Everyone has their different ways of consuming collagen: some prefer taking collagen pills, some enrich their morning coffee with unflavored collagen powder, and some eat collagen.
Collagen is the most prevalent protein in our body that has different functions from providing structure to skin and bones to helping our blood clot and keeping our organs healthy.
The trouble is that production of collagen slows down as we get older and we ought to provide our body with the collagen it needs through supplements or eating collagen-rich foods.
Nowadays, due to wide advertising, many people, especially women who care deeply about their skin and hair health, tend to consume collagen along with other beauty products! It is claimed that eating collagen supplements keeps our skin healthy and helps it look youthful by providing strength as well as elasticity.
In this article, we will provide you with some useful information about ingestible collagen. Keep reading!
Table of content
- Why is collagen helpful?
- How is collagen absorbed?
- How much collagen do we need?
- Important factors in choosing collagen supplements
- Is taking collagen safe?
Why is collagen helpful?
All of us are bombarded with different advertisements and this affects the decisions we make. Supplemental collagen advertisements are not immune to the world of marketing.
Studies show that collagen enhances skin health, gut health and even some individuals take collagen to lose weight. In the following, you will learn why taking collagen is recommended by nutritionists.
- Collagen improves skin health
Collagen helps your skin look young and wrinkle-free. Studies show that collagen slows skin ageing as well as keeping it hydrated. As a result, more collagen means smoother and more radiant skin.
Studies show that collagen may increase elastin and fibrillin production, the proteins strengthening the skin and hair. Moreover, collagen plays a key role in stimulating nail and hair cells to grow longer.
- Collagen relieves joint pain
Cartilage, a rubbery material which covers the end of bones, is likely to wear away as we age. This may lead to bone to bone friction that in some cases would be painful. Many people who take collagen claim that consuming collagen regularly has provided relief from the joint inflammation pain.
On the other hand, research indicates that osteoarthritis is associated with collagen deficiency in the body and consuming collagen not only relieves the osteoarthritis-related pains but also improves the symptoms.
- Collagen enhances heart health
It is assumed that some heart diseases like atherosclerosis are associated with collagen deficiency. Collagen strengthens the arteries and any lack in collagen may lead to weak and fragile blood vessels.
Consuming collagen can raise HDL levels in our body by more than 5 percent. HDL which is also known as good cholesterol plays a key role in absorbing what is called LDL or bad cholesterol in the body. It is then flushed from the body by the liver. As a result, higher levels of HDL means that you are less likely at risk of heart-related diseases.
How is collagen absorbed?
Our body can take vitamins and minerals it needs directly from the foods we eat but the story is a bit different for collagen. Regardless of whether we take collagen from food or supplements, it must be broken down to smaller parts called amino acids. Body uses the amino acids to synthesize other proteins including collagen!
In other words, the size of collagen molecules are too big to be absorbed directly and our body needs to break them down to be able to use them. Our body employs the amino acids derived from collagen intake to make its own skin-smoothing collagen.
As a result, to get the most of the collagen you consume, try hydrolyzed ones that not only avoid clumping but also are easy for our body to digest.
How much collagen do we need?
Although consuming collagen-rich foods like bone broth and egg is great, we are not able to find out how much collagen we have taken during a month.
One of the advantages of taking collagen supplements is that we can determine collagen intake even though no official guideline is available to tell us about the amount of collagen we are allowed to consume daily.
However, you can take 2.5 to 10 grams of collagen per day for 2 to 3 months to improve skin and hair health. If you are suffering from arthritis, 10 grams of collagen is recommended to consume daily for nearly 5 months; you can take it in two divided doses. However, for medical usages, it is always best to consult your doctor or nutritionist before starting your collagen routine.
Another advantage of supplemental collagen is that they not only contain more collagen than your daily meal, but also they are hydrolyzed which helps the body to easily absorb the protein it needs.
Important factors in choosing collagen supplement
When it comes to consuming collagen, the factor which is most important compared with others is the quality of the product we consume. The way we consume collagen and the source it comes from are not as important as quality is.
In order to choose a high quality product, we should follow our nose! A good quality collagen supplement has no smell. This is a very reliable method to distinguish weak brands. For those who prefer flavored collagen, it is recommended to pay more attention to nutrition facts labeled on the product and look for ones having the highest collagen dose.
Another factor that should be taken into account is that we have no vegan collagen. This is especially important if you are a vegetarian. Skin-improving collagen supplements in the market come from animals’ skin like cows and some of them from chicken meat.
Is taking collagen safe?
Taking collagen is generally safe for healthy people but you had better consult your doctor if you would like to start consuming collagen or increase the amount of collagen you are currently taking.
However, some side effects such as kidneys-related issues are associated with excessive collagen consumption. Collagen supplements are rich in protein and too much protein may be harmful to kidneys. Statistics indicate that taking too much collagen during a short period may result in forming kidney stones.
Collagen is a protein playing an important role in strengthening bones, skin and hair. Unfortunately, as we age, the level of collagen production in our body drops and we should provide the collagen we need through supplements or eating collagen-rich foods.
Collagen helps skin look young and slows skin ageing. In addition, consuming collagen regularly may relieve joint inflammation pain.
Collagen strengthens the arteries and any lack in collagen results in weak and fragile blood vessels. Moreover, consuming collagen increases HDL levels in the body by more than 5 percent.
Regardless of the source we take collagen from, it must be broken down to smaller parts called amino acids. Our body uses these amino acids to synthesize other proteins including collagen!
You can take 2.5 to 10 grams of collagen daily for 2 to 3 months to enhance skin and hair health. For arthritis-related issues, 10 grams of collagen is recommended to be taken daily for about 5 months.
A good collagen supplement has no smell. This is a reliable method to distinguish weak brands.
Another factor that should be considered is that we have no vegan collagen. Skin-improving collagen supplements in the market come from animals’ skin like cows and some of them from chicken meat.
Taking collagen is safe if you are healthy, but first consult your doctor because taking too much collagen over a short period may result in forming kidney stones.