Collagen is the most protein found in the body and has various crucial roles, including the foundation for many body tissues, such as bones and skin.
In recent years it’s become increasingly popular as a nutritional supplement and ingredient in shampoos and body lotions.
Still, you might be wondering: what is collagen, and what can it do for you? This article provides a comprehensive overview of the benefits of this crucial protein!
What is Collagen?
Collagen is the most numerous protein in your body, making up roughly one-third of total protein content.
These proteins help build and hold bodily parts, including muscle, hair, skin, bones, and tendons, forming fibers. Many other biological components, such as blood vessels, corneas, and teeth, contain collagen.
It functions as the “glue” that holds everything together. The name “collagen” originally comes from the Greek word “kolla,” which means “glue.” However, as we get older, our bodies naturally start to produce less collagen. As a result, it’s no wonder that collagen has become a popular supplement in the wellness and cosmetic industries.
You’re ingesting collagen from an animal when you take a collagen supplement or eat meals high in collagen. Collagen peptides are commonly in powdered or pill form, and bone broth contains collagen.
Benefits of Collagen
Good for the Heart
Collagen supplements, according to research, may help lessen the risk of heart-related diseases.
Collagen gives structure to your arteries, which carry blood from your heart to the rest of your body. Collagen deficiency can cause arteries to become unstable and weak.
This could result in atherosclerosis, a disease characterized by artery narrowing that increases heart attack and stroke risk.
Skin Health Improvement
It strengthens the skin, improves elasticity and hydration. As you get older, your body produces less collagen, resulting in dry skin and wrinkles.
On the other hand, collagen peptides or supplements containing collagen have been demonstrated in multiple studies to help reduce the aging of your skin by minimizing wrinkles and dryness.
Relief of Joint Discomfort
Collagen helps to maintain your cartilage, the rubbery tissue that protects your joints, in good shape.
Collagen level in the body decreases as you get older, increasing your risk of developing degenerative joint disorders like osteoarthritis.
Collagen supplements have been demonstrated in several trials to help with osteoarthritis symptoms and general joint pain reduction.
Prevent Bone Loss
It has the potential to prevent bone loss. Collagen is a protein that provides your bones structure and helps them stay strong.
Bone mass deteriorates as you age, is expected, just like collagen in your body. This could lead to disorders like osteoporosis, marked by reduced bone density and increased risk of bone fractures.
Studies have demonstrated Collagen supplements to have actions in the body that prevent bone disintegration that leads to osteoporosis.
Gain Muscle Mass
Collagen deficiency is one of the reasons why muscular mass declines with aging. Studies have shown Collagen supplements to reverse the aging process in persons diagnosed with sarcopenia or age-related muscle loss.
The study focused on aged males who have lost muscular mass, but the processes discovered could apply to everyone. The researchers found that when men exercised and took a post-workout collagen supplement, they gained more muscle mass than when they exercised and received a placebo.
Collagen has amino acids arginine and glycine, which are crucial building blocks for creatine and may help muscle mass. Creatine has already been shown to help build muscle mass, increase strength, and improve athletic performance.
Other Health Benefits
Apart from the benefits mentioned above, collagen can also assist in obtaining potential health benefits. Collagen could also help with the following conditions:
- Gut health maintenance
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Reducing anxiety and improving mood
- Improving your nails and hair development
Natural Sources of Collagen
Collagen can be found in animal connective tissues such as chicken skin, pork skin, beef, and fish.
Because collagen breaks down when digested, research hasn’t shown that ingesting it directly benefits the skin or joints. However, eating a nutritious diet rich in amino acids and nutrients is an intelligent way to support natural collagen formation.
The following foods may help in the production of collagen in the body:
- From 4 to 24 hours, animal bone broth is made by simmering bones in water with a tiny bit of vinegar.
- Poultry, fish, meats, dairy, eggs, legumes, and soy are high in protein.
- Zinc-rich foods include nuts, whole grains, legumes, and seafood.
- Berries, citrus fruits, tomatoes, leafy greens, and bell peppers are rich in Vitamin C.
- High in sulfur foods, such as broccoli, onions, and garlic.
Collagen supplementation has a lot of health benefits and only a few known risks.
Supplements may help to improve the health of your skin by minimizing wrinkles and dryness. They may also aid in developing muscle mass, the prevention of bone loss, and the relief of joint pain.
Although collagen can be found in various meals, it’s unclear whether eating collagen provides the same benefits as supplements.
Collagen supplements are generally safe, simple to use, and well worth trying with because of their potential benefits.