LIFESTYLE NEWS - While there is no way to measure the amount of collagen in your body, you can generally tell when your body doesn’t have enough.
“Collagen deficiency strikes nearly everyone over the age of 30,” says Catherine Clark, owner and founder of Harvest Table. “As you age, your body naturally begins to manufacture less collagen, but this is the glue that holds your body together and without it, your body literally starts falling apart.”
Five key signs you could be collagen deficient
It’s not just your imagination, winter really is harder on your skin and strips away its hydration. That’s why you often see more wrinkles appearing in the colder months, especially on your face. The great news is that collagen will keep your skin strong and elastic. Collagen aids in the skin’s hydration and helps wound repair and stretch marks by improving skin elasticity. It will also help your fingernails and hair grow and keep your teeth strong.
If your collagen stores are running low, you may find that your tendons and ligaments are stiffer than usual. Collagen helps exercise recovery and muscle growth because glycine and arginine, two of the most important amino acids found in collagen, can repair muscle tissue and heal injuries.
Another common problem you may experience if you’re lacking in collagen is joint pain. While we often assume this is a natural part of ageing or caused by over-exercising, it can actually be due to a collagen deficiency. Cartilage is the buoyant, rubber-like tissue that covers the ends of long bones at the joints and it’s mostly made up of collagen. Deficiency leads to more bone-on-bone movement, which can cause excessive friction and inflammation, which may eventually progress to arthritis. Collagen will assist your body in preventing joint stiffness, swelling and pain.
Collagen deficiency can worsen cellulite. When fatty tissues underneath your skin push upward against your body’s connective tissues, the skin at the surface begins to pucker, resulting in cellulite. As your levels of collagen reduce, your skin becomes thinner and more vulnerable to cellulite. Taking collagen will boost your cell renewal and skin’s suppleness, reducing the dreaded “orange peel”.
A lack of collagen in the gut can lead to intestinal permeability or “leaky gut syndrome” and symptoms include bloating, constipation, diarrhoea, brain fog, fatigue and an impaired immune system. Again, this is easy to reverse if you boost your body’s collagen levels.
* Source: Supplied on behalf of Harvest Table, harvesttable.co.za or @whole_healthy_me.