Collagen in the diet of the elderly
In healthy and young people collagen undergoes regular replacement and systematic reconstruction (approx. 3 kg per year). For example, thyroid hormones, estrogens and insulin are involved in the synthesis of collagen fibers. However, over time, the ability to regenerate collagen fibers gradually diminishes. As early as around the age of 25, the level of collagen in the body begins to decline, and after the age of 50, it rapidly decreases. However, after the age of 60, collagen protein is no longer synthesized by the body. Additionally, during the menopause, collagen biosynthesis processes are significantly disturbed. For this reason, it is worth considering collagen supplementation.
Collagen and joints
Collagen is found in connective tissue, tendons, ligaments, fascias and cartilage. It helps to maintain the integrity of the cartilage, is responsible for binding the cells and gives elasticity to the connective tissue in the cartilage and tendons. In the joint capsule, collagen forms a gel structure, thanks to which we can move freely without pain. In articular cartilage, it affects the production of the right amount of synovial fluid and affects the durability and flexibility of cartilage, which leads to the proper functioning of the joints. With age, the amount of collagen diminishes, making tendons and ligaments less likely to move. Collagen deficiencies lead to stiffness and swelling in the joints. Pain in the joints and “shooting” joints can be symptoms of a collagen deficiency in the body. And as the amount of collagen in the body decreases, the risk of developing degenerative joint diseases increases, therefore collagen is increasingly used in the treatment of arthrosis.
Collagen supplementation improves the resistance to mechanical stress of cartilage and enhances the synthesis of endogenous collagen in the cartilage tissue. It accelerates the regeneration of diseased tissues and reduces the activity of enzymes responsible for causing inflammation and rheumatic pain. Collagen used regularly reduces inflammation, stimulates collagen protein synthesis and improves joint mobility. This can help relieve pain in people with osteoarthritis. One study showed that people suffering from osteoarthritis after collagen supplementation showed significant improvement in daily activities such as walking and climbing stairs.
Collagen and rheumatoid arthritis
One study found that supplementation with collagen helps patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Thanks to its properties, collagen supports the regeneration of joints and allows the joint cartilage to work properly. This helps to reduce ailments such as pain, joint stiffness and contractures. By using regular collagen supplementation, people with RA can function normally and carry out everyday activities.
Collagen and bones
90% of the bone skeleton consists of collagen and its combinations with calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. Disturbances in the synthesis and transformation of collagen fibers and the decalcification of the bone skeleton contribute to the increase in bone fragility and susceptibility to fractures. Collagen is responsible for the resistance to stretching of cartilage and ensures its proper shape. It stimulates the activity of cartilage cells and supports the protective processes within the cartilage tissue. Additionally, collagen contributes to better absorption of minerals and increases bone mineral density. One study showed that hydrolyzed collagen has a positive therapeutic effect on osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, potentially increases bone mineral density and protects articular cartilage, especially symptomatic relief of pain. The use of different doses of collagen hydrolyzate was associated with the maintenance of bone composition and strength and the growth of cartilage cells. Collagen is a useful substance for the regeneration of cartilage and the maintenance of healthy bones.
Collagen for wrinkles
The reduced production of collagen and its increased degradation may result in poorer wound healing and dermal atrophy in the elderly. In the process of skin aging, the amount of collagen fibers and elastin decreases, which reduces skin elasticity. In addition, the amount and redistribution of subcutaneous fat and the weakening of the facial muscles are reduced. All this is conducive to the appearance of gravitational wrinkles and causes noticeable changes in the face oval. One of the recommended strategies to counteract these phenomena is replenishing collagen in the form of a dietary supplement.
Collagen plays a very important role in the proper functioning of the body, including bones and joints, and unfortunately its natural production decreases with age. For this reason, in addition to a properly balanced diet, it is worth including a collagen supplement, which is one of the most effective preparations for joints for seniors. Additionally, collagen hydrolyzate is considered a safe nutraceutical.