Collagen as an abundant structural protein in all animals is the main component of connective tissues making up tendons, ligaments, muscles and skin.
Collagen is responsible for building stronger bones and giving structure to the skin. Collagen has also been widely used in cosmetic surgery.
We need collagen to keep our muscles strong and functioning properly. In addition, taking collagen supplements increases muscle growth in those who are suffering from muscle mass loss.
In the following, top four benefits of consuming collagen are reviewed.
Top 4 major collagen powder benefits
Researchers say that taking collagen has a lot of health benefits most importantly relieving joint pains and promoting health of heart which are supported by several studies. However, there are a few benefits such as gut health and weight loss that there is scant evidence to support.
Improves heart health
Studies show that consuming collagen supplements may reduce the risk of heart disease. Collagen gives structure to arteries carrying blood from heart to other parts of the body. Lack of collagen results in fragile and weak arteries.
Some heart-related conditions like atherosclerosis are thought to be associated with collagen lack. On the other hand, atherosclerosis which narrows arteries can increase your risk for heart attacks.
According to a research conducted by National institute of Health, those taking 16 grams collagen per day showed a remarkable decrease in arterial fragility compared with before using supplement.
Based on another study, taking collagen supplements may increase HDL level by about 6 percent. HDL or good cholesterol absorbs LDL or bad cholesterol and carries it back to the liver flushing it from the body. Consequently, the higher the levels of HDL, the lower your risk for heart disease.
Reduces bone disorders risk
Collagen gives structure to our bones and prevents bone loss. But as we age, with reduction in collagen, the bone mass deteriorates resulting in bone disorders such as osteoporosis.
Research indicates that consuming collagen supplements may inhibit osteoporosis. Furthermore, taking calcium supplement which is combined with collagen in comparison to calcium supplement and no collagen may be more effective at reducing bone density loss especially in post-menopausal women.
In one study, women who were asked to consume collagen showed an increase of 7 percent in BMD. BMD standing for bone mineral density is a test which measures how much calcium and other minerals are in an area of our bone. Low BMD may be linked to bone breakdown and osteoporosis.
Relieves joint pain
As we get older, cartilage a firm and rubbery substance covering bones end wears away which may result in bone to bone friction and intense pain. Collagen plays an important role in repair of cartilage tissues as well as relieving joint inflammation.
Studies show that degenerative joint disorders such as osteoarthritis are associated with collagen decrease in body. Taking collagen supplements on one hand reduces joint pain and on the other hand improves osteoarthritis symptoms.
In one research, a few number of sportsmen and sportswomen were asked to take 10 grams of collagen per day for 6 months compared with some other athletes who did not take. After this 6-months period, those who had consumed collagen not only experienced a remarkable decrease in joint pain but also they had better performance in physical exercise.
Improves skin health
Collagen as the main component of the skin helps it look young, supple and wrinkle-free. However, over time, amount of collagen in our body reduces which leads to wrinkles and dry skin.
Investigations indicate that collagen is engaged in slowing the ageing of skin. Moreover, taking collagen peptides may help keep your skin hydrated and decrease in wrinkles.
Consuming collagen supplements simulates collagen synthesis in the body. The more collagen the body makes, the smoother and more radiant skin we have.
On the other hand, there are some proteins such as elastin and fibrillin that play a vital role in structuring our skin. Studies have shown that taking collagen regularly may increase in production of these important proteins.
So far we have reviewed top four main benefits of collagen. But there are a few number of health benefits attributed to collagen consumption which are as follows:
- Consuming collagen increases the strength of your hair and nail by simulating them to grow longer.
- Although no studies yet support, some believe that taking collagen has helped them lose weight.
- Collagen supplements are claimed to improve mood and decrease anxiety symptoms. However, it has not been studied extensively.
- Collagen could be beneficial to gut health. It contains large amounts of amino acids which are helpful to intestinal tract as well as the stomach although no science-backed evidence is available.
The bottom line
Collagen is the building block of the body playing an important role in providing bones, connective tissues, ligaments, skin and tendons with support and elasticity they need.
Collagen has surprising benefits for our body. When it comes to fighting joint pain, glucosamine and chondroitin are familiar with many people while collagen supports healthy joints on top of beautiful skin!