Living a healthy and fulfilled life is the goal of every person. People go to every extent to make this possible. Taking supplements is also a part of living healthy and happy.
Collagen is a popular supplement because of the numerous health benefits it provides to different organs of the body. Let’s look at how collagen can make a positive difference in your life.
What Is Collagen?
Collagen is a type of protein found in the human body. It’s one of the main substances of connective tissues found in various body parts, including skin, muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
Collagen is naturally produced in our bodies by combining amino acids. However, collagen breaks down with age, making it harder for your body to produce more of it. Therefore, people move toward taking collagen supplements to make up for the lost collagen in the body.
Types Of Collagen
In total, there are 28 types of collagen. However, below are the four most common types of collagen found.
- Type I: It is the most common type of collagen found in your body and exists in connective tissues.
- Type II: It is found in the joints and intervertebral discs that work as the spine’s shock absorbers.
- Type III: It is the primary substance of reticular fibers found in the skin and blood vessels.
- Type IV: It is a component of the eye lens, inner ear, and kidneys.
Collagen Containing Foods
The following are food sources of collagen.
- Egg white
- Yellow and red vegetables
- Leafy greens
- Bell pepper
- Citrus fruits
Health Benefits Of Collagen
Collagen is beneficial and essential to maintaining good health. It is because collagen makes up so many vital parts of the human body. Therefore, taking collagen supplements provides numerous health benefits.
- Improves Skin Elasticity And Hydration
Collagen is an integral part of the skin. However, as your body ages, your body produces less collagen, which leads to skin wrinkles. Taking collagen supplements helps improve skin elasticity irrespective of your age.
Collagen also helps improve skin hydration by better holding on to moisture.
- Strengthens The Bones
Human bones consist mainly of collagen, which contributes to their structure and strength. Unfortunately, your body produces less collagen with age, deteriorating your bone mass.
Taking collagen supplements can help strengthen the bones by inhibiting bone loss. It also helps with osteoporosis conditions that are likely to cause bone fractures.
- Relieves Joint Pain
Collagen helps in the integrity of cartilage, which is essential for the condition of the joints. The intake of collagen in your body can help accumulate cartilage.
It also helps stimulate tissues to make cartilage, leading to better joint support, reduced joint pain, and lower inflammation.
- Strengthens Hair And Promotes Healthier Nails
With age, men and women experience hair loss. This situation can be managed to a certain extent by taking collagen.
Studies show that free radicals directly impact hair loss. So to fight these free radicals and promote hair growth, your body needs antioxidants.
Collagen is shown to have high antioxidant activity, thereby promoting hair growth and healthier nails.
- Increases Metabolism And Boosts Muscle Mass
Collagen consists of the amino acid glycine, which helps convert glucose into energy. This conversion results in an increased lean muscle, leading to a faster metabolism.
You can speed up this process by taking vitamin C with collagen.
- Promotes Heart Health
Collagen plays a vital role in promoting heart health. It helps repair arteries and fortifies blood vessels walls to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Collagen helps clear fat deposits from the arteries and reduces blood pressure, contributing to a lower artery disease risk.
- Promotes Gut Health
Collagen helps repair leaky guts. A leaky gut occurs when toxins can pass through the gastrointestinal (GI) tract reaching other parts of the body and wreaking havoc.
Collagen works by sealing the intestines, thereby healing a leaky gut. Collagen also supports digestion if you’re suffering from inflammatory bowel disease.
Are There Any Side Effects In Taking Collagen?
Collagen does a great job maintaining good health and is generally well-tolerated by the body. However, as with many things, a few reported side effects are linked to collagen.
Collagen supplements are made from eggs, fish, and shellfish, common food allergens. If you are allergic to these foods, you need to avoid taking collagen.
Reports also link taking collagen with bloating and nausea. However, this is not a common occurrence and only happens to some people.
Certain people also report side effects on the digestive system, including a feeling of fullness and heartburn.
Can Collagen Cause Kidney Stones?
Collagen contains hydroxyproline, an amino acid that converts oxalate in the body. This occurrence may increase urinary oxalate excretion. Therefore, it is better to avoid consuming high amounts of collagen if you are prone to developing kidney stones.
However, keep in mind that intaking collagen in moderate amounts is entirely safe and is not bad for your kidneys.
Are There Any Healthier Alternatives To Collagen?
Sometimes, you may be in search of an alternative to collagen. For example, it can be the case if you’re a vegan. Collagen supplements contain animal products which are why vegans look for alternatives.
Here are a few collagen-boosting nutrients that you can include in your diet.
- Vitamin C
- Omega 3 fatty acids
If you’re a vegan, try incorporating the following food items into your diet to get more collagen-boosting nutrients into your body.
- Bone broth
- Pumpkin seeds
- Green tea
Also, avoid consuming sugar and refined carbs as these could damage collagen.
Collagen is an essential substance in your body. Your body naturally produces collagen. However, it gets less with age.
Collagen has many health benefits, including improving the condition of hair and nails, promoting skin elasticity and hydration, strengthening the bones, relieving joint pain, increasing metabolism, and promoting heart health.
You can add collagen to your diet by eating collagen-boosting foods like fish, shellfish, chicken, bone broth, citrus fruits, red and yellow vegetables, leafy greens, berries, cashews, and garlic, etc.
Collagen is an essential part of your body. However, the aging process reduces collagen production in your body. Therefore, you need to intake it in your body as you grow older.
Can I Take Collagen Supplements Every Day?
Collagen is a safe and nontoxic supplement that a healthy individual can take daily without experiencing any adverse side effects.
Will Taking Collagen Make Me Gain Weight?
No, taking collagen will not cause you to gain weight.
Can Collagen Reverse My ‘Gray’ Hair?
Collagen increases hair-building proteins, which results in thicker and longer hair. Collagen also helps the hair follicle structure, which is where there pigment that gives hair its color is produced.
Therefore, collagen may help reduce the appearance of your gray hair.
Will Taking Collagen Supplements Help With Brightening My Skin?
Collagen consists of amino acids that help promote smooth-looking and even skin tone. These amino acids also minimize the appearance of scars from acne and other types of dark spots.
All of these contribute towards improving uneven complexion and brightening your skin tone.