Collagen – A Review
Collagen is known for its many benefits, namely restoring the supple, spongy appearance of skin. While I fully support using collagen to improve your skin’s health and appearance, I wouldn’t be doing it justice without explaining the full range of benefits collagen has to offer. Collagen impacts our skin, joints, and bone health. Let’s take a look!
What Is It?
So, what exactly is collagen? Basically, it’s a protein made up of three amino acids that your body uses to build many of the essential structural elements of your body. This includes things like ligaments, tendons, and connective tissue, to only name a few. It also makes up most of the basic components of the dermis layer of our skin. Our bodies can make collagen using nutrients from the foods we eat, or we can consume collagen via the bones, skin, and connective tissues of animals. For instance, bone broth is high in collagen.
The Pursuit of Pretty
In the quest to preserve our youth (or restore it!), we are bombarded with more quick-fix solutions and miracle elixirs than we can ever possibly try. Sadly, many products promise big results but deliver only mediocre results at best. But what if we could effect change on a cellular level? Loss of collagen can lead to wrinkles, thinning, dryness, and loss of elasticity in our skin. Collagen production naturally slows down as we age, but factors such as excessive sun exposure and unhealthy diet and lifestyle can all work to speed up the process. In recent years, more and more people are jumping on the collagen bandwagon in hopes of repairing their damaged skin. I too have been tempted to join in to reclaim the bouncy, glowy skin of my youth. The question is, does it work? Well, scientists have set out to determine just that.
A study published in 2018 tested the effects of 1000 mg of collagen peptide daily over a period of 12 weeks. Participants came in with photoaged skin and ‘crow’s feet.’ Assessments were taken at weeks 6 and 12. These assessments measured skin elasticity, hydration, and wrinkle appearance and compared them against a control group. At the end of the study, at the 12-week assessment, researchers observed significant results in all three categories when compared to the control group. Hydration was already much improved by the 6-week mark and all categories saw continued improvement going up to the 12-week end period. Researchers concluded that, based on results, oral supplementation of collagen peptides may be a safe and effective way to repair skin and slow the signs of aging.
The Benefits Stack Up!
While collagen may primarily enable the pursuit of beauty in our culture, it is also an important component of bone and joint health. Sufficient collagen helps your body maintain strong joints and bone density. Studies have confirmed that taking Hydrolysate Collagen may be effective in helping those with degenerative joint or bone diseases by lessening joint pain and slowing down the density loss of bones.
Preliminary studies have been conducted on the effects of collagen and heart health. Initial findings suggest that collagen may be an important factor in improving heart health in those with risks of developing atherosclerosis. Collagen may help improve the elasticity of blood vessels which have started to harden, and future studies may unlock a whole new realm of insight into our cardiovascular health.
Joining the Supplement Bandwagon?
Are you, too, thinking of trying collagen supplements? There are many different supplements out there to choose from. As with any supplement, make sure you find one that is high quality and made by a thoughtful and reputable company. For instance, you might look for a collagen powder that was made with organic grass-fed, humanely raised cows. And, as always, be sure to consult with a trusted physician before beginning a supplement regimen.
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