As much as we hate to admit it, our bodies are on a downward spiral from the moment we are born. While we have a grace period during adolescence, the functions our bodies are capable of begin deteriorating almost immediately. It is a natural part of human development as we are not immortal and are subject to biological imperatives.
Fortunately, the issues that compromise our health do not begin until we are halfway through our lives. Unfortunately, some issues can begin earlier in life. Even though these are not threats to our health, many people see worth in working to correct them however possible. One of the earliest concerns people face in their development is the deterioration of collagen levels.
Collagen plays an important role in our physical development, but it is not a long-lived protein. After we are born, our collagen levels automatically begin deteriorating as our immediate need for it decreases. After a while, the use of collagen becomes primarily cosmetic as the bulk of its work is complete. Regardless, some people use supplementary collagen to overcome the cosmetic consequences of reduced collagen levels.
The use of collagen supplements has become extremely common with many demographics dealing with symptoms of low collagen. Many people fail to consider whether there is an appropriate age to begin using these supplements. If there is an age requirement for collagen supplements, knowing ahead of time could save time and money.
When Do Collagen Levels Decrease?
Before we can determine when to use collagen supplements, we must understand when our collagen levels decrease the most. While our bodies manufacture less than in our early lives, there comes the point where our bodies produce significantly less. This is because, as we age, the parts of our bodies we use to manufacture collagen have worn out, and the ingredients are absent.
Typically, the depletion of collagen in the body reaches its zenith when we are between 20 and 30 years old. This age range is when our collagen levels begin to drop the most, usually completely depleted by the time we turn 40. While this usually ensures a steady collagen supply for the first portion of our lives, there can be extenuating circumstances.
Depending on lifestyle and environment, some people experience premature collagen depletion. Despite being an internally produced protein, human collagen levels are prone to deterioration after exposure to certain environmental factors. Exposing yourself to these factors can accelerate collagen depletion and cause it to begin earlier than normal.
The most common sources of accelerated collagen depletion are:
- Ultraviolet Exposure: Tanning beds, certain fluorescent lights, certain lasers, and excess sunlight are all sources of UV rays.
- Pollution: Frequent exposure to air that has excess smoke or similar pollutants can compromise collagen production.
- Diet: Processed foods do not provide our bodies with the resources to sustain continued collagen production.
There are other factors, but these are among the most common plaguing modern citizens. By exposing ourselves to these harmful factors, our bodies lose collagen and cannot replace it reasonably. This can trigger premature depletion before the average age range, where such depletion is considered normal. Regardless of whether your collagen depletion meets the norm or if outside factors triggered it, combatting the loss is a concern for countless people. The question is how to combat collagen depletion before it becomes a major concern.
Symptoms of Low Collagen
Collagen is a misunderstood protein that has gotten bad publicity thanks to cosmetic surgery. When we hear "collagen," our minds almost immediately go to the collagen implants designed to "rejuvenate" the skin. While it is true that collagen can have de-aging effects, its use in cosmetic surgery has diminished its importance in the eyes of many.
Unfortunately, just because people are not taking collagen seriously does not mean its loss will not impact your appearance. The reason collagen has become a tool in cosmetic surgery is that it plays a role in the development of cosmetic body parts like hair and nails. The biggest function of collagen is that it is a key ingredient in creating our largest organ, the skin.
It goes without saying that life without the skin is not an option, and, thankfully, collagen creates our dermal layer before we are born. In fact, our time in the womb is when our collagen levels are highest since it is developing this important organ. After the dermal layer is complete, collagen's role shifts to hydrating and renewing the existing dermal layer while aiding in regenerating damaged skin.
Over time, as our collagen levels deplete, our bodies reserve what collagen we have for only the most important part. This means that our skin becomes less appealing but retains its ability to keep growing. Diminished collagen is why our elderly have wrinkled skin compared to the tight skin seen in our youth.
While this is a normal sight for those of advanced age, collagen deficiencies can become an issue earlier in life. We mentioned before that collagen levels are linked to environmental factors that could cause early depletion. Before long, this depletion causes a collagen deficiency that induces all the symptoms in our elders. The most common symptoms of collagen deficiencies include:
- Wrinkled Skin: Collagen's initial role is to help hydrate our skin and maintain its elasticity. As we age and collagen levels lower, our skin dries out, and the elasticity diminishes. This is what causes the wrinkled skin typical of an elderly citizen. If you are below the age where this is normal and see signs of wrinkling skin, it could indicate your collagen levels are below the norm.
- Brittle Hair and Nails: While collagen's most important role is producing our dermal layer, it is also key to our nails and hair growth. Collagen contains an amino acid called proline, which is essential to our body's keratin production. Keratin is the key ingredient for hair and nails. When our collagen levels diminish, the keratin our bodies use to rejuvenate our hair and nails diminish, too. This causes our hair to thin and our nails to weaken.
- Shallow Eyes and Cheeks: Another of collagen's roles is that it is responsible for the fullness of our cheeks and the elevation of our eyes. As collagen levels diminish, our cheeks and eyes begin to sink back into our faces and cause a somewhat emaciated look. This effect is part of what made collagen injections a popular cosmetic treatment since it helped restore the fullness of the patient's cheeks and eyes for a brief period. When collagen deficiencies occur, this sinking effect can occur prematurely and age us several years.
- Leaky Gut Syndrome: While most of the issues thus far have related to cosmetic deterioration, collagen deficiencies can have serious physical effects on the body. As odd as it might sound, collagen deficiencies can cause gastrointestinal distress. This is because collagen is a key ingredient our bodies use to produce the intestinal wall that keeps our intestinal cells in place. When our collagen levels are depleted, the intestinal wall weakens, making it easier for harmful substances to enter the bloodstream from the intestines. This causes leaky gut syndrome, which can jeopardize our health.
We must consider other important consequences of collagen deficiencies, but these are some of the most important. While it is important to ensure the deficiency does not reach that point, these symptoms can be important for figuring out when to start using supplements. These symptoms are clear signs that the collagen in your body is lower than it is supposed to be, and the development of symptoms like leaky gut syndrome clearly shows that the depletion is not normal.
These symptoms are a sign that we must make a change before the collagen deficiency causes more serious harm to your body, but it is also important not to misattribute these symptoms to a collagen deficiency. Therefore, you should consult a physician to rule out other potential causes of these symptoms.
When to Use Collagen Supplements
When the collagen levels in the human body begin depleting, the effects can be very discouraging to those dealing with the issue. Because collagen naturally occurs in the human body, many believe we cannot replenish our levels. While this is an understandable belief, it is not quite accurate since there are tools that people use to bolster their collagen levels. These supplements can take many forms, but they ultimately serve the same purpose for all users.
The biggest question is when the use of these supplements becomes viable. Taking collagen supplements too early renders them obsolete and risks overloading the body with collagen that it cannot properly allocate. Conversely, taking it too late is just as pointless since there will not be enough base collagen to make a difference.
The key is taking the collagen supplement when the natural levels in the body diminish. This means people suffering from diminished collagen levels should begin using supplements between the ages of 20 and 30 when collagen levels naturally diminish. This will prime the supplement for maximum success since you will not be using it when your body has collagen to spare or none at all. Using the symptoms from the last section, you should get a rough idea of when your collagen levels start to diminish. Unfortunately, it remains a guessing game since there are no tests you can take to measure collagen levels in the body.
While this guesswork might be frustrating, keeping an eye out for symptoms of low collagen around the standard age range should give you a decent idea of when to start supplementing. That said, you will also need to maintain a schedule of what point in the day you take your collagen supplements.
This question is no easier to answer than the last question since there is no set timeframe for employing collagen supplements. When using these supplements, some people believe that taking them first thing in the morning is the best choice. The reason is that you will be taking them on an empty stomach and turning the collagen into the foundation of your diet that day.
Others swear by taking collagen supplements at night before bed. The logic behind this choice is that our bodies naturally undergo a healing process while we sleep. Adding collagen to our system before falling asleep turns it into a resource our bodies use during this healing process. Ultimately, the time of day you take your collagen is up to you and should be based on personal preference. Otherwise, the only real concern is ensuring you need the supplements in the first place.
Keep it All Natural!
Despite the bad reputation collagen gets in some circles, it remains one of the most important proteins in the human body. Without it, we would be walking around without skin or hair to protect us from the elements. While there is a natural decline in collagen levels as we age, we must not let this complacency lead to a deficiency early in life. Our environment plays a role in how quickly our collagen levels deteriorate though there is a genetic factor beyond our control.
After a certain point in our lives, we need to use collagen supplements to retain facets of our youthful appearance. The more important task is ensuring we do not allow our collagen levels to dip so low that larger health issues become likely. Taking supplements by 30 is hardly a challenge, but the biggest concern will be finding a supplement we can trust for the job.
Fortunately, we at Bella All Natural might be able to help with that. Since we were founded, we have maintained that the most natural solution to the problem is usually the best. That is why we have dedicated ourselves to producing and selling supplements with natural ingredients that can benefit several important substances. Among our products are our collagen supplements that can provide your daily dose of collagen with ease. We encourage you to visit our website and see what our products can do, though there is no pressure. Regardless of your decision, remember always to keep it All Natural!