A registered dietitian breaks down the benefits of collagen.
Take a walk down the beauty aisle and you’ll find collagen-boosting products left and right. These days, this trendy ingredient is popping up in less-suspecting places. You can find collagen boosts in lattes and energy bars and flooding the shelves of the supplement aisle. But is this beauty booster worth the hype?
Let’s dig into the science behind collagen benefits.
WHAT IS COLLAGEN?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body. It makes up your connective tissues that support your joints and gives our skin its strength and elasticity. It also plays an important role in your hair, nails, bones, and intestinal lining. Collagen isn’t considered a complete protein since it doesn’t contain all nine essential amino acids. However, it’s a unique type of protein that gets the majority of its structure from two amino acids our bodies produces: glycine and proline.
As we age, collagen production slows. This gradual loss of collagen starts in the late 20s and early 30s. It’s one of the major contributors to the aging process. The most noticeable sign is skin looking less pump, which brings with it fine lines and wrinkles. Aside from age, many lifestyle factors play a role in diminishing collagen in the body. Exposure to sun, alcohol, and refined sugar all impact collagen production and speed up the aging process.
It’s no surprise the health and beauty industry has picked up on this key ingredient. Collagen is a popular ingredient in anti-aging beauty products intended to help combat wrinkles. Now it’s becoming even more popular as a supplement.
WHAT DOES SCIENCE SAY ABOUT COLLAGEN BENEFITS?
Most of the research on collagen focuses on skin, joint, and bone health. These studies look promising! Since collagen degrades and production slows as we age, the skin starts to show fine lines and wrinkles. Studies show that taking collagen can improve the skin’s moisture, elasticity, wrinkles, and roughness. Another part of the aging process includes stiff joints. Since collagen makes up part of the cartilage in our joints, this padding in our joints starts to wear as we age. Research shows that collagen helps joints move more easily and reduces pain associated with deterioration. In addition, consuming collagen peptides can help increase bone healing response. Read more…
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