Is Edible Collagen Worth the Hype?
Now more than ever, people are looking to supplements to help them look and feel younger. Collagen is certainly no exception, with the promise of more radiant skin to improved joint support. With all the hype going on, it is best for you to know the facts about collagen before you decide to add it to your daily dietary regimen.
What is Collagen?
The bones, muscles, skin, hair, teeth, nails and remaining connective tissue in your body need to be strong to stand up to any forces that may be put upon them as you age. One of the main catalysts that make this happen is collagen. Collagen is a protein that forms connective tissue throughout your body, from your bones to your skin. Simply put, it’s the glue that holds your body together.
Collagen is most predominantly found in the skin. Not only does collagen give the skin its elasticity and structural integrity, but it also keeps it hydrated.
At least 28 different types of collagen exist, but types I, II, and III form the bulk — between 80 and 90 percent of the collagen in your body.1,2 Types I and III provide structure to the skin, muscles, and ligaments, while type II is found in cartilage and the eye.1
Aside from being found in the body, collagen can also be harvested from animals and turned into supplement form. As we age, our levels of collagen start to dwindle, which is a reason for wrinkles and other skin damage to appear. That’s where supplemental collagen becomes important. Collagen supplements can be a convenient way to reap the benefits of this powerful protein.
Benefits of Collagen
1. Improves Health of Skin and Hair
As evidence presents, collagen can be one of the best natural skin care ingredients one can take. In 2013, a study found that 2.5–5 grams of collagen hydrolysate used among women aged 35–55 once daily for eight weeks significantly improved skin elasticity, skin moisture, water loss, and skin roughness.1
Additionally, as your skin becomes more elastic it’s easer to see that lies beneath the surface in the form of stretch marks and cellulite. Supplementing with collagen has shown to restore moisture to the skin, thus improving its elasticity and reducing the appearance of cellulite and reduction of skin dimpling.
2. Provides Joint Support
Having stiff and swollen joints and moving with less ease can most likely be attributed to the loss of collagen in your tendons and ligaments. Collagen is the smooth structure that allows the body to move with ease. Think of a squeaky door, collagen is the grease that allows the hinges to open and close the door the way it should.
A recent study found that collagen is an effective treatment for treating osteoarthritis and other joint pain and disorders. These individuals even showed an improvement in going about daily activities, walking upstairs, and less swelling and pain in their joints.2
3. Supports Gut Health
Many people suffer from inflammation and illnesses that stem from poor gut health. Such leaky gut symptoms and disorders can include IBS, acid reflux, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis.
Studies have found that supplementing with collagen helps form the connective tissue which protects the lining of the gastrointestinal tract. The amino acids found in collagen play a crucial role in helping rebuild this tissue and healing the gut. Benefits of collagen also include helping with the absorption of water within the intestines which keeps things moving more freely out of the body.3
Making it even more enticing, edible collagen supplements have not been known to cause any harmful side effects. It’s safe to say that collagen is worth the hype if you are trying to improve your overall health and even turn back the hands of time.
- Tags: Wellness
- Blog Contributor