Top Benefits Of Collagen Supplements

From the Greek word "kolla", which means glue, collagen is, simply put, the glue that holds the body together. 

The most abundant protein in the body, collagen is a major building block of bones, skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments, and is also found in blood vessels, corneas, teeth and other body parts. Among its important roles, it provides structure to the skin and also helps in blood clot.

In recent years, it has become popular as an ingredient in shampoos and body lotions, and especially as a supplement, most of which are hydrolyzed or having broken down collagen for easy absorption. Without further ado, here are the top health benefits of collagen supplements:

Can Improve Skin Health 

Collagen not only strengthens the skin, but also makes it soft and hydrated. As one ages, collagen production decreases, leading to dry skin and wrinkles. 

However, studies have shown that collagen supplements help slow down skin aging by reducing wrinkles and dryness. Collagen's wrinkle-reducing effects have been attributed to its ability to stimulate the body's collagen production on its own. 

Additionally, collagen supplements may also promote production of elastin, fibrillin and other proteins that help structure the skin.

Aids In Joint Pain Relief

As one gets older, the amount of collagen in the body decreases, increasing the risk of developing osteoarthritis and other degenerative joint disorders. 

Taking collagen supplements has been shown in some studies to help in improving osteoarthritis symptoms as well as in reducing joint pain overall. 

Researchers have theorized that supplemental collagen may accumulate in the cartilage before stimulating the tissues to make collagen. This, they suggested, may lead to lowered inflammation, better joint support and reduced joint pain.

When taking in collagen supplements for their potential pain-relieving effects, studies suggested starting with a dosage of 8 to 12 grams daily.

Can Prevent Bone Loss 

While collagen in the body decreases as a result of age, so does bone mass, leading to conditions such as osteoporosis, which is characterized by bone density so low even a single move or a small fall can lead to bone fracture. 

Studies have shown that taking collagen supplements may have certain effects on the body that aid in inhibiting osteoporosis-causing bone breakdown.

One study had shown that when combined with calcium intake, a collagen supplement lowers levels of protein that promotes bone breakdown. Another found that daily collagen consumption resulted in increased bone mineral density (BMD) and stronger bones, leading to lowered osteoporosis risk. 

Even with these promising results, however, more human studies are needed before collagen supplements' role in bone health can be confirmed.

Can Boost Muscle Mass 

Collagen is present in between 1 to 10 percent of muscle tissue, making it necessary for muscle growth and in proper muscle function. 

Collagen supplements have been suggested by studies to help boost muscle mass in people suffering from sarcopenia, the age-related loss of muscle mass.

One study found that together with daily exercise, collagen intake resulted in increased muscle mass and strength. Collagen has also been suggested by research to promote muscle protein synthesis and also stimulate muscle growth after a workout. Still, more research is needed to prove collagen's role in boosting muscle mass.

Promotes Heart Health 

Researchers have theorized that collagen supplements may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. 

That is because collagen itself strengthens the arteries, the blood vessels that carry blood from the heart to the rest of the body. A collagen deficit makes the arteries weak and fragile, leading to atherosclerosis (the narrowing of arteries), which may result in a heart attack or stroke.

Other Health Benefits

Though little evidence has been shown and more research and extensive studies are needed to prove it, collagen supplements have other health benefits, including improved hair and nail strength, gut health, brain health and weight loss.

collagen Limited amount of studies associate consumption of collagen to better skin health, improved arthritis symptoms, faster wound healing and lower risk of muscle wasting. Pixabay

Join the Discussion