What are the health benefits of collagen?

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Collagen is a structural protein it’s essential for the connective tissues that make up tendons, ligaments, skin, and muscles.

It also has significant structural and functional importance, including providing strength to skin and bones. When categorized structurally and functionally, there are 28 types of collagen, but the most important types are listed below:

  • Type I: This type is found in all connective tissues.
  • Type ll: The second type is found in the joints and intervertebral discs of our spine.
  • Type lll: This is found in the reticular fibers, present in the skin and blood vessels
  • Type IV: The fourth type is found in the kidneys, inner ear and lens

Many foods naturally contain collagen. It is also available at an additional cost. In this article, we will look at natural collagen found in foods as well as collagen supplements available on the market.

Although these peptides from food are absorbed by the body, those that occur naturally might not be as effective as those available in supplement form.

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What are the benefits of taking collagen?

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Benefits for the skin

Collagen helps maintain skin elasticity and hydration. It prevents the dryness of the skin and the formation of wrinkles.

It may also promote the production of other proteins important for maintaining skin structure, including elastin and fibrillin. These two proteins hold cells together and prevent wrinkles.


Bones and joints

Collagen supplements can help reduce the severity of osteoarthritis and may be beneficial for reducing joint pain. These supplements can also stimulate joint tissue to produce more collagen.

It is an important component of cartilage, a connective tissue that helps protect joints. It can inhibit bone breakdown in the case of osteoporosis. When taken with vitamin D and calcium, these peptides can be extremely beneficial for increasing bone mineral density.


muscles

Collagen as a supplement can promote muscle protein synthesis and other metabolites.

One of these metabolites is creatine, which is essential for energy production in muscle cells. However, collagen peptides aren’t as effective as whey because they don’t contain good amounts of branched-chain amino acids.


Heart health

It is also important for the synthesis of tissues necessary for the structural support of blood vessels, which can promote healthy blood circulation and thus prevent atherosclerosis.


What is collagen doing on your face?

Collagen can play a huge role in preventing skin wrinkles. It works alongside other structural proteins to maintain the proper shape and structure of cells.

This helps keep the skin tight, toned and glowing. Vitamin C plays another important role in this regard. This vitamin is essential for the synthesis of structural peptides. Proper skin nourishment has anti-aging benefits.


Should you take collagen every day?

Collagen is beneficial for the skin.  (Image via Unsplash/Antonika Chanel)
Collagen is beneficial for the skin. (Image via Unsplash/Antonika Chanel)

It is recommended to take collagen supplements daily for best results. Dosages mentioned in jars and supplement packs should be followed.

Most of these supplements come from bovine tissue and some products come from marine fish. Some brands claim to have developed a vegan version from yeast, but the nature of these products is questionable due to the lack of adequate research.

Collagen is relatively safe to consume as a supplement, but it is not necessary for human consumption because the body can synthesize it from scratch. People should check the allergens present in these supplements. Some people have occasionally reported nausea and vomiting.


Does collagen help with weight loss?

Some people claim to have lost weight by regularly consuming collagen supplements. However, there is no concrete evidence to prove such claims.

It has no correlation with fat gain or loss, as it is just a structural protein. It also does not influence the metabolism in the body. Diet and exercise are extremely crucial for weight loss.


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Although protein benefits hair, skin, and nails, most claims about weight loss, gut health, and brain health aren’t supported by evidence-based research.

When purchasing these supplements, it is important to research the allergens present to avoid any complications. Collagen peptides can also be obtained from foods like meat and eggs. People with health conditions are advised to consult their doctor before taking collagen supplements.

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Richard V. Johnson