You Should Be Taking Collagen. Here's Why.
Updated: Nov 16, 2022
The structural protein that is most common in animals is collagen. Proteins that make up the framework or structure of your cells and tissues are known as structural proteins.
There are currently 28 recognized types of collagen, with type I collagen accounting for 90% of all collagen in the human body.
Glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline are the three amino acids that make up the majority of collagen. The triple-helix structure of collagen is made up of these amino acids, which are organized into three strands.
Connective tissue, skin, tendons, bones, and cartilage all contain collagen. It supports tissues structurally and is crucial for several biological functions, including.
Communication of cells & and its migration
Repair of tissue cells
The connective tissue cells called fibroblasts produce and preserve collagen. Aging has several impacts, including collagen fragmentation, decreased fibroblast activity, and delayed collagen formation.
Age-related symptoms like drooping skin and wrinkles are brought on by these changes as well as the loss of elastin, another important structural protein.
Benefits of Collagen
Your body naturally makes collagen, which you can also get from food sources including fish and chicken skin and supplements.
For the treatment of aging symptoms including wrinkles, dehydration of the skin, and joint discomfort, oral and topical collagen treatments like supplements and face creams are well-liked.
You can get collagen in liquid, tablet, and powder form.
It can be consumed as a supplement or added to hot and cold beverages, as well as foods like oatmeal, yogurt, and energy balls.
In the medical industry, collagen and collagen-based products are also used by healthcare professionals in the treatment of wounds, burns, and diabetic ulcers.
Due to its humectant and moisturizing qualities, collagen is also used by cosmetics businesses in items like serums and moisturizers.
Why Do We Lose Collagen?
Your body's natural collagen production decreases with age. Collagen also splits apart and spreads out more erratically.
These alterations cause the typical aging symptoms, such as wrinkles and sagging, dry skin. Age also causes a deterioration in the integrity of the collagen found in the skeletal system, which affects bone strength.
While collagen deterioration and loss as you age are unavoidable, several dietary and lifestyle choices might hasten this process.
For instance, smoking cigarettes has been linked to collagen degradation, skin aging, wrinkles, and elasticity loss.
It has also been demonstrated that excessive drinking speeds up skin aging by decreasing collagen formation and harming skin repair processes.
A diet high in processed foods and added sugars can also speed up the aging process by promoting the glycation process, which slows down collagen turnover and interferes with collagen's capacity to interact with other proteins and cells in the body.
Wearing sunscreen and limiting your exposure to the sun can help prevent early indications of skin aging since excessive UV exposure reduces collagen formation.
Where Can We Get Collagen?
All animals contain collagen, which is mostly present in the skin and joints of an animal seafood.
Given that collagen is made by your body from amino acids, you can encourage collagen formation by making sure you're getting enough protein from foods like poultry, fish, beans, and eggs.
Your body need additional dietary elements for collagen synthesis and maintenance in addition to amino acids.
For instance, since vitamin C is required for the synthesis of collagen, low or insufficient vitamin C levels might affect collagen production.
Therefore, eating a lot of foods high in vitamin C can assist the healthy development of collagen. Try citrus fruits, peppers, greens, and berries, for instance.
Additionally, eating a diet rich in advantageous plant chemicals may enhance skin health by lowering inflammation and preventing collagen deterioration.
Collagen Supplements. Can They Help?
These are just some of the benefits from collagen supplements:
1. Skin Benefits
Supporting skin health is one of the most well-liked applications for collagen supplements. According to research, using collagen supplements may enhance the health and appearance of the skin in some ways.
When compared to placebo treatments, consuming hydrolyzed collagen improved skin hydration, suppleness, and wrinkles in a meta-analysis of 19 studies involving 1,125 participants (95% women) between 20 and 70.
A procedure known as hydrolysis is utilized to produce the typical type of collagen used in supplements: hydrolyzed collagen. The protein is reduced in size during this process, making it simpler for the body to absorb.
Numerous studies have indicated that consuming collagen supplements may increase the moisture and flexibility of the skin as well as lessen wrinkle appearance.
Though many of these research were supported by businesses that produce collagen products, keep in mind that this could have influenced the study's findings.
The amounts of collagen that have been shown in trials to be useful for enhancing skin health vary, although most studies have utilized 2.5–15 grams per day for eight weeks or more.
2. Bone Health
The researchers discovered that over the follow-up period, the individuals' BMD rose by 5.79-8.16% in the spine and by 1.23-4.21% in the femur.
These results imply that long-term collagen supplementation may aid in increasing bone mineral density in postmenopausal women who are more susceptible to osteopenia and osteoporosis.
Additionally, a review study found that participants' osteoarthritis symptoms, such as stiffness, were lessened by taking oral collagen supplements.
When paired with resistance training, collagen supplements may also have other health advantages, such as improving body composition in some populations.
It's crucial to remember that studies primarily looked at elderly women with low bone mineral density to see if ingesting collagen had any positive effects.
In other populations, such as men, the young, or individuals who do not have poor bone mineral density, collagen supplements might not have the same effects.
Can You Stop Collagen Loss?
Although it is hard to completely stop the loss of collagen with age, the process can be slowed down. As was already discussed, diet and other lifestyle choices can have a big impact on how much collagen your body produces. Following a diet high in ultra-processed foods and added sugar also has a negative impact on collagen formation, as does smoking cigarettes and consuming excessive amounts of alcohol.
On the other hand, living a healthy lifestyle that includes eating a diet high in nutrients, quitting smoking, and drinking in moderation may prevent age-related changes in collagen and lessen aging symptoms like wrinkles.
It may be possible to support collagen maintenance and general skin health by avoiding or consuming fewer of some foods and beverages while consuming more of others.
For instance, a diet low in substances known as advanced glycation end products (AGEs) may support the health of the skin. Toxins called AGEs build up in the skin. They have the potential to harden collagen and deactivate proteins necessary for collagen repair.
According to recent and earlier studies, foods high in AGEs include fried foods like french fries and fried chicken, processed meat products like hot dogs and bacon, roasted and grilled meats, and fried foods.
A diet rich in high-quality protein and plant foods, including as fruits and vegetables, which include elements that support and protect collagen, may also aid in preserving collagen storage and preventing collagen breakdown and loss.
Your body naturally produces collagen, but you may also ingest it through supplements and specific meals, which may improve the health of your skin, bones, and other body parts.
Studies suggest that ingesting collagen may be particularly advantageous for some circumstances and populations, such as increasing bone mineral density (BMD) in postmenopausal women with low BMD.
A balanced diet that includes enough amounts of zinc, vitamin D, vitamin C, and protein provides a healthy and less expensive alternative to supplements.
You can lessen collagen and bone loss as you age by doing this together with regular exercise.
Even though age-related collagen loss is inevitable, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help stave off its effects, slow the aging process, and improve general wellbeing.