Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
7 Jun 2022
12:59 pm

What is collagen and why is it important to include it in your diet?

Citizen Reporter

The benefits of collagen are not only skin-deep, this protein is also very important for everything from your nails to your bones and even arthritis relief.

Picture: iStock

According to online health store King Online, collagen is one of their most popular products sold on their platform.

Collagen is not a new discovery at all, and has been around for a while now, but it has gained popularity over the past few years because of its many health benefits.

During a time when a 63-year-old Madonna and a 76-year-old Cher look like there couldn’t possibly be a 13-year gap between the two, one can understand society’s need for chasing youth.

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Choosing the right type of collagen, however, is not just as easy as heading to Dis-Chem and grabbing the first product on the shelve.

What is collagen?

Collagen is a protein composed mainly of amino acids glycine, proline and hydroxyproline.  The amino acids form three strands, which make up the triple-helix structure characteristic of collagen.  Collagen is produced naturally in the body and found in connective tissue, skin, tendons, bones, and cartilage skin and makes up 75% of the skin’s support structure.

What type of collagen do I need?

There are more than 28 types of collagen, but we’ll only be looking at three types that are useful to the body and its wellbeing.

For skin and nails

Not only is Type I collagen the most commonly found collagen in the body, it’s also the strongest type.

This type of collagen starts declining when you get to your late twenties, at which point you’ll need a collagen supplement to help replenish your body’s levels.

Type I collagen won’t only give you glowing skin and strong and healthy nails, it also has many other health benefits including arthritis relief and bone loss prevention.

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For osteoporosis and sportspeople

Type II collagen is not as prevalent in the body as type I collagen, but it plays an equally important role for the wellbeing of your joints and bones.

Products containing chicken collagen are very beneficial for people who suffer from or are at risk of osteoporosis. Active or sportspeople will also benefit from Type II collagen as part of their regimen.

For skin elasticity and strong bones and nails

Referred to as fibrillar collagen, Type III collagen increases the elasticity of the skin and strengthens nails and bones. It is also beneficial for aiding gut healing and promoting overall hydration and skin elasticity.

*Compiled by Xanet Scheepers.