Choosing the Best Collagen Supplement

Choosing the Best Collagen Supplement

Collagen is the most abundant structural protein in your body, making up about 80% of your skin and playing an important role in building and supporting many tissues, from bones and cartilage to the skin, hair, eyes, and the digestive system. Unfortunately, as we age, our bodies naturally start reducing Collagen production. This is further disrupted by sun exposure, environmental pollutants, alcohol, smoking, and stress. Because of this, many people turn to supplements to replace the collagen that is lost or destroyed.

Forms of Collagen

Not all Collagen is the same, and when choosing a supplement, it is important to understand the different options that are available to you.

Hydrolyzed: Hydrolyzed Collagen, also known as Collagen Hydrolysate or Collagen peptides, has been broken down into its basic amino acids. Most supplements use Hydrolyzed Collagen because it is broken down into small bits that make for easy absorption (and easy mixing into cold liquids).

Gelatin: Gelatin Collagen has been broken down from large proteins into smaller bits. It is less broken down than Hydrolyzed Collagen.

Undenatured: This refers to very small bits of Type II Collagen that work by stopping the breakdown of your natural Collagen stores. This is also called Undenatured Collagen, meaning it is not broken into smaller proteins or amino acids.

Of these forms available, research shows that your body may absorb Hydrolyzed Collagen most efficiently.types of collagen

Health Benefits of Collagen

Skin

Collagen plays a role in strengthening skin and may improve elasticity and hydration. As you age, your body produces less collagen, leading to dry skin and the formation of wrinkles. Taking a Collagen supplement containing 2.5 – 5 grams of Collagen for 8 weeks will promote the production of other proteins that help structure your skin, including elastin and fibrillin. This can decrease skin dryness significantly increase skin elasticity.

holding a collagen

Joints

Collagen helps maintain the integrity of your cartilage, which is the rubber-like tissue that protects your joints. As the amount of Collagen in your body decreases with age, your risk of developing degenerative joint disorders such as Osteoarthritis increases. In one study, taking 2 grams of Collagen daily for 70 days significantly decreased joint pain. Researchers have theorized that supplemental Collagen may accumulate in cartilage and stimulate your tissues to make Collagen, which in turn may lead to lower inflammation, better support of your joints, and reduced pain.

Meanwhile, if you want to try taking a Collagen supplement for its potential pain-relieving effects, studies suggest you should start with a daily dosage of 8 – 12 grams.

happy mature woman

Bones

Just as the Collagen in your body deteriorates as you age, so does bone mass. This may lead to conditions like osteoporosis, which is characterized by low bone density and linked to a higher risk of bone fractures. Consuming collagen supplements may help reduce the risk of bone disorders like Osteoporosis. They have the potential to help increase bone mineral density, or BMD, and lower levels of proteins in the blood that stimulate bone breakdown.

Collagen powder protein

Muscles

Almost 10% of your muscle tissues are composed of Collagen. This protein is necessary to keep your muscles strong and functioning properly. Studies have shown that consuming Collagen supplements increased muscle growth and strength in people with age-related muscle loss such as sarcopenia, the loss of muscle mass that happens with age.

Collagen supplements are generally safe, quite easy to use, and definitely worth trying for their potential health benefits.

flexing bicep

Cardiovascular Health

Collagen provides structure to your arteries, which are the blood vessels that carry blood from your heart to the rest of your body. Without enough Collagen, arteries can become weak and fragile.

Recent studies have shown that taking 16 grams of Collagen daily for 6 months promotes a significant reduction in measures of artery stiffness, compared with before they started taking the supplement.

Collagen Protein Supplement Powder

Additional Health Benefits of Collagen

Collagen supplements may offer additional health benefits, though these have not been studied as extensively and may need further research.

Nails: Collagen may increase the strength of your nails by preventing brittleness. Additionally, it may stimulate your nails to grow longer.

Gut Health: Although there is no scientific evidence to support this claim, some health practitioners promote the use of Collagen supplements to treat intestinal permeability or leaky gut syndrome.

Brain Health: Studies are yet to prove the role of Collagen supplements relating to brain health. However, some people have claimed noticeable improvement in their mood and decreased symptoms of anxiety.

Weight Loss: It is believed that taking Collagen may promote weight loss and faster metabolism, however, there’s not enough research to prove this yet. Collagen is high in protein and low in calories so it may play a supporting role.

Collagen drinks

Collagen and Cancer

Recent research studies have claimed that increasing Collagen production and protecting it from degrading could have positive results installing the invasion of cancer cells. Collagen is the major component of the tumor microenvironment and participates in cancer fibrosis. Collagen biosynthesis (formation of chemical compounds by a living organism) can be regulated by cancer cells through mutated genes, transcription factors, signaling pathways, and receptors; furthermore, Collagen can influence tumor cell behavior. Cancer cells reversely reshape Collagen to form a reinforcing cell-collagen loop, which gradually fosters cancer progression.

Having said that, the role of Collagen is a double-edged sword in cancer. On the one hand, Collagen, cancer cells, other cells, and other matrix molecules mutually form an inter-reinforcing loop. This loop contributes to the development of cancer by inducing cancer cell proliferation, migration, and metastasis. On the other hand, preclinical and clinical studies have demonstrated that Collagen may slow the development of cancer cells to some extent under some conditions.

In summary, the association of Collagen with cancer is only partially understood, and future studies are needed to interpret detailed Collagen biological mechanisms in cancer tissue that can be applied to precisely regulate Collagen balance to achieve the maximum benefit of treatment. This new strategy combined with other treatment modalities can ultimately improve patient survival and quality of life.

holding pill and glass of fresh water

Collagen is generally considered to be a safe daily supplement for healthy individuals. Most people won’t experience any adverse side effects, but some have reported minor symptoms such as an unpleasant taste, feeling overly full, or other stomach complaints. Collagen is generally not recommended for those at a high risk of developing kidney stones due to its very high protein content. As well, it’s important to note that Collagen can be found in many foods, including fish, chicken, egg whites, citrus fruits, garlic, and white tea. If you frequently consume many Collagen-rich foods daily, a supplement might not be necessary.

Learn the best ways to incorporate Collagen into your daily diet. Click here for more information.

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