5 Health Benefits of Collagen
Collagen, a vital protein in the body, offers significant health benefits for the skin, joints, gut, and bones. It boosts skin elasticity, aids joint comfort, potentially increases muscle mass, and enhances bone health.
Collagen is everywhere. I see it in beauty products, health supplements, and even in food. But why is it so popular? Today, I’ll uncover four scientifically-backed health benefits of collagen.
1. Collagen Boosts Skin Health
You probably know that collagen plays a vital role in your skin’s structure. But do you know how?
Collagen helps maintain skin elasticity, hydration, and regeneration. This fact isn’t merely anecdotal; it’s backed by solid research.
A 20143 study published in Skin Pharmacology and Physiology discovered that women who took a collagen supplement showed improved skin elasticity within four weeks compared to those who didn’t (Schunck et al., 2013).
This benefit can help delay the aging process, giving you a more youthful appearance.
2. Collagen Supports Joint Health
Collagen’s role here is vital too. It serves as a cushion, reducing friction between your bones. If you’re active, this is particularly beneficial.
In a 2008 study published in Current Medical Research and Opinion, athletes who consumed a collagen supplement reported less joint pain (Clark et al., 2008).
Thus, collagen might help you stay active without discomfort.
3. Collagen May Improves Heart Health
Collagen may benefit your heart. It provides structure to your arteries, which are the blood vessels that convey blood from your heart to the rest part of your body.
In other words, without enough collagen, your arteries may become weak and fragile.
A 2017 study in the Journal of Atherosclerosis and Thrombosis found that collagen tripeptide lowered artery stiffness in healthy human subjects.
You might find collagen a valuable addition to your heart-healthy lifestyle.
4. Collagen May Boosts Muscle Mass
You might be surprised to learn that collagen can also support muscle growth.
It contains a concentrated amount of glycine, an amino acid necessary for the synthesis of creatine. This compound provides muscles with the energy they need during workouts.
A 2015 study in the British Journal of Nutrition found that collagen supplementation in combination with resistance training increased muscle mass in elderly men.
I believe this makes collagen an intriguing supplement for anyone looking to enhance their fitness.
5. Collagen Enhances Bone Health
Lastly, let’s examine bone health. Like your skin and joints, your bones also need collagen. It provides your bones with the structure they need to stay strong and healthy.
A study published in Nutrients in 2018 found that taking collagen supplements significantly increased bone mineral density in postmenopausal women (König et al., 2018).
Consequently, collagen might be a crucial ally in maintaining your bone health, especially as you age.
Frequently Asked Questions
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, making up about a third of the body’s protein content.
Collagen is an essential component for the formation of bones, skin, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. It’s not just limited to these body parts, though, as collagen can also be found in other areas such as blood vessels, corneas, and teeth.
There are at least 16 types of collagen, but the vast majority of the collagen in the body is type I, II, or III.
Collagen has numerous health benefits. It provides structure to your skin, contributing to its elasticity and hydration.
As you grow older, your skin tends to become drier, and wrinkles start to appear. This is mainly due to the decreased production of collagen in your body.
Collagen supplements are often used for promoting skin health and reducing the effects of aging.
Moreover, collagen plays a role in maintaining the integrity of your cartilage, which is the rubber-like tissue that protects your joints. Increased intake of collagen may help lower the risk of joint disorders such as osteoarthritis.
Collagen also helps in maintaining the structure of your blood vessels, ensuring healthy circulation. Moreover, it’s crucial for wound healing, as it aids in the formation of new tissues.
The amount of collagen you should consume per day depends on the reason for consumption. For general health benefits, a dose of 5-15 grams per day is often recommended.
However, for specific health issues like joint pain or skin health, doses may range from 10 to 30 grams per day, based on different studies.
Always consult with a healthcare provider or a nutritionist to determine the right amount for your specific needs.
Collagen is found in foods that are rich in protein, such as beef, chicken, fish, and egg whites. Bone broth is a particularly good source.
Some other foods, like berries, garlic, and citrus fruits, don’t contain collagen but support its production in the body.