Collagen has been used as a food supplement for thousands of years to treat joint pain, reduce swelling, and improve skin elasticity. It has also been proven to be effective at improving bone density through its ability to strengthen cartilage in the body.
Collagen is essential for healthy skin, bones, and joints. It protects us from damage caused by harmful UV rays, fights off infection, and provides support to keep our bodies strong and flexible. With proper supplementation, collagen can help us look and feel younger.
1. What is Collagen
Collagen is a protein found naturally in the human body. Our skin has more than 80% of it, while connective tissues like tendons, ligaments, and corneas contain between 20%-30%. The rest is found in bones, blood vessels, blood serum, and hair.
The main function of collagen is to help maintain structural integrity, prevent damage, and provide strength. When collagen breaks down, it becomes less efficient at these functions and shows up as signs of aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles. As we age, our bodies produce less collagen, which exacerbates the problem. This process is accelerated by UV exposure, smoking, lack of sleep, stress, poor nutrition, and pollution.
2. How your skin can improve with collagen
In addition to increasing overall health, collagen supports healthy skin and helps minimize the visible signs of aging.
Collagen also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent. This means that it reduces redness, irritation, and inflammation of the skin. It does so by binding to specific receptors on cells, decreasing their activity and causing them to calm down.
A study from the University of Iowa found that collagen helped improve skin condition in patients who were diagnosed with rosacea. Rosacea is characterized by excessive facial erythema (redness) and skin lesions that develop into papules and pustules. Researchers observed that people who took a collagen supplement experienced improvement after only two weeks.
Collagen has been tested in treating wounds and scars. By acting like glue, collagen prevents scar tissue formation and promotes wound closure.
Collagen can help those suffering from acne scars as new cell production is stimulated throughout the body, including the cells in the dermis layer of the skin.
3. Healthy bones with collagen supplement
Collagen has long been known for improving bone density. A number of studies have demonstrated positive effects on bone density when collagen is taken orally. A study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research found that menopausal women who consumed 500 milligrams of hydrolyzed collagen per day had increased bone mass over a period of 12 months. Another study reported similar results for postmenopausal women taking 500 milligrams daily for 60 days.
4. Collagen improves your joints
Collagen supports healthy joints by helping rebuild damaged ones. Many athletes use collagen for this purpose. Collagen is often added to sports drinks and gels because it promotes healing and reduces soreness. Some athletes even add it straight to their muscles after working out.