Collagen is the most abundant protein in our body. There are many types of collagen. It is found in muscles, bones, skin, blood vessels, digestive system and tendons. It helps to increase the strength and elasticity of our skin by replacing dead skin cells. When it comes to our joints and tendons, in the simplest terms, it acts as an adhesive that helps keep the body together.
The benefits of collagen show more and more as we begin to age. Our body’s collagen production naturally begins to slow down as it ages. This degenerative process adds signs of aging, such as wrinkles, sagging skin, decreased cartilage, or joint pain caused by cartilage reduction.
Apart from aging, other lifestyle factors (such as nutrition with high sugar content, smoking and high sun exposure) also cause collagen levels to decrease. In the most common form of problems occurring in the body related to collagen; It has been found to be caused by a combination of genetic factors, malnutrition, nutritional deficiencies and digestive problems that affect collagen production.
Most collagen supplements are hydrolyzed, which means that collagen is broken down and easier to absorb. In other words, collagen in supplements is broken down into peptides to facilitate absorption in the body. Collagen peptide supplements can be in capsule, tablet and powder form.
From relieving joint pain to improving skin health, it is also possible to add collagen, which has many benefits to your body, as a supplement to your daily diet and not to give it a chance. Some important benefits of taking collagen supplements for those who are still not convinced.
Collagen for Skin
Collagen is one of the most important components of your skin. Collagen, which plays an important role in strengthening the skin, benefits your skin’s elasticity and hydration.
As you age, your body produces less collagen. What causes dry skin and wrinkles is collagen deficiency in the body. Many studies show that it is possible to slow the aging of your skin by reducing wrinkles and dryness with collagen supplement to the skin.
For example, in one study, women who took 2.5 – 5 grams of collagen supplements for 8 weeks experienced less skin dryness and a significant increase in skin elasticity compared to those who did not take supplements.
Additionally, taking collagen supplements can promote the production of other proteins that help structure your skin, including elastin and fibrillin; It can help prevent acne and other skin problems, but these are not yet supported by scientific evidence.
It Helps Relieve Joint Pain and Rheumatism
Collagen helps protect the integrity of your cartilage, which protects your joints. As you age, the amount of collagen in your body decreases and your risk of degenerative joint disorders such as knee calcification, rheumatism osteoarthritis increases. Some studies have shown that taking collagen supplements can help improve osteoarthritis symptoms and reduce joint pain in general.
In another study, 73 athletes who consumed 10 grams of collagen per day for 24 weeks stated that they experienced less joint pain during rest, compared to the other group who did not.
There are theories that researchers think additional collagen can accumulate in cartilage and stimulate your tissues to make collagen. Accordingly, lower inflammation, better support of joints and pain relief are possible with collagen supplement.
It Prevents Bone Loss
Your bones mostly consist of collagen. It structures collagen and helps keep it strong. If the amount of collagen in your body decreases over time, bone mass also deteriorates. This is a condition associated with low bone density and can lead to conditions such as osteoporosis, which are linked to the risk of bone fracture.
The benefit of collagen to bones has also been shown in many studies; It suggests that taking collagen supplements may have some effects that help prevent bone destruction that causes osteoporosis in the body. In one study, the first of the two groups, all women, received calcium supplements combined with 5 grams of collagen for 12 months; another group is taking a collagen-free calcium supplement daily. At the end of the study, women taking calcium and collagen supplements seem to have significantly lower protein levels that support bone breakdown than those who only take calcium.
These results are promising, but the role of collagen supplements in bone health needs to be explored further. Still, collagen supplements, the building block of bone, can be beneficial for bones.
It can Increase Muscle Mass
1 to 10% of muscle tissue consists of collagen. This protein is essential to keep your muscles running strong and smooth. Studies show that collagen supplements help increase muscle mass in patients with sarcopenia (muscle mass loss) that occurs over time.
In one study, 27 weak men take 15 grams of collagen supplements while participating in a daily exercise program for 12 weeks. Compared to men who exercise but do not take collagen, they gain more muscle mass and strength.
Researchers suggest that taking supplements containing collagen can promote the synthesis of muscle proteins like creatine and stimulate muscle growth after exercise.
It Improves Heart Health
There are numerous theories, as taking collagen supplements can help reduce the risk of heart problems. Collagen provides structure to your arteries that carry blood from your heart to the rest of your body.
Without sufficient collagen, arteries can become weak and fragile. This can lead to diseases associated with narrowing of the arteries. In one study, 31 healthy adults take 16 grams of collagen per day for 6 months, and a significant reduction in arterial stiffness measurements before starting supplementation is observed.
In addition, there is an average increase of 6% in HDL “good” cholesterol levels. Still, much more research is needed on the benefits of collagen for heart health.
It is Useful for Metabolism
An increase in the amount of collagen in the body helps increase the metabolic rate by adding lean muscle mass to your body and helping convert essential nutrients. Preserving muscle mass helps support posture and bone health. It burns more calories than fat.
When consuming collagen, you need to consume vitamin C to ensure that your body can convert collagen into a usable protein.
In addition, arginine has been found to increase the ability to produce protein from other amino acids, which are important for repairing muscle tissue, healing wounds, reducing tissue waste, accelerating metabolism, and helping proper growth and development. In addition, glutamine facilitates the synthesis of many chemicals, helping to maintain sufficient energy. This amino acid provides “fuel” to our cells, including carbon and nitrogen.
It Provides Hair Strengthening
Collagen protein; It is the building block of nails, hair and teeth. Adding collagen to the diet can help your nails to reverse the symptoms of strong and possibly hair loss.
In a study, it was stated that there is a significant relationship between extracellular matrix and hair follicle regeneration, which may be a potential therapeutic target for hair loss and other skin-related problems