The Top 6 Reasons to Take Collagen Supplements

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As a high school wrestler, I always used whey protein concentrate to aid muscle recovery and growth following workouts.  Fast forward to college, and I gave up wrestling for bodybuilding, but I continued to consume whey protein concentrate after my workouts.

The Top 6 Reasons to Take Collagen Supplements

As a high school wrestler, I always used whey protein concentrate to aid muscle recovery and growth following workouts.

Fast-forward to college, and I gave up wrestling for bodybuilding, but I continued to consume whey protein concentrate after my workouts.

I didn't learn about a different type of protein called collagen until my sophomore year of college, when I was doing research for a class.

At the time — and please don't tell me I'm getting old! — there was very little or poor quality research on collagen and its purported benefits. Collagen's benefits are now supported by a large body of high-quality research.

Here are six scientifically validated health benefits of collagen supplementation.

What exactly is collagen?

Collagen is your body's most abundant protein.

It's the most important component of connective tissues, which include tendons, ligaments, skin, and muscles

Collagen serves a variety of functions, including providing structure to your skin and strengthening your bones

There are 28 different types of collagen, but the four most common are listed below:

  1. is the most common, and it can be found in all types of connective tissue.
  2.  found in joints and intervertebral discs (the shock-absorbing cushions in your spine).
  3. The main component of reticular fibers, which can be found in your skin and blood vessels
  4.  is a protein that is found in your kidneys, inner ear, and eye lens.

Collagen supplements have become increasingly popular in recent years. The collagen in most of them has been hydrolyzed, which means it has been broken down to make it easier to absorb.

These supplements are primarily available in powder form, but capsules are also available. Collagen supplement types vary, with some containing only one or two types and others containing up to five.

Pork skin and bone broth are two foods that can help you get more collagen naturally.

Collagen-containing foods

Collagen is found in foods that contain gelatin, such as bone broth. After collagen has been cooked, gelatin is a protein substance.

Collagen is found in animal connective tissues. Collagen can be found in foods like chicken skin, pork skin, beef, and fish.

Vitamin C is required for collagen synthesis, so foods high in this vitamin, such as citrus fruits, broccoli, and bell peppers, should be consumed.

More research is needed to see if eating collagen-rich foods can help you increase your collagen levels in your body, as they may not have the same benefits as supplements.

Collagen in food is broken down into individual amino acids and peptides by digestive enzymes. Collagen in supplements, on the other hand, has already been broken down, or hydrolyzed, which is why it's thought to absorb better than collagen from foods.

Collagen supplements have a number of health benefits.

Collagen supplementation has a number of health advantages.

1. It has the potential to improve skin health.

Collagen is a crucial component of your skin's structure.

It aids in skin elasticity and hydration as well as skin strengthening. As you get older, your body produces less collagen, resulting in dry skin and wrinkles.

Collagen peptides or supplements containing collagen, on the other hand, have been shown in several studies to help slow the aging of your skin by reducing wrinkles and dryness.

Taking 3–10 grams of collagen per day for an average of 69 days improved skin elasticity and hydration, according to a review of 11 studies focusing mostly on women.

These supplements may work by encouraging your body to make its own collagen. Collagen supplements may also encourage the production of other proteins that support skin structure, such as elastin and fibrillin.

Many anecdotal claims that collagen supplements help prevent acne and other skin conditions exist, but they are not backed up by scientific evidence.

2. It has the potential to relieve joint pain.

Collagen helps to keep your cartilage, the rubbery tissue that protects your joints, in good shape.

As the amount of collagen in your body decreases as you get older, you're more likely to develop degenerative joint disorders like osteoarthritis.

Collagen supplements may help improve osteoarthritis symptoms and reduce overall joint pain, according to some studies.

A review of five studies involving over 500 people with osteoarthritis discovered that taking about 10 grams of collagen daily for an average of 24 weeks improved joint stiffness and self-reported joint pain significantly.

Supplemental collagen may accumulate in cartilage and stimulate your tissues to produce collagen, according to researchers. As a result, there may be less inflammation, better joint support, and less pain.

If you want to try collagen supplements for pain relief, the majority of research suggests that 10 grams per day will be effective.

3. Bone loss may be avoided.

Collagen is the main component of your bones, giving them structure and strength.

Bone mass deteriorates with age, just like collagen in the body. This could lead to conditions like osteoporosis, which is marked by low bone density and an increased risk of bone fractures.

Collagen supplements have been shown in studies to help prevent bone breakdown, which leads to osteoporosis.

Women in a 12-month study were given either a calcium supplement with 5 grams of collagen or a calcium supplement without collagen on a daily basis.

Those who took the calcium and collagen supplement had significantly lower blood levels of proteins that promote bone breakdown than those who only took the calcium supplement at the end of the study.

Another study of 66 women who took 5 grams of collagen daily for a year found similar results. When compared to those who did not take collagen, those who did showed an increase in bone mineral density (BMD) of up to 7%.

BMD is a measurement of the density of minerals in your bones, such as calcium. Low BMD is linked to brittle bones and an increased risk of osteoporosis.

Although these findings are encouraging, more human research is required.

4. It has the potential to increase muscle mass

Collagen is an important component of skeletal muscle because it is the most abundant protein in the body.

Collagen supplements have been shown in studies to help people with sarcopenia, or the loss of muscle mass that occurs as people age.

27 men with this condition took 15 grams of collagen daily for 12 weeks while participating in a daily exercise program. Men who exercised but did not take collagen gained significantly more muscle mass and strength than men who did not exercise but did not take collagen.

Supplemental collagen, according to research, may promote the synthesis of muscle proteins like creatine and stimulate muscle growth after exercise.

Collagen protein, on the other hand, isn't more effective than whey protein at building muscle and strength. Collagen, unlike whey protein, is low in essential amino acids, particularly leucine, which is important for muscle growth.

5. It has the potential to improve heart health.

Collagen supplements, according to research, may help reduce the risk of heart disease.

Collagen gives your arteries, or blood vessels that transport blood from your heart to the rest of your body, structure. Collagen deficiency can cause arteries to become less flexible and elastic.

This can result in atherosclerosis, a disease characterized by artery narrowing. This condition has the potential to cause a heart attack or stroke.

Thirty-one healthy adults took 16 grams of collagen daily for six months in a study. From the beginning to the end of the study, they had experienced a significant reduction in measures of artery stiffness.

Additionally, their HDL (good) cholesterol levels increased by an average of 6%. HDL is linked to a higher risk of heart disease, including atherosclerosis.

6. Other health advantages

Supplementing with collagen may have other health benefits, but they haven't been thoroughly researched.

  • Nails and hair Collagen supplementation may help to strengthen your nails by preventing brittleness. It may also aid in the growth of your hair and nails.
  • Gut health is important. Despite the lack of scientific evidence, some health practitioners claim that collagen supplements can help with leaky gut syndrome, also known as intestinal permeability.
  • Mental well-being. Collagen supplements have not been studied in relation to brain health, but some people claim that they improve mood and reduce anxiety symptoms.
  • Loss of weight. Collagen supplements, according to proponents, may aid in weight loss and a faster metabolism. However, no research backs up these claims.

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