Many individuals take collagen supplements to improve their health and reduce the effects of aging on their bodies. But what exactly is collagen?
It is a protein that naturally occurs in the human body in large amounts. It is found in the skin, ligaments, muscles, and tendons. Collagen supplements increase the amount of collagen in the body, and it is thought supplemental collagen has many beneficial effects on health.
Collagen supplements can come in the form of pills, powder, food items like bone broth, and topical lotions. Whether it is ingested or topically applied, collagen may be a great addition to one’s daily routine.
5 Health Benefits of Collagen Supplements
Learn about the benefits of collagen supplements now.
1. Lessens Wrinkles
Collagen is thought to have several anti-aging properties, and one of these is it lessens wrinkles. Skin naturally contains collagen, but the problem is individuals tend to produce less collagen as they age.
This causes the skin to lose its elasticity, and a lack of elasticity leads to wrinkles. Several scientific studies have demonstrated taking collagen as a supplement can help increase the skin’s elasticity.
Essentially, the collagen supplementation helps the body produce more elastin and fibrillin, which are important substances in the skin. By doing this, collagen reduces the formation of wrinkles. These studies involved subjects who took collagen either as a pill or as a powder mixed into a drink.
Ingesting collagen is not the only way to lessen wrinkles. Some creams and lotions also contain collagen. Individuals who apply collagen topically benefit from more elastic skin.
2. Alleviates Dry Skin
Collagen has many benefits for the skin apart from its anti-aging benefits. One of these helpful benefits is it alleviates dry skin, which is something many individuals struggle with.
Dry skin can lead to flaking, acne, itchiness, and many other undesirable and uncomfortable qualities in the skin. Collagen pills and collagen powder mixed into drinks have both been shown to help with keeping the skin hydrated. A collagen compound called collagen hydrolysate has proven to be especially helpful.
Furthermore, collagen is unlikely to have any side effects. This might be because it is a natural substance found in the human body.
3. May Increase Metabolism
Collagen supplements may increase metabolism. One of the reasons for this is collagen helps boost muscle production. Muscles are composed of many different proteins, one of which is collagen. But how does this help increase metabolism?
Well, muscle cells burn calories just to exist. Technically, fat cells also burn calories, but muscles use energy at a higher rate. Therefore, having more muscle mass in the body leads to burning more calories while at rest.
Research has shown individuals who take collagen supplements build significantly more muscle when they do strength training than those who do not take the supplements.
Collagen supplements and a good workout program might be worth a try for individuals who would like to drop a few pounds. This may be especially helpful for individuals who are getting older, as muscle mass tends to decrease with age.
4. May Reduce Risk of Heart Conditions
One of the greatest benefits of collagen supplements is it may reduce an individual’s risk of heart conditions. Many heart problems are caused by weak arterial walls in the heart.
Collagen is found naturally in the arterial walls and helps keep them strong. Taking collagen supplements may help strengthen the arteries and prevent them from getting narrow.
Collagen supplements may also help keep the arteries supple and may even reverse the artery hardening that happens in diseases like atherosclerosis. Some research indicates collagen supplements could also increase high-density lipoprotein cholesterol in the blood.
HDL cholesterol is often referred to as ‘good’ cholesterol. It is good to have a high ratio of HDL cholesterol to low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Keeping the arteries strong and improving cholesterol levels can prevent serious health complications like heart attacks and strokes.
5. Reduces Joint Pain
Another benefit of collagen is it reduces joint pain because it is found in the cartilage in the joints. Individuals typically do not produce as much collagen as they get older. Due to this, the joints become weaker and can cause pain, leading to conditions like osteoarthritis.
Many studies have demonstrated taking collagen supplements is associated with reduced pain in the joints. These studies have been done on athletes, who put a lot of pressure on their joints in their daily routines, as well as on normal individuals who have joint pain.
It is thought taking between eight and twelve grams of collagen is beneficial for joint health. However, some studies showed taking as little as two grams per day might be beneficial.
The idea is the supplemental collagen stays in the body and builds up in the places where it is needed, such as in the cartilage. It takes a while for the collagen to build up; many of these studies took place over the course of several months.
For those who are patient, it might be worth a try to start taking collagen pills or powder to see if it helps with achy joints.