Top Benefits of Including Collagen in Your Diet
Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body. It is the major component of connective tissues that make up several body parts, including tendons, ligaments, skin, and muscles. It also provides your skin with structure and strengthens your bones.
In recent years, collagen supplements have become popular. Most are hydrolysed, which means the collagen has been broken down, making it easier for you to absorb.
There are also several foods you can eat to increase your collagen intake such as chicken skin, fish and Vitamin C.
Consuming collagen have a variety of health benefits, from relieving joint pain to improving skin health. Read on for more science-backed health benefits of taking collagen.
- Collagen improves skin health
As collagen is a major component of your skin, it plays an important role in strengthening skin as well as improving elasticity and hydration. As you age, your body produces less collagen, leading to dry skin and the formation of wrinkles. Several studies have shown that collagen peptides or supplements containing collagen slows the aging of your skin by reducing wrinkles and dryness. In one study, women who took a supplement containing 2.5–5 grams of collagen for 8 weeks experienced less skin dryness and a significant increase in skin elasticity compared with those who did not take the supplement. Another study found that women who drank a beverage mixed with a collagen supplement daily for 12 weeks experienced increased skin hydration and a significant reduction in wrinkle depth compared with a control group who did not. The wrinkle-reducing effects of collagen supplements have been attributed to their ability to stimulate your body to produce collagen on its own. Additionally, taking collagen supplements may promote the production of other proteins that help structure your skin, including elastin and fibrillin. Women who have included collagen in their diet have experienced brighter skin, better skin tone while preventing acne outbreaks. For a collagen supplement that contains Type 1 and Type 3 collagen as well as HACCP, GMP and Halal-certified, do check out B'ieune Beauty Drink.
- Collagen relieves joint pain
Collagen maintains the integrity of your cartilage, which is the rubber-like tissue that protects your joints. As the amount of collagen in your body decreases as you get older, there is a higher risk of developing degenerative joint disorders such as osteoarthritis. Studies have shown that taking collagen supplements improves symptoms of osteoarthritis and reduces overall joint pain. In one study, 73 athletes who consumed 10 grams of collagen daily for 24 weeks experienced a significant decrease in joint pain while walking and at rest, compared with a group that did not take it. In another study, adults who took 2 grams of collagen daily for 70 days had a significant reduction in joint pain and were better able to engage in physical activity than those who did not. Researchers have theorised that supplemental collagen may accumulate in cartilage and stimulate your tissues to make collagen, leading to lower inflammation, better support of your joints, and reduced pain.
- Collagen prevents bone loss
Your bones are made mostly of collagen, which gives them structure and helps keep them strong. Just as the collagen in your body deteriorates as you age, so does bone mass. This may lead to conditions like osteoporosis, which is characterized by low bone density and linked to a higher risk of bone fractures. Studies have shown that taking collagen supplements may have certain effects in the body that help inhibit the bone breakdown that leads to osteoporosis. In one study, women took either a calcium supplement combined with 5 grams of collagen or a calcium supplement and no collagen daily for 12 months. By the end of the study, the women taking the calcium and collagen supplement had significantly lower blood levels of proteins that promote bone breakdown than those taking only the calcium. Another study found similar results in 66 women who took 5 grams of collagen daily for 12 months. The women who took the collagen showed an increase of up to 7% in their bone mineral density (BMD), compared with women who did not consume collagen. BMD is a measure of the density of minerals, such as calcium, in your bones. Low BMD is associated with weak bones and the development of osteoporosis.
In summary, taking collagen is associated with a number of health benefits and very few known risks. Collagen has been found to improve skin health by increasing hydration and elasticity while reducing wrinkles as well as dryness. Collagen also helps prevent bone loss and relieve joint pain.