The Top Benefits of Taking a Collagen Supplement
Your body is full of collagen. In fact, it is the most abundant protein in your entire body. It is also the main component that makes up many of your connective tissues. Connective tissues are found in several of your body parts, including your muscles, skin, ligaments, and tendons.
Collagen has several important functions. This includes providing structure to your skin and helping to strengthen your bones. In recent years, the use of collagen supplements and collagen powder has grown in popularity. Most of these are hydrolyzed, which means that the collagen has begun to break down, making it much easier for your body to absorb.
There are also several foods that you can eat to help increase your intake of collagen, which includes bone broth and pork skin. If you are not able to prepare bone broth from scratch at home, there are now many prepared bone broths available to purchase in grocery stores across the country.
When you consume collagen, there are several health benefits, including relieving joint pain and improving skin health. Keep reading to learn more about some of the top benefits offered by taking a collagen supplement.
Improved Skin Health
Collagen makes up much of your skin. It also plays a role in strengthening your skin and can benefit hydration and elasticity. As you get older, your body will naturally produce less collagen, which can cause dry skin and the formation of wrinkles.
However, some studies have shown that collagen supplements or peptides that contain collagen may reduce the signs of aging.
In a recent study, women who took a supplement that contained 2.5 to 5 grams of collagen for about eight weeks experienced much less dry skin and improved skin elasticity than individuals in the study who did not take the supplement.
Another study discovered that women who drank a beverage that included a collagen supplement each day for at least 12 weeks, saw increased skin hydration and reduced wrinkle depth compared to the control group.
The ability collagen supplements have to reduce wrinkles is attributed to their ability to stimulate the body to produce its own collagen more effectively. Also, taking a collagen supplement may help to promote the production of several other proteins that improve your skin’s structure, including fibrillin and elastin.
Joint Pain Relief
Another benefit of taking a collagen supplement is that it can help maintain cartilage integrity. This is the rubber-like tissue that is tasked with protecting your joints.
The decreasing amount of collagen being produced in your body can increase the risk of developing osteoarthritis, along with other degenerative joint disorders. There are also studies that show when you take collagen supplements, they can help improve osteoarthritis symptoms and help reduce your overall joint pain.
Some researchers have theorized that taking collagen in supplemental form causes it to accumulate in the cartilage, stimulating your body tissues to make more collagen. It is believed that this can help reduce inflammation, provide better support for your joints, and reduce overall pain. If you are interested in taking a collagen supplement for the possible pain-relieving effects it offers, you should begin with a dose of eight to 12 grams per day.
The Potential to Prevent Bone Loss
Did you know your bones are primarily made of collagen? This is what provides structure and helps to keep them strong. Just as collagen levels in your body deteriorate as you get older, so does bone mass. This can lead to other conditions, such as osteoporosis. This is characterized by low bone density and is directly linked to a much higher risk of bone fractures.
It has been proven that when you take a collagen supplement, it can have specific effects in your body that will inhibit the breakdown of bones that results in osteoporosis.
According to one study, women either took a calcium supplement with five grams of collagen or a calcium supplement minus the collagen each day for 12 months. The results suggested that those who took the collagen had much lower blood levels of the proteins that lead to the breakdown of bone mass than those who were only taking the calcium.
In another study, similar results were found in 66 women who took five grams of collagen each day for 12 months. The participants who took collagen saw an increase of about 7% in their total bone mineral density, or BMD, compared to those who did not take the collagen. Your BMD is a measure of the total density of the minerals, including calcium, that is in your bones. If you have a low BMD, it means your bones are weaker and there is an increased risk of developing osteoporosis.
May Help Boost Muscle Mass
It is estimated that 1% to 10% of your muscle tissue is made up of collagen. This protein is needed to help keep the muscles strong, efficient, and functioning properly. Studies have shown that collagen supplements have the potential to help boost total muscle mass in individuals who have sarcopenia, a condition that causes the reduction of muscle mass that occurs as you age.
Research has shown that taking collagen may help to promote the synthesis of certain muscle proteins, including creatine. It can also help to stimulate the growth of muscles after exercise.
Taking a Collagen Supplement
When it comes to your health and well-being, there is no question that a collagen supplement has a lot to offer. From improved skin health to joint pain relief, there are many benefits to adding collagen to your supplement routine. Be sure to find a quality collagen supplement from a reputable brand to take advantage of all the benefits collagen has to offer.
If you are unsure about its effects, or have questions about which dosage is best for you, talk with your doctor before you begin taking any supplement. In the long run, a collagen supplement may be just what you need to feel better and live a healthier life.