Our collagen mythbusting series is really lifting the lid on the misunderstandings and misinformation that surround the topic of collagen. Perhaps one of the most significant is that this is a supplement for women only - how wrong that is!
Perhaps this misnomer is founded on the knowledge that collagen helps to improve the condition and appearance of skin and hair. That’s true, but it does so much more, and its efficacy most certainly doesn’t discriminate between the sexes! So let’s look at seven reasons why men in particular would do well to introduce collagen into their daily eating plan.
Whether male or female, we all age, and we all experience a gradual decline in our collagen levels. In other words, the advantages for men taking a collagen protein supplement are as plentiful and relevant for men as they are for women.
But before we jump right into all the juicy benefits, let’s quickly look at some background essentials.
Collagen production slows down with age
Actually, several factors can reduce production, not just age. They include:
- Exposure to UV rays
- Eating too much sugar
- Poor lifestyle choices
- Lack of exercise or conversely too much exercise
These all contribute to lower levels, hence why supplements are important.
OK, so now we’ve got the basics laid out, let’s find out what all these fantastic benefits are!
1. Collagen may help to protect men’s heart health
Indeed, it contains two ingredients that could contribute to heart health:
- An amino acid called proline, which works to clear fat or plaque that is building up in the arteries and to control blood pressure, and;
- Arginine, which may aid blood circulation by widening the arteries and relaxing the blood vessels.
Furthermore, although more research is required, a small study of a sample group taking a collagen tripeptide for six months saw a reduction in artery stiffness and a decrease in “bad” cholesterol levels.
2. Maintaining healthy hair for men
When it comes to our hair, the specific protein responsible for maintaining its structure and quality is keratin. As we age and keratin reduces, hair often becomes thinner, weaker and sometimes more coarse, so a supplement is key to helping keep hair at its optimum condition.
What about balding?
It’s a topic that can strike fear into the heart of many men. Hair loss.
As already mentioned, keratin helps to keep hair strong and to promote growth. Going one step further, however, a study in Japan found that the reduction of a type of collagen, XVII, near hair follicle stems is associated with hair loss. The study examined mice at the age when they usually begin to lose hair. It found that those lacking in type XVII saw damaged stem cells turn into skin cells, which break away from the body like dandruff, thus contributing to hair follicle shrinkage and ultimately hair loss.
On the basis that amino acids are essential for stimulating and supporting hair follicles, it therefore makes sense to ensure that your diet includes a high quality source of these proteins so as to avoid hair loss and maintain a healthy head of hair.
3. Maintaining healthy skin for men
Collagen is found in the dermis of the skin, where new cells grow. It helps to replace old and dead skin cells. However, the overall content per unit area of the skin surface declines approximately one percent per year. When this happens, the skin becomes weaker and therefore more susceptible to fine lines and wrinkles. So, taking a supplement (and combining this with a healthy lifestyle - like eating quality food, drinking plenty of water, staying active, stressing less, minimising toxins) helps to maintain levels and better defend the skin from this deterioration.
4. Leaky gut syndrome
We go into this in a lot more detail here. Essentially it can help by keeping the intestinal walls strong, thus reducing the chance of them leaking toxins into the bloodstream, as well as losing vital nutrients from the stomach.
5. It may help boost metabolism
You have probably heard of glycine? It is a very significant amino acid responsible for building muscle tissue and improving its mass, which then helps the body turn food into energy.
6. It may help build muscle mass
The study of a small sample of men shows promising results in terms of collagen stimulating the creation of proteins needed for muscle growth. This particular study focused on elderly men who combined supplements with resistance training. Who needs hours and hours in the gym, then…?!
7. Collagen may help care for joints
Are your bones making audible noises in your men’s spin class? Are the joints feeling more and more delicate with each winter that arrives?
Type II collagen is found in the cartilage, bones and ligaments, along with many other parts of the body. It aids in the growth and repair of cartilage tissue, as well as to relieve joint inflammation and pain. So when Type II levels decrease, joint inflammation, tenderness, and those tell-tale creaking signs all increase.
Indeed, a growing body of medical evidence “provides a rationale” for the use of supplements by those suffering from osteoarthritis.
So, now you know what collagen is good for, how much and how often should you take it to benefit?
Here at Edible Health we recommend a daily dosage of 1300mg, which is around two level tablespoons, depending on the size of your spoon!
That said, we are all different and some people may need more due to exercise regimes. Others may need less for health or other personal reasons. The key to success is consistency and persistence, so take your dose every day.
You can take it all at once, maybe in a smoothie or a juice, or you can stagger it throughout the day. In your morning coffee, porridge, soup or even your evening meal. Spaghetti Bolognese is a favourite in our team. It’s totally flexible and versatile and designed to suit your tastes and needs.
Lastly, be patient.
It can take up to 8-12 weeks to notice benefits as often our bodies heal from the inside out, but some of our customers report changes in days.
So, gents, there you have it!
This is most definitely not a product exclusive to women. On the contrary, there is every reason to consider collagen for men to help care for health and well-being. Check out our Edible Health range or touch base with us to ask us anything specific - we’d love to help!
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 note not all studies have shown positive results. It is important to consult your medical practitioner for advice best for you