When it comes to supplements, collagen is one of the most popular ones on the market. This is because collagen has a number of amazing benefits that can improve your health in a variety of ways.
In this article, we will discuss the top five benefits of taking collagen supplements. So if you are looking for an all-natural way to improve your health, then read on!
What is Collagen?
Before we dive into the benefits of collagen, let’s first take a quick look at what collagen is. Collagen is a protein that is found in the connective tissues of our bodies, such as our skin, bones, and tendons. It is also found in high concentrations in our muscles and joints.
As we age, our bodies produce less collagen. This decrease in collagen production can lead to a number of health problems, such as wrinkles, osteoporosis, and joint pain.
That’s why many people turn to collagen supplements in an effort to improve their health. Collagen supplements are made from the collagen of animals, such as cows, pigs, and fish.
Foods That Contain Collagen
While you can’t get collagen from food, there are certain foods that contain nutrients that help support the production of collagen in your body. These include:
• Vitamin C: found in citrus fruits, bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and kale.
• Vitamin A: found in sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, and kale.
• Zinc: found in oysters, beef, lamb, pumpkin seeds, and cashews.
• Copper: found in oysters, liver, dark chocolate, and avocados.
• Silicon: found in leafy green vegetables, beets, carrots, cucumbers, and celery.
Health Benefits of Collagen Supplements
Now that you know a little more about collagen, let’s take look at the top five health benefits of taking collagen supplements:
#1 – May improve skin health
One of the most popular reasons people take collagen supplements is for improved skin health.
That’s because collagen is a major component of your skin, providing structure and strength.
As you age, your body produces less collagen, which can lead to wrinkles and sagging skin.
Some studies suggest that taking collagen supplements can improve skin elasticity and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
One study found that women who took a collagen supplement for eight weeks had significantly less skin dryness and an increase in skin elasticity, compared to those who didn’t take a supplement
Another study showed that taking a collagen supplement for 12 weeks improved skin moisture and reduced the appearance of wrinkles.
#2 – May relieve joint pain
If you have joint pain, it may be due to the loss of cartilage. Cartilage is a protein that cushions and lubricates your joints.
As you age, your body produces less cartilage, which can lead to joint pain.
Some studies suggest that taking collagen supplements can improve symptoms of osteoarthritis, including joint pain.
A study in rats found that collagen supplements reduced inflammation and protected cartilage from further damage.
Another study showed that taking a collagen supplement for six months improved symptoms of osteoarthritis, including pain and stiffness.
#3 – May prevent bone loss
As we age, we start to lose bone mass. This can lead to osteoporosis, a condition that causes weak and fragile bones.
Some studies suggest that taking collagen may help slow down the loss of bone mass and prevent osteoporosis.
One study found that postmenopausal women who took a collagen supplement for one year had increased bone density and strength, compared to those who didn’t take collagen.
Another study gave middle-aged women a collagen supplement for 12 months. The supplemented group saw an increase in bone mass, while the control group lost bone mass during the same time period.
#4 – May boost muscle mass
As we age, we tend to lose muscle mass and strength. This process is called sarcopenia. Collagen supplements may help slow down the loss of muscle mass and prevent sarcopenia.
One study found that taking a collagen peptide supplement for 12 weeks increased muscle mass in older adults. Another study gave participants a collagen supplement or a placebo for 24 weeks. The supplemented group saw significantly greater improvements in muscle mass and strength, compared to the placebo group.
Additionally, collagen supplements may help reduce exercise-related muscle soreness. This soreness is caused by tiny tears in your muscle fibers that occur when you exercise.
#5 – May promote heart health
Some studies suggest that collagen supplements may help reduce blood pressure and protect against heart disease.
One study gave participants a hydrolyzed collagen supplement or a placebo for 12 weeks. The supplemented group saw significant reductions in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, compared to the placebo group.
Another study found that taking a collagen supplement for six months improved “good” HDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels in women.
Collagen supplements may also help reduce inflammation, a key driver of heart disease. One study gave participants either a placebo or a hydrolyzed collagen supplement for 12 weeks. The supplemented group saw significant reductions in several markers of inflammation, compared to the placebo group.
How to Increase Collagen Production?
In addition to consuming foods that support collagen production, there are other things you can do to promote collagen production in your body, such as:
• Exercise: helps improve blood circulation, which delivers nutrients and oxygen to the cells that produce collagen.
• Get enough sleep: when you sleep, your body produces more human growth hormone, which helps with collagen production.
• Limit sun exposure: too much sun can damage the skin and reduce collagen production.
• Don’t smoke: smoking damages the skin and prevents collagen production.
While you can’t completely stop the aging process, consuming collagen can help reduce the visible signs of aging, such as wrinkles and sagging skin.
With all the evidence piling up in favor of collagen supplements, it’s hard to deny their potential benefits. If you’re looking for an easy way to improve your health, adding collagen to your diet may be a good option for you. Have you tried taking collagen supplements? What were your results?