What are the potential benefits of collagen supplements?
While we don’t want to overstate the benefits of a collagen supplement, our team does believe that when taken as part of a healthy active lifestyle, collagen can certainly help improve our skin quality as well as benefit our hair and nails. But that’s not to say that there isn’t potential for collagen supplements to help other parts of our body, as research progresses we are amazed by what emerges.
Below are a few examples of exciting areas of research into the positive effects of collagen supplements:
DECREASED SIGNS OF AGEING
Over time, as collagen production decreases due to different factors, we may not look as young as we used to. Therefore, supplements can arguably compensate for the decline of natural collagen in our bodies, keeping our skin healthy, young, and plump-looking.
STRONGER HAIR AND NAILS
Collagen supplements are mostly known for being effective for the skin, but there are also several possible ways that collagen can help ensure healthy and lustrous hair and nails. Our hair and nails are primarily made of keratin, and collagen contains an amino acid called proline, one of the main components of keratin. Therefore, the theory is that increased collagen levels promote hair strength and growth. Collagen is also a vital component of the dermis, which is a layer in our skin where hair follicles can be found. By bolstering the strength of our dermis, it is suggested that collagen supplements reduce the possibility of hair loss.
As well as helping to ensure a clear complexion and plump bouncy skin, collagen also helps to maintain muscle mass. This is because our muscle tissue contains an abundance of natural collagen. Therefore, collagen supplements can potentially help those looking to build muscle mass. While some studies have noted a correlation between taking collagen supplements and post-workout muscle repair, there is a chance that this is in part due to increased protein consumption rather than just higher collagen levels.
Our bones mainly consist of both collagen and calcium, and this has been grounds for numerous studies into the supposed link between higher collagen levels and stronger bones. One study, for instance, found that postmenopausal women who took a daily collagen supplement (in combination with Vitamin D and calcium) saw increased bone density a year later. While the exact reason for this increase is to be determined, the closest possible theory is that collagen intake triggers anabolic processes that lead to stronger bones.
Our joints contain large amounts of collagen, which acts as a protective barrier for enhanced shock absorption and increased flexibility. This helps to explain why we often experience discomfort and stiffness in our joints as we get older. For this reason, scientists have begun exploring whether collagen supplements could be beneficial for people with arthritis.
In a 2009 study published in the International Journal of Medical Scientists, four out of five people with osteoarthritis felt reduced pain after taking a daily 40mg dose of Type 2 collagen. Of course, further studies must be carried out before we can confirm collagen supplements as a means of helping with arthritis pain. Nevertheless, these studies leave us feeling optimistic about the many potential benefits of collagen supplements.