The health benefits of collagen powder are numerous. You must have come across it in ads or on YouTube videos. And you must have doubts regarding it. Is it a gimmicky product? This article will focus on the various health benefits of collagen powder. Potential side effects. And which form of collagen should you take for best results?
What is Collagen?
Collagen is an important building block for hair, skin, and connective tissues. In fact, it is the most richly found protein in the human body. It has a fiber-like structure and is present in bones, muscles, and cartilages.
What happens to Collagen when we age?
As we grow, our body loses generally 1% of collagen each year, as per a study. It is our body’s natural process. You can stop it. However, the rate at which it starts declining can affect our overall health. And it can be alarming.
Doctors say that the maximum breakdown of collagen begins from the age of 20. It is a very unlikely age. Many factors contribute to an early age collagen reduction:
Too much UV exposure:
Excessive sun rays can negatively impact your collagen production. It can permanently lead to wrinkles, spots, and darkening of skin.
If you consume foods that are high in sugar and are processed or preserved, it will deactivate the immune system. Our body’s natural ability to produce collagen also weakens.
Stress is also an important factor in deteriorating your collagen health. Stress gives rise to a hormone called cortisol that lowers collagen production in our body.
Smoking is injurious to health. And here is another reason for it. Studies have found that smoking reduces the bulk of oxygen delivered to our tissues. Leading to less tissue generation and premature facial lines.
When you start to lose collagen, you will find that your skin starts sagging, hair falling, and joints aching. It is difficult for our body to generate and refill existing collagen. To make up for this loss, doctors recommend taking it in an external form. Hence, collagen powders come into the picture. There are many proven health benefits of collagen powder.
Health benefits of Collagen Powder:
Prevents Skin Aging
Collagen makes up around one-third of our skin. Here are a few health benefits of collagen powder for skin:
- It shields the largest organ in the body against the damage caused by free radicals, pollution, UV rays, and other external sources.
- Collagen supplements support the production of other proteins such as elastin required to keep the skin in good health. It helps structure the skin in terms of hydration and elasticity.
- When the body starts to lose collagen, the skin automatically becomes dry and saggy. The supplements prevent wrinkles and provide a natural glow to your skin.
- Collagen also delays the signs of aging. It has antioxidant properties equivalent to fruits and vegetables. The supplement also improves skin density and firmness. Thus, providing a youthful radiance.
For Stronger Hair
Collagen is a major component of your hair. The health benefits of collagen powder for hair are:
- The most important thing for our hair to grow is keratin. Keratin is commonly known as hair protein. Collagen increases its production so that our locks remain stronger and longer.
- Proline (an amino acid) saves the hair from the damaging results of free radicals. It also boosts the volume by strengthening the roots. Collagen keeps proline levels in check.
- Collagen keeps the dermal layer and hair follicles that make our hair healthy. When collagen levels lower, our follicles become brittle. And the dermal layer gets flaky resulting in hair fall.
For Thicker Nails
One of the many health benefits of collagen powder includes thicker nails. Consuming collagen can boost the strength of your nails by stopping brittleness. Brittle nail syndrome is a common condition marked by nail surface roughness and peeling.
If your nails are not growing, then collagen is the answer. The supplements help revive and grow thick, shiny nails. It even repairs damaged nails, advances healthy growth, and prevents nails from breaking.
Increases Bone Strength
Bones are made largely of collagen which gives the density. Our bone matrix is composed of at least 90% of collagen fibers.
Our bones are composed of collagen that gives them strength. Just as collagen levels decline with age, so does bone health. This results in various conditions like arthritis and osteoporosis leading to low bone density.
Collagen strengthens bone and connective tissues. And increases Bone Mineral Density (BMD). It also reduces the risks of bone fractures and serious injuries.
Grows Muscles Mass
Increasing muscle mass is another important health benefits of collagen powder. The natural ageing process wears out muscles, causing extreme muscle loss. With muscle loss, collagen also decreases. Collagen supplements can reverse this damage.
If you work out a lot, then you should take them daily. Studies say that collagen powder can build more muscle mass.
For Healthy Gut
Leaky gut is a condition in which bacteria “leaks” through the intestine. Our intestine acts as a wall controlling what goes inside our bloodstreams. When this wall develops gaps or becomes loose, bacteria passes easily inside our vessels. And they can cause various diseases like bloating, indigestion, food allergies, and skin illnesses.
Collagen supports connective tissues throughout your digestive tract. It can maintain a healthy gut and prevent the condition.
How can you support Collagen Production?
It is our body’s natural process to lower the collagen levels as we age. Thus, nothing can be done specifically to support it naturally. As you can not control factors like UV rays, aging, etc. Therefore, doctors suggest taking a collagen supplement to support the body’s natural generation.
Side Effects of Collagen Supplements:
Collagen supplements are well-researched and are safer for consumption. However, people with allergies from eggs or fish take special care. They should consult their doctor beforehand.
Possible short-term side effects include bloating and bad taste. Our body will adapt to these changes quickly. And will provide its health benefits.
Which collagen supplement is the best?
Now that we know the health benefits of collagen powder, here which supplement is the best for you? A hydrolyzed collagen or collagen peptides make up a good collagen supplement. We all know that our body breaks down protein into amino acids. Collagen is also a protein. So what hydrolyzed collagen does is that it breaks down collagen (proteins) into smaller amino acids. Our body absorbs smaller amino acids very easily. They come primarily in powder form. Hence, a hydrolyzed collagen powder is always recommended.
Collagen comes in various other forms- marine and bovine, to be precise. Marine collagen, as the name suggests, comes from fish. While bovine collagen is sourced from cow bones. Marine collagen is proven to work the most successfully on healing your bones and rebuilding skin health.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body. Aging and other external factors contribute to its decline. Therefore, our body requires collagen from an external source. There are proven health benefits of collagen powders. It is overall safe to consume. But do check for allergies before taking it.