Top 5 Benefits of Collagen Supplements
Collagen is a protein found in connective tissues throughout your body. It is located in your skin, bones, tendons, and ligaments. Its primary function is to help tissues withstand stretching.
As you age, your existing collagen breaks down, and it gets harder for your body to produce more. As a result, many people turn to collagen supplements. These supplements are usually powders, but capsules and liquid supplements are also available.
Some research has shown that collagen supplements may benefit specific parts of the body, including aging skin, bone density, and joint health.
While results are promising, more research is needed to fully understand whether or not supplementation is effective
This protein is also produced naturally in the body by combining amino acids, the building blocks of proteins found in food.
This article discusses the potential benefits and possible side effects of collagen supplements.
1. Collagen may improve skin health
Collagen is a major component of your skin.
It strengthens the skin and also helps in elasticity and hydration. As you age, your body produces less of this protein, leading to dry skin and the formation of wrinkles
However, several studies have shown that collagen peptides or supplements containing this protein may help slow the aging of your skin by reducing wrinkles and dryness.
These supplements may work by stimulating your body to produce collagen on its own. Additionally, collagen supplements may promote the production of other proteins that help structure your skin, including elastin and fibrillin.
2. Bone health
A 2018 study published in Nutrients concluded that the intake of a specific collagen supplement brand increased bone mineral density in postmenopausal women. In addition, the study concluded that supplementation might increase bone formation and reduce bone loss.
3. May ease joint pain
This protein helps maintain the integrity of your cartilage, the rubber-like tissue that protects your joints.
As the amount of protein in your body decreases with age, your risk of degenerative joint disorders such as osteoarthritis.
Some studies suggest that collagen supplements may help improve symptoms of osteoarthritis and reduce overall joint pain.
4. Heart disease
Some people take this supplement to boost heart health, although there is limited independent research to support this.
Researchers affiliated with a Japanese company that makes collagen-based functional foods published a study in 2017. They concluded that when taken regularly for six months, collagen tripeptide offered heart benefits, including:
- Improved cholesterol levels
- Reduction of other risk factors for atherosclerosis(hardening of the arteries)
5. Collagen may prevent bone loss
Your bones are made mostly of collagen, which gives them structure and strength.
Just as the collagen in your body deteriorates with age, so does bone mass. This may lead to conditions such as osteoporosis, which is characterized by low bone density and a higher risk of bone fractures.
Studies note that collagen supplements may help inhibit the 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 and no collagen daily.
At the study’s end, those taking the calcium and collagen supplement had significantly lower blood levels of proteins that promote bone breakdown than those who took only the calcium.
Possible side effects of collagen supplements
Collagen supplements are generally well tolerated, with few reported side effects.
However, some supplements are made from common food allergens, such as fish, shellfish, and eggs. People with allergies to these foods should avoid collagen supplements made with these ingredients.
Some people have also reported nausea and bloating when taking collagen supplements, but these effects weren’t directly related to the supplements.
Additionally, collagen supplements may cause digestive side effects, such as heartburn and feelings of fullness.
Regardless, these supplements appear to be safe for most people.