Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies and is found in connective tissues such as skin, bones, muscles and tendons. It plays a vital role in keeping our skin firm and youthful, our joints healthy, and our muscles strong. Unfortunately, collagen production declines as we age, leading to various health problems. Fortunately, there are several ways to increase collagen levels naturally.
Types of Collagen
There are many different types of collagen, each with its unique function.
- Type I: the most common type, found in all connective tissues
- Type ll: found in joints and intervertebral discs (cushions that serve as shock absorbers for the spine).
- Type lll is a major component of reticular fibres in the skin and blood vessels.
- Type lV: the kidneys, inner ear, and eye lens component.
In addition to these three major types of collagen, dozens of other less common types perform various functions throughout the body. These different types of collagen work together to keep our bodies functioning properly.
While collagen is an important part of our bodies, we start to produce less of it as we age. This collagen production decrease can lead to age-related changes, such as wrinkles, thinning hair, and joint pain.
Fortunately, there are many ways to increase collagen production or supplement our diets with collagen-rich foods and supplements. Doing so can help reduce the visible signs of aging and improve our overall health.
Benefits of Collagen
Collagen is a protein that provides structure and support to the skin, bones, and connective tissues. It is also instrumental in the body's healing process. Supplementing with collagen has several potential health benefits.
For one, collagen can help to improve the appearance of the skin. It provides essential nutrients that keep the skin hydrated and elastic. As a result, collagen can help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. It can also help to diminish the appearance of scars and stretch marks.
- May improve skin health
- May promote heart health
- May relieve joint pain
- May boost muscle mass
- May prevent bone loss
Other health benefits:
Collagen supplements have tons of health benefits but have not been thoroughly studied.
Hair and Nails. Taking collagen would increase the strength of your nails, preventing them from becoming brittle. It can also help your hair and nails grow longer (19Trusted Source).
Gut Health. Although no scientific evidence supports this claim, some doctors believe collagen supplements can treat leaky gut syndrome.
Brain Health. There have been no studies on using collagen supplements in brain health, but some people report them to improve mood and anxiety symptoms.
Weight Loss. Proponents believe that collagen supplements can promote weight loss and speed up metabolism. However, no studies support these claims.
Tips on How to Choose the Best Collagen
As the building block of healthy skin, hair, and nails, collagen is one of the most popular supplements. With so many products, it cannot be easy to know which one is right for you. Here are a few tips to help you choose the best collagen supplement for your needs.
Look for collagen that comes from grass-fed, pasture-raised animals or wild-caught fish. These sources are less likely to contain hormones or other chemicals that could interfere with the absorption of collagen. In addition, pasture-raised animals are typically richer in nutrients than their factory-farmed counterparts.
Choose a product that has been hydrolyzed. This process breaks down the collagen into small peptides, making it easier for your body to absorb. Unhydrolyzed collagen is much less effective.
Products with fillers or artificial ingredients should be avoided. You want a pure collagen supplement that will give you the most benefit with the fewest side effects. Stick with products from reputable brands that use high-quality ingredients.
By following these tips, you can be sure you're getting the best possible collagen supplement for your needs. With so many benefits, there's no reason not to try it!