Collagen Supplementation: Benefits, Side Effects & Helpful Tips

From the gut and skin to bone health and much more, collagen plays a vital role in connective tissues that make up some parts of the body. Due to the importance of this protein to the body, collagen supplementation has become very popular in recent years.

Most collagen supplements are hydrolyzed, which means that the collagen has already been broken down, making it easy to absorb.

While collagen supplements are the best way to increase your intake of this protein, they can also be found in various foods, such as: B. in bone broth and pig skin.

Consuming collagen can offer a number of health benefits, such as: B. Improving skin and bone health and relieving joint pain.

While many people are skeptical about taking this dietary supplement, there has been plenty of research to prove its benefits.

Benefits of collagen

1. Improving skin health

The reason collagen is the most popular product in the range of nutritional supplements you can find in skin care markets is because it strengthens the skin and helps with moisture and elasticity.

As we age, our bodies produce less collagen, which leads to wrinkling and dry skin. As a result, collagen directly plays an important role in slowing down skin aging.

People who took 3-5 g of this dietary supplement showed a drastic improvement in skin elasticity and hydration compared to those who did not take it.

Additionally, a collagen supplement can boost the production of other proteins like fibrillin and elastic, both of which help structure the skin.

Collagen supplements are also thought to help prevent skin conditions and acne, but there isn't enough scientific evidence to back up this claim.

2. Relieve joint pain

Relieve joint pain

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There is a rubbery tissue that is responsible for protecting your joints known as cartilage, and collagen helps maintain its integrity.

As mentioned earlier, the amount of collagen the body produces decreases with age, which is why many older people experience joint pain and the risk of degenerative joint disease increases.

Studies show that collagen supplementation can relieve joint pain and improve symptoms of degenerative joint diseases like osteoarthritis.

That being said, collagen supplementation can also be beneficial for athletes and people who want to participate in physical activity but cannot because of joint pain. Ingesting about 10 grams of collagen supplement can also result in less inflammation.

3. Prevent bone loss

Did you know that bones are mainly made up of collagen?

Collagen is responsible for keeping your bones strong and providing structure. As the levels of collagen in your body decrease with age, so does bone mass. This can lead to conditions associated with low bone density, and you become more prone to fractures.

Collagen supplementation inhibits bone breakdown, increases bone mineral density, and reduces the protein levels that promote bone breakdown. Low bone mineral density is linked to the development of osteoporosis and weak bones.

4. Increase in muscle mass

Increase muscle mass

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About one-tenth of all muscle tissue is made up of collagen, which makes it an essential component for muscles to function properly and strong.

A collagen supplement can help increase muscle mass in people with sarcopenia, a condition that affects around 10% of people over the age of 50. A daily intake of 15 g of this dietary supplement can significantly increase the muscle mass and strength that is built through exercise.

Studies suggest that a collagen supplement can stimulate muscle growth and promote the synthesis of muscle proteins, similar to the most popular bodybuilding supplements.

5. Promote heart health

Collagen is shown to structure the arteries – the blood vessels that carry blood from the heart to the rest of the body.

When you have a collagen deficiency, your arteries can become weak and fragile, leading to atherosclerosis, a condition characterized by the narrowing of the arteries. This can lead to heartbeats and heart attacks.

Taking collagen supplementation can lead to drastic reductions in artery stiffness and high levels of good cholesterol (HDL), which play an important role in reducing the risk of heart disease.

6. Foods that contain collagen

Foods containing collagen

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The connective tissue of animals contains collagen. That being said, foods like pork skin, beef, chicken skin, and fish are sources of protein. In addition, foods that contain gelatin also provide collagen.

Gelatin is made from collagen after cooking. However, consuming foods rich in collagen does not necessarily help increase the levels of collagen in your body.

The dietary supplement, on the other hand, provides collagen that has already been broken down, which is absorbed more efficiently than the collagen contained in the above foods.

Possible side effects of collagen

There are not many known known risks associated with taking collagen supplements. However, some collagen supplements are made from food allergens like fish, eggs, and shellfish. Hence, people who are allergic to these foods should avoid collagen supplements made from these ingredients.

For most people, the worst side effect of a collagen supplement is the persistent bad taste in the mouth. And just like any other supplement, collagen can have potential digestive side effects.

Regardless, collagen supplements are considered safe for most people as long as they are taken responsibly and safely.

The best way to absorb collagen

Collagen is a huge molecule, so it can be difficult for the body to absorb. Smaller peptides have an easier time getting through our intestinal barriers into our bloodstream.

Fortunately, our bodies can use absorbed collagen in the areas where it is needed most. Remember, like any other fad, wellness and beauty companies are getting on the collagen hype train very quickly, making pills, liquids, topical creams and powders that promise to improve your skin, strengthen your bones, and so on .

Powder collagen supplements are the most popular because they are the easiest to add to your beverages.

It is recommended that you always follow the directions on the collagen supplement you have purchased as no two supplements are made alike.

Avoid topical collagen supplements as collagen is produced in the dermis, the deeper layer of the skin. Hence, topical creams find it difficult to get where they are needed.

The bottom line

There are a number of health benefits associated with taking a collagen supplement, and there are no harmful risks other than potential allergic reactions from products containing foods some people are allergic to.

Taking a collagen supplement can improve skin health, increase muscle mass, relieve joint pain, and prevent bone loss. Some people report other benefits as well, but there aren't any scientific studies to back them up.

Although many foods contain collagen, it is not certain that the collagen from foods will provide the same benefits as dietary supplements.

Collagen supplements are easy to use, safe, and definitely worth a try if you are collagen deficient.

Be careful when choosing collagen supplements and always follow the directions that come with them.

About the author:

Somenath Kanjilal is the founder of BlogDiver and Digital Marketer. He is involved in many websites. He loves to share his knowledge with other marketers.

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