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Collagen is an important fibrous protein found throughout the body. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the skin and makes up 75-80% of the skin. Collagen, together with elastin, is responsible for keeping wrinkles and fine lines away, as well as giving structure to the skin and organs in the body. Collagen binds together and supports tissues, including skin, bones, muscles, tendons, cartilage, ligaments and other organs. Over time, both the environment and aging reduce your body's ability to produce collagen, and even elastin.
Elastin allows your skin to regain shape after stretching or contraction. Lower levels of this protein make your skin more wrinkled and sagging. The same goes for collagen, lower levels give the skin less elasticity and on average we lose about 1-2% of the collagen every year after the age of 25! The more collagen we lose, the more fine lines and wrinkles appear, which is why it is important that we work to maintain collagen and elastin levels as we age. We can do this by caring for the body both from the inside and the outside, through a healthy lifestyle.
There are many hygiene and beauty products that are marketed as containing collagen, but the real benefits come when you add collagen from the inside out. Collagen is made from animals such as cattle, pigs, chickens and fish. Fish collagen is the best source of collagen; if there are skin improvements that you are looking for! Collagen from fish contains type 1 collagen, which is the most common type of collagen in the skin! Collagen is difficult to absorb via a traditional diet, as collagen is present in parts of the animal that we usually do not eat. Collagen powder is a great way to get the amino acids you need to build and maintain your own collagen, and research shows that it works. One study showed that after only eight weeks of collagen supplementation, the skin's collagen and elastin levels increased significantly in the participants in the study (1).