Collagen is a protein found abundantly in the body, usually in the skin, bones, muscles and the tendons. About 30% of protein in the body is composed of collagen and a binding substance which support different structures in the body.[youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzoIjL426YY”]
The skin consists of sufficient amounts of collagen and capable of maintaining elasticity and remains supple and smooth. It also helps in restoring the dead skin cells and with growing age, production of collagen starts to decline. The skin will lose its elasticity and forms wrinkles and the same way the cartilages of the joints also becomes weak.
Causes of collagen deficiency
Collagen is manufactured by a variety of cells, but some are produced by connective tissue cells and there are more than 20 types of collagen found in the body and each type has a specific role in maintaining the function of the organ. One type of collagen is responsible for providing structural support to the skin, thus maintaining elasticity of skin and smoothness. Another type of collagen that is found in the cartilage are responsible for keeping the joints strong.
Deficiency of collagen happens after the age 40 and is a physiological process. Individuals above the age 60 years old will have diminished level of collagen in the body. Degeneration of collagen in the body can also be caused by some environmental conditions such as prolonged exposure to the sun as well as certain diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus are factors contributing to collagen loss.
Symptoms of collagen deficiency
- Formation of wrinkles, easy bruising of the skin, sagging skin and loss of elasticity. Wounds are difficult to heal because the skin lacks collagen.
- Frequent muscle aches
- Lack of stability of the joints along with stiffness and pain in the joints
- Chest pain, headaches, difficulty in breathing, skin rashes and dry eyes
- Toothaches and early damage of teeth
Treatment and home remedies of collagen deficiency
- Exfoliate the skin using an exfoliating cream since it will remove the dead layer of the skin cells from the surface of the skin. When exfoliating the skin, the dead skin cells are replaced by new skin cells.
- Take ascorbic acid or Vitamin C supplements daily since it is vital in collagen and elastin production. A deficiency of this vitamin can make the elastin weak. At least 500mg daily is required in order to maintain cellular structure and promote healthy skin.
- Eat protein rich foods such as milk, cottage cheese as well as legumes, tofu, seeds and nuts.
- Apply sunscreen on a daily basis on the skin in order to prevent further damage to the cells. This will also prevent skin aging and will lessen the effects of the ultraviolet rays of the sun. Apply sunblock or sunscreen lotion into the skin for 30 minutes before going outside.