What are the benefits of collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant type of protein in our bodies. It provides structure and integrity to our skin, nails, tendons, ligaments, and bones. It is also found in other body parts, including blood vessels, organs, brain, teeth, and even the corneas in our eyes! Collagen is the "glue" that holds our body together. Without it, we’d literally fall apart!
With 30% of the protein in our body being collagen and, with protein providing the amino acids our bodies need to grow, heal, repair and rejuvenate, taking a collagen supplement can provide our body with many benefits including, but not limited to:
- Skin Health
- Bone Health
- Joint Health
- Muscle Mass
- Heart Health
- Hair growth
- Gut Health and
- Weight Loss
So, now we understand what is collagen is and what benefits it can offer, we can see why it is sometimes called the ‘miracle molecule’. Next, let’s consider some of these potential collagen benefits:
1. Collagen and skin health
Collagen is a significant protein involved in the building and maintenance of skin. However, as we age, our natural ability to produce collagen declines and this can result in our skin becoming less elastic and looser, thereby causing creases or wrinkles to slowly develop, which lead to fine lines, creping and sagging skin. Many of our customers take collagen protein powder for skin health and to reduce or delay these tell-tale signs. We also hear a great deal from customers who take collagen for specific skin-related concerns such as eczema and psoriasis.
2. Collagen and bone loss
Bone structure is mostly made up of calcium and collagen, which help maintain the strength and integrity of our bones. As ageing causes collagen to deteriorate, we can experience a loss in bone density which can lead to conditions such as osteoporosis. We all know that calcium is vital for keeping bones healthy, but did you know that a daily serving of collagen peptides could also help?
- French National Institute for Agronomic Research (INRA), in collaboration with Rousselot, joint study suggests collagen peptide supplementation can support the body’s process of maintaining bone strength
3. Collagen and joint pain
Our joints are what connect two or more bones together, and are made up of tendons, cartilage and ligaments, also known as connective tissues
Collagen is a vital part of these connective tissues and it enables us to move fluidly with ball-and-socket joints, like our hips, and hinge joints, like our knees. Collagen also allows our joints, tendons, and ligaments to glide and move easily.
However, as we age and our collagen production levels reduce, this can increase the risk of stiff, painful joints and degenerative disorders such as osteoarthritis.
Excessive physical activity can also cause wear and tear on joints and connective tissue, leading to pain and inflammation.
- A 24-week study suggests taking hydrolysate collagen might help decrease joint pain in athletes
4. Collagen and muscle mass
Collagen is an essential component of muscle tissue and is vital to maintaining strong muscles and muscle fibres.
Taking collagen supplements may increase strength and muscle growth in people with age-related muscle mass loss. When combined with resistance training, collagen protein may also help build bigger and stronger muscles.
- Study suggests collagen peptide supplementation in combination with resistance training improves body composition and increases muscle strength in elderly sarcopenic men
- Study demonstrates that resistance training in combination with supplementation of collagen peptides induced a significantly higher increase in fat-free mass and handgrip strength among premenopausal women
- How collagen helps this world-class athlete compete
5. Collagen and heart health
Collagen may help to reduce the build-up of fatty plaque residue that can line and clog arterial walls. This process, known as atherosclerosis, prevents blood from flowing to other organs.
- Study demonstrates that collagen tripeptide may contribute to the prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis in healthy humans
6. Collagen and hair growth
Amino acids are the building blocks of the body, and when certain individual amino acids join together with others in long chains, they form complex molecules known as protein.
Hair is primarily made up of a complex protein molecule called keratin, which contains 18 amino acids. Some of these amino acids, like proline, are abundant in collagen.
Therefore, consuming collagen protein may benefit hair growth by providing our bodies with the amino acid building blocks needed to grow hair. These amino acids also nourish the hair follicle and can help prevent hormonal, stress or age related hair loss.
7. Collagen and gut health
Collagen protein powder can support overall health by healing and sealing a leaky gut.
Our gut’s inner lining comprises just one layer of cells known as the epithelium. Every day, this gut lining suffers wear and tear from breaking down food, absorbing nutrients, eliminating waste, and dealing with stress, not to mention having to manage any toxic load from chemicals, pharmaceuticals and other harmful substances. This wear and tear can weaken the gut’s lining by destroying cells in the gut wall and creating holes in this lining of the gut, meaning that food, infections and toxins can pass across the gut wall and into the bloodstream. This is known as leaky gut and results in inflammation, food sensitivities, poor nutrient absorption and auto-immune disorders.
Almost 80% of our immune system is in the gut, so leaky gut can be harmful to health. It can cause unpleasant symptoms such as diarrhoea, upset stomach, bloating, fatigue, food allergies, constipation, depression and even malnutrition. Vitamins and minerals pass right through your system instead of being absorbed.
The amino acids in collagen stimulate tissue growth, which may help to heal and seal these leaks and improve gut health and many of the amino acids in collagen have been found to be cytoprotective, meaning that they can help protect the gut cells against harmful agents.
8. Collagen and weight loss
Maintaining a healthy body weight can be a struggle for many of us. Often, this only gets more difficult as we age.
Because protein makes us feel full, many people consume protein powders for weight loss by helping them to stay satiated. Many often use protein powders along with foods high in fats to support them on a Keto diet. However, some protein powders contain unnatural additives and fillers or many, like whey, come from are dairy sources which can be detrimental to gut health.airy is linked to causing digestive issues, and its ingredient - casein - may contribute to leaky gut. Also, cows are often given growth hormones, antibiotics and steroids and fed a diet of grains and food that may contain allergens and pesticides which can irritate the gut and cause inflammation.
Edible Health’s collagen protein powder is free from gluten, dairy, sugar, sweeteners and additives, and is a very pure, clean and easily absorbed protein. Not only might it help keep hunger at bay for some, but it also provides our bodies with the essential building blocks needed to heal, repair, grow and renew.
Why collagen powder is the best form of protein
Several foods contain collagen, including animal products like chicken skin, pork skin, beef, fish, meat stock and bone broth.
However, when it comes to food, the body has to release digestive enzymes in the stomach to break down the collagen protein in these foods into amino acids that are then transported via our blood, into our cells. In contrast, the protein in Edible Health’s hydrolysed collagen has already been broken down into smaller protein peptide molecules. These do not require digesting and, instead, move straight to the small intestines where they are either absorbed directly into the bloodstream as ready-to-use peptides, or get broken down into amino acids for transport to our cells, or create a response in the small intestines that stimulates the body to produce fibroblasts (they cells that produce collagen in our skin) and osteoblasts - the cells that produce bones. As a result, it is much easier for the body to absorb and use this protein and it can use it in many more ways.
We hope this has been helpful in understanding collagen protein benefits. If you have any other collagen related questions that you would like answered, let us know!
The information we have provided herewith, and all linked materials, are not intended, nor should they be construed as medical advice. Moreover, the information herewith should not be used as a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. Please refer to our Terms and Conditions and consult your General Practitioner for advice specific for you.