There are differences of opinion from industry experts surrounding collagen supplements and wether food alone is enough to boost or raise levels. Here we have some advice on the benefits of supplements.
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Benefits Of Taking Collagen Supplements
Collagen is a crucial protein in your body that has many functions. These include maintaining the strength of your bones, ensuring that our joints and tendons all work properly.
And of course giving our skin its smooth, soft bounce and youthful feel.
The benefits of taking collagen supplements and other products that work to boost our natural collagen levels has become ever popular in recent years.
Many products are hydrolysed which basically means that the collagen in them has been broken down into smaller molecules, making it easier to be absorbed by our body.
You can boost your natural levels by eating some high collagen foods including bone broth, and those high in essential amino acids and vitamin C.
Taking Collagen will provide many benefits (1), it improves skin health and its appearance, it can also ease stiff, aching joints (2)
Here Are 4 Benefits Of Taking Collagen
1. Can Boost Skin Health And Appearance
As a key component of our skin, it plays a key role in strengthening our skin,
It provides hydration and boosts elasticity, reversing the all too common ageing effects that are caused by the reduction in collagen as we get older.
It’s common for us to experience things such as drier skin and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles – especially in the face (3) as our natural collagen levels reduce.
There have been many studies that have highlighted the benefits of taking collagen supplements, they have demonstrated that it may help slow the signs of ageing by reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles (4) (5)
One particular study followed women who took between 2.5 and 5 g of collagen daily for 8 weeks. They reported an increase in hydration and improved elasticity, when compared to others who took a placebo.
Another studied a group of women who took a collagen infused drink for 12 weeks. The results were conclusive with improvements in hydration and a reduction in wrinkle depth.
The wrinkle reducing benefits of taking supplements has also been shown to promote your bodies ability to make more of its own collagen.
It is believed that collagen supplements can help our body step up production of other key proteins with skin strengthening properties such as fibrillar and elastin.
Other benefits also include the reduction in Acne and associated skin conditions.
2. Reduces Joint Pain
Another area where collagen is absolutely essential is in the cartilage found in our joints. This is the rubber like cushion that ensures that our joints are protected and work smoothly.
Conditions like arthritis are caused by the degradation of the cartilage in our joints, supplements contains collagen can help to protect and maintain our cartilage (7), reducing joint pain and improving movement of our joints.
One landmark study saw a group adults take 2 grams of collagen daily for 70 days.
The group taking the collagen saw a dramatic reduction in joint pain, and found that they were able to take part in certain physical activities that before the study they were unable to do so (8).
Research scientists now believe that taking it may in time build up in your cartilage, and stimulate the body into increasing collagen production.
This has the benefits of reducing inflammation, and improving joint support and reducing pain.
It is recommended that to alleviate joint pain a daily dose of between 8-12 grams of collagen per day should be taken (9)
3. Collagen Supplements Might Reduce Bone Loss
It is found in our bones in large quantities, it helps to maintain strength and structure.
It is as we start to age that the levels of collagen often reduces, this can cause our bones to weaken and become more at risk of conditions such as Osteoporosis (10)
There have been a number of studies that looked into the effects and benefits of taking collagen to help bolster bone health and strength
One study saw a group of women take a supplement containing calcium. half the group also took 5 grams of collagen too.
It was revealed at the end of the study that the group of women taking both the calcium and collagen had reduced levels of a blood protein that promote bone breakdown, when compared to the group taking just calcium. (11)
A similar study recorded similar results with women supplementing seeing 7% increase in bone density ( Low Bone Density is associated in cases of weak bones and cases of osteoarthritis) (12)
4. Boosts Heart Health
Another benefit of using supplements is its potential to help boost our cardiac health, it provides strength and structure to our arteries, which are key to strong, healthy blood flow to and from the heart.
As collagen reduces with age it can lead to weaker arteries which can reduce blood flow.
This can lead to a disease called Athersclerosis which is a condition that causes narrowing of the arteries. If left untreated this can lead to strokes and heart attacks. (13)
Studies have shown that collagen supplements can boost levels of good cholesterol (HDL) by up to 6%. HDL levels are a major factor in heart diseases including atherosclerosis.
Studies have shown that 16 grams taken daily for 6 months can cause a significant improvement in arterial stiffness (14)
Other Benefits Of Taking Collagen
There are many other benefits that taking collagen supplements can provide, there is definitely a need for further studies, but all the signs look promising.
- Boosts Health Of Hair and Nails – supplements may reduce the brittleness of our nails. It may also help to stimulate hair and nail growth (15)
- Brain Health – An area that remains unstudied, yet there are some who claim that collagen supplements reduce stress and boost moods
- Digestive Health – Despite no scientific proof to this claim there is a large number of health practitioners that use on their patients to treat stomach and intestinal disorders including leaky gut syndrome (16)
- Weight Loss – It is believed that taking a Collagen supplement can help to boost metabolism and promote weight loss.
Do Collagen Supplements Cause Any Side Effects?
There are no serious side effects associated with taking collagen supplements.
There have however been a few reports that some supplements brands can cause an unpleasant taste in the mouth.
Another point to consider is that some products are made from foodstuffs including eggs, shellfish and fish, so if you have any for allergies, you need to take these into account before taking Collagen supplements.
Overall the benefits of taking collagen supplements far out weight any potential issues or slight risks.(17)