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  • Writer's pictureAshley T

Collagen Benefits: Why You Need It

A crucial component of bones, skin, muscles, and other bodily parts is collagen. People frequently take collagen supplements to maintain, among other things, the health of their skin, but is this truly effective?

But first, we need to define what collagen is.

It is the main component of connective tissues, which include the skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and other body parts.

Your skin's structure and your bones' support are two important functions of collagen.

There are 28 different forms of collagen, however the four most popular are listed here.

  • The most prevalent form, Type I, is present in all connective tissue.

  • Type ll: intervertebral discs and joints, which serve as the spine's shock-absorbing cushions.

  • The primary element of reticular fibers, which are present in your skin and blood vessels, is type lll.

  • An element of your kidneys, inner ear, and eye lens is type lV.

Collagen supplements have gained popularity recently. The collagen in the majority has been hydrolyzed, which means it has been disintegrated to make it simpler to absorb.

Most of these supplements are offered as powder, while capsules are also an option. Supplements include various types of collagen; some have one or two forms and others have up to five.

Two meals that may help you consume more collagen naturally are pork skin and bone broth.


Collagen-Rich Food

Gelatin-containing foods, such bone broth, also include collagen. Gelatin is a protein substance created by processing collagen.

The connective tissues of mammals contain collagen. Foods that include collagen include fish, beef, beef skin, and hog skin.

Additionally, as vitamin C is necessary for the creation of collagen, make sure to eat foods high in this vitamin, such as citrus fruits, broccoli, and bell peppers.

Consuming foods high in collagen may not have the same advantages as taking collagen supplements, thus more investigation is required to ascertain whether doing so helps enhance collagen levels in the body.

Food collagen is broken down into individual amino acids and peptides by digestive enzymes.

However, because it has already been broken down, or hydrolyzed, collagen from supplements is thought to be more effectively absorbed than collagen from food.


Collagen Supplements Benefits

1. Better Skin

Your skin contains a lot of collagen. It strengthens, hydrates, and adds suppleness to the skin. As you get older, your body produces less collagen, which causes wrinkles and dry skin.

However, numerous studies have indicated that collagen peptides or supplements containing collagen might aid in slowing down the aging process of your skin by minimizing wrinkles and dryness.

Improvements in skin elasticity and moisture were observed after ingesting 3–10 grams of collagen per day for an average of 69 days, according to an analysis of 11 research that largely involved women.

These supplements might work by encouraging your body to produce collagen on its own. Collagen-rich supplements may also promote the production of elastin and fibrillin, two other proteins that contribute to the structure of your skin.

Moreover, there are many anecdotal reports that collagen supplements can aid in the treatment and even prevention of acne and other skin conditions, but there is no scientific evidence to support these reports.

2. Improve Joint Health

Collagen is necessary for the integrity of your cartilage, the rubber-like tissue that protects your joints.

As you get older, your body creates less collagen, which increases your risk of degenerative joint conditions like osteoarthritis.

Studies show that collagen supplements may aid in easing osteoarthritis symptoms and reducing general joint pain.

According to a review of studies on individuals with osteoarthritis, consuming collagen significantly reduced joint stiffness and other osteoarthritis symptoms.

According to research, excess collagen may accumulate in cartilage and promote the synthesis of collagen in your tissues. Lower inflammation, improved joint support, and decreased pain may follow as a result.

Although the findings is encouraging, authorities warn that more proof is still required before collagen is suggested as a treatment for osteoarthritis.

3. Enhance Bone Health

Collagen, which makes up the majority of your bones, offers them strength and structure.

Bone mass decreases with age, much like your body's collagen does. Conditions like osteoporosis, which is characterized by reduced bone density and a higher risk of bone fractures, may result from this.

According to studies, collagen supplements may help prevent the bone loss that causes osteoporosis.

Post-menopausal women participated in a 12-month trial where they were given a daily calcium and vitamin D supplement with 5 grams of collagen or a calcium and vitamin D supplement without collagen.

When compared to those who merely took calcium and vitamin D, those taking the calcium, vitamin D, and collagen supplement had considerably lower blood levels of proteins that encourage bone resorption. Additionally, the collagen group experienced less bone mineral density loss.

In 66 post-menopausal women who took 5 grams of collagen every day for a year, another study discovered comparable outcomes. In comparison to individuals who didn't take collagen, those who did showed an increase in bone mineral density (BMD) of up to 7%.

BMD is a measurement of the mineral density in your bones, such as calcium. Weak bones and an increased risk of osteoporosis are linked to low BMD.

4. Increase Muscle Mass

Collagen, the most prevalent protein in the body, is a crucial part of skeletal muscle.

Studies indicate that collagen supplements can increase muscle mass in persons with sarcopenia, the age-related decrease of muscular mass.

In a 12-week research, 15 grams of collagen were taken by 27 older men with this problem while they exercised. Men who trained but didn't take collagen supplementation gained much more strength and muscular mass.

Supplemental collagen may encourage the synthesis of muscle proteins like creatine and boost the growth of muscle following exercise, according to research.

However, whey protein still outperforms collagen protein in terms of strength and muscle growth. This is because collagen contains less branched chain amino acids, which are essential for developing muscle. These amino acids are more abundant in whey protein.

The ability of collagen to increase muscle mass requires further study.

5. Improve Heart Health

Collagen supplements may help lower the risk of cardiac diseases, according to research.

Your arteries, the blood vessels that deliver blood from your heart to the rest of your body, are given structure by collagen. Arteries may lose their elasticity and flexibility if collagen levels are insufficient.

Atherosclerosis, a condition marked by artery narrowing, could result from this. Heart attack and stroke may result from this syndrome.

31 healthy adults who participated in a 6-month research ingested 16 grams of collagen daily. By the end of the trial, they had significantly lessened their arterial stiffness measurements compared to the start.

Their HDL (good) cholesterol levels also increased by an average of 6%. The risk of cardiac diseases, especially atherosclerosis, is significantly influenced by HDL.

But further research on collagen supplements and heart health is required.


Other Health Benefits:

There may be further health advantages to collagen supplements, but these have not undergone in-depth research.

Hair & Nails. By avoiding brittleness, taking collagen may make your nails stronger. Additionally, it might promote longer hair and nails.

Gut Health. Some medical professionals believe that collagen supplements help alleviate intestinal permeability, also known as leaky gut syndrome, even though there is no scientific proof to back up this assertion.

Weight Loss. Collagen supplements may help with weight loss and a faster metabolism, according to supporters. No research, however, back up these assertions.

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