Collagen Loss May Accelerate Aging – InVite Health Podcast, Episode 226
Invite Health Podcast, Episode hosted by Amanda Williams, MPH.
Did you know that you can take collagen for almost any part of your body? Thinking about your bones, skin, joints, muscles, hair, nails and more. There’s a reason why collagen has this newfound interest in the world of nutrition and supplementation. Today, I want to talk about what type of collagen you should be utilizing if you are going to be supplementing with collagen. Secondly, why would one want to be supplementing with collagen? This is really a key part to all of this because we know that as we get older, our natural collagen stores start to diminish.
What is Collagen?
Collagen gives different organs and tissues their strength, as well as their elastic properties. 25% of protein weight in the human body and about 75% of our skin is made of collagen. Collagen is part of a natural composition of our tendons, ligaments, joints, muscles, hair, skin and vital organs.
When there is a lack of collagen in the body, everything can be affected. We can contribute this to weakness, fatigue, aches, pains and an overall lack of energy. These are common things that happen when we do not have adequate collagen in the body. All of these are “symptoms” of aging, but we oftentimes overlook the important role that the loss of collagen is playing into those symptoms.
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There are over 20 different types of collagens that we do find in the human body, but 99% of collagen found in the human body is of either Type 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5. Interestingly enough, over 90% of all of that collagen is of the Type 1 variety. This is where we find most of that collagen in the bones, tendons, ligaments and skin. We can now recognize that there are so many aspects of chronic disease states that can be linked back to lack of collagen. One of the most common diseases related to bone aging, for example, is osteoporosis or osteopenia. Osteoporosis is characterized by a loss of bone resistance, which leads to a greater risk for fractures. One of the main markers of bone density that we can look for in terms of urinary and blood levels is C telopeptide, which is actually looking for your Type 1 collagen. When they recognize that we’re having rapid loss of this Type 1 collagen, then that can give an indication of the weakening of the actual bones themselves.
During the process of aging, this decrease of collagen significantly starts to affect our bone structure as our body loses that collagen that is used to help to sequester those very important minerals into the bone. It is within this issue that we start to have more fragility and the greater likelihood of a potential fracture. If we don’t maintain our skeleton, then we are really putting ourselves into a predicament.
The Importance of Caring For Your Skeleton
The skeleton is made up of more than 200 bones and it carries our four main functions.
The first function that our skeleton provides us is to support our body weight. It works as an anchor point for all of the different muscles, as well as the soft organs. Secondly, we know that the skeleton plays an important role as a protector. Obviously, we think about our skull. It’s protecting the brain. The ribcage, for example, is protecting our heart and lungs. Our vertebrae, the bones within the back, are protecting the spinal cord. We also know that the skeleton has a function in terms of storage. It contains 99% of the mineral reserves in the body. Finally, what we also know about our skeleton is that it participates in immune function, since both white and red blood cells are produced within the bone marrow.
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We have to take a step back and think about how our loss of collagen is weakening our skeleton. We know that the skeleton is responsible for all of these different functions, so we definitely want to maintain our skeleton and the strength of that skeleton.
Tune into the full podcast episode to learn more about the importance of collagen and the skeleton in terms of the body’s overall health.
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