the 6 main benefits of collagen

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 your skin and strengthening your bones.

There are 28 types of collagen, but here are the four most common:

Type I: the most common type found in all connective tissues.
Type II: Present in joints and discs (the cushions that act as shock absorbers for the spine).
Type III: the main component of reticular fibers found in skin and blood vessels.
Type IV: Component of the kidneys, inner ear and lens.

Collagen supplements have become popular in recent years. Most are hydrolyzed, meaning the collagen has been broken down to facilitate its absorption. These dietary supplements are usually available in powder form, but also in capsules. The types of collagen found in supplements vary — some contain one or two, while others contain up to five. Several foods can naturally increase your collagen intake, including pork skin and bone broth.

Foods containing collagen

Foods that contain gelatin, like bone broth, provide collagen. Gelatin is a protein substance obtained from collagen after cooking. Collagen is found in the connective tissue of animals. Therefore, foods like chicken skin, pork skin, beef, and fish are sources of collagen. Vitamin C is essential for the synthesis of collagen. It is therefore necessary to ensure that you are consuming foods rich in this vitamin, such as citrus fruits, broccoli and peppers.

More research is needed to determine whether 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 the collagen in food into individual amino acids and peptides. However, the collagen in supplements has already been broken down or hydrolyzed, so it is believed to be absorbed more efficiently than dietary collagen.

Health Benefits of Collagen Supplements

1. Can improve skin health

Collagen is a major component of your skin. It plays a role in strengthening the skin, as well as its elasticity and hydration. As you age, your body produces less collagen, leading to dry skin and wrinkles. However, several studies have shown that collagen peptides, or supplements containing collagen, can help slow down skin aging by reducing wrinkles and dryness. An analysis of 11 studies, mostly involving women, found that taking 3-10 grams of collagen daily for an average of 69 days helped improve skin elasticity and hydration. These supplements can work by stimulating your body to produce collagen on its own. Additionally, collagen supplements can boost the production of other proteins that help structure your 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 backed by any scientific evidence.

2. Can relieve joint pain

Collagen helps maintain the integrity of your cartilage, the rubbery tissue that protects your joints. Because the amount of collagen in your body decreases as you age, your risk of developing degenerative joint diseases like osteoarthritis increases. Some studies suggest that collagen supplements may help improve osteoarthritis symptoms and reduce overall joint pain. An analysis of five studies involving more than 500 people with osteoarthritis found that taking about 10 grams of collagen daily for an average of 24 weeks resulted in a significant improvement in joint stiffness and reported joint pain. Researchers have hypothesized that collagen supplements can accumulate in cartilage and stimulate your tissues to produce collagen. This, in turn, can lead to less inflammation, better joint support, and less pain. If you’re interested in trying collagen supplements for their potential pain-relieving effects, most research suggests you’ll see an effect at 10 grams per day.

3. Can prevent bone loss

Your bones are made primarily of collagen, which gives them structure and strength. Just as your body’s collagen decreases with age, so does bone mass. This can lead to conditions such as osteoporosis, which is characterized by low bone density and a higher risk of fractures. Studies show that collagen supplements can 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 without collagen daily. At the end of the study, those taking the calcium and collagen supplement had significantly lower blood levels of bone-breaking proteins than those taking just the calcium. Another study found similar results in 66 women who took 5 grams of collagen daily for 12 months. Those taking collagen showed an increase in their bone mineral density (BMD) of up to 7% compared to those not taking 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 the 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 can boost the synthesis of muscle proteins like creatine and stimulate muscle growth after exercise. However, collagen protein is no more effective than whey protein at building muscle or strength. This is because, unlike whey protein, collagen is low in essential amino acids — particularly leucine — which play a key role in muscle building. More research is needed to explore 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 gives structure to your arteries, the blood vessels that carry blood from your heart to the rest of your 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 measurements of arterial stiffness from the start to the end of the study. In addition, their HDL (good cholesterol) levels increased by an average of 6%. HDL is an important factor in the risk of heart disease, including atherosclerosis. Still, more studies on collagen supplements and heart health are needed.

6. Other health benefits

Collagen supplements may have other health benefits, but these have not been extensively studied.

hair and nails

Taking collagen can increase the resistance of your nails by preventing them from becoming brittle. Also, it can help your hair and nails grow longer.

gut health

Although there is no scientific evidence to support this claim, some naturopaths claim that collagen supplements can treat leaky gut syndrome, also known as leaky gut.

brain health

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.

weight loss

Proponents believe that collagen supplements can promote weight loss and boost 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. Therefore, regardless of your goal when using collagen, it takes at least 8 weeks to see visible results. Most studies use at least 8 weeks to evaluate the effects of collagen on skin health and joint pain relief, but other studies use longer time periods, e.g. B. 12 months, for bone health.
It is therefore necessary to be patient and not expect results for a certain period of time.


Oral collagen supplementation: A systematic review of dermatological applications

Cell aging towards arthrosis

A dietary supplement containing calcium-collagen chelate attenuates bone loss in postmenopausal women with osteopenia: a randomized controlled trial

* The information and services available on in no way replace the advice of competent medical professionals.

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