If you’ve been active on social media lately, then you must have noticed that many brands of collagen supplements have popped up lately. From family members and friends to coworkers, it seems like just about everyone has jumped already on the collagen bandwagon.
If you ask people why they’re taking collagen supplements, you will get various responses. Some of them take collagen because they know the protein will help improve their skin as well as relieve joint pain. From their testimony, the results seem incredibly promising. But, for those of us who don’t know exactly what collagen is, how it really works, and what are the best supplements to take, it’s easy to get confused!
In this article, we’ll tackle everything there’s to know about collagen supplements and their usage.
What is Collagen?
Collagen is one of the fibrous proteins that are found in the body. It makes up not just our skin, but also our nails and hair. The collagen supplements that you can readily purchase online and at your local pharmacies contain animal byproducts, which consist of amino acids including glycine and proline. These amino acids are found inside our bodies as well, more specifically our connective tissues, bones, and cartilages.
According to Nicole Osinga, RD, our bodies are in need of collagen and we are all capable of producing it naturally. This means taking collagen supplements is NOT necessary! Osinga also explained that as soon as collagen is consumed, it’s not absorbed by the body completely. Instead, it’s broken down inside your digestive system, which turns the protein into amino acids. The amino acids are what the body uses whenever collagen is needed.
What the registered dietician as well as several experts in the industry say is that just because you’re taking collagen supplements doesn’t instantly mean that there’s a direct correlation with you having better skin, bone, and hair health. But, take note: there are some benefits that you can enjoy from taking collagen in the form of supplements daily.
Here are the science-backed positive effects of collagen supplements:
A 2017 National Center for Biotechnology Information study found that the oral intake of collagen peptides dramatically increased skin hydration in just eight weeks of supplementation. The researchers found that the collagen density within the dermis of participants continued to increase even after 12 weeks.
Another study also found that the elasticity of human skin will see a significant improvement just after four weeks of collagen intake. The same research reported that collagen hydrolysate has a positive influence, but the data that was collected didn’t reach a statistical significance level.
- Better Joint Health
Collagen hydrolysate has the potential to increase the mineral density of bones as it has a protective impact on the articular cartilage. This is the reason why various collagen supplement users reported joint pain relief. Activity-related joint aches were put on a study and the researchers found that the athletes who took collagen for 24 weeks experienced less pain in their joints. The authors, however, clarified that these were just initial findings and future studies are required in order to support the claim. Another study conducted lately found collagen peptides to work as therapeutic agents, allowing people to manage osteoarthritis.
- Hair Growth
Many research studies found that collagen supports hair building proteins, promotes hair growth and prevents hair loss. Although more research can help verify claims of independent studies, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to take collagen, especially if you’re in need of some help for hair growth and strengthening.
Collagen is fairly new; however, the results seem promising, especially when you ask those who have taken supplements consistently. We agree that more research will help give us clarity on the effects and benefits of collagen. Just a friendly reminder: collagen supplements may seem safe but you should always consult your doctor before you make a change to your daily diet and supplementation. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry!
As for what supplements to take, it’s better if you check out the market and read reviews. If you’re convinced with a certain product as it has gained a lot of followers or believers, we suggest you give it a shot!