You may have heard of collagen in relation to skincare or bone health, but what exactly is collagen and what are its benefits? Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body, and it’s the main component of connective tissues that make up several body parts, including tendons, ligaments, skin, and muscles. In other words, collagen is responsible for keeping your body together! It has many important functions, including providing your skin with structure and strengthening your bones. As we age, our bodies produce less collagen, which can lead to wrinkles and bone loss. This is where collagen supplements come in. Most collagen supplements on the market are hydrolyzed collagen, which means the collagen has been broken down to make it easier for your body to absorb. Some potential benefits of taking collagen supplements include improved skin health, strong bones and joints, and reduced inflammation.
Collagen Supplements vs. Foods Containing Collagen
Collagen is found in the connective tissues of animals, so foods like chicken skin, pork skin, beef, and fish are sources of collagen. However, the collagen in these foods is not as easily absorbed by the body as collagen peptides from supplements. This is because digestive enzymes break down the collagen into individual amino acids and peptides, which can then be absorbed by the body. On the other hand, collagen supplements have already been hydrolyzed, meaning that the collagen has been broken down into smaller pieces that are more readily absorbed by the body. For this reason, collagen supplements are thought to be more effective than collagen from food sources. If you're looking for ways to improve your collagen intake, consider adding Portions Master Collagen to your diet.
May Improve Skin Health
As we age, our bodies produce less collagen, leading to dry skin and the formation of wrinkles. However, collagen peptides or supplements containing collagen may help slow the aging of your skin by reducing wrinkles and dryness. One review of 11 studies found that taking 3-10 grams of collagen per day for an average of 69 days led to improvements in skin elasticity and hydration. These supplements may work by stimulating your body to produce collagen on its own. Additionally, collagen supplements may promote the production of other proteins that help structure your skin, including elastin and fibrillin.
May Relieve Joint Pain
As we age, our bodies produce less collagen, the protein that helps maintain the integrity of our cartilage and connective tissues. This can lead to degenerative joint disorders such as osteoarthritis. Some studies suggest that collagen supplements may help improve symptoms of osteoarthritis and reduce overall joint pain. A review of studies in people with osteoarthritis found that taking collagen led to significant improvements in joint stiffness and overall osteoarthritis symptoms. Researchers have theorized that supplemental collagen may accumulate in cartilage and stimulate your tissues to make collagen. In turn, this may lead to lower inflammation, better joint support, and reduced pain.
May Boost Muscle Mass
As we age, it's not uncommon to start losing muscle mass. This can make everyday activities more difficult and may even lead to falls and injuries. Although there's no sure-fire way to prevent aging, research suggests that collagen supplements may help boost muscle mass in older adults.
In one study, men aged 50-80 took 15 grams of collagen per day for 12 weeks. Not only did they gain more muscle mass than those who didn't take collagen supplements, but they also saw improvements in strength. Researchers believe that collagen may promote the synthesis of muscle proteins such as creatine, as well as stimulate muscle growth after exercise.
May Promote Heart Health
You may have heard of collagen in relation to skincare, but did you know that collagen also provides structure to your arteries? Arteries are the blood vessels that carry blood from your heart to the rest of your body, and without enough collagen, they may become less flexible and elastic. This can lead to an increased risk of heart conditions. However, a 6-month study showed that healthy adults who took 16 grams of collagen daily experienced a significant reduction in measures of artery stiffness from the study’s beginning to its end. Additionally, their levels of HDL (good) cholesterol rose by an average of 6%. HDL is an important factor in the risk of heart conditions. So, if you’re looking for ways to support your heart health, Portions Master Collagen supplements may be worth considering.