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Collagen May Help To Prevent Cancer And Heart Disease


Collagen May Help To Prevent Cancer and Heart Disease

What is collagen?

Collagen can be considered as a general term for the main structural proteins that are found in skin and connective tissues in humans as well as animals. It makes up to about 30% of the protein in the human body.

Collagen is also found in planets. It consists of 19 amino acids (for example, there is glycine, proline, hydroxyproline, lysine and arginine) and at least 29 types of collagen. It is the protein that is responsible for giving bones, skin, tendons, ligaments and other structural support.

Humans mainly consist of Types I, II, III. Type I: skin, tendon, vasculature, organs, and bone.

Type II: cartilage

Type III: reticular fibers

What is meant by collagen diet?

The collagen diet can be defined as an eating plan to avoid having too much sugar and refined carbohydrates. It deals with consuming foods high in collagen which according to recent reports help maintain youthfulness, energy, and beauty.

The collagen diet may also include consuming collagen supplements and collagen injections.

What are the sources for Collagen rich-foods?

  • Fish
  • Chicken
  • Egg whites
  • Citrus fruits
  • Berries
  • Red and yellow vegetables
  • Garlic
  • White tea
  • Leafy greens
  • Cashews
  • Tomatoes
  • Bell peppers
  • Beans
  • Avocados
  • Soy
  • Herbs high in collagen (Chinese knotweed, horsetail, gynostemma)
  • Herbs that help to produce collagen (gotukola, bala, ashwagandha)

The foods mentioned above are considered to be foods that help improve skin elasticity, anti-ageing. They also help control joint pains.

The important aspect of this is to note that while a few, limited studies have claimed benefits of consuming collagen, it is still unclear as to whether the mentioned benefits could be reaped by consuming a type of protein or by maintaining a healthy diet in general. Collagen cannot be absorbed directly and is therefore broken down into amino acids on consumption, this does not completely assure that any new collagen will be synthesised.

What are the symptoms of Low Collagen Levels?

Joint Pain

Joint pain is caused by an injury that affects any of the ligaments, bursae, or tendons surrounding the joint. An Injury can also injure the ligaments, cartilage, and bones within the joint. Pain is also a sign of joint inflammation (arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis), infection, and sometimes in rare conditions, it can trigger cancer of the joint.

Pain inside the joint is a common cause of shoulder pain, ankle pain, and knee pain. Arthralgia in common terms is also known as joint pains.

Do you know what happens when collagen levels drop?

Collagen production in the body decreases dramatically with aging. When this reduction takes place, reduction in your skin elasticity and epidermal thickness is observed leading to skin damage causing wrinkles, crepey skin, and sagging skin. It could also lead to stiffer and less flexible tendons and ligaments, shrinking and weakening muscles, joint pain, osteoarthritis, and gastrointestinal problems. Low collagen also contributes to reduced hair growth and to hair thinning.

Do you know the health benefits of a collagen diet?

  • Improved skin tone
  • Reduced hair loss
  • Restore collagen to the face
  • Improved sleep
  • Build stronger muscles
  • Promote bone health
  • Strengthen your immune system
  • healthy for your heart
  • Increase antioxidant and detoxification
  • Increase your lifespan
  • Restore sexual and hormone health
  • Help individuals to be calmer and more upbeat
  • Help with weight control.

Although, one must remember that all the claims thus made are not scientifically proven yet.

In addition to the following benefits, recent research studies claimed that increasing collagen production and protecting it from degrading could prove considerably results in stalling the invasion of cancer cells. It also claimed to help to reduce the risk of other chronic conditions such as a heart disease.

The extracellular matrix can be defined as a structural scaffold that directs the adhesion and migration of cells. It also helps in regulating the growth of cells, composing of water, minerals and a variety of macromolecules such as proteoglycans which are known to cushion cells, and fibrous proteins like collagen which provide tensile strength and resilience.

Going in depth, a cause for why the cancer cells are able to spread about may be due to a weak extracellular matrix; cancer cells need to first break through the ECM before they can metastasize. One of the proteins as discussed that help in strengthening the skin, structure and hair is collagen, it can be held responsible and as a factor to hold the extracellular matrix together the loss of this protein or insufficient amounts of it can cause structural weakness and promote the spread of cancer.

Some experts also consider cancer to be a collagen disease. The cancer cells have been found to use destructive metalloproteinases enzymes to erode the ECM. The ECM is a fragile extracellular matrix especially vulnerable to MMPs.

Therefore strengthening the extracellular matrix by boosting collagen levels may be a reasonable way of keeping cancer cells from metastasizing. One could also boost the intake of certain micronutrients that can increase the collagen production.

For the synthesis of collagen, Vitamin C is highly essential. High amounts are needed to both form and store collagen. Vitamin C is commonly responsible for holding cells together during collagen production. It has potent anti-cancer properties. A study suggested that high doses of vitamin C could help curb and kill cancer cells and tumors.

More importantly, the amino acid lysine helps in stopping cancer metastasis. It helps inhibit the deterioration of collagen by blocking sites on collagen fibers.

Amino acid arginine keeps the extracellular matrix structural integrity. Because arginine can be said to be an important building block for collagen synthesis.

Collagen also supports heart health, but too much collagen is harmful. It can increase the risk of heart disease as excessive amounts can form a mesh like structure around the arteries and blood vessels. This further results in poor circulation. The encased arteries make it difficult for the heart muscles to contract further. This increases the risk of heart failure and organ damage due to high blood pressure.

Therefore, moderate amounts of Collagen is important to help prevent heart failure and other complications that arise due to high blood pressure as well as for cancer prevention. Consume more protein and vitamin C rich foods, one can also take supplements to boost health.

What are the cons of a collagen diet?

There could be a few such as:

  • allergic reactions to potential allergens like shellfish or eggs heartburn
  • some individuals complain of feeling too full and others complain of a bad taste
  • too much collagen could result in thickened skin and sometimes, organ damage.

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