Updated: Jun 12, 2020
Is the most abundant protein in your body as it is the major component of connective tissue, including tendons, ligaments, skin and muscles. Pork skin and bone broth are high in collagen but supplements are better absorbed by the body because the collagen has been hydrolyzed. Emerging research supports the idea that consuming collagen may have a variety of health benefits:
Improved Skin Health
Collagen plays a role in strengthening skin, plus may benefit elasticity and hydration. As you age, your body produces less collagen, leading to dry skin and the formation of wrinkles. Several studies have shown that collagen peptides or supplements containing collagen may help slow the aging of your skin by reducing wrinkles and dryness. 2.5-5 grams/day is recommended.
Helps Relieve Joint Pain
As the amount of collagen in your body decreases as you get older, your risk of developing degenerative joint disorders such as osteoarthritis increases but collagen helps maintain the integrity of joint cartilage. Some studies have shown that taking collagen supplements may help improve symptoms of osteoarthritis and reduce joint pain overall, in both athletes and the general adult population. If you want to try taking a collagen supplement for its potential pain-relieving effects, studies suggest you should start with a dosage of 8–12 grams daily.
Could Prevent Bone Loss
Your bones are made mostly of collagen so as collagen in your body deteriorates with age, bone mass does too. This may lead to osteoporosis. One study show that 5 grams/day plus a calcium supplement over 12 months resulted in significantly lower blood levels of proteins that promote bone breakdown than taking only the calcium. Another study found women who took collagen only for 12 months had an increase of up to 7% in their bone mineral density, compared to women who did not consume collagen.
Boost Muscle Mass
Studies suggest that collagen supplements help boost muscle mass in people with sarcopenia, the loss of muscle mass that happens with age. In one study, 27 frail men took 15 grams of collagen while participating in an exercise program daily for 12 weeks. Compared to men who exercised but did not take collagen, they gained significantly more muscle mass and strength.
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