7 Science Backed Benefits of Collagen
Collagen is one of the most common proteins found in the human body. It offers structural support, playing a major role in connective tissues around the body. Though the body is capable of making its own supply of collagen, aging can slow down this process. There are plenty of reasons people supplement their collagen intake each day, especially as they grow older.
1. Younger-looking skin
Human skin contains high levels of collagen, as it plays a major role in structural integrity. Collagen helps:
Make your skin supple and elastic
To regulate moisture levels
Make sure your skin stays healthy and hydrated
As collagen production slows down, people begin to see their skin lose its youthful appearance. Wrinkles often start to appear for people beginning in their 20s as their supply of natural collagen dwindles. Skin can no longer snap back into place, and it’s not as effective at retaining moisture.
Taking collagen peptide supplements can help to slow the aging process in the skin. It keeps the subdermal structure firm and elastic while also reducing dryness. Over time, supplements can also boost natural collagen production.
2. Healthier joints
Like skin, cartilage is another connective tissue that relies on collagen to function. One of the reasons that older adults tend to develop problems like arthritis is lower collagen levels in the body. Joints need plenty of collagen to work; otherwise, they begin to break down.
Taking collagen supplements helps:
To prevent age-related damage to vulnerable joints
To prevent further deterioration in older individuals
Restore some lost cartilage in problem areas
Collagen supplements have also been shown to reduce pain from inflammation in joints. Osteoarthritis patients commonly complain of pain associated with swelling, especially around the hands and wrists. Reduced inflammation can help to eliminate pain and offer an increased range of motion.
3. Stronger bones
As collagen production begins to slow with age, many people see a decrease in bone mass. This can lead to issues such as osteoporosis and increase the risk of bones breaking. Because bones are made mostly of collagen, without it, they begin to deteriorate.
Brittle bones can be a serious cause for concern amongst older adults. Slips and falls are the number one cause of both nonfatal and fatal injuries in elderly individuals. Often, health issues result from bones breaking, particularly along the back and lower body.
Consuming collagen supplements can improve bone mineral density, leading to a stronger, healthier bone structure. It prevents adults from losing as much bone mass as they age. It can also reduce the risk of serious injury in the event of a nasty fall.
4. More powerful muscles
Up to 10% of tissue in any given muscle is composed of collagen. It plays a vital role in strength, flexibility, and muscle structure. Without collagen, muscles would have minimal tone and elasticity.
Muscle loss happens naturally with age, especially for those who live a sedentary lifestyle. Staying active can stave off age-related muscle decline, but it can only do but so much as collagen levels drop.
Collagen supplements not only help to prevent muscle loss but also boost current muscle mass. They can make muscles bigger and stronger, not to mention improve range of flexibility. Experts think that collagen stimulates growth by promoting the production of proteins like creatine.
5. A healthy heart
Life-threatening heart conditions are often the result of weak or collapsing arteries. As we get older, our blood vessels can become more fragile due to a lack of collagen. Arteries need collagen to maintain their structure and carry blood at maximum efficiency.
If arteries begin to collapse due to a collagen deficiency, it could lead to a serious condition known as atherosclerosis. People with this disease have progressively narrower arteries and are at an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
Collagen peptide supplements can help to increase the supply of collagen available to arteries around the heart. College peptide supplements also helps your arteries by giving them:
Your heart’s arteries need all three — strength, support, and elasticity — to function. Collagen is also thought to increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels, known as "good" cholesterol.
6. Better digestion
One of the main components of collagen is an amino acid known as glycine. When taken in supplemental form, it can help to detoxify your body and allow for easier digestion. Glycine supports your liver as it processes unwanted chemicals and compounds.
When toxins are allowed to pass through your gut, they can cause inflammation, bloatation, and general discomfort. What’s more, some toxins can be absorbed into the bloodstream and cause issues elsewhere.
Taking collagen helps:
Boost your glycine levels
Improve liver function to prevent inflammation and discomfort
Protect and strengthen tissues around the gut so that the digestive system can function at optimal levels
7. A sharp mind
Taking collagen supplements doesn’t just improve physical health. It can also work wonders for mental health, keeping the mind sharp and the brain in peak condition. Glycine is once again the main compound to thank for improvements in mood, sleep, and memory.
Glycine regulates healthy sleep patterns on a physiological level. It decreases core temperature, which essentially tricks the mind into realizing it’s bedtime. It can also help to keep you still and relaxed during REM sleep.
The compound can also have a significant effect on mood. It helps to ease:
When it comes to brain function, glycine has been shown to improve memory retention and retrieval.
Taking collagen supplements can greatly improve your mental health as well as your physical wellbeing. Just about anybody can benefit from adding a little extra collagen to their diet, especially as we age into our 20s and beyond.