Unless you have been living under a rock, collagen has taken your health store shelves
By storm. Indeed, collagen can be crucial for a healthy diet and is important for proper
In today’s article we will talk about what exactly is collagen, the many different benefits and what to look out for when choosing a brand.
What is collagen?
We can find by products made with collagen, ranging from soap, shampoo, creams and nutritional powders,
But what is in the formula?
Very simply, Collagen is a type of protein. In fact, it’s the most abundant structural protein in animals. A structural protein is one that makes up the structure or framework of your cells and tissues. There are 28 known types of collagen, with type I collagen accounting for 90% of the collagen in the human body. Collagen is composed mainly of the amino acids glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline.
These amino acids form three strands, which make up the triple-helix structure characteristic of collagen.
Collagen can be found in connective tissue, skin, tendons, bones, and cartilage. It provides structural support to tissues and plays important roles in cellular processes, including: tissue repair, immune response, cellular communication and cellular migration, a process necessary for tissue maintenance. Connective tissue cells called fibroblasts produce and maintain collagen.
As people grow older, their collagen becomes fragmented, fibroblast function becomes impaired, and collagen production slows. These changes, along with the loss of another key structural protein called elastin, lead to signs of aging such as sagging skin and wrinkles.
The recommended serving size is about 10-20g of collagen peptides (about 1-2 scoops)
The benefits of using collagen
One of the major proponents to taking collagen supplements, is its positive effect on the skin health and appearance. A review of 19 studies that included 1,125 participants (95% women) between the ages of 20 and 70 found that taking hydrolyzed collagen improved skin hydration, elasticity, and wrinkles compared with placebo treatments.
Hydrolyzed collagen is a common type of collagen used in supplements that is created using a process called hydrolysis. This process breaks down the protein into smaller pieces, making it easier for the body to absorb.
A number of studies have shown that taking collagen supplements may improve skin hydration and elasticity and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
Potential benefits for bone health
In addition to improving some aspects of skin health and appearance, collagen supplements may offer a few other benefits.
One study looked at the effects of taking collagen supplements in 102 women in post-menopause who had reduced bone mineral density (BMD).
Those who took 5 grams of collagen peptides per day for 1 year had significant increases in BMD in their spine and femur (a bone in the lower leg) compared with participants who took a placebo.
A follow-up study in 31 of these women found that taking 5 grams of collagen daily for a total of 4 years was associated with a progressive increase in BMD.
The researchers found that participants’ BMD increased by 5.79–8.16% in the spine and by 1.23–4.21% in the femur during the follow-up period.
These findings suggest that taking collagen supplements long-term may help increase bone mineral density in people in post-menopause, who are at a greater risk of developing osteopenia and osteoporosis.
What’s more, one review article concluded that taking oral collagen supplements reduced participants’ symptoms related to osteoarthritis, including stiffness.
How to choose the proper collagen
When choosing collagen, understand that they are not all made equal. Seeing that collagen is made for skin, bone, cartilage coming from animals, it is important that when choosing collagen, it comes for from animal flesh.
It is for that exact same reason, that we should be choosing collagen by products from grass fed beef, poultry and wild caught fish so we are assuring that we are getting the absolute best and most absorbable.
Brands like Organic, Garden of Life and Vital proteins are reputable and proper. Also, look for collagen that is certified by a third-party quality-testing company, like NSF International or United States Pharmacopeia (USP).
Regardless if you are an beginner or advanced athlete, supplementing in collagen is essential for longevity no matter the age or sex. People from all walks of life will benefit from this amazing supplement, especially if you are a person who wants to be moving for a very long time.
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