What is collagen? Collagen is a protein that is naturally produced by the body. Around 30% of all the proteins in the body are actually collagen and it can be found in the body’s bones, muscles, skin, and connective tissues. Its name comes from two Greek words: kolla meaning ‘glue’ and gen meaning ‘to produce’ because people used the parts of animals that contained collagen to produce glue. Collagen is used in the food, medical, and cosmetics industries.
At the age of forty, collagen production decreases significantly. The body produces less and less collagen as a person grows older and existing collagen is further damaged by sunlight, smoking, and high sugar consumption. To replenish the collagen in the body, cosmetic products and medical products designed to revitalize the skin often contain collagen obtained from bovine, porcine, and ovine sources. A form of therapy called laser therapy can also stimulate the production of collagen. Meanwhile, hdyrolyzed collagen and collagen drink are also available.
Collagen protein ‘holds’ the body together. It gives the body, particularly the skin, strength and elasticity and it exists as the skin’s structural support. Collagen stimulates production of new skin cells to replace the dead skin cells. It also helps the skin stay plump and smooth, for a healthier and younger look. It even protects the skin by acting like a barrier and preventing the absorption of environmental toxins, micro-organisms, and cancerous cells. Breakdown of collagen leads to thinner skin, fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin.
Aside from that, collagen is used as wound dressing. This is because collagen promotes healing of wounds by stimulating production of new skin cells on the wounded area. It enables the growth of new tissues, thereby aiding in the healing of wounds like second degree burns, partial wounds, and necrotic wounds. Collagen is also used in regenerating and promoting the growth of certain cells.
Taking collagen supplements may lead to a decrease in appetite. Also, because collagen can be obtained from bovine, porcine, fish, shellfish, and chicken, people allergic to these sources may experience an allergic reaction to the collagen supplement itself.
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