Collagen is the most abundant and essential protein in our body. It forms the major component of connective tissues and is responsible for several biological functions such as tendons, ligaments, skin, and muscles. Collagen provides structure to our skin, strengthens our bones, and provides elasticity to our skin.
Our body creates collagen naturally but over time the process slows down and hence we need to consume collagen externally in the form of supplements or even the food we eat. Our skin loses its ability to get back in shape quickly or in layman’s terms, our skin loses its elasticity leading to wrinkles. Regular consumption of collagen has a lot of health benefits such as improving skin health and eases joint pain.
Here are the major benefits of collagen supplements
1. Improves Skin Health
Protein is the body-building component of our body and it forms a major component of our skin. Collagen- a protein, strengthens our skin and provides elasticity and hydration to our skin. As we age our body produces less collagen leading to dry skin and the formation of wrinkles. Studies suggest that consuming collagen supplements regularly promotes skin elasticity and provides structure to our skin.
It also promotes the productions of other proteins such as elastin, fibrillin which help provide structure to our skin. The wrinkle-reducing properties of collagen have been ascribed from its ability to stimulate our body to produce collagen on its own.
2. Helps Relieve Joint Pain
Collagen supplements reduce inflammation and stimulate collagen synthesis. Our joints are protected by a rubber-like tissue known as cartilage, collagen maintains our cartilage hence providing smooth functioning of our joints.
As we grow old, the amount of collagen produced by our body reduces which leads to degenerative joint disorders. Regular intake of supplements leads to lower joint pain, reduced inflammation, and better support to our joints. A daily dosage of 8-12 grams of collagen is recommended to gain its pain-relieving benefits.
3. Prevent Bone Loss
Our body is held together with the help of bones. The structural part of our body bones is made of collagen. With age, our body produces less collagen, which leads to a reduction in bone mass. Reduced bone mass can cause osteoporosis because of the low bone density and a higher risk of bone fractures.
Studies suggest that regular intake of collagen supplements can result in an increase in bone mass and protein present in our bones. However promising the results sound, further study of the collagen supplements on our bone health needs to be conducted.
4. Boost Muscle Mass
Protein forms the crux of our body, it’s present in our bones, our hair, skin, muscles to name a few. About 10% of our tissue is made of collagen which is necessary to keep our muscles strong and healthy. Collagen supplements help boost the muscle mass in people deficient in the same. Collagen also promotes the production of other proteins such as creatine and also stimulates muscle growth after your workout.
5. Improves Heart Health
Taking collagen supplements daily can support a healthy cardiovascular system and may reduce heart-related conditions. Collagen provides support to arteries that carry blood to the rest of our body. Reduction in collagen will lead to weak arteries and thus thwarting the flow of blood to other parts of the body. This may lead to the weakening of arteries which leads to potential risks of heart attack and stroke. Collagen helps reduce the stiffness of the arteries which promotes good heart health.
6. Other Health Benefits
Apart from providing various health benefits like improved heart health, boost muscle mass, and others, studies also show that collagen provides other health benefits as well. Collagen helps maintain a good gut and weight. It is also proven to reduce anxiety and improve mood. Our nails and hair also have protein which helps them grow and collagen promotes the growth of nails and hair.
Foods that Contain Collagen
Collagen is present in foods as well and we can consume collagen naturally as well. Collagen is present in the collective tissue of animals. Foods such as chicken skin, pork skin, beef, fish are major sources of collagen and one can consume these foods regularly to get collagen naturally in our body. Gelatin is another source of protein that is derived from collagen after it has been cooked. Foods that contain gelatin-like broth as natural sources of collagen for our body. Collagen is mostly not vegan or vegetarian friendly.
Collagen Side Effects
Consuming collagen under professional care is recommended and one must always consult a doctor before consuming one or even if you’re increasing dosage. While going to visit the doctor make sure you wear your personal protective equipment to avoid coming in contact with the virus. Collagen supplements have mild side-effects like diarrhea, rashes, and heaviness in the stomach. Collagen supplements are derived from the skin of fish, shellfish, and eggs and if you’re allergic to any of these you must avoid taking collagen supplements.