When you hear the word “collagen” you may immediately think about your skin. But did you know scientists are uncovering amazing collagen benefits from gut and digestive wellness to bone and joint health?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in our body, making up 90% of connective tissue, 90% organic bone mass, and 70% of our skin. In our early 20s, collagen production decreases, with 50% of our supply depleted by our 60s. Decreased collagen means more wrinkles, saggy skin, joint stiffness, weaker bones and thinner hair. Luckily, supplementation has been proven to prevent and reverse the effects of this loss. Here are 12 other incredible collagen benefits for your entire body – inside and out:
COLLAGEN BENEFITS FOR WEIGHT LOSS
1. Collagen protein helps with weight loss and is more filling than other types of protein: Research has shown collagen protein is more satiating than other protein types, keeping you full longer so you eat less. One clinical trial found collagen to be 40% more filling than the same quantity of whey, casein or soy. Another study among obese and diabetic patients found intake of hydrolyzed collagen stimulated the release of satiating hormones into the blood. Individuals who supplemented with collagen consumed 20% less at their next meal than those who consumed other types of protein.
COLLAGEN BENEFITS FOR BONE & JOINT
2. Collagen builds stronger bones and prevents bone fractures: We lose up to 50% of our bone strength during aging due to collagen breakdown. Scientific studies show that it’s the collagen in our bones that absorbs the energy from any bone impacts. The more collagen present in our bones, the tougher our bones are which decreases fracture risk. Supplementation with collagen improves bone strength by stimulating new bone cell growth to replace worn and damaged bone cells.
3. Alleviates arthritis symptoms such as joint pain, stiffness, and inflammation: Clinical studies have shown supplementation with collagen leads to significant reductions in arthritis caused joint pain, stiffness, and inflammation. One trial demonstrated a 70% response rate for significant or noticeable improvement in joint pain among patients who supplemented with collagen, and in another study, collagen proved 25% more effective in reducing osteoarthritis pain and stiffness compared to other anti-inflammatory supplements, such as glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate.
4. Improves joint mobility and flexibility: Supplementing with collagen will improve flexibility in movements such as knee extension and total mobility throughout daily activities. Clinical studies have shown collagen peptides improve mobility and flexibility in both arthritic patients and in athletes. After collagen supplementation, subjects have been able to exercise for longer durations before experiencing joint pain.
5. Strengthens joints and ligaments and prevent injuries: Daily collagen supplementation improves the strength and size of our tendons, joints, and ligaments. Studies have shown collagen supplementation decreases tendon and ligament injury rates. One study that measured effects of daily intake of collagen peptides on the structure of the Achilles tendon found a significant increase in collagen fiber diameter, suggesting improved strength of the tendon as a result of collagen supplementation.
6. Speeds up recovery time for torn muscles, joints, and ligaments: Did you know collagen is required to heal muscle and connective tissue injuries? Scientists have identified collagen as the key component for regenerating strength and flexibility in torn muscles, joints, and ligaments. Collagen synthesis rates in connective tissue and muscles during healing of an injury have been shown to be significantly higher during the first three weeks immediately following injury. Thus, collagen supplementation has benefits for proper healing of muscle, joints, and ligaments.
COLLAGEN BENEFITS FOR GUT HEALTH
7. Prevents Heartburn and Ulcers: Collagen is crucial for proper digestive system function. By regulating stomach digestion, it can help prevent heartburn and ulcers. Additionally, collagen peptides in the GI tract pull in water and attract acid molecules, aiding in the breakdown of food particles and helping move food through the GI tract.
8. Repairs intestinal lining to heal IBS and Leaky Gut Syndrome: Collagen synthesis is an important component in the process of repairing lesions in the intestinal lining. Proper intestinal healing requires an increased collagen supply, and studies have found decreased collagen levels in individuals with digestive imbalances. Specifically, there is an association between inflammatory bowel disease and decreased serum collagen levels. Additionally, glutamine, one of the amino acids in collagen, has been identified as the key amino acid in preventing inflammation in the gut lining and healing leaky gut syndrome. Supplementation with collagen can restore the body’s collagen supply to provide digestive relief.
COLLAGEN BENEFITS FOR ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE
9. Collagen protein powder is ideal for post-workout nutrition due to its high amino acid content: Collagen protein powder supports the body’s protein needs during and after exercise. Supplementation products such as Collagen contains 18 amino acids, and 8 of the 9 essential amino acids that can only be found through dietary proteins. Collagen contains 20% glycine and 8% arginine, which are key amino acids for the synthesis of creatine- an important molecule for muscular contraction.
COLLAGEN BENEFITS FOR ANTI-AGING
10. Collagen smooths cellulite, eliminates stretch marks and acne scars: By strengthening the dermis layer of our skin, collagen also plays an important role in hiding cellulite and eliminating stretch marks and acne scars. Cellulite becomes more visible as our skin stretches, thins, and sags. Collagen supplementation has been clinically proven benefits of increasing skin-collagen expression and improving elasticity and thickness. This is important for generating stronger, firmer skin that eliminates stretch marks, improves acne scars, and hides fat beneath the skin.
11. Reduces skin wrinkles and hydrates skin: Collagen is the essential component of the dermis layer of skin. Supplementation with collagen has been shown to increase skin flexibility and hydration and reduce the depth of facial wrinkles. In a study among women ages 40 to 60, supplementation with collagen for eight weeks showed a 28% average increase in skin moisture levels, and 91% of subjects reported less dry skin after supplementation. Additionally, science has shown oral collagen supplementation more effectively improves skin than topical creams and lotions. Collagen molecules in topical products are too big to be absorbed through the skin into the bloodstream. Studies have shown oral ingestion of collagen peptides is immediately absorbed into the blood and then delivered to skin cells to increase skin-collagen expression.
12. Builds strong, healthy hair, nails, and teeth: The growth of hair follicles is dependent on the collagen matrix in the dermal layer of our skins. Without adequate collagen, the total number and thickness of hair follicles can be reduced. Loss of collagen as we age may be a significant contributor to hair loss. Collagen is essential for healthy nail growth. Short, brittle nails may be a sign of collagen deficiency! Collagen is the major structural component of teeth and the connection between teeth and gums. Collagen loss with age can cause increased tooth sensitivity and decreased tooth strength.
Learn More about Collagen and Get Collagen Recipes:
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