No longer reserved for cosmetic injections and celebrities, collagen has gained popularity over the last decade, hitting supermarket and health store shelves either in the form of powders, tablets, and capsules or directly incorporated into food and drink products.
While the collagen nutritional supplement trend is pretty new in the West, traditional Chinese medicine has been using collagen supplementation for centuries due to its incredible health benefits.
To help you better understand the positive impact collagen supplementation (or collagen peptides) can have on your health, we’ve listed below four scientifically-proven benefits of collagen supplements.
Promote Youthful Skin
Collagen is the most abundant naturally-occurring protein in the body, and it acts as the building block for the body’s systems.
As such, collagen fibers provide resilience, strength, and elasticity to the skin. Indeed, this important protein works like a ‘’glue’’, holding connective tissue together. However, as we age, the body starts producing less collagen and, therefore, less glue, leading to aging skin. In fact, research has shown that after the age of 20, we produce approximately 1% less collagen each year.
Consequently, many studies have been conducted to assess the effects of collagen supplementation on skin aging and elasticity, and the results are extremely promising. Indeed, a few studies published by the NCBI linked the intake of collagen peptides to enhanced skin elasticity and hydration, while other studies showed collagen supplements could significantly help reduce skin wrinkles and improve skin density.
Alleviate Joint Pain
Collagen is a crucial component of cartilage. Indeed, the fibrous protein helps to maintain cartilage integrity, protecting our joints. As collagen production decreases over time, leading to a loss of cartilage, the bones start rubbing against each other creating inflammation and pain.
The good news is, specific collagen supplementation has been shown to help reduce joint pain. Indeed, a study led by the NCBI revealed that a daily intake of 10 grams of collagen hydrolysate for 24 weeks could have a positive effect on joint health. Moreover, other studies have shown that collagen peptides can accumulate in cartilage, helping relieve pain, and improve joint function.
Increase Muscle Mass
As mentioned above, collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, accounting for between 1% and 10% of our muscle mass.
Therefore, many studies have analyzed the effects of taking collagen supplements on muscle growth and muscle mass, with some of them showing promising results.
Indeed, according to a study published by the British Journal of Nutrition, combining resistance training and collagen peptide intake could help increase muscle mass and muscle strength. This would be due to the high amount of arginine and glycine contained in collagen. These two amino acids are critical for the synthesis of creatine in the body, and creatine has been proven to improve muscular function and increase muscle mass in some instances.
Besides, a recent study published on Springer Link showed that collagen supplements could help with muscle recovery after strenuous physical exercise.
Improve Bone Health
Collagen helps provide structure to the bones and, combined with calcium, gives them strength and flexibility. As our collagen levels decrease, so does our bone mass. However, research has shown that taking collagen peptides could help improve bone density and even prevent bone loss as a whole.
Indeed, a study published by the NBCI revealed that a 5g daily intake of collagen supplementation over 12 months could help improve bone density in the femoral neck and lumbar spine. Moreover, another study published by the National Library of Medicine demonstrated that a calcium-collagen dietary supplementation could help reduce bone loss.
The National Library of Medicine backed up these findings with a study that revealed collagen peptides could inhibit collagen breakdown in bones and prevent bone loss.
As a result, an increasing number of scientists believe collagen supplements can help improve and maintain bone health.
We hope this article gave you some insights into collagen supplements and their benefits for the human body. If you need help bringing your supplement idea to life, get in touch here as our highly skilled team will be happy to assist you!