One of the most abundant proteins in your body, collagen is very important for the health of your skin, hair, nails, tendons, muscles and bones. This is the reason collagen supplements became so popular lately. Most collagen is animal sourced but there are several options for vegans, as well. But before adding this supplement to your diet, let’s see what it can do for your health.
- Can improve skin health
Your skin’s health depends on the levels of collagen you have in your body. As you age, these resources deplete leading to dry, sagging skin, age spots and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Collagen supplements can delay this ageing process and increase your skin’s elasticity and plumpness. In fact, studies have confirmed that those who added collagen into their diets experienced skin hydration and a significant reduction in wrinkles in less than 12 weeks.
- Helps relieve joint pain
Since collagen is responsible for the integrity of your cartilage, when the amount of collagen in your body decreases, the risk of developing joint disorders or other degenerative diseases such as osteoarthritis increases. Studies have confirmed that those who took collagen supplements experienced a decreased joint pain, less inflammation and were able to engage in more physical activities than those who did not supplement their diet with this protein.
- Could prevent bone loss
Collagen provides structure to your bones so if you want to keep them strong as you age and to avoid conditions like osteoporosis or an increased risk of bone fractures, you need to replenish the source of collagen in your body. Studies made on women who took collagen supplements suggested that 5 grams of collagen taken daily for 12 months can increase the bone mineral density and lower the risk of developing osteoporosis or weak bones.
- Could boost muscle mass
Collagen is the main protein that keeps your muscles strong and makes them function properly. As we age our body produces less collagen causing sarcopenia or other diseases that imply the loss of muscle mass. Collagen supplements can promote the synthesis of creatine, a muscle protein that makes muscles strong and speed up the recovery of damaged muscles. Studies have shown that those who took 15 grams of collagen for 12 weeks while participating in an exercise program, have gained significantly more strength and muscle mass than those who didn’t.
- Promotes heart health
Since collagen provides structural support to our arteries it can also reduce the risk of heart-related conditions. Without collagen the blood vessels that transport the blood from the heart to the rest of the body may become weak and increase the likelihood of heart attack, stroke, and even death. Studies made on people who took 16 grams of collagen for about 6 months showed that these people experienced fewer stiff arteries than before taking this supplement.
- Other health benefits
Collagen supplements can impact the health of your hair and nails, helping them get stronger and grow longer. So, if your hair is thinning or breaking, if your nails are brittle or splitting, collagen can help your body produce more keratin, replenishing this way the cells in your hair and nails and making them look healthier.
Collagen was also linked to a better gut health by building and maintaining healthy connective tissue throughout your digestive tract. So, if you suffer from leaky gut syndrome, add more collagen into your diet and you can increase the chances of treating intestinal permeability.
Collagen contains glycine, a non-essential amino acid that can enhance the health of your brain. This compound supports a better brain functioning, enhances cognitive performance and can reduce symptoms of anxiety or other psychiatric diseases like schizophrenia.
Collagen can promote satiety, preventing people who want to lose weight from overeating. This way they win the battle against cravings and feel satiated for a longer period of time, due to its appetite-suppressing properties.
Foods that contain collagen
The connective tissues of animals are the best sources of collagen so if you wan to add more collagen rich foods in your diet, you should consider eating more chicken and pork skin, bone broth or fish.
What about vegetarians? How can they boost their collagen levels?
Fruits and veggies rich in Vitamin C can enhance the body’s natural production and synthesis of collagen so if you’re a vegetarian or simply allergic to animal sourced products, a vegan collagen enhancer like Youth Fountain from ALLKME can fulfill your collagen needs. This 100% natural formula helps your body synthesize collagen based on your unique genetics even when you’re going meat-free. It contains 33 superfoods rich in Vitamin C and it’s the best option if you want to avoid the risk of allergies or illness that can be passed through animal-sourced collagen.
Collagen side effects
There are no risks associated with collagen supplements unless you’re allergic to animal products and you take animal sourced collagen. However, it is important to always talk to your doctor before taking supplements, because they can interfere with your medications or have some digestive side effects like bad taste in the mouth of heartburn.