Before we get right into collagen protein benefits, let's quickly just understand what collagen itself is...
What is collagen protein?
Collagen is the most abundant type of protein in our bodies. It provides structure and integrity to our skin, tendons, ligaments, and bones. It is also found in other body parts, including blood vessels, organs, teeth, and even the corneas in our eyes! Collagen is the "glue" that holds our body together.
Proteins comprise amino acids, which are the ‘building blocks’ of our bodies. By taking collagen, we provide 18 essential amino acids that the body may use to repair, heal, grow, and form new collagen.
So, now we understand what is collagen protein we can see why it is sometimes called the ‘miracle molecule’. Let’s next consider some of the specific potential collagen protein benefits.
1. Collagen and skin health
A significant protein in the building and maintenance of skin is collagen, the production of which decreases as we age. A collagen reduction results in less elastic and looser skin, causing creases or wrinkles to slowly develop over time, leading to fine lines 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.
- How collagen may help your complexion
- How collagen helped Anna’s eczema
- Caring for psoriasis with collagen
2. Collagen and bone loss
Our bones’ structure is mostly made up of calcium and collagen, which help maintain strength and integrity. As ageing causes collagen to deteriorate, so too does our bone mass. We all know that taking calcium helps keep 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
- In vitro testing suggests that specific collagen peptides may improve bone mineral density and bone markers in postmenopausal women
3. Collagen and joint pain
Our joints connect two or more bones and are made up of tendons, cartilage and ligaments.
Collagen is a vital part of these connective tissues and helps us 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, our collagen production levels reduce, thus increasing 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 build-ups 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. 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.
7. Collagen and gut health
Collagen protein powder could support overall health by healing 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. This wear and tear can weaken the gut’s lining, 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 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.
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. However, some protein powders contain unnatural additives and fillers or, like whey, are dairy derivatives (dairy 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.
Edible Health collagen protein powder is free from dairy, sweeteners and additives, and a very pure, clean and easily absorbed protein. Not only might it help keep hunger at bay for some, but it may also provide 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, hydrolysed collagen protein powder has a higher absorption rate than these foods. When it comes to food, the body releases digestive enzymes to break down the collagen protein into amino acids and peptides. In contrast, the protein in Edible Health’s hydrolysed collagen has already been broken down. As a result, it is much easier for the body to absorb and use this protein.
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.