There has been a lot of hype about collagen in both the beauty and health industries and for good reason. Research suggests that collagen could offer numerous health benefits if taken regularly. The most noticeable of these benefits include smoother, wrinkle-free skin, and stronger hair and nails.
Collagen is one of the most abundant forms of protein in the body and it functions as a building block for the cartilage and muscles. However, it can’t be synthesized in the body. Each person is born with a certain amount of collagen and as you age and various bodily processes continue to use up collagen, this reserve starts to deplete. Fortunately, collagen supplements can help cover the deficit.
Health Benefits of Collagen
Connective tissues, which form a variety of body parts including muscles, joints, fascia, tendons, skin, and ligaments. are primarily comprised of collagen. Studies suggest that collagen could have several important functions in the body, such as regulating the skin’s elasticity and maintaining and strengthening the bone structure, both of which can help manage skin health and the pains in joints. Natural sources of collagen include fish, bone broth, and chicken skin. Moreover, collagen supplements, which contain hydrolyzed collagen, can also help keep your collagen levels at an optimal level.
Listed below are some of the health benefits commonly associated with optimal levels of collagen in the body.
Could Help Support Healthy Joints
Clinical trials suggest that supplementation with collagen could help stiffness in joints that commonly follow high-impact exercise or sports. This could be due to collagen’s property to help maintain the integrity of cartilage in the body, which provides protection and lubrication to the joints.
Some researchers suggest that supplemental collagen might accumulate better in the ligaments and tendons as they are hydrolyzed and thus easier for the body to absorb. This accumulated collagen in turn stimulates the body tissues to synthesize collagen, thereby kickstarting the natural process of collagen synthesis in the body. This could lead to better healthy inflammatory response and overall joint health.
Helps Prevent Bone Loss
Since bones are primarily comprised of collagen, depleting levels of collagen in the body could lead to a lowered bone mass. This could lead to lowered structural integrity and strength in the skeletal structure of the body. Therefore some researchers stipulate that supplementing with collagen might help lower the probability or delay the onset of bone conditions such as and improve overall bone health.
A study conducted upon two groups of women, one that took only calcium supplements, and the other that took it combined with collagen supplements, showed that the group that took both supplements had a better-regulated protein level in the blood. Since these protein levels are believed to be directly related to the breakdown of bones, it is stipulated that taking collagen and calcium supplements together might be an effective way to improve bone health and manage bone integrity and mass.
Helps Boost Muscle Mass
1 to 10% of the muscle tissue in our body is comprised of collagen. Studies suggest that the presence of collagen in optimal levels in the body could be vital for keeping maintaining muscle strength, mass and to keep them functioning optimally. Moreover, some research conducted on the subject suggests that regular consumption of collagen supplements could promote the production of various proteins in the muscle, including creatine, and improve muscle strength and growth following exercise.
Promotes Heart Health
Regular supplementation with collagen might also help better manage cardiac health and lower the risk of the onset of various diseases of the heart and the cardiovascular system. Research suggests that collagen has the property of strengthening the arteries that carry blood between the heart and the rest of the body organs. If there is a collagen deficiency in our body. Studies and observations have helped researchers to suggest a link between weaker arteries and low levels of collagen in the body, although a direct correlation has not yet been established.
Other Possible Health Benefits of Collagen
Apart from the potential benefits already listed above, supplementation with collagen could also help provide other health benefits.
Collagen for Hair and nails
Higher levels of collagen have been linked with stronger nails and hair. The protein could lower the risk of them getting brittle, which in turn, can help you have longer and stronger nails and hair.
Collagen and Gut Health
Some researchers and healthcare professionals suggest that supplementation with collagen might help manage the symptoms commonly associated with leaky gut syndrome. This is because collagen could help strengthen the intestinal membrane, thereby lowering permeability.
Collagen for Improved Brain Health
Some researchers hypothesize a link between better mood regulation and a generally more positive outlook and attitude following regular supplementation with collagen. More research is needed however to verify this potential health benefit of collagen.
Collagen and Weight Management
Some studies and research recommend supplementing with collagen to improve the rate of metabolism, which in turn could help people better manage their weight.
Collagen Could Help Reduce Recovery Time After Injuries
The human body’s healing process involves two main processes, namely regeneration of muscle fibers, and the formation of new connective tissue. Since research suggests that collagen is involved in both these processes, it can be hypothesized that supplementing with collagen could help speed up both processes, and thereby reduce recovery time following an injury.