Collagen Supplement 101: Everything You Need to Know
Collagen supplements have taken center stage recently as the go-to cure for aging. Individuals spend thousands of dollars annually on plastic surgery, Botox, and other procedures to somehow prolong aging. The need to stay young can be quite costly and can even cause unexpected side effects.
Some people are afraid of needles or can’t afford cosmetic treatment. Others find that they have other health concerns that can’t be treated with simple injections. Therefore, an all-natural remedy to aging is always welcome, and that is where collagen supplements come in.
What is Collagen?
Collagen is made up of a family of proteins. As you probably know, protein makes up tissues, muscles, and organs in our body. Collagen plays a major role in the structure of skin, bones, tendons, muscles, and cartilages. Proteins are made up of amino acids, and the most abundant amino acids present are those that make up collagen.
Collagen is produced in your body throughout your lifetime. However, as you age, the rate at which collagen is produced decreases, so your body produces less and less of it as you grow old. This is why you notice your skin start to sag and wrinkles appear when you age because there is not as much collagen present in your skin as before. The skin is made up of two layers, the epidermis and dermis, and collagen can help keep these layers healthy and tight.
How Collagen Can Benefit You
If you want a natural approach to looking younger, collagen supplements are your best bet. As the body starts to produce less of this protein, you can look to external sources like supplements to provide what the body lacks. Instead of using endless injections that target a specific area of the skin, you can incorporate collagen supplements into your daily routine to create a positive impact on your whole body.
There numerous benefits to taking collagen supplements. We explain a few of these below.
Collagen makes up 75% of the skin. The synthesis of collagen starts to reduce from age 25 at the rate of 1.5%. By the time you hit 40, the rate at which collagen is produced is already down by 30%, so you need something to provide what your body lacks.
This is why a benefit of collagen supplements is that it slows the process of aging at least when it comes to the skin. Studies have shown that taking these supplements can lead to better hair, nails, and skin. By taking collagen not only skin gets healthier but there are also possibilities of reduction in visible wrinkles on the skin. Most people have noted their skin to be shinier and stronger due to supplement.
A lack of collagen not only leads to weaker skin but also frail nails and the thinning of hair. You will find that most doctors will recommend retinoid for problems related to these conditions. The drug works to produce more collagen in your body to combat aging.
Injecting collagen into areas of wrinkle and loose skin is also a way people cope with aging. They expose the area to more collagen; however, supplements are a better option because the effect is longer lasting.
Reduces Joint Inflammation
Collagen is not just beneficial for your skin and hair. It has also been linked to reducing the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. A study by IJMS showed that 80% of patients with osteoarthritis experienced a drop in pain levels up to 26% with the consumption of 40 mg of collagen every day. It’s easy to see how restoring your body’s former collagen levels can remove age-related ailments.
Similarly, another study had individuals consume 1 gram of collagen twice a day for ten weeks. This use resulted in them being more active than before, and individuals that were diagnosed with osteoarthritis in the study experienced less pain and used less pain medication. Prolonged use of pain medication can cause several health complications, so this is a great benefit.
The intake of collagen is believed to reduce inflammation within the body, which relieves joint pain from arthritis and similar conditions. No wonder people feel younger after beginning a collagen routine.
Strengthens the Digestive System
Collagen has one specific amino acid, glycine, that has been linked to reducing gastrointestinal inflammation. Our diet consists of many foods that are processed. The meats we eat are usually from livestock that tolerate poor living conditions. Consuming such food can lead to gastrointestinal inflammation.
Collagen is found in organs and helps the digestive tract move the food along while also protecting the stomach lining from inflammation.
What is the Best Way To Consume Collagen?
The most popular way to consume collagen today is either through a capsule, injection, powder for drinks or food, or liquid. We break the pros and cons down for each of these methods, so you know which is the best way to take collagen.
You can easily find collagen powder in pharmacies, as they are readily available. You dissolve the powder in drinks and then consume it.
Pros: Since the powder can easily be added to any drink, this method gives you versatility. You can find flavored powders to your liking, so you can easily mix it to food accordingly. The possibilities are endless. The great thing about powder is that some producers combine other beneficial ingredients with it, so you can get additional benefits from it.
Cons: The taste of the powder may not be to the liking of everyone. If you don’t like to add artificial flavor to your food, then this may not be a good option for you.
Collagen is easy to take in capsule form since you can only need water to take it.
Pros: It does not require mixing or other foods. Just water.
Cons: Pills don’t have a very large dosage of collagen, which means you may need to take more than one at a time. You also want to make sure that you take only the recommended dosage the doctors have suggested.
You can also find collagen in liquid form that is in ready to drink. These usually come in the form of shots or even collagen water.
Pros: There is no hassle. These are ready to consume so you can take them as they are.
Cons: You need to develop a taste for plain collagen water. Producers do have flavored options, so that is probably a better choice for those who prefer fruity drinks.
Collagen injections are only used for cosmetic reasons. Only the injection site will receive the benefits of the collagen.
Pros: Provides immediate results for a specific area of the skin.
Cons: Needles aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. It may be scary for some to get injections. The impacts of injections are only for the cosmetic purpose; you won’t experience any of the other benefits associated with collagen.
Can You Have An Allergic Reaction to Collagen?
There is a chance that an allergic reaction can occur from collagen. That is why it is recommended that you speak to a doctor before you start taking any form. If you are allergic to poultry, fish, beef, or any other main source of collagen, then there is a chance that taking the supplement may cause a reaction. The degree of the reaction will vary depending on how you consume collagen and can range from rashes to nausea and vomiting.
With so many benefits and different ways to intake collagen, it is no wonder the supplement is gaining popularity. From cocktails to collagen mixed omelets, the supplement is making quite a splash. Just be sure that you consult a doctor before you start taking collagen. The last thing you want is to experience an allergic reaction to collagen.