Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body, for it is found in our bones, skin, muscles and tendons. It's also involved in essential roles such as helping our blood to clot.
There are five different types of collagen in the body:
- Type 1 – which is the most abundant and makes up about 90% of the body’s total collagen. This type provide structure to the body including the skin, connective tissue, tendons, teeth and bones
- Type 2 – is found in cartilage around the joints
- Type 3 – has a structural role and supports the muscles, organs and arteries
- Type 4 – sits in the layers and membrane of your skin
- Type 5 – is found in hair and also the placenta in pregnancy
How can Winter and dehydration affect your hair, skin and nails?
Hair needs moisture and vitamins to stay healthy. If you’re dehydrated, your body will direct much-needed moisture to more critical functions, leaving your hair to fend for itself. Growth may slow or stop, and the hair shafts may become brittle and develop split ends.
Water comprises one-quarter of a healthy strand of hair, so with improper hydration, your hair loses both strength and volume. Severe dehydration may even accelerate hair loss. If you notice your hair beginning to thin or fall out in larger quantities than usual, increasing your daily water and vitamin intake should help. It’s also beneficial to use a moisturising conditioner and avoid blow drying your hair until its moisture content improves.
Dehydrated skin and dry skin aren’t necessarily the same thing. Your skin can become dry and cracked due to low humidity and lack of moisturiser, even if you drink enough water. However, dehydrated skin lacks moisture from the inside. It may appear not only dry and itchy but also dull, uneven, and wrinkled.
You can even detect dehydration through your skin. Lightly pinch a small area of your cheek or neck. If the skin wrinkles beneath your fingers or doesn’t bounce back immediately when you let go, you are dehydrated. This is the result of insufficient moisture in the outermost layer of your skin, called the epidermis. Drink more water to restore plumper, more youthful-looking skin gradually.
Nails are fingers are parts of our body that are almost always exposed, and they tend to come in contact with our surroundings. This leaves them exposed to so many elements that can be detrimental to their health. Especially if the nails are not healthy, they can cause pain and irritation. This is due to the nails becoming dry and brittle. Flaky cuticles are also a symptom of nails not being able to receive proper hydration.
Consumption of an ample amount of water is going to be highly beneficial in improving the strength, growth, and colour of nails. The moisture would also strengthen the cuticles and makes sure that the nails are not easy to break.
Benefits of Collagen:
1) It can improve skin health
Collagen is involved in our skins integrity, elasticity and hydration, offering the potential therefore to help slow down the skin’s natural ageing process. One study on 72 women aged 35 years and older, saw significant improvement in skin hydration, elasticity, roughness and density after taking collagen peptides, together with vitamin C and zinc, after 12 weeks compared to a placebo group.
2) It may help relieve joint pain
Collagen is naturally found in bones as well as cartilage and muscles surrounding our joints, so it makes sense that taking collagen supplements may help with joint pain and age-related conditions such as osteoarthritis.
One study in particular gave patients with osteoarthritis 2g or collagen every day for 70 days, and found there was a significant reduction in pain and improvement in physical activities compared to the placebo group
3) It may help protect bone density
Collagen makes up the majority of our bones, but as we age, we naturally begin to lose this bone density and can see an increased risk of conditions such as osteopenia and osteoporosis. Some studies have shown that taking collagen supplements can conserve this bone mass and offer osteoprotective properties.
4) It may help support a healthy heart
A 2017 animal study found that supplementing collagen helped to reduce high blood pressure, which may in time offer human benefits for those with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Collagen does play a role in maintaining the structural integrity of our organs and arteries, including the heart, although more research is needed.