5 Benefits of Collagen Protein

Collagen has become a buzzword for influencers, celebrities, and health professionals alike, with its huge number of benefits making it the “miracle supplement” that seems to offer everything you need for better health and beauty. But what is collagen and what are the benefits that truly make it such a remarkable superfood?

 

What is Collagen?

Collagen is a natural protein that makes up 35% of our total body protein. It’s a key component of hair, skin, nails, bones, and joints, but our collagen levels can get depleted as we age. Our skin is 75% collagen, but after age 25 these levels fall until skin collagen is depleted by up to 30%[1]. Not only is collagen a protein, which is an essential nutrient the body needs, it provides a wide range of benefits for overall health and beauty.

 

Top 5 Benefits of Collagen Protein

 

  1. Excellent Protein Source

Collagen is naturally an excellent protein source. Collagen contains 18 amino acids and 8 out of the 9 essential amino acids that the body needs to get from food because it can’t produce them itself. Because collagen is one of the main protein sources in our bodies and we gradually lose collagen as we age, it’s a great supplement to include regularly in the diet.

 

High protein diets have been shown to have many benefits. Firstly, they help you feel full, meaning that you eat less over the course of the day. This helps prevent unnecessary snacking and promotes weight loss. High protein intakes also help to increase the body’s natural fat burning, meaning you lose even more weight[2]. Lastly, adequate protein in the diet helps to preserve lean body mass (muscle) and create sleek, toned bodies. Collagen has been found to be particularly effective at preserving lean body mass when compared to other proteins like whey protein[3].

 

  1. Strong and Beautiful Hair, Skin, and Nails

Collagen is highly desired by those who want to prioritize health as well as beauty because it has incredible benefits for hair, skin, and nails as well as muscles, bones, and joints. Collagen is responsible for making our skin smooth and wrinkle-free, our hair shiny and long, and our nails strong and resilient. Our skin is naturally 75% collagen, but this level declines with age, causing our skin to look dull, fragile, and less elastic. Collagen protein has been found to return age-related changes in the skin matrix, preserving bright, hydrated, and wrinkle free skin for longer[4],[5]. Collagen is also an integral part of hair, and supplementing with collagen can help ensure hair follicles are stronger, thicker, and less subject to breakage. Likewise, collagen supplements were found to improve nail growth, and reduce brittleness and breakage, helping to create longer, stronger, more beautiful nails[6].

 

  1. Helps You Look and Feel Younger

Because collagen is one of those essential nutrients our body gradually loses as we age supplementing with collagen can help to boost your levels and keep you looking and feeling young. As mentioned above, collagen helps to improve skin elasticity and reduce wrinkles, and strengthens hair and teeth, so you naturally stay looking younger as the collagen supplements work from the inside out.

 

But collagen can also help you feel younger as well. Collagen has been shown to reduce bone loss and prevent osteoporosis[7], reduce joint pain and joint damage[8], promote healing, boost antioxidants and reduce age-related weight gain[9].

 

  1. Reduces Inflammation and Free Radicals

Collagen helps to boost healing and reduce inflammation thanks to four amino acids that it is especially rich in: glycine, proline, hydroxyproline, and arginine. Collagen is an essential component of bones, joints, and connective tissue, and has been shown to help with arthritis and reduce joint pain after exercise while promoting healing[10]. Collagen is rich in the amino acid glycine, which combines with cysteine and glutamine in the body to create glutathione—one of the body’s most powerful antioxidants, which fights aging and helps protect against disease[11].

 

  1. Improves Digestive Health

Collagen is an essential component of the body’s organs and connective tissues, particularly the digestive system. Just as with other body parts, collagen helps to reduce inflammation and heal these delicate tissues, preventing digestive issues and distress. The amino acids and antioxidants in collagen can help heal intestinal irritation and leaky gut syndrome. A study found that adults with inflammatory bowel disease actually had low levels of collagen in their blood, indicating that this essential nutrient could be missing from the diet of those with chronic digestive issues[12]. While more research is being done on the effects of collagen on digestive health, the anecdotal reports are extremely encouraging for this wonder supplement to heal digestive issues that can be so difficult to resolve.

 

These benefits of collagen have made it the new “buzz supplement”, promoting better health and greater beauty both inside and out. Include a collagen supplement everyday as a part of your diet or in place of your regular protein supplement for optimal results.

 

 

[1] https://www.womenshealthmag.com/uk/beauty/skin/a706856/benefits-taking-collagen-supplements/

[2] https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07315724.2004.10719381

[3] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0002822309002909

[4] https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/jmf.2010.0085

[5] http://www.jmnn.org/article.asp?aulast=Borumand;epage=53;issn=2278-1870;issue=1;spage=47;volume=4;year=2015

[6] https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jocd.12393

[7] https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/jmf.2014.0100

[8] https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1185/030079908x291967

[9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5118756/

[10] https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1185/030079908x291967

[11] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3879663/

[12] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14600124

 

About the Author

Cara Dibdin is a Dietician & Exercise Scientist and a writer, originally from Sydney, Australia. Specializing in health, nutrition, behaviour change and meditation, Cara is passionate about finding innovative ways to nourish mind and body.

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