There are so many different supplements on the shelves these days, it can be a nightmare to try to figure out which ones are actually necessary and beneficial and which ones are a waste of money. Collagen, which you can take in powder or capsule form, is an essential protein in the human body and is one of those great go-to supplements. Collagen is a type of protein that plays an important role in building and supporting many tissues, from bones and cartilage to skin, hair, eyes and the digestive system.
BENEFITS OF A COLLAGEN SUPPLEMENT:
- Collagen supplements help replace what is naturally lost through aging. Looking at it from a broad perspective first, collagen is the glue that holds your body together. Found in skin, hair, nails, bones, joints, muscles, tendons, blood vessels, and vital organs, collagen makes up about one-third of the protein in your body, and as we age your body produces far less collagen in your thirties and forties. Incorporating collagen supplements into your diet will replace what your body begins to lack and support your overall health.
- Collagen helps smooth wrinkles and boosts elasticity in skin. In a study, people who consistently took collagen supplements were shown to have improved skin elasticity, help it better hold onto moisture, and increase the density of collagen fibers within the skin.
- Collagen may help lessen joint aches and pains. Joint pain can make a lot of simple daily activities very hard and painful. Taking a collagen supplement can help alleviate that discomfort by supporting cartilage repair and may also have an anti-inflammatory effect.
- Oral supplements may promote gut health. In inflammatory digestive conditions, there is a “gut healing” theory about collagen. Some studies show that collagen levels are decreased in patients with these conditions. By taking collagen, you would help correct that deficiency. Collagen is a part of connective tissue, which makes up your colon and GI tract, so by bringing your levels up, there may be a supportive environment for your body to heal.
- Collagen may boost your heart health. Just stirring in some collagen powder in your coffee each morning may be good for your ticker, too. The collagen may help fortify blood vessel walls to reduce the risk of artery disease.
- May prevent bone loss. Your bones are mostly made of collagen, which gives them structure and helps keep them strong. Just as the collagen levels in your body deteriorate as you age, so does bone mass. This may lead to conditions like osteoporosis. Studies have shown that taking collagen supplements may have certain effects in the body that help inhibit the bone breakdown that leads to osteoporosis.
If you don’t exactly want to take the supplement route, collagen is also found in a handful of foods. Foods like chicken skin, pork skin, beef, fish, and bone broth are all good sources of collagen.