Collagen is a protein that has the function of giving structure to our cells, maintaining the youthful appearance of the skin, nails and hair. In addition, it helps our bones, muscles and joints.
It is the most common protein in our body, representing up to 30% of them. The substance is produced by the body itself, but it can be ingested for supplementation. For the correct production of this essential protein, the body needs vitamin C, ascorbic acid. This vitamin is the raw material for collagen.
When you consume collagen, your body distributes it like any other nutrient, using it in the way it believes is best. That is, it is your body that chooses where each nutrient goes and what to do with it.
Thus, ingesting high doses of the required amount of collagen does not mean that the body will produce more of this protein. This intake can cause other proteins to be produced – or perhaps your body will send it all away.
At the same time, if the body feels it needs to produce more collagen, it is important that the necessary substances (especially vitamin C and some amino acids) are present for the production to take place properly. Among the amino acids that participate in this process are:
- Glycine : found in pig skin, chicken skin, meat, soy protein and pumpkin seed;
- Lysine : found in seafood, soy-based products, dairy products and vegetables (low concentration);
- Proline : found in egg white, cabbage, asparagus and mushrooms.
Therefore, if you are healthy, have a balanced diet, with a good intake of proteins, and your collagen production is sufficient, supplementation may not bring the expected benefits.
However, it does not hurt to nourish the body, and if you want to ensure that yours has enough collagen, you can eat foods rich in this nutrient daily, letting your body do its job.
If you want to start collagen supplementation, consult a nutritionist to assess this need . In certain cases (as in vegan or vegetarian people, in addition to the elderly), the practice may be necessary and bring good results.