Collagen 101 with Dr. Bitz
The buzz about collagen is no joke, and it’s rapidly popping up more and more in our daily lives, from the vitamin aisle to the pages of beauty magazines. But what exactly is the deal with collagen, and what exactly is its role in the human body? Collagen is the our body’s most plentiful protein, surpassing even the protein in our blood in abundance, and is a key component of all connective tissue. For this reason, it can be found anywhere from our corneas to our digestive system, and has a plethora of responsibilities within the body. Collagen comes in a few strains, most notably rigid (found in bones) and compliant (found in tendons), and is otherwise a gradient form somewhere between those states. Additionally, as collagen is tough and rubbery, when packed together it serves as the major support system for the dermis (aka the deepest layer of our skin).
Collagen is vital in providing the skin with the strength and elasticity it needs to continue looking and feeling younger for longer, and it is also effectively the “glue” that holds our joints and tendons together (the very word collagen is derived from the Greek word for glue). Simply put, collagen is a powerhouse protein that keeps our body as healthy as possible as we age.
As vital and useful collagen is for the various systems of the body, everyone’s supply of collagen begins to deplete at some point. Most often, depletion begins around the age of 28, decreasing at roughly 1.5% annually. By age 30, collagen production tapers off further, and we begin to lose around 2% per year, and the debt keeps growing at an increasingly rapid pace further down the line.
And this lack of collagen takes a noticeable toll on our body. With less collagen, skin thickness shrinks with its internal support, causing a wrinkled and droopy appearance that is less flexible and plump. Collagen also fights against physical effects on the skin from weight gain, so less collagen can often mean an increased likelihood of stretch marks. The flow of nutrients to our hair and nails fades, decreasing growth and making strands brittle and dryer. Many report joint pain because of a lessened supply of cartilage to cushion our bones.
As the buzz continues and consumers become more aware of the need for collagen replenishment, the greater the need for education on how to find a supplement that is best for you. Being educated on topics such as potency, traceability and sourcing are key when shopping for Collagen supplements. Youtheory has traveled the world to source the highest quality raw materials from the places where they know its cultivated best. “Its good to ask questions about where your supplements are being sourced,” said Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Nick Bitz”. We believe in developing a relationship with the farmers and their families so that we can be certain of where our products are originating. This relationship enables us to track our products from farm to finish, and our research and manufacturing team assures the excellence of each and every product we make from Collagen to Turmeric to Maca.
So when you begin your search for the food supplement that is best for you, remember that its important to do your homework. The aging process can be daunting, but finding a supplement should be empowering. Afterall, its your life and we think it should be lived to its fullest!
Dr. Bitz believes in a multi-disciplinary approach to healthcare. Along with Ayurvedic medicine, he has had a multitude of experience in the field of family medicine, preventive medicine, anti-aging medicine, women’s health, functional endocrinology, environmental medicine/heavy metal toxicity, digestive health, allergies and ayurvedic consultations. Prior to joining youtheory, Dr. Bitz served as Director of Product Development for Irwin Naturals. While there, he helped to develop a wide range of products for the mass market and natural channels. In his free, time Dr. enjoys yoga, hiking, biking, trail running and exploring Southern California with his family. He is also a published author and expert in health and wellness.