Collagen is an essential ingredient in the bones, skin muscles, as well as other organs. It is commonplace for people to take collagen supplements to improve skin health as well as other things. But does it actually help?
Top 6 Benefits of Taking Collagen Supplements
As I was a high school wrestler I used to use an whey protein concentrate in order to aid in the recovery of muscles and increase their size following exercises.
Then I went to collage gave up wrestling and started bodybuilding but I still used an whey protein concentrate after my training. It was not until my sophomore year of college that I began to learn about a new type of protein called collagen , while doing research in an assignment.
When I was younger — and hopefully I don’t look old! The research into collagen and its supposed benefits was either insufficient or poor quality. However, today, a lot of high-quality research confirms collagen’s health benefits.
Here are 6 scientifically-substantiated benefits of collagen for health.
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How does collagen work?
Collagen is the most abundant protein found in your body.
It’s the most important part of connective tissues, which compose a range of body components such as ligaments, tendons skin, muscles and skin.
Collagen has many vital purposes, including giving the skin structure as well as strengthening bone structure.
There are 28 kinds of collagen. Here are four of the most popular
Type 1: is the most well-known type, which is found within all connective tissue
Type of ll: found in joints and intervertebral discs (the cushions that act as shock absorbers for your spine.)
Type LLL one of the primary components in reticular fibers. They are located in the veins and skin
Type LV one of your kidneys’ components, the inner the ear, and eye lens
In recent times collagen supplements have grown increasingly popular. The majority of them are hydrolyzed, meaning that the collagen is broken up in order to make it more absorbable.
The supplements are typically in powder form , but they can also be purchased in capsules. The kinds of collagen that are found in supplements differ in that some have only one or two types of collagen and others have more than five.
A variety of foods can increase the amount of collagen you consume, such as bones and pork’s skin.
Foods that are rich in collagen
Gelatin-rich foods like bone broth, are rich in collagen. Gelatin Gelatin is an amino acid that is derived from collagen which was refined .
Collagen occurs in connective tissue of animal. This means that foods like skins of pork, chicken beef, fish, and chicken skin are rich in collagen.
Vitamin C is essential in collagen synthesis. Therefore, it is important to consume foods that are rich in this vitamin, including broccoli, citrus fruits as well as bell peppers.
Further research is required to determine if eating foods rich in collagen helps boost collagen levels within your body since they may not offer the same advantages as supplements.
Digestive enzymes break the collagen found in food into amino acids as well as peptides. But the collagen in supplements is already hydrolyzed or broken down and is believed to be absorbed much faster than collagen from food.
Benefits of collagen for health supplements
Supplementing with collagen can provide a range different health advantages.
1. May improve skin health
Collagen is one of the major components in your skin.
It’s a key component in strengthening the skin and also in the elasticity and water retention. As you get older the body’s production of collagen, which leads to drying skin, and appearance of wrinkles .
Some studies have revealed that collagen peptides and supplements that contain collagen can aid in slowing the aging process for the face by diminishing dryness and wrinkles.
A review of 11 studies that focused mainly on women revealed that taking between 3 and 10 grams of collagen a day over a period of an average of 69 consecutive days led to an improvement in the elasticity of skin and also hydration .
The supplements could be able to stimulate the body’s ability to produce collagen by itself. Furthermore, collagen supplements could stimulate the production of other proteins that aid in the structure of your skin, like fibrillin and elastin.
There are many reports that suggest collagen supplements can help with breakouts and other skin problems however, these claims are not supported by evidence from a scientific study.
2. May relieve joint pain
Collagen helps to maintain the cartilage’s integrity The rubber-like tissue that helps protect your joints.
The amount of collagen in your body decreases as you age, the risk of joint diseases that are degenerative like osteoarthritis rises
Certain reports suggest collagen supplementation could aid in easing the osteoarthritis symptoms and decrease general joint discomfort.
A review of research studies conducted on those suffering from osteoarthritis revealed that collagen supplementation led to significant reductions in joint stiffness and general osteoarthritis-related manifestations .
Researchers have proposed that extra collagen can build up in cartilage and trigger the tissues to produce collagen. This can cause less inflammation, improved joint support, and less discomfort .
While the research appears promising, experts advise that more proof is required prior to considering collagen as a possible therapy for osteoarthritis.
3. May prevent bone loss
Your bones are composed mainly of collagen, giving them their structure and strength .
As the collagen in your body decreases as you age and bone mass decreases, so too does bone. This could lead to conditions like osteoporosis. It is characterized by a low bone density as well as a greater likelihood of breaking bones .
Research suggests that collagen supplements can slow the process of breaking down bone which causes osteoporosis
In a 12-month research study postmenopausal women either took an vitamin D and calcium supplement containing the equivalent of 5 grams collagen, or a vitamin D and calcium supplement that did not contain collagen.
When the study was over, those who were taking the vitamin D, calcium and collagen supplement were significantly lower in levels of the proteins in their blood which promote bone loss as compared to those taking only vitamin D and calcium. The group with collagen also showed less depletion of the bone’s mineral content .
A different study showed similar results for 66 postmenopausal women who consumed 5g of collagen every day over a period of 12 months. People who took collagen saw an increase of as high as 7percent in bones mineral density (BMD) in comparison to those who did not take collagen.
BMD is a measurement of the amount of minerals like calcium within your bones. A low BMD is linked to weak bones and a higher risk of osteoporosis.
While these results look promising but more human studies are required.
4. May boost muscle mass
The most abundant protein in the human body collagen is a key component of the skeletal muscle .
The research suggests collagen supplements can help increase muscle mass in those suffering from sarcopenia that is which is the loss in muscle mass occurs with age.
In a study of 12 weeks that included 27 older men suffering from this condition consumed the collagen equivalent of 15 grams when exercising. In comparison to those who exercised but didn’t consume collagen supplements, these men gained greater muscles and strength .
Researchers have proposed that supplementing collagen might boost the synthesis of muscle proteins like creatine. It could also boost muscle growth after training .
But collagen protein isn’t as efficient than whey protein in strengthening or building muscle. This is due to the fact that collagen is less in amino acids from the branched chain which play an essential role in building muscle. Whey protein is an excellent source of amino acids.
It is imperative to continue to study the potential of collagen to enhance the size of muscles.
5. Could help promote heart health
Researchers have speculated that collagen supplements could lower the risk of developing heart diseases.
Collagen helps to form your arteries, which are blood vessels that transport oxygenated blood to your entire body from the heart. If you don’t have enough collagen, your arteries could be less elastic and flexible.
This can cause atherosclerosis, which is a condition that causes shrinking and narrowing of your arterial. The condition can cause heart attacks or stroke.
In a six-month study that included 31 healthy adults, they consumed sixteen grams of collagen every day. They experienced a dramatic reduction in the stiffness in the arteries from the study’s beginning until its conclusion .
Furthermore, their levels HDL (good) cholesterol (good) increased in a mean of 6.6%. HDL is a major aspect in the development of heart diseases, including atherosclerosis.
However, more research regarding supplements for collagen as well as cardiovascular health are required.
6. Other health benefits
Supplements to collagen may also have additional benefits for health, but these haven’t been thoroughly studied.
Nails and hair. Taking collagen may boost nail strength, stopping brittleness. It can also aid in making to make your hair and nails to grow larger.
Health of the gut. Although no scientific evidence is available to support this claim certain health practitioners claim collagen supplements are a cure for the condition known as leaky gut syndrome which is also known as intestinal permeability.
Health of the brain. No studies have looked into the importance of collagen supplements for the health of the brain, however many people have claimed that they boost mood and decrease anxiety symptoms.
Loss of weight. Proponents believe that collagen supplements can aid in reduction in weight as well as more efficient metabolism. But, there are no studies to confirm these claims.
While these effects could be promising, further research is required before a formal conclusion can be drawn.
Side effs and down sides associated with collagen-basedect supplements
Collagen supplements are typically well tolerated, with only a few reports of negative side effects.
Certain supplements are made of commonly-used food allergens including shellfish, fish, or eggs. Individuals who are allergic to these foods must avoid collagen supplements made from these ingredients.
There are people who experience nausea and bloating while taking collagen supplements, however, research hasn’t consistently demonstrated that these are side effects .
There have been reports suggesting that collagen supplements could cause other digestive issues including stomach pain and feelings of being full .
Whatever the case, these supplements seem to be safe and suitable for the majority of people.
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What is the time it will take to see the results?
Collagen turnover is slow. So, whatever your purpose behind using collagen, it’s going to take at most 8 weeks before you can see noticeable outcomes
The majority of studies employ at least 8 weeks to evaluate the effects of collagen on the health of skin and joint pain relief. Other studies utilize longer timeframes that include 12 months, to assess bone health
So, be patient and not anticipate outcomes for a long time.
Alternatives to collagen derived from animals
Since collagen’s amino acid composition differs from other proteins, its alternatives are very limited.
The collagen that is vegan is made using genetically modified yeast as well as bacteria. For this the four genes of humans that encode for collagen can be added into the DNA structure of those sources. These sources produce the collagen they produce themselves.
Similar collagen-like proteins are also found naturally in a variety of kinds of bacteria. They are being researched for potential collagen-producing potential sources.
You can also purchase supplements that have the three primary amino acids that are involved in collagen synthesis: the amino acids glycine, lysine and proline. Certain supplements get those amino acids through non-vegan sources.
They could also be a source of vitamin C and hyaluronic acids which help your tissues hold on to water which keeps them hydrated and lubricated.
Keratin The keratin the structural protein found in nails, hair, and skin has been proposed as a possible alternative to collagen. However, it’s not clear if research supports Keratin products for any other purpose than the application of a topical treatment on hair and skin.
Keratin isn’t vegan because it is derived from wool, feathers and horns of a variety of animals.
Supplements with collagen are linked to many health benefits, and little risk.
Supplements can boost muscle mass, reduce bone loss, ease joint pain and enhance skin health by decreasing dryness and wrinkles.
Although there are other benefits but the majority of claims about losing weight, healthful digestion and brain health aren’t supported by scientific research.
While certain food items contain collagen It’s unclear if they offer the same advantages as supplements.
Supplements with collagen are usually safe and easy to make use of, and are worth taking according to your health goals