Collagen. Beauty ads throw the word out all the time in commercials and magazines, but do you know what makes collagen so important within the body? Not having collagen does more than give you thin lips. If your body is lacking this vital protein, you will be displaying some surefire signs:
What is collagen?
Did you know that there are over 20 different types of collagen in your body? The groups have specific functions. For example, some collagen is necessary in maintaining the health of internal organs while another type is needed for smooth skin.
There are a number of reasons why collagen can be deficient in your system. The first reason is the most common – aging. This is why the skin wrinkles as you age.
Another reason collagen gets scarce is if you have too much sun exposure. Lastly, connective tissue diseases and autoimmune diseases like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis can cause collagen to degenerate.
Does your body lack collagen?
Because collagen is used by multiple systems in the body, a slew of symptoms can show up.
Otherwise known as the thin tissue enveloping joints and making up the tip of our noses and ears, cartilage is necessary in the body. However, since cartilage is dependent on collagen, when you lack collagen, joint stability, joint stiffness, and even joint pain can occur.
Collagen is also important with anchoring the teeth to the gums. Without enough collagen, the gums may begin to recede and the teeth will loosen. This usually leads to toothache, sensitive teeth, and even early tooth loss.
Similar to cartilage, muscles also use cartilage to cement to the heads of bones. Those with collagen deficiency often complain about muscle aches.
A more physical means of detecting whether or not you have collagen deficiency would be to look at your hair. Collagen fills the space around the hair follicles. When there is not enough collagen, nutrients are not delivered to the follicle, and duller, thinner hair is the result. Collagen also fights of free radicals that would damage your hair’s texture, thickness, and growth.
Collagen gives skin cells strength and structure. Therefore, it is no wonder that a lack of collagen would cause the skin to lose elasticity and start to wrinkle and fine lines to deepen. As mentioned before, collagen production does diminish with age, but UV radiation and other free radicals will accelerate the formation of wrinkles.