(WellnessPursuits.com) – If you’ve been keeping up with the latest health trends, then you may have heard about people taking collagen supplements to look and feel younger. There are quite a few reasons that you might want to consume collagen. It has some pretty incredible health benefits, including improving skin health and relieving joint pain. Sounds good, right? Could it be the ultimate fountain of youth? Let’s find out!
What Is Collagen?
Collagen is a type of protein found in our bodies. It’s the main element in connective tissue. It affects things like cartilage, tendons, ligaments, muscle, and skin.
The 28 different types of collagen are each categorized by their amino acid composition. Most of the collagen in our bodies, about 90%, is type 1. Type 1 collagen is found in the internal organs, tendons, skin, and organic parts of the bone.
The other 10% of collagen breaks down in the following types:
- Type 2 is found in cartilage.
- Type 3 is found in lymphoid tissues and bone marrow.
- Type 4 is found surrounding most types of tissue.
- Type 5 is found in the surfaces of cells and hair; it’s also found in the placenta of pregnant women.
- Type 10 is found in cartilage and helps to promote bone health.
Collagen supplements have become very popular in recent years. Most of them are sold hydrolyzed, which makes it easier to absorb. You can purchase hydrolyzed collagen from Amazon or from most grocery stores or pharmacies.
The 5 Benefits of Taking Collagen
1. Promotes a Healthier Heart
Collagen may help reduce your risk of heart conditions. If you don’t have enough collagen, your arteries may become fragile and weak, leading to atherosclerosis, which in turn might result in a stroke or heart attack.
One study found that people who took collagen supplements had a significant reduction in artery stiffness. They also increased their HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol) by around 6%.
2. Keeps Bones Strong
As we age, we not only lose collagen and muscle, but we also lose bone density. Low levels of BMD (bone mineral density) are likely indicators of weak bones and could lead to the development of osteoporosis.
Bones are mainly made up of collagen. It’s what keeps them strong.
Taking a collagen supplement may reduce the risk of bone diseases like osteoporosis. The collagen works by increasing BMD and lowering the levels of proteins in the blood, which stimulate the breakdown of bone.
3. Relieves Joint Pain
Collagen also reduces inflammation and stimulates collagen synthesis. That means it may offer pain relief for people who have joint disorders like osteoarthritis.
The reason some people get degenerative joint diseases is because our bodies lose collagen as we age. Taking collagen supplements may or may not prevent you from getting these disorders, but it might help with pain relief.
If you want to try collagen supplements for pain relief, the research suggests that you should take a daily dose of 8 to 12 grams.
4. Improves Skin Health
Want to slow down the aging of your skin? Research shows that collagen helps to strengthen the skin. On top of that, it may benefit by way of hydration and elasticity. As we’ve discussed, as we age, our bodies produce less collagen. With less collagen, skin dries out and starts to form wrinkles.
Studies have shown collagen supplements can help with that. Scientists believe that they work by stimulating your body to produce more collagen on its own. Plus, the supplements may increase the production of other proteins that benefit your skin like fibrillin and elastin.
5. Could Increase Muscle Mass
Up to 10% of your muscle tissue is composed of collagen. The collagen helps to keep the muscles strong and properly functioning.
Studies have shown that people who take collagen supplements gain more muscle and strength when they work out. This is particularly helpful for seniors because our bodies lose muscle mass as we age.
The research suggests taking collagen could increase the synthesis of muscle proteins. It may also stimulate muscle growth after we work out.
Are There Any Dangers to Taking Collagen Supplements?
You should always consult your doctor before you start taking any new supplements.
For the few people who experience side effects, they are generally mild and include:
- Other gastrointestinal issues
Beyond these rare side effects, there are no known serious health risks to taking collagen.
There are several ways that collagen supplements might help you. The research shows that it may help you look and feel better. It may not be the ultimate fountain of youth, but it’s a great start.
~Here’s to Your Healthy Pursuits!
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