Collagen is essential to your health
I guess you’ve heard it numerous time from health experts, beauty experts and possibly even by your best friend.
Collagen is the new buzzword on everyone’s lips, and now it can be found in almost everything from creams and cosmetics to powders and pills.
And the truth is that this may be a case in which exaggeration is really justified.
As the most abundant protein in the body, collagen is available in muscles, skin, blood, bones, cartilage, and ligaments.
You may want to consider squeezing an extra portion of this vital protein for several reasons since collagen is a critical element that:
- promotes skin elasticity
- holds your bones and muscles together
- protect your organs
- Provides structure to the joints and tendons.
The good news is that your body produces collagen regularly. But, it slows down with age.
Other lifestyle habits that can cause collagen production to stop abruptly include smoking, sun exposure, and an unhealthy diet.
Some health conditions can also deplete the storage of collagen. And without this important building block, you may begin to see wrinkles and sagging skin, or even experience joint pain.
Read on to discover the seven specific benefits you may experience if you take the time to increase your collagen intake.
Top 7 Collagen Benefits
1. Improves the health of the skin and hair
As we get older, the production of collagen decreases, it is happening as you read this!
You will notice it physically: looser skin, wrinkles and less elasticity of the skin. Increasing collagen levels can help your skin look firmer, increase softness and help skin cells renew and repair normally.
Double-blind, placebo-controlled studies investigating the anti-aging properties of collagen have found that 2.5-5 grams of collagen hydrolyzate used among women aged 35 to 55 years once a day for eight weeks significantly improved skin elasticity, the moisture of the skin and the transepidermal water loss (dryness) and roughness of the skin, all with little or no side effects.
This makes collagen one of the best natural ingredients for skin care available.
Collagen also reduces cellulite and stretch marks. When the skin loses its elasticity as a result of decreased collagen, there is another side effect: more visible cellulite.
Because your skin is thinner now, cellulite becomes more evident, it no longer hides what happens below the surface. Improving the elasticity of your skin through collagen helps reduce the formation of dimples in your skin.
2. It reduces joint pains and degeneration.
Have you ever felt that you have “skeletal legs”, the types that feel stiffer and cause pain when you move?
Yes, that’s probably a loss of collagen raising your ugly head. This is because when we lose collagen, our tendons and ligaments begin to move less easily, resulting in stiffness, swelling of the joints and more.
With its soft structure and similar to a gel that covers and keeps our bones together, collagen allows us to slide and move without pain.
Think of eating more collagen, like greasing a door hinge: it helps the joints move more easily, reduces the pain often associated with aging and even reduces the risk of joint deterioration.
It is no surprise that a recent study found that collagen is an effective treatment for osteoarthritis and other joint pains and disorders.
Researchers at Harvard’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston found that supplementation with type 2 collagen helped patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis to find relief from painful symptoms by decreasing swelling in sensitive joints.
Another study published in the International Journal of Medical Sciences found that people with joint pain with osteoarthritis treated with collagen type 2 show significant improvements in daily activities, such as climbing stairs, climbing or sleeping, and a general improvement in the quality of life.
3. Helps cure the leaky gut
If you suffer from a leaky gut syndrome, a condition in which toxins harmful to you can pass through your digestive tract, collagen can be very useful.
It helps break down proteins and calms the lining of the intestine, healing damaged cell walls and infusing it with healing amino acids.
The greatest digestive benefit of consuming more collagen is that it helps form connective tissue and, therefore, “seals and heals” the protective lining of the gastrointestinal tract.
Nowadays, we know that many diseases can be traced back to the inflammation or irritation derived from an unhealthy intestine.
Poor intestinal health, including changes in the gut microbiome and permeability in the intestinal lining, allows the particles to enter the bloodstream where they can initiate an inflammatory cascade (hence the name of leaky gut syndrome).
Studies have found that in patients with inflammatory bowel disease, serum collagen levels decrease.
Because the amino acids in collagen form the tissue that lines the colon and GI tract, collagen supplementation can help treat gastrointestinal symptoms and disorders, including leaky gut syndrome, IBS, acid reflux, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
In addition to helping to cure the leaky gut, collagen also helps with the absorption of water within the intestines, keeping things moving more freely out of the body.
4. Increases metabolism, muscle mass, and energy production.
An increase in collagen can help increase your metabolism by adding lean muscle mass to your body and help with the conversion of essential nutrients.
One of the most important functions of glycine is to help build muscle tissue by converting glucose into energy that feeds the muscle cells.
And remember that retaining muscle mass is crucial as you get older, as it helps maintain posture, bone health, and burns more calories than fat.
By consuming collagen, you can also benefit from consuming vitamin C to ensure that your body can convert collagen into a usable protein. This can begin to restore the source or its energy and vitality.
That’s not all that glycine can do for your metabolism.
Research shows that glycine also has important functions in the functions of the digestive system and the central nervous system, which play important roles in the maintenance of a healthy and youthful body.
Glycine seems to help diminish the effects of aging by improving the use of antioxidants in the body and is also used in the process of building healthy cells from DNA and RNA.
In addition, it has been found that arginine increases the body’s ability to produce proteins from other amino acids.
It is important to repair muscle tissue, heal wounds, prevent tissue loss, increase metabolism and help growth and development adequate.
And glutamine also helps maintain adequate energy by facilitating the synthesis of many chemicals. This amino acid offers fuel to our cells, including carbon and nitrogen.
5. Strengthens nails, hair and teeth.
Have you ever had to peel and split your nails? Well, the lack of collagen could be to blame.
The collagen protein is the basic component of the nails, hair, and teeth. Adding collagen to your diet can help keep your nails strong and possibly reverse the signs of hair loss.
A study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology found that there is a “vital relationship between the extracellular matrix (ECM) and the hair follicle regeneration, which suggests that collagen could be a potential therapeutic target for hair loss and other diseases related to the skin “.
6. Improves the health of the liver
If you are looking to detoxify your body of harmful substances, improve blood flow and keep your heart young, collagen is extremely useful.
This is because glycine helps minimize the damage your liver experiences when it absorbs foreign substances, toxins or alcohol that should not pass through it.
One of the easiest ways to cleanse your liver is with a fast bone broth. I often recommend a three-day detoxification with bone broth to quickly repair the leaky gut.
This can help your body get rid of the chemicals and “reset” your bowel, improving overall immune function.
Studies have even found that glycine can be used to help reduce liver damage induced by alcohol and other forms of acute or chronic liver damage.
7. Protects cardiovascular health
The amino acid proline helps the arterial walls release the accumulation of fat in the bloodstream, reducing the fat in the arteries and minimizing the accumulation of fat.
Proline is necessary for the repair of tissues within the joints and arteries, in addition to helping to control blood pressure.
As part of the collagen found within the joints, it cushions our bodies from the effects of vibrations or bumps and helps us cling to valuable cartilage as we get older.
It is also related to the prevention of arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) since it helps our arteries stay away from the accumulation of dangerous plaque.
In addition, arginine helps with the production of nitric oxide, which allows for better vasodilation, which means widening of the arteries and relaxation of muscle cells and blood vessels that allow better circulation.
How to add Collagen to your diet
Here are a few easy ways to increase your collagen intake:
1. Experiment with bone broth
Bone broth is made by simmering bones to help extract the flavor and valuable nutrients.
Not only is it a brilliant source of collagen, but it’s also tasty and easy to add to your diet by using it to make soups and stews, whole grains like quinoa and rice, and even to moisten leftovers.
You can easily make bone at home, or save time by purchasing it in powder form.
2. Try out the powdered gelatin
Gelatin is the best form of collagen, and powdered gelatin can be a quick and convenient way to bump up your collagen.
It can be mixed into soups, stews, and broths. You can also enjoy it in a cup of coffee (keto) or use it to satisfy your sweet tooth by making homemade Jell-O or natural fruit snacks.
3. Supplement with collagen peptides
Collagen peptides are another easy option to get your fix of this vital amino acid.
Most brands sell hydrolyzed collagen peptides, which means that the amino acids in collagen have been broken down so that they are easily digested and absorbed.
Collagen powder can also be added to hot beverages, baked goods, or smoothies to pump some extra protein into your day.
What science says about collagen
Whether or not taking extra collagen supplements will help your nails is up to your individual condition and lifestyle.
Research appears to support collagen supplements for older people and people with conditions like arthritis, but a healthy person with a balanced diet may not see any benefits.
That said, there are also numerous natural ways to take your daily dose of this superstar nutrient each day.
If you want to eat collagen naturally, eat a well-balanced, high-protein diet that includes animal products. Collagen is found in beef, chicken, fish, and egg whites.
But you do not want to eat too much protein, either. Your body does not tell the collagen where to go. Instead, it allocates the collagen-like it would any other nutrient.
So taking collagen supplements works just like exercise – it’s difficult to aim at a specific need, but increasing your intake could still have benefits.