The Benefits of Collagen Supplements
Collagen is the protein responsible for skin elasticity and keeping healthy joints. Collagen is in our bones, blood and muscles, and comprises ¾ of our skin and ⅓ of the protein in our body.
As we age, collagen breaks down making it harder for our body to produce more – that’s why turning to collagen supplements such as powders, capsules and liquids, can be beneficial in replenishing low levels of it.
It Improves Skin Health
Collagen is important to our skin, as it plays a role in strengthening it, promoting skin elasticity while also aiding with skin hydration. As we age and produce less collagen, our skin gets dryer and the formation of wrinkles start to appear.
Multiple studies have shown that collagen supplements can help slow the skin ageing process by reducing wrinkles and dryness. One study showed that those who took collagen supplements for only 9 weeks, experienced less skin dryness and an increase in skin elasticity compared to others who did not take the supplement.
There have also been studies that support the claims that collagen supplements can help prevent acne and other skin conditions.
It Boosts Muscle Mass
Around 1-10% of all muscle tissue is composed of collagen, which is the protein necessary to keep our muscles strong and functioning correctly. Some studies suggest taking collagen supplements to help boost muscle mass in people with sarcopenia, which is the loss of muscle mass that happens with age.
A study showed that the 27 frail men who took collagen supplements for 12 weeks while exercising, gained significantly more muscle mass and strength compared to the others who exercised without taking collagen supplements. Researchers have suggested that by taking collagen supplements daily, you can promote the synthesis of muscle proteins like creatine as well as stimulating muscle growth after exercise.
It Reduces Joint Pain
Collagen helps to maintain the integrity of your cartilage, which is the rubbery tissue that protects your joints. As you get older and your collagen production decreases, you run a higher risk of developing degenerative joint disorders such as osteoarthritis.
There have been multiple studies that have shown that collagen supplements can help improve the symptoms of osteoarthritis as well as reducing overall joint pain. In one study, the athletes who took daily collagen for 24 weeks experienced a big decrease in joint pain when walking and while at rest compared to those who didn’t take it.
It has been theorised that collagen supplements can accumulate in your cartilage and stimulate your tissues to make more collagen, preventing pain in joints.
May Prevent Bone Loss
Our bones are made up of mostly collagen, which is what gives them their structure and keeps them strong and healthy. Just like collagen, bone mass deteriorates with age, this can lead to conditions such as osteoporosis, which is characterised by low bone density, and is linked to a higher risk of bone fractures and injuries.
Some studies have shown that taking collagen supplements can have certain effects on the body that can help inhibit the bone breakdown that leads to osteoporosis. In one study, women who took collagen supplements daily had up to a 7% increase in their bone mineral density (BMD) compared to women who did not take the collagen supplements.
BMD is a measurement of density in minerals such as calcium in your bones. Having low BMD is associated with weak bones and the development of osteoporosis.
Natural Sources Of Collagen
- Egg whites
- Natural bovine bone broth & chicken broth made with a whole chicken
- Citrus fruits
- Red and yellow vegetables
- White tea
- Leafy greens
- Bell peppers
There are many benefits associated with collagen supplements – the main one is that we can get supplements with added vitamins, such as vitamin C, which helps with collagen absorption.
There are also different types of collagen supplements, which can vary in strength and absorption ability. Hydrolysed collagen, for instance, is a form of collagen that has been broken down into smaller particles, resulting in a pure powder that is highly bioavailable, meaning that it can be easily absorbed by our bodies. Collagen boosters, such as Greens with Biotin and Hyaluronic Acid, will help your body boost natural collagen production, as opposed to supplying collagen. Liquid collagen made from bovine collagen can work as a natural source of collagen, made with natural ingredients.