As you age, your body’s natural production of collagen rapidly declines. This is when visible and invisible signs of ageing occur. Regular collagen consumption can help to reduce wrinkles, strengthen hair and nails, reduce joint pain, and so much more.

Understanding collagen

Collagen is a protein that serves as a fundamental building block in various tissues. Collagen provides structural tissue support, strength, and elasticity. Your body’s collagen plays a crucial role in maintaining the integrity and functionality of your:

  • Skin.
  • Joints.
  • Bones.
  • Blood vessels.
  • Other connective tissues. 

The ageing process: how collagen changes

As you age, changes occur in the structure, production and turnover of collagen. These changes lead to visible and invisible effects on your body.

Decreased collagen production

As you get older, your body starts producing less collagen. This is because the cells in your body that make collagen don’t work as well as they used to. Your body, therefore, can’t keep up with replacing the collagen that naturally breaks down. With less collagen in your body, you start to experience increased signs of ageing. This includes wrinkles, weaker joints, hair loss and more fragile bones.

Structural alterations in collagen fibres

As you age, the structure of collagen fibres in your body changes. The collagen fibres don’t connect to each other as well as they used to. Because of these changes, the tissues in your body that rely on collagen become weaker. These structural alterations can make you more likely to develop wrinkles, joint stiffness, and weak bones.

Strategies to support collagen health

Taking care of your collagen health doesn’t have to be complicated. Simple lifestyle choices can make a big difference in how well your body produces and maintains collagen. Here are some easy ways you can ensure good collagen health:

  • Eat collagen-boosting foods: Include foods rich in collagen-building nutrients in your diet. These include protein sources like lean meats, fish, eggs, and dairy products. Foods high in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, strawberries, and bell peppers, are essential for collagen synthesis.
  • Protect your skin from the sun: UV rays from the sun can damage collagen fibres in your skin. This can lead to premature ageing and increased wrinkles. Limit sun exposure, seek shade and when you know you’re going to be exposed for long periods, use a good sunscreen.
  • Stay active: Regular exercise can help you maintain collagen health. Exercise promotes blood flow to tissues and stimulates collagen synthesis. Walking or swimming, and strength training activities, can help you support tissue integrity.
  • Collagen supplements: Supplementing your daily diet with collagen is an inside-out approach. Regular collagen consumption can improve your skin and hair condition, reduce wrinkles, strengthen bones, repair joints, and reduce inflammation.

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