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The Benefits of Collagen Supplements

Collagen is the newest internet craze, with videos showing people adding collagen powder to various foods and drinks. Fortunately, it is a trend that experts agree with. Dr Mark Hyman, the functional medicine expert from Cleveland Clinic and the author of food fix, has called collagen a magical ingredient.

The role of collagen in the body

Dr Hyman has listed the benefits of collagen, including improving gut health, cardiac health, maintaining low blood glucose levels, and improving skin, joints, and hair, among others. In addition, Dr Amy Myers, the author of The Thyroid Connection, adds that a new collagen variety can help in weight regulation.

Dr Myers states that collagen is a protein responsible for maintaining cell structure and stability. It is in the cells of our bones, joints, hair, teeth, cartilage, muscles, organs, and blood vessels. Collagen is also in the components of the cells that convert glucose or fat to energy. It is also crucial in strengthening muscles, repairing worn-out cells, and healing wounds.

Collagen synthesis decreases with age

The body synthesizes collagen from proteins that we consume. Proteins broken down by enzymes are converted to amino acids which the body uses in collagen synthesis. Unfortunately, these enzymes start to decline at about age thirty-five, and by the time people reach 60, they have significantly reduced collagen. This deficiency explains the weakness of joints, wrinkling of the skin, and thinning of hair that people begin to experience with age.

Several other factors could cause a decline in collagen. These include smoking which reduces the amount of oxygen carried to tissues, thus causing collagen damage. Others are UV exposure and eating food that causes inflammation, such as simple carbohydrates, processed foods, and foods with high sugar content. Genetics and stress also cause a decline in collagen.

Supplements could improve collagen synthesis

Fortunately, there are collagen supplements people could take to replace the depleted collagen. The supplements come as collagen peptides or hydrolysed collagen, which the body readily absorbs with oral intake.

Dr Myers explains that the body then rebuilds collagen peptides into complete collagen structures, which it uses for various purposes. Furthermore, collagen powder is affordable and tasteless; hence, you can add it to any food without changing its flavor.

After using collagen, you will start noticing benefits such as stronger hair and thicker hair. The protein could also help you treat and prevent atherosclerosis and osteoarthritis, thus improving your health. Experts also suspect that collagen plays a role in accelerating muscle growth and is, therefore, beneficial for exercise. However, researchers are still conducting studies to verify the claim.

Experts are also beginning to develop collagen from fish. Previous collagen supplements come from beef. They believe that collagen from fish pushes the body to make different forms of collagen than beef. Beef-based collagen supplements can develop collagen types 1 and 3, which are in the skin, while fish collagen might make 1 and 2, found in the vertebral column, cartilage and eyes.

Collagen could promote weight loss

Consuming lots of proteins could increase satiety as it has compounds that reduce hunger. The University of Washington, School of Medicine, conducted a study that found that increasing portion intake reduced appetite and made the participants feel full.

Although this study focussed on all proteins, some experts believe they could apply the results to collagen, which is also a protein. They suspect that collagen supplements could help with weight loss as it increases satiety. Dr Myers adds that many women have expressed how collagen has helped their weight loss and overall health. She recommends taking about 10 to 15 g of collagen daily for maximum benefits.

You could also maintain a healthy diet, avoid smoking and stress and use sunscreen to enable your body to keep producing collagen.

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