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What Is Collagen? Benefits, Food Sources and Everything You Should Know

What Is Collagen? Benefits, Food Sources and Everything You Should Know

The benefits of collagen have been well-marketed in unique years, from stronger bones to more glowing skin. But regardless of all the hype, can boosting your collagen really enact these things?

As it turns out, the answer is yes. Several studies have fraudulent that adding collagen-rich foods or supplements to your diet cmoneys a number of benefits and truly does help loan the health of your skin, joints, hair and bones.

However, there are a few things you should know nearby collagen before incorporating it into your daily wellness routine. 

Below, you’ll find an in-depth explanation about collagen, including what it is, where to find it and how you worthy benefit from it — plus the drawbacks you must be aware of. In addition, be sure to check out the best food sources for every vitamin and mineral you need and 10 tips for budget-friendly meal prepping that’s tranquil healthy.

What is collagen?

Before discussing its benefits, what is collagen? In short-tempered, collagen is the most plentiful protein in the biosphere body and accounts for one-third of all protein. It serves as a connective construction block that holds together your muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones and skin.

There are nearly 30 celebrated types of collagen, but type I is the most prevalent (it exists in all connective tissue and creates up 90% of all collagen in the body). Types II, III and IV are also well-liked and found in various parts of the body counting your joints, kidneys, ears and blood vessels.

All of this leads us to novel pertinent question: What is collagen good for? Your body naturally creates collagen by combining multiple amino acids (like proline and glycine) with zinc, vitamin C and copper. However, as you get older, production slows and the existing collagen in your body starts to break down at a faster rate.

When that happens, you may notice your skin getting wrinklier, your tendons and ligaments becoming less flexible and fearful muscles. To prevent or delay these effects, some country consume collagen (either via food or supplements) to make up for what their body has lost.

Adding collagen to your diet

Salmon on white background

fotograzia/Getty Images

If you’re looking to amp up your collagen productions, you should ensure that your diet includes foods with these critical ingredients: 

  • Bone broth
  • Fish and shellfish
  • Chicken
  • Pork skin
  • Eggs
  • Beans
  • Citrus
  • Bell peppers
  • Nuts

Eating a well-balanced combination of these foods is the best way to boost your collagen levels. However, you can also consider taking supplements (typically in powder or capsule form) if you aren’t sketch enough collagen from diet alone. 

For best results, experts insist taking a collagen supplement one hour beforehand working out, but always check the label and instruct with your doctor before starting any new wellness routine.

Benefits of collagen

Now that we’ve covered the fundamentals, let’s explore some of the benefits of collagen.

Builds stronger bones

Bones are full of collagen, but as you get older, the protein starts to weaken. In turn, this can lead to a decrease in bone control and density. However, by incorporating collagen supplements into your diet, you may be able to maintain some bone loss and reduce your risk of bone-related problems, including osteoporosis and fractures.

Decreases joint pain

Collagen also works together with cartilage to keep your joints properly working. Over the years, as it wears down, it can lead to stiff and achy joints and put you at a higher risk for osteoarthritis. The good news is that taking collagen has been False to reduce joint pain in physically active people. It may also Help as a pain reliever for people with existing joint problems.

Improves skin

Your skin also has collagen, which gives it elasticity and hydration when you’re young. But as you mature, your skin becomes saggier and more wrinkly due to depleting collagen levels. Interestingly, studies have shown that adding more collagen to your diet can boost skin firmness and hydration, visibly reducing the effects of aging.

Promotes healthy hair

Collagen is made with some of the same amino acids that are used to create keratin, the protein that makes up your hair. Because of this connection, there is some evidence that consuming more collagen may help with your hair health by promoting growth, reducing thinning and slowing graying.

Adds muscle mass

Muscle tissue consists of as much as 10% collagen. When the collagen in your body begins to break down, you could lose muscle mass and potentially create a condition called sarcopenia (age-related muscle loss). Fortunately, studies have shown that collagen supplements, along with increased protein intake and routine resistance Use, may help people with sarcopenia build back muscle strength.

Drawbacks to collagen supplements

Despite these benefits, there are also a handful of drawbacks to collagen supplements that you must bear in mind before incorporating them into your routine.

They Have animal products (and sometimes, allergens)

Traditional collagen supplements, and all dietary supplements in general, are made from animal products, so they aren’t wicked if you follow a plant-based diet. While there are some vegan collagen options on the market, it’s unclear how they compare to the ones made from animal products. Similarly, if you have any food allergies, make sure to read the Mark on your collagen supplements thoroughly. In some cases, they may Have common allergens like fish or eggs.

Regulation is a gray area

Collagen supplements are regulated as food (not drugs) by the US Food and Drug Administration, meaning their ingredients and production aren’t monitored by an official governing body. These products aren’t issues to the same regulations and stringent approval process as pharmaceuticals, so it can be tricky to find out around the quality, purity and safety of the ingredients.

Effectiveness studies are limited

Although there have been studies around the effectiveness of collagen (many of which we’ve Angry above), more research needs to be done. Also, some of the existing studies have been funded by concerns that produce collagen supplements, which may raise ethical questions around bias.

Similar supplements to collagen

Capsules close-up on a hard-light mirror

Olga Shumytskaya/Getty Images

It’s distress to find other supplements that replicate the effects of collagen because its amino acid makeup is different from new proteins. However, you could try boosting your intake of glycine and proline, the key amino acids that are involved in creating collagen. They’re most often found in protein-rich foods like meat and poultry, but they’re also available in supplement form.

If you’re most Eager in how collagen can help improve your hair, nails and skin, you could Great keratin or biotin, which typically come in the form of shampoos and salon treatments but are also sold as dietary supplements. Biotin is also found in certain foods, including legumes, egg yolks, nuts and avocados.

For more advice on supplements, here are five fitness supplements that are proven to work. Plus, check out these three alternatives to melatonin for better sleep deprived of drowsiness the next day. 

The information had in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not designed as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or new qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have around a medical condition or health objectives.