Will It Make You Younger?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body. Making up about 30% of total protein, collagen is the building block of the skin, bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Collagen plays a role in replacing dead skin cells and gives the skin structure, strength, and elasticity. With such benefits in mind, many people wonder if a collagen supplement can help. Although no single pill is a cure-all, collagen can offer the following 4 benefits to consistent users.
1. Improve skin health
With age, the body naturally produces less collagen. Older men and women can start to notice the formation of wrinkles and dryness. To combat such effects on the skin, collagen can help. A recent review looked at the results of 11 studies and found that taking 3-10g of collagen per day for an average of 69 days led to improvements in skin elasticity and hydration.
2. Preventing bone loss
Another not-so-fun side effect of aging is the loss of bone mass. For women, the change occurs quickly with menopause, while men experience a slower decline. People with low bone mass can experience osteoporosis and are more likely to break or fracture a bone. A recent study looked at women taking vitamin D and calcium for bone loss and found that individuals who were assigned also to take collagen had significantly lower blood levels of proteins that promote bone breakdown.
3. Lessen joint aches and pain
There is some evidence that a collagen supplement can help support connective tissues in the body and improve joint pain after exercise. Athletes who routinely take collagen commonly report less joint pain with exercise. For individuals who want to keep moving, collagen can help.
4. Promotion of heart health
Regular collagen use may help reduce the risk of heart conditions. Collagen provides structure to the arteries, keeping the vessels flexible and elastic. When arteries are healthy and wide open, serious health conditions such as heart attack and stroke are less likely to happen.
Diet vs supplement
Collagen is naturally found in bone broth, citrus fruits, fish, egg whites, and organ meats. The form in food is bioavailable, meaning the body doesn’t need to perform any conversion before the collagen can be used. However, a higher dose may be required for many of the health benefits outlined above. A collagen supplement is a great way to add in extra amounts easily. Always speak with a healthcare provider about the correct dose.
Not just a fad
Collagen supplements have been shown to improve health. While there need to be more studies, many people experience a difference in skin, aches, hair and nails. Aging declines natrual collagen production; additional collagen helps people feel and look better. Some of the many benefits are preventing bone loss, lessening joint pain, promoting heart health, and improving the skin. A single dose of collagen stirred into a morning smoothie or cup of coffee could be just what is needed to improve overall health.