Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body. It is the major component of connective tissues that make up several body parts, including tendons, ligaments, skin and muscles.
In recent years, collagen supplements have become popular. Most are hydrolyzed, which means the collagen has been broken down, making it easier for you to absorb.
Consuming collagen may have a variety of health benefits, from relieving joint pain to improving skin health
1. Helps Relieve Joint Pain
Collagen helps maintain the integrity of your cartilage, which is the rubber-like tissue that protects your joints.
As the amount of collagen in your body decreases as you get older, your risk of developing degenerative joint disorders such as osteoarthritis increases.
Taking collagen supplements may help improve symptoms of osteoarthritis and reduce joint pain overall.
Taking collagen supplements has been shown to reduce inflammation and stimulate collagen synthesis in the body. This may help promote pain relief for people with joint disorders such as osteoarthritis.
2. Could Prevent Bone Loss
Your bones are made mostly of collagen, which gives them structure and helps keep them strong.
As collagen in your body deteriorates as you age, bone mass does too. This may lead to conditions such as osteoporosis, which is characterized by low bone density and linked with a higher risk of bone fractures.
Taking collagen supplements may have certain effects in the body that help inhibit the bone breakdown that leads to osteoporosis.
Consuming collagen supplements may help reduce the risk of bone disorders such as osteoporosis. They have the potential to help increase bone mineral density and lower levels of proteins in the blood that stimulate bone breakdown.
3. Could Boost Muscle Mass
Between 1–10% of muscle tissue is composed of collagen. This protein is necessary to keep your muscles strong and functioning properly.
Collagen supplements help boost muscle mass in people with sarcopenia, the loss of muscle mass that happens with age.
Taking collagen may promote the synthesis of muscle proteins such as creatine, and may also stimulate muscle growth after exercise.
Research has shown that consuming collagen supplements increased muscle growth and strength in people with age-related muscle mass loss.
Foods That Contain Collagen
Collagen is found in the connective tissues of animals. Thus, foods such as chicken skin, beef and fish are sources of collagen.
Eating collagen-rich foods actually helps increase collagen in your body. There have not been any human studies on whether collagen-rich foods have the same benefits as supplements.
Collagen in food is broken down into individual amino acids and peptides by digestive enzymes.
The collagen in supplements has already been broken down, or hydrolyzed, which is why it is thought to be absorbed more efficiently than the collagen in foods.
Article Courtesy: Brianna Elliott, Healthline