Collagen supplements are super popular because they have the appeal of making you “healthy from the inside out.” Supplements are usually unflavored and easy to take, and they promise things like beautiful skin, luscious hair, and relief from joint pain. Who doesn’t want that?! Let’s see which collagen claims are legit benefits, vs. which ones could use more research.
Skin and aging
Collagen is a big part of your skin’s structure. When collagen production slows down, the skin starts to lose elasticity and looks less supple. That’s when you notice one of the first signs of aging – wrinkles. But maybe taking a collagen supplement can help.
There are some studies that support this! For example, in one study 114 middle-aged women were given either collagen peptides or a placebo. After 8 weeks, the women taking collagen peptides saw not only significantly reduced wrinkles (this study focused on the eye area), but also an increase in procollagen 1 and elastin, two major components of skin structure.
A recent review of 11 studies in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology (JDD) states that oral collagen supplements have promising results for aging and wound healing. The writers go on to say that collagen supplements may help to increase skin hydration, elasticity, and collagen density in the skin.
So basically, taking a supplement is one way to keep optimal amounts of collagen in the skin and lessen the signs of aging. Of course one common denominator of the studies I read was maintaining a healthy lifestyle – so don’t think of this as some sort of magic solution. 😉
When you think about aging, don’t get caught up in only thinking about your skin! Your joints need some love too. Collagen can help maintain the structure of connective tissue in your joints. If that connective tissue wears down, you lose major mobility. Nobody wants to hobble around.
This benefit isn’t as hyped up as smooth skin, but it’s still important and actually really cool. For example – one study gave a group of 139 athletes complaining of knee pain either oral collagen peptides or a placebo, every day for 12 weeks. At the end of the study, the group taking collagen had less pain during activity and needed less alternative treatment for pain.
Other studies that focus on joint pain in aging and inflammatory conditions like osteoarthritis call collagen a “potential therapeutic agent” and emphasize the importance of other nutrients important to joint health.
Hair and nails
The truth is, there’s still not enough science to say if collagen is the secret to perfect hair and nails. In a review published this year in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, the authors say that although the potential is there for some of these benefits, right now it seems that the media hypes them up more than science can really back up.
But the people who swear by it SWEAR BY IT.
It’s possible that collagen can play a role in creating luscious locks and strong nails, with the help of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients like keratin.
Some people claim that collagen can heal leaky gut, which in theory is caused by a weak intestinal lining. The science isn’t really there to back this up.
Another claim comes from a study that showed people with inflammatory bowel disease could be deficient in a certain type of collagen. So in theory (again, we need more science), supplementing collagen could treat this deficiency and relieve inflammation.
Heart and bone health
These potential collagen benefits aren’t as “sexy” as smooth skin and great hair, but they’re important nonetheless.
Decreased bone density is another sign of aging, but one that poses more danger to your health. It’s possible that collagen stimulates bone formation, and supplementation has been shown to help with postmenopausal bone loss in at least one study!
For your heart, collagen could add integrity to the walls of your blood vessels, decreasing the risk for atherosclerosis.
Source by www.blogilates.com