improves the appearance of hair and nails: Collagen not only improves the appearance of the skin but also of other body tissues such as hair and nails, making them stronger and more resistant.

-Improves intestinal health: Although this effect is not as well known as others, because collagen promotes the elasticity of tissues, it is a compound (among others) that helps the mobility of the intestine and, therefore, improves the transit of food. .

-Improves visual health: Collagen is one of the molecules that provide their composition to the retina and cornea, so optimal levels of this protein prevent the appearance of some eye diseases such as macular degeneration and cataracts.

Collagen helps have stronger nails and hair iStock
Collagen helps have stronger nails and hair iStock

Although few people know it, in the body there is not just one but several types of collagen that interfere with different functions. The most abundant of all is the type I collagenwhich is found in bones and tendons but it is also possible to find:

-Collagen type II: It is located in parts of the body with cartilage

-Collagen type III: It is found in the skin, the lining of blood vessels, and the intestines

These are the ones with the greatest presence; however, there are others 19 different types of collagen which are found in different parts of the body such as gums, muscles, bone marrow and even the placenta.

Collagen interferes with joint health iStock
Collagen interferes with joint health iStock

To further understand the importance of collagen for the general health of the body, beyond providing firmness to the skin, we tell you that there are rare diseases and very disabling, which occur as a consequence of defects in the correct synthesis of this protein.

  • Ehlers-Danlos syndrome: disease related to weakness in the connective tissue, resulting in symptoms such as fragility, hyperextensibility of the skin, and hypermobility in the joints.
  • Imperfect osteogenesis: disease that causes multiple fractures due to collagen deficiency, which makes them extremely fragile.
  • Ullrich congenital muscular dystrophy: Serious congenital disease that causes muscle weakness due to collagen VI deficiency.

Although the body stops producing collagen naturally after the age of 25, it is possible to counteract this loss by increasing the consumption of foods that provide collagen or through some supplements.

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Nathan Rivera
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