Have you ever wondered, What Are The Health Benefits of Collage and Why Is Collagen So Popular? Can Collage Boost Hair, Skin and Nail Health? Can Collagen Support Gut Health? Collagen has risen in popularity over the past few years and people are consuming collagen for a variety of reasons. In today’s blog post we will explore what collagen is, its potential health benefits and how to use collagen!
What Is Collagen & How Does It Work In The Body?
Collagen is a fibrous protein that holds the body together by maintaining its structure and is found in your hair, skin, nails, teeth, tendons, blood vessels and cartilage. Did you know that it is the most abundant protein found in the body? Collagen is mainly secreted by connective tissue cells through specific vitamins and minerals and goes through many processes. It can replace or restore dead cells and also act as a protective covering to delicate organs. Collagen production within the body reduces with age and exposure to environmental causes such as UV light, smoking and food choices. The key vitamin in collagen production is vitamin C. Vitamin C plays a variety of roles such as converting and changing the molecular structure of collagen. Individuals who consume meat are likely consuming enough amino acids and key nutrients to produce collagen easily, however, plant-based diets are still adequate in producing collagen as well.
When at your local health food store or reading about collagen online, you’re likely to come across the term collagen peptides. This simply refers to the amino acids that make up collagen. There are many different types of collagen that range in how they are structured. Currently, we do not have a lot of research about the different types to know which ones are most beneficial. Endogenous collagen is collagen that is naturally produced by the body. Exogenous collagen is synthetically made from an external source often in the form of supplements, powders and serums.
Health Benefits Of Collagen + Research
Since collagen plays a vital role in hair, skin & nail structure, its necessary for replacing dead skin cells and wound healing. This is why collagen has gained popularity in beauty products. Products claim to help reduce facial lines and give you a more glowing appearance. However, most collagen molecules are too large to absorb into the skin and may not give you the 20 year younger youthful look you were hoping for.
Another health benefit of collagen may be related to gut issues. Claims have been made that collagen can help with digestion, due to the fact that research has shown a diminished amount of collagen production in those with digestive issues. Collagen itself is essential for healing your intestinal wall. This may be beneficial for those with leaky gut. When it comes to supplements however, there is still inconclusive research done on overall gut healing.
The most promising research done on collagen is its benefits for bone and joint health. Many people have decreased pain with their osteoarthritis as well as rheumatoid arthritis when taking collagen. This may be due to the reduction of inflammation that occurs when consuming collagen. All of these findings show the potential of health benefits and as research continues, we will hopefully get clear answers as to whether or not consuming collagen can really repair and replace different functions in our body.
First and most important thing to do is to support your body’s production of collagen naturally. This comes from consuming foods that are high in vitamin C, proline and glycine (amino acids that help the synthesis of collagen). This is found in foods such as blueberries, citrus fruits, bell peppers, nuts, seeds, eggs, tomatoes and asparagus. Consuming a quality whole foods, plant-based diet can really support your body’s natural collagen production.
However, as mentioned above, exogenous collagen comes in different forms from beauty products, supplements and powders. If you are wanting to try a collagen supplement, make sure to do your research! Not all collagen is created equal and may not be high-quality. Read extensive reviews, check labeling and look for brands that use third party testing. If you are vegan or vegetarian, you will want to avoid most all supplementation since it is mainly derived from animals. Instead, find a high-quality plant-based protein that will ensure you are receiving the adequate amino acids you need!
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