LA-Story.com contributor, Naomi Shaw, has some interesting information about collagen and how collagen supplements could be helpful to you!
5 Benefits of Taking Collagen Supplements!
By Naomi Shaw
Everyone wants to look and feel their best. The supplement industry has pounced on these universal desires to flaunt supplements that can seemingly fix every possible problem. The medical validity of these claims dramatically depends on the supplement in question. While the FDA does regulate supplements, they are regulated as food, not medicine. So supplements might not be dangerous or harmful, but some of the miraculous claims supplements have yet to be confirmed by independent research. Thankfully, out of all the supplements, collagen has supportive studies showing that taking collagen supplements can provide benefits.
What Is Collagen and How Can Supplements Help
Collagen is a naturally occurring and abundant protein that forms our body’s connective tissue. Collagen makes up 80% of our skin and is a critical component in our bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Throughout our bodies, collagen provides elasticity, but we lose collagen and the elasticity it gives. We start to lose roughly 1% of our collagen a year starting in our 20s. Smoking, sun damage, and pollution can also accelerate our collagen loss. When our bodies lose collagen, the first thing you will notice is dryer and less springy skin. From a dermatologic standpoint, it is easy to see why people would be interested in collagen supplements, but collagen supplements can provide more benefits than just skincare. Collagen supplements can help improve hair health, calm digestive, or gut issues like leaky gut, improve joint health, and help other body areas.
Collagen is one of our skin’s primary elements, providing skin strength, elasticity, and hydration. Some studies have shown that taking collagen supplements can reduce dry skin and wrinkles as we age. One study showed that women who took between 2.5 and 5 grams of collagen daily for eight weeks showed less dry skin and increased skin elasticity compared to those who did not take collagen supplements. Other studies found similar results after 12 weeks of participants drinking beverages in conjunction with a daily collagen supplement.
Joint Pain and Health
Collagen helps your skin maintain elasticity and collagen plays a similar role in joint health. Cartilage is the spongy padding that protects your joints, and collagen helps your cartilage tissue remain rubber-like. A study gave athletes 10 grams of collagen a day for 24 weeks, and many participants reported less joint pain in their everyday lives compared to the group that did not take the supplements. Another study focused on adults instead of athletes but found similar results. Researchers’ current theory is that collagen supplements help your cartilage support your joints to reduce inflammation and joint pain.
Your intestines and gut is a complex system that is integral to your overall health. The walls or lining of your intestines can weaken, which causes issues like leaky gut. To keep toxins, infections, and bits of food from leaking into your bloodstream and the rest of your body, you must maintain strong intestinal walls. Your intestine walls are made up of microscopic folds, and collagen helps to keep those folds secure. The amino acids in collagen also help repair holes, perforations, and seal the leaks that cause leaky gut.
Hair and Nail Health
As we age, we notice changes in our bodies. Maybe your skin isn’t as elastic as it used to be, or your hair has lost moisture and shine, or your nails have become brittle. Aging is a natural process, but taking collagen supplements can help stave off the signs of aging. Collagen helps your nails and hair the same way it helps your skin. Restoring collagen in your hair and nails will help bring back strength and shine. Over time, taking collagen supplements may improve your hair, skin, and nail’ snail’s appearance and overall health.
Possible Muscle Mass Boost
Up to 10% of our muscle is made of collagen, and those affected by sarcopenia, a disease that causes muscle loss, can recover some muscle with collagen supplements. A study gave frail participants 15 grams of collagen daily while participating in a 12-week daily exercise program. Those that took the collagen supplements gained more muscle than those that did not. Some researchers have suggested that collagen supplements can help your body create other proteins like creatine, but more research is needed.
Supplements may not be the miracle workers they claim to be, but collagen supplements have some proven benefits. Use collagen supplements to improve your skin, joints, hair, nail, and gut health. The other benefits of collagen are still undiscovered or unproven, but the popularity of collagen supplements is driving research, so more benefits may be discovered in time.
Bio of Naomi Shaw:
Naomi Shaw lives in Southern California with her husband and three kids. She is a freelance journalist and Stay-at-Home mom that enjoys writing on fashion, beauty, green living, and interior design.
Thanks to Naomi Shaw for this great piece! I learned a lot about collagen and how it could be used. I think I need to take it because my nails are taking a beating from so much washing. I also like that collagen actually can help someone in many ways!
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