What Is Collagen Good For?
If you are approaching your 30s, you might have heard about collagen supplements. Collagen is commonly associated with skin health, but did you know it can do more than help prevent wrinkles? Here are some reasons you might want to incorporate collagen into your diet that goes beyond maintaining a youthful appearance.
What is collagen?
Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins the body produces. It is responsible for the makeup of your hair, skin, nails, bones, muscles, tendons and joints. Think of collagen as a type of glue that helps hold and plump the body. However, collagen naturally starts to decrease its production around the age of 30. This means that the skin will lose its elasticity, making it prone to develop fine lines and wrinkles.
Why use collagen?
Scientists aren’t sure what benefits collagen supplements may have, but some studies suggest they help in these ways.
- Skin, hair and nails: Collagen may help plump your skin, thus smoothing out fine lines. It also preserves the skin’s hydration and elasticity. Hair and nails also receive strengthening benefits as well.
- Joint support: Collagen may help reinforce the cartilage that surrounds your joints. Over time, our body’s cartilage wears out, causing osteoarthritis. Collagen helps slow down this process and help with joint pain.
- Bone health: Did you know our bones are mostly made of collagen? Just like the cartilage, bone mass will also deteriorate as we age. Taking collagen supplements may also help reinforce your bones and slow down bone breakdown.
- Muscle function: Collagen can also be found in our muscles. Collagen helps keep your muscles strong and functioning properly.
How do you take collagen?
There are several ways you can consume collagen. Apart from supplements, you can find collagen in chicken, pork, beef and fish. It can also be found in bone broth. However, the most common forms of collage are either pills or powders. Collagen pills are convenient if you are good about taking pills but always read the labels, as some may have added sugar. Collagen powders are also convenient for people on the go. Some collagen powders are flavorless, making them an easy option to include in your favorite smoothie or morning drink.
What are the side effects?
There are no severe side effects. However, some people might experience some digestive side effects such as heartburn or feeling full. Some supplements might leave a lingering bad taste but overall, collagen supplements are safe for most people. If you have concerns, please speak with your primary care physician or a certified dietitian.
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