Collagen peptides help replenish one of the most important proteins in your entire body: collagen. This lifesaver protein helps firm up and strengthen your skin, tendons, ligaments, and muscles. Collagen supplements have been associated with various de-aging skin treatments, with large scale success.
Wondering about the benefits of collagen supplements? It’s not only about the skin. Let’s take a closer look at the top 5 benefits of collagen supplements.
Improving Skin Health
It is no secret that collagen is an important part of your skin. It helps strengthen and build up the protein chains that make up your skin, improving elasticity and hydration. Young children have abundant amounts of collagen in their bodies, so their skin is smooth, supple, and flawless. As we grow older, however, our bodies start producing less collagen, and our skin dries out and forms wrinkles.
Collagen peptides have been shown to slow the aging process, reducing wrinkles, fine lines, and dryness. Recent studies found that women taking up to 5 grams of collagen for 8 weeks experienced reduced dryness in their skin and a notable bump up in skin elasticity. This is compared to people who took placebos.
In another study, women taking a collagen supplement daily for up to 12 weeks reported improved skin, as well. This came in the form of improved hydration and decreased wrinkle depth.
How do collagen peptides work? When you drink collagen peptides, your body perceives the collagen peptides as if your body was losing collagen, so it sends a signal to start producing it again. In other words, the increase in collagen levels comes from your own collagen production. More collagen means better elasticity throughout the body.
Relieving Joint Pain
Collagen does not only strengthen your skin, but it is also a fundamental building block of cartilage tissue. That’s the malleable, rubbery tissue protecting the bones from rubbing against each other. As we’ve mentioned, as you age, your collagen levels begin to drop. When this happens, the risk of degenerative joint disorders, like osteoarthritis increases drastically.
There have been studies that show collagen supplements help improve the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Science’s best guess is that it replenishes your collagen, helping cartilage regenerate. It also helps to reduce your overall joint pain. For athletes consuming 10 grams of collagen daily for half a year, you can experience much less overall joint pain.
Further testing showed that adults who took 2 grams of collagen daily, for 70 days, showed reduced joint pain. These patients were ready for physical activity sooner and were able to participate in a way their counterparts often couldn’t.
It’s also associated with reduced inflammation and better pain management. This is a direct result of swollen, painful connective tissue benefitting from stronger cartilage.
Preventing Bone Loss
Another part of your body that relies on collagen for its structure is your bones.
Bones are largely made out of collagen, and it’s this protein that gives them the structure they need to stay rigid and strong.
As your body ages and collagen production drops, your bone mass starts to deteriorate rapidly. That leads, once again, to issues like osteoporosis and associated higher risk of bone fractures.
A consistent intake of collagen supplements has been shown to produce consistent effects in the body. It helps prevent bone fractures and potential osteoporosis as we grow older. It’s also effective when used in conjunction with other supplements. Women combining calcium supplements with 5 grams of collagen were shown to have a lower probability of bone fractures. Another study showed similar results in women taking the same amount over a much longer period of time. These women exhibited an increase of up to 7% in their bone mineral density (BMD), compared to their counterparts who received the placebo.
Your BMD is a measure of your bones for how dense various minerals, such as calcium, are within their structure. Having a low BMD is usually associated with weak bones, which leads naturally to the development of osteoporosis.
It’s with these results in mind that we can confirm collagen supplements can and often do reduce the risk of bone disorders like osteoporosis. That’s good news on any list of the top 5 benefits of collagen supplements. They can increase your BMD, strengthening bones while reducing damaging proteins in your blood.
Increasing Muscle Mass
As much as 10% of your actual physical muscle tissue is comprised of collagen. It’s a highly important part of your muscle structure, making it a necessary part of your physical care routine. Without strong (or strong enough) muscles, your body could go down a dark path to any number of physical diseases.
The data suggest that collagen supplements have a marked impact on increasing muscle mass in almost anybody. People with sarcopenia have a deterioration of muscle mass that happens with age. This makes exercise, and other daily activities difficult.
In a group of 30 men with this condition, patients combined a daily collagen routine while participating in a 12-week exercise program. These men were shown to have gained more muscle mass in this time when compared to those who received training, but with no supplements. It’s been suggested, as a result, as a supplement that may trigger and stimulate muscle growth. Researchers add it might be able to promote muscle protein synthesis, as well.
As a final note, it’s also been linked with improved protein growth among the elderly whose muscles may have degraded over time.
Improving Heart Health
There are many theories that collagen supplements may help to reduce the risk of heart-related conditions. They do this by promoting better heart health. With collagen, what researchers have found is that the protein helps to bolster and further structure your arteries. So imagine a tunnel going through a hill. Without enough support structure, that tunnel could collapse and kill everyone driving through it. What collagen peptides are doing is bolstering that tunnel, making it stronger and more reliable. Without enough collagen, your arteries could become too weak and fragile to channel blood both to and from your heart.
One possible complication is the narrowing of the arteries due to their instability. This often leads to heart attacks and strokes. Studies on groups of healthy adults taking 16 grams of collagen, daily, show impressive results. Patients experienced a significant reduction in stiffness in specifically affected arteries.
It’s clear that collagen peptides provide numerous benefits, and many more still to be discovered.