What Do You Know About Collagen?

Collagen is a type of protein that makes up numerous body parts including tendons, skin, and muscles (1). It is a major component that holds connective tissues together. As we age, the collagen level decreases. This can cause a person’s skin to begin to lose elasticity. Therefore, it is important to understand the benefits of collagen and ways to increase collagen production.

What Are the Benefits of Collagen?

1. Joint Health
As you get older, the amount of collagen in your body decreases. Hence, it increases the risk of getting osteoporosis which will lead to joint pain (2). Studies have shown that consuming collagen supplements can help to improve the symptoms of osteoporosis and thus reduce joint pain (3).

2. Improve the Elasticity of Your Skin
Collagen is a major component build up for your skin. The elasticity of your skin reduces as you turn thirty-five years old, leading to dry skin and wrinkles (4). According to a study done by Proksch (5), collagen can help to slow down the aging of your skin and improve the elasticity, giving the bouncy results and preventing dryness. Additionally, consuming collagen supplements can aid the production of other proteins in your body that help the structure of your skin (4).

3. Good for Your Heart
Collagen can be beneficial for your heart condition, such as lowering the cholesterol level and preventing heart disease. Cholesterol can cause plaque to build up in your arteries and hence, blocking the pathway of blood from flowing to other organs. Consuming collagen can help to protect the build-up of cholesterol in your blood vessels.

4. Good for Your Nails
Apart from improving your skin’s elasticity, collagen also helps in the growth of your nails. Occasionally, our nails become brittle and prone to breaking. Studies have shown that by consuming collagen every day, there will be an increase in nail growth, fixation of broken nails and an improvement in brittle nails (7).

Where Can You Get Collagen?
Can you get collagen from the foods you eat? Or should you consider buying a collagen supplement?

When you consume foods rich in collagen, your body does not absorb the collagen directly from the foods. Rather, it helps your body to produce more collagen of its own. The richest source of collagen is bone broth, with it being a popular food that has been praised for its long list of health benefits. Apart from bone broth, here are some of the best foods to help your body in creating more collagen:

     • Salmon
     • Tuna
     • Eggs
     • Peanuts
     • Pumpkin seeds

If you want your body to absorb the collagen directly, collagen supplementation is the answer. Although it does not absorb fully, it helps your body to gain back the collagen you lost.

1. Lodish, H., Berk, A., Zipursky, S. L., Matsudaira, P., Baltimore, D., & Darnell, J. (2000). Collagen: The Fibrous Proteins of the Matrix.
2. Porfírio, E., & Fanaro, G. B. (2016). Collagen supplementation as a complementary therapy for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis: a systematic review. Revista Brasileira de Geriatria e Gerontologia, 19(1), 153–164. https://doi.org/10.1590/1809-9823.2016.14145
3. Bello, A. E., & Oesser, S. (2006). Collagen hydrolysate for the treatment of osteoarthritis and other joint disorders: A review of the literature. Current Medical Research and Opinion, 22(11), 2221–2232. https://doi.org/10.1185/030079906X148373
4. Ganceviciene, R., Liakou, A. I., Theodoridis, A., Makrantonaki, E., & Zouboulis, C. C. (2012, July). Skin anti-aging strategies. Dermato-Endocrinology, Vol. 4. https://doi.org/10.4161/derm.22804
5. Proksch, E., Schunck, M., Zague, V., Segger, D., Degwert, J., & Oesser, S. (2014). Oral intake of specific bioactive collagen peptides reduces skin wrinkles and increases dermal matrix synthesis. Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 27(3), 113–119. https://doi.org/10.1159/000355523
6. Hexsel, D., Zague, V., Schunck, M., Siega, C., Camozzato, F. O., & Oesser, S. (2017). Oral supplementation with specific bioactive collagen peptides improves nail growth and reduces symptoms of brittle nails. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 16(4), 520–526. https://doi.org/10.1111/jocd.12393

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