Improve Bone Health with Collagen
It’s no secret that as we age, our bodies begin to deteriorate along with it.
We develop wrinkles, our posture changes, and our bodies begin to decline. While aging is a natural process, older adults are advised to make changes to their lifestyles as well as observe a healthy diet.
When it comes to bone health, one particular protein (apart from calcium) comes to mind and that is collagen. What is collagen, anyways and what important role does it play when it comes to having healthy bones?
What is Collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and is one of the major building blocks of our bones, ligaments, muscles, skin, and tendons.
This amazing protein is usually found in various parts of the body including the teeth, blood vessels, and corneas.
Perhaps more importantly, collagen provides structure to several of our body parts such as skin, tendons, ligaments, and bones.
Types of Collagen in the Body
Though there are around 16 types of collagen inside the body, this protein is classified into 4 major types.
Ninety percent of our body’s collagen is classified as Type I collagen. It’s made of densely packed fibers and provides structure to the connective tissues, skin, teeth, tendons, and bones.
The second type, on the other hand, is made out of loosely packed fibers and is usually found in elastic cartilage which serves as a cushion to the joints.
The third type of collagen provides structural support for our arteries, muscles, and organs.
Usually found in the layers of the skin, the fourth type’s main function is to help with filtration.
The body produces less and lower quality collagen as a person gets older, which explains why the skin becomes supple and less firm and why the cartilage grows weak.
Why is Collagen Essential to Bone Health?
While we may have grown up with the notion that calcium is the most important substance when we talk about bone health, the truth is, collagen is equally important.
These two substances are found in the bones and together, they make our bones strong and flexible. Collagen doesn’t only promote strong bones, but it also helps us move freely and conveniently.
As we all know, our joints connect two or more bones. It would be very painful to move some of our body parts without the help of connective tissues like cartilage and ligaments, both of which contain collagen which is considered their main component.
A lack of collagen can lead to several health conditions such as osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and autoimmune joint conditions. It’s important to keep in mind that the body’s collagen production begins to slow down as you reach the age of 20 and will continue to decrease as you grow older.
Collagen is essential to bone health because it improves bone mineral density, stimulates cartilage growth, and most importantly, prevents bone loss.
What can you do?
To keep the bones healthy, it would make sense to eat food that will improve the body’s collagen production. Some of the foods you can add to your diet are chicken, fish, leafy green vegetables, and tropical fruits, among others.
You can also take them in the form of supplements.
Aging is a natural process that we’re all going to experience. It’s a given that the body is going to experience a decline, especially our bone health which is why it’s important to understand what collagen is and how it benefits the body.