Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body. It is the main component of the connective tissues that make up many parts of the body, including tendons, ligaments, skin, and muscles.
Collagen has many important functions, including structuring skin and strengthening bones.
There are 28 types of collagen, but here are the four most common:
Type I: the most common type, present in all connective tissues.
Type II: Present in joints and intervertebral discs (the cushions that act as shock absorbers for the spine).
Type III – the main component of reticular fibers, which are found in the skin and blood vessels.
Type IV: component of the kidneys, inner ear and lens.
In recent years, collagen supplements have become popular. Most are hydrolyzed, meaning the collagen has been broken down to make it easier to absorb. These supplements primarily come in powder form, but are also available in capsule form. The types of collagen found in supplements vary: some contain one or two, while others contain up to five. Several foods can naturally increase collagen intake, including pork skin and bone broth.
Foods that contain collagen
Foods that contain gelatin, such as bone broth, provide collagen. Gelatin is a protein substance derived from collagen once cooked. Collagen is found in the connective tissues of animals. Therefore, foods such as chicken skin, pork skin, beef, and fish are sources of collagen. Vitamin C is essential for the synthesis of collagen. Therefore, it is necessary to ensure that you consume foods rich in this vitamin, such as citrus fruits, broccoli and bell peppers.
More research is needed to determine if eating collagen-rich foods helps increase collagen levels in your body, as they may not have the same benefits as supplements. Digestive enzymes break down collagen from food into individual amino acids and peptides. However, the collagen in supplements has already been broken down or hydrolyzed, so it is thought to be absorbed more efficiently than collagen from food.
Health Benefits of Collagen Supplements
1. Can improve skin health
Collagen is an important component of the skin. It plays a role in strengthening the skin, as well as in its elasticity and hydration. As you age, your body produces less collagen, which leads to dry skin and the formation of wrinkles. However, several studies have shown that collagen peptides or collagen-containing supplements can help slow skin aging by reducing wrinkles and dryness. An analysis of 11 studies involving mostly women found that taking 3 to 10 grams of collagen daily for an average of 69 days helped improve skin elasticity and hydration. These supplements may work by stimulating your body to produce collagen on its own. Additionally, collagen supplements can promote the production of other proteins that help structure the skin, including elastin and fibrillin. There are also many anecdotal claims that collagen supplements help prevent acne and other skin problems, but these are not supported by scientific evidence.
2. It can relieve joint pain
Collagen helps maintain the integrity of your cartilage, the rubbery tissue that protects your joints. As the amount of collagen in your body decreases with age, your risk of degenerative joint disorders, such as osteoarthritis, increases. Some studies suggest that collagen supplements may help improve symptoms of osteoarthritis and reduce overall joint pain. An analysis of five studies involving more than 500 people with osteoarthritis found that taking approximately 10 grams of collagen daily for an average of 24 weeks resulted in significant improvements in joint stiffness and reported joint pain. The researchers have hypothesized that collagen supplements may accumulate in cartilage. and stimulate your tissues to produce collagen. In turn, this can lead to less inflammation, better joint support, and reduced pain. If you want to try collagen supplements for their potential pain-relieving effects, most research suggests you’ll see an effect at 10 grams per day.
3. May prevent bone loss
Your bones are made mostly of collagen, which gives them structure and strength. Just as your body’s collagen deteriorates with age, so does bone mass. This can lead to conditions such as osteoporosis, which is characterized by low bone density and an increased risk of fractures. Studies indicate that collagen supplements can help inhibit bone breakdown that leads to osteoporosis. In a 12-month study, women took either a calcium supplement with 5 grams of collagen or a calcium supplement without collagen daily. At the end of the study, those who took the calcium and collagen supplement had significantly lower blood levels of bone-breaking proteins than those who took the calcium alone. Another study found similar results in 66 women who took 5 grams of collagen daily for 12 months. Those who took collagen showed an increase in their bone mineral density (BMD) of up to 7% compared to those who did not take collagen.
4. Can increase muscle mass
As the most abundant protein in the body, collagen is an important component of skeletal muscle. Studies suggest that collagen supplements help increase muscle mass in people with sarcopenia, the loss of muscle mass that occurs with age. In a 12-week study, 27 men with this condition took 15 grams of collagen while participating in a daily exercise program. Compared to men who exercised but didn’t take collagen, they gained significantly more muscle mass and strength. Researchers have suggested that collagen supplementation may promote the synthesis of muscle proteins such as creatine, as well as stimulate muscle growth after exercise. However, collagen protein is no more effective than whey protein for building muscle or strength. This is because, unlike whey protein, collagen is low in essential amino acids, especially leucine, which play a key role in building muscle. More research is needed to investigate the potential of collagen to increase muscle mass.
5. May Support Heart Health
Researchers have hypothesized that collagen supplements may help reduce the risk of heart disease. Collagen provides structure to arteries, the blood vessels that carry blood from the heart to the rest of the body. Without enough collagen, arteries can become less flexible and less elastic. This can lead to atherosclerosis, a disease characterized by narrowing of the arteries. This disease can lead to heart attack and stroke. In a 6-month study, 31 healthy adults took 16 grams of collagen daily. They found a significant reduction in measures of arterial stiffness from the beginning to the end of the study. In addition, their HDL (good cholesterol) levels increased by an average of 6%. HDL is a major factor in the risk of heart disease, including atherosclerosis. However, more studies are needed on collagen supplements and heart health.
6. Other health benefits
Collagen supplements may have other health benefits, but they have not been extensively studied.
hair and nails
Taking collagen can increase the resistance of your nails, preventing their brittleness. Plus, it can help your hair and nails grow longer.
Although there is no scientific evidence to support this claim, some health professionals claim that collagen supplements can treat leaky gut syndrome, also known as leaky gut.
No studies have looked at the role of collagen supplements in brain health, but some people claim that they improve mood and reduce anxiety symptoms.
Proponents believe that collagen supplements can promote weight loss and stimulate metabolism. However, there are no studies to support these claims.
While these potential effects are promising, more research is needed before formal conclusions can be drawn.
How long does it take to see results?
Collagen renewal is a slow process. As such, whatever your goal is when using collagen, it will take at least 8 weeks to see visible results. Most studies use a minimum of 8 weeks to assess the effects of collagen on skin health and joint pain relief, but other studies use longer time periods, such as 12 months, for bone health .
Therefore, it is necessary to be patient and not wait for results for a certain time.
* The information and services available on pressesante.com are in no way a substitute for consultation with competent healthcare professionals.
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