Collagen Supplements: 6 Benefits and Preventing Collagen Loss
Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins in your body.
It is found in bones, muscles, skin, and tendons. It is the substance that holds your body together and forms a scaffold to provide strength and structure.
Learn more about Collagen Supplements, 6 benefits, and how to prevent Collagen loss.
With the advancement in technology and increasing awareness, collagen supplements have gained huge popularity among many people around the world.
Most of the collagen molecules are hydrolyzed, meaning it has been broken down for your body to absorb it easily.
Moreover, collagen in the form of supplements or in the form of food has a number of health benefits from relieving joint pain to improving the texture of your skin.
Before learning the benefits of collagen, let’s learn a little about what is it and the different types of it.
What is Collagen?
Collagen is a fibrous protein that makes up 1/3 part of the body. It is a hard, insoluble, and fibrous protein and amino acids.
In most collagens, the molecules are in the form of long and thin fibrils and are closely packed together.
These act as supporting structures and anchor cells to each other and give your skin its strength and elasticity.
There are almost 16 types of collagen, however, 80 to 90%of them belong to type 1,2, or 3. Moreover, these types have different functions and structures.
The collagen present in your body is strong and flexible while type 1 fibrils are particularly capable of stretching. They are stronger than steel, gram-for-gram.
Different cells in your body secrete collagen, however, connective tissues are the ones that secrete them.
It is present in the extracellular matrix which is an intricate network of macromolecules that determines the physical properties of body tissues.
Your skin has 3 layers, while collagen is present in the second layer i.e. dermis, and helps to form a fibrous network of cells fibroblasts.
Moreover, it also plays a role in replacing and restoring dead skin cells in your body.
As you age, the production of collagen reduces in your body and thus results in wrinkles and joint cartilage weakens.
Thus, women mostly experience a dramatic reduction in the levels of collagen after menopause.
Types of Collagen
There are different types of collagen supplements available in the market and you should choose the ones that best suit your goals.
The following are the most common types of collagen you can find in stores or online:
- One of the most abundant ones in your body is Type 1 and helps to support healthy skin.
- The one present in the bone cartilage and helps to promote joint health is Type 2
- This one helps to promote healthy skin as well as skin elasticity and is Type 3
- The one that helps to promote the growth of the placenta in pregnant women is Type 5
- This one helps to promote bone health and development and is Type 10
In most cases, collagen products will either contain these types or others like marine collagen. Moreover, hydrolyzed collagen, makes absorption easy in your body.
It is found in the form of collagen powder, collagen peptides, collagen proteins dietary supplements.
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Let’s move to the 6 benefits of Collagen Supplements.
6 Benefits of using Collagen Supplements
There are a number of health benefits of using collagen supplements.
These range from improving the texture of your skin to strengthening your bones. There are a number of scientific pieces of evidence that help to understand the benefits of collagen.
Let’s get right into them.
Prevents Bone Loss
The bones in your body are made of collagen and it gives them strength and helps to keep them strong.
As you age, so does the collagen in your body as well as bone mass. This often leads to conditions like osteoporosis that is low bone density.
Moreover, it leads to an increase in the chances of fractures.
Studies suggest that taking collagen supplements just like hyaluronic acid may have certain effects on your body that helps to decrease the bone breakdown that leads to osteoporosis.
According to another study, women took either a calcium supplement along with 5 grams of collagen or calcium supplements and no collagen daily for 12 months.
By the end of the study, researchers conclude that women taking calcium and collagen supplements had lower blood levels of a protein that promotes bone breakdown than those who only take calcium.
Thus, women who use collagen have an increase of up to 7% in their bone mineral density, BMD, than those who do not take it.
BMD is the measure of different minerals like calcium in your bones and low BMD indicates weak bones and the development of osteoporosis.
Boost Muscle Mass
About 1 to 10% of the muscle tissues in your body contain collagen and it is a protein that helps to keep your muscles strong and functioning.
In another study, men who took 15 grams of collagen while participating in an exercise program for 12 weeks had significant muscle mass gain and strength.
Thus, researchers suggest that taking collagen may help to promote the synthesis of muscle proteins like creatine as well as stimulate its growth after exercise.
Promotes Heart Health
Researchers are of the view that taking collagen supplements can help to reduce the risk of conditions related to your heart.
Collagen provides a structure to the arteries that are blood vessels that carry blood from your heart to the rest of your body.
However, if you do not have enough collagen, your arteries may become weak and fragile.
This can lead to atherosclerosis which causes narrowing of your arteries.
Moreover, this condition can result in heart attack and stroke.
According to a study, adults who take 16 grams of collagen for 6 months daily experience a drastic reduction in the measure of stiffness in arteries than the time before taking supplements.
Additionally, there was an increase in their HDL, ‘good; cholesterol by 6% and it is a factor in the risk of heart conditions.
Improves Skin Health
Collagen is the major component in your skin preset in the second layer i.e. dermis.
It promotes skin strength, benefits elasticity and hydration.
However, as you grow old, your body produces less collagen resulting in dry skin and wrinkles.
Another study indicates that women who drink collagen supplements in beverages daily for 12 weeks experienced an increase in skin hydration and reduction in wrinkles depth.
This wrinkle-reducing effect of collagen is attributed to the stimulation of your body to produce more collagen on its own.
Thus, taking collagen supplements can help to promote the production of other proteins that helps to promote elastin and fibrillin.
Relieve Joint Pain
Collagen supplements help to maintain the strength of your cartilage. It is a rubber-like tissue that protects the joints in your body.
As you get older, the risk of developing degenerative joint disorders like osteoarthritis increases.
Studies suggest that taking collagen supplements can help to improve symptoms of osteoarthritis and reduces pain in the joints.
According to another study, athletes who consume 10 grams of collagen for 24 weeks experience a decrease in joint pain while walking and at rest.
Moreover, researchers are of the view that supplements of collagen can accumulate it in cartilage and stimulates your to make more collagen.
They also suggest that it can lead to lower inflammation, support your joints and reduce pain.
Thus if you want to take collagen supplements for relieving pain, studies suggest that you can take a daily dose of 8 to 12 grams.
Other Health Benefits
Collagen supplements have other health benefits and these are as follows:
- Hair and Nails: Taking collagen supplements helps to increase the strength of your nails and also stimulates hair and nail growth.
- Gut Health: Some health practitioners are of the view that these supplements treat intestinal permeability or leaky gut syndrome
- Weight Loss: Collagen supplements may help promote weight loss and also makes your metabolism fast.
- Brain Health: Some people claim that these supplements can help improve mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety, however, there is no clinical evidence.
It is important to keep in mind that more clinical studies are required to prove the above health benefits.
Preventing Collagen Loss
There are different ways you can prevent collagen loss.
It is found in the connective tissues of the animals, thus consuming foods like chicken skin, pork skin, beef, and fish are sources of collagen.
Moreover, food that contains gelatin-like bone broth is also a good source of collagen.
Laser therapy can help treat stretch marks as it can also stimulate the growth of collagen, elastin, and melanin.
A diet full of nutrients and minerals helps your body to produce collagen and the nutrients that help to support the formation of collagen are:
- Proteins: this includes egg white, meat, cheese, soy, bone skin, etc,
- Vitamin C: Oranges, strawberries, peppers, and broccoli
- Copper: Found in shellfish, nuts, red meat, drinking water
- Anthocyanidins: In blackberries, blueberries, cherries, raspberries
- Vitamin A: Present in aminal based foods and plants as beta-carotene
Potential Side Effects
There are no potential side effects of consuming collagen supplements,
However, some supplements are made from common food allergens like fish, shellfish, and eggs.
This can cause allergies, thus, if you suffer from allergies, then you should first look at the labels for ingredients can look if there is an ingredient that could cause allergy.
Some people also report a bad taste in their mouth while consuming these supplements daily.
Additionally, they may also cause digestive issues like feelings of fullness or heartburn.
It is important to keep in mind that the benefits of consuming them are more than the potential side effects.
Thus, they are safe to consume.
Consuming high quality collagen supplements has a number of potential health benefits like boost bone mass, improving heart health, treats fine lines, and promoting skin health among others.
However, certain factors like smoking high sugar consumption, UV lights from the sun, autoimmune disorders, and aging can reduce and hinder the production of collagen in your body.
You can consume different foods that contain collagen that offer the same health benefits as collagen supplements. Moreover, they are safe to consume and are worth trying.