What is Collagen?
Collagen makes up 30 percent of the protein in our body and 70 percent of the protein in our skin. Thanks to collagen, they helps our skin glow, hair shine and nails stay strong.
There are many types of collagen by 80-90 percent of them belong to type I, II and III which have different structures and functions.
With age, the body produces less collagen which weaken the skin structure creating wrinkles. After menopause, women experience a dramatic reduction in collagen synthesis which results in a faster rate of aging.
What Damages Collagen?
There are some factors which can reduce the levels of collagen in the body.
Aging - The aging process produces less collagen in the body over time.
Sunlight - Ultraviolet rays in sunlight damage the collagen in the dermis which forms wrinkles.
High sugar consumption - A high sugar diet will damage nearby proteins making collagen dry, brittle and weak.
Smoking - Many chemicals in tobacco smoke damage both collagen and elastin in the skin. Nicotine also narrows the blood vessels in the outer layers of the skin.
Autoimmune disorders - Some autoimmune disorders cause antibodies to target collagen.
Benefits of Taking Collagen Supplement
Collagen supplements can help to add more collagen to their daily diet.
Most collagen supplements uses hydrolyzed collagen or collagen peptides which is easier for the body to absorb and use.
There are several health benefits which collagen supplements offer such as:
1. Improve Skin Health
Collagen is a major component of the skin. It helps in strengthening the skin, improve elasticity and hydration of the skin.
Several studies have shown that collagen peptides help slow the aging of the skin by reducing wrinkles and dryness
In one study, women who took collagen supplement of 2.5-5 grams of collagen daily for eight weeks experiences less skin dryness and significant increase in skin elasticity.
2. Hair and Nail Health
Taking collagen helps in nails growth, strengthening the nails and hair growth.
In one study, women who took collagen supplement of 2.5 grams of collagen daily promoted an increase of 12 percent nail growth rate and decrease of 42 percent in the frequency of broken nails.
3. Bone and Joint Health
The bones is made of collagen which gives them the structure and the strength.
As we age, collagen production decreases as well as bone mass which can lead to osteoporosis.
In one study, women took 5 grams of collagen daily promoted an increase bone mineral density by 4.2 percent in the spine and 7.7 percent in the femoral neck.
Collagen can also maintain the cartilage and helps reducing joint pain.
In one study, adults took 10 grams of collagen daily had significant reduction in joint pain and can better perform physical activity.
4. Muscle Mass and Weight Loss
The muscle tissue is composed of collagen which makes the muscles strong.
In one study, men took 15 grams of collagen daily had significantly improved muscle mass and decrease in fat mass.
5. Heart Health
Collagen gives structure to the arteries which is the blood vessels that carry blood from your heart to the rest of the body. Without enough collagen, arteries may become weak and fragile which potentially can lead to heart attack and stroke.
In one study, adults took 16 grams of collagen daily experienced significant reduction in measures of artery stiffness and reduction of LDL (bad cholesterol).
Many people know collagen supplements for their beauty properties which improves skin health by reducing wrinkles and dryness as well as helping nails and hair growth.
However, collagen supplements can also increase muscle mass, prevent bone loss, relieve joint pain and improve blood vessels.
While there are foods that contain collagen, collagen supplements are an easy fix to add collagen to your diet. They are generally safe and easy to use which is definitely worth trying!