When we think of collagen images of surgically enhanced lips and wrinkle-free skin come to mind. Thankfully, we don't have to go to those extremes to have a healthy look. Collagen is naturally produced by the body, and while it does help the skin maintain its youthful look and feel, it is involved in so much more. Joints, bones, muscles, blood vessel, intestines, connective tissue (the stuff that holds things together), cartilage, the immune system, liver, kidneys, hair and nails, are just a few, that owe their health in some part, to collagen.
Collagen is the body's most abundant protein and accounts for over 30% of the total protein. Sadly, as we enter our 30's, our collagen levels start to decline.
While it may be difficult to hold off father time, there are some important strategies to slow him down and allow collagen levels to recede at a slower pace. Below is a list of common causative factors that increase the demise of collagen within the body.
There are some tell-tale signs that indicate the body's collagen levels are declining. Some people may be affected by just one symptom, while other's can show multiple symptoms. Below is a list of the 11 most common signs that indicate the body is having trouble producing or maintaining healthy collagen levels.
Wrinkles and Skin
As we pass from youth into our older and more mature years, our appearance changes, in particular our skin. Unfortunately, it loses that youthful glow, becomes dryer and wrinkles form. Collagen maintains skin thickness, elasticity and hydration.  It is also an essential component of connective tissue; a fibrous network that holds organs, muscles and other structures in place within the body. Reduced amounts of connective tissue in the skin will lead to wrinkles and sagging.
Hydrolysed collagen peptides from bovine, porcine and marine sources helps to increase skin collagen levels. This improves our skins moisture retention, elasticity and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. 
Osteoporosis and Joint Pain
Our joints, when moving freely, allow us great movement and flexibility. Unfortunately, when our joint health deteriorates, they become stiff, inflamed, painful and swollen resulting in Osteoarthritis. Studies show that a daily serving of 10g of collagen peptides per day over six months dramatically improves joint health, pain, stiffness and movement.
Tendons connect muscle to muscle, while ligaments connect muscle to bones and all contain collagen. As collagen levels decline, the ligaments, muscles and tendons shrink, causing them to rub together and create friction, which can lead to stiff, swollen, inflamed and painful joints. Most of our body's supply of collagen is in our connective tissue, which helps to connect the ligaments, tendons and muscles to our skeletal system. As collagen depletes, these connections weaken, which can cause complications like muscle aches and pains.
Cellulite occurs when fat protrudes into the layer of skin cells resulting in a dimpled, lumpy or golf ball appearance. Declining collagen levels and skin elasticity allows fat to gain easier access into the skin. Thankfully studies have shown that again long-term (greater than six months) hydrolysed collagen peptide supplementation, helps reduce the visible signs of cellulite.  
Osteoporosis and Osteopenia
When people think of bone health, they usually think calcium. While calcium is essential, it is not the only nutrient that can make a significant impact on bone health. Collagen makes up one-third of the total bone mass. It provides the bones with flexibility and strength. Studies have shown that hydrolysed collagen peptides improve osteoporosis and osteopenia by increasing bone mineral density, increased bone formation and a reduction in bone deregulation 
Connective tissues are the ropes, wire and twine that hold all our organs in place and if they are diminished or lose their strength, our organs drop and prolapses form. Prolapses are common in the uterus, bladder, vagina, bowel and intervertebral discs. Studies show deficiencies in collagen is a leading cause of organ prolapse  
Hallowed Cheeks and Eyes
Looking back through old photos, you may notice that your younger self had a fullness in their face and smoother skin. Back then, our body's could easily produce collagen, but as we aged, that ability began to fade. The result of low collagen can cause the eyes to sink, the cheeks to thin and a darkening of the skin around the eyes. This results in a person having a gaunt and hollowed facial appearance.
Leaky Gut Syndrome
Collagen is a component of the intestinal wall, in particular the tight junctions, which are the cement that hold the intestinal cells together. Studies have shown that hydrolysed collagen peptide supplementation can increase intestinal collagen and reduce tight junction dysregulation.  Leaky Gut Syndrome is a condition in which faulty tight junctions allow unwanted substances to pass from the hostile environment of the intestines into the bloodstream.
Blood Pressure and Circulatory Problems
Collagen is a significant component of the heart and blood vessel walls. Altered levels of collagen from inflammation, stress, alcohol or smoking, may result in blood vessels changing their shape or vascular ability, which may result in a reduction of blood flow.  This may lead to circulatory problems such as elevated blood pressure, chest pain, dizziness, fatigue, and frequent headaches.
Brittle Hair and Nails
Collagen protein contains the amino acid proline, one of the main components of keratin, which is needed for healthy hair and nails.  Studies have shown collagen supplementation can help harden nails  and improve growth, as well as reducing hair loss and slow greying.
Weight Loss and Appetite Control
Collagen Vascular Disease
Collagen Vascular Disease is a hereditary or autoimmune disease that attacks the connective tissue of the body. Rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), psoriatic arthritis, temporal arteritis and Sjögren syndrome are all forms of collagen vascular disease. Supplementation of hydrolysed collagen peptides has been shown to help slow the demise of collagen.
Even though as we age, our collagen production declines, there are some simple strategies and nutritional supplements that can help slow this process.
We hope you found this blog '11 Clinical Signs of Collagen Deficiency' useful, and if you did, please leave a comment or share on social media.
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The information provided in this blog '11 Clinical Signs of Collagen Deficiency' is general and intended for educational purposes only. We make no claims to diagnose, treat, prevent, alleviate or cure illnesses or diseases with any information or product stated. With any health issue, we suggest you consult your healthcare professional before undertaking any health treatment.
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