What are the benefits of collagen?
While it’s the most abundant protein found in the human body, many people aren’t aware of the benefits of collagen. It can be found in bones, muscles, tendons, skin, our digestive system and our blood vessels, according to Dr. Axe. It gives skin elasticity and holds our joints together. “Think of collagen as the ‘glue’ that holds your bodies together,” wrote Dr. Amy Myers.
After age 35, your body’s production of collagen begins to slow. At around age 40, you lose collagen faster than your body can make it, and by age 60, you’ve lost more than half your body’s collagen. Other factors that contribute to reducing your collagen levels include sun and pollution exposure, nutrition, smoking and genetics.
What are the top health benefits of collagen?
There are many health benefits of collagen, far beyond just looking better. Collagen does the following:
- Improves and strengthens your hair, skin, teeth and nails – Wrinkles, looser skin, stretch marks and cellulite can all be the result of lower collagen. When you eat more of it, your skin will look firmer and smoother.
- Helps repair leaky gut – If you have a leaky gut where toxins can pass through your digestive tract into the rest of your body, it can wreak havoc on your entire system. Collagen can help seal your intestines and heal leaky gut. If you suffer from inflammatory bowel disease of any kind, collagen may help your digestion.
- Reduces or prevents joint pain and acts as an anti-inflammatory – Collagen functions much like the oil in a car engine: it helps ligaments, tendons and joints glide smoothly. Less collagen can mean swollen, stiff and painful joints. Collagen has been shown to help relieve osteoarthritis pain, according to the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago.
- Increases your metabolism and muscle mass – The amino acid glycine found in collagen helps convert glucose into energy and increase lean muscle. More lean muscle means a faster metabolism since muscle burns more calories than fat. Taking vitamin C along with collagen aids this process.
- Helps support your liver and detox systems – Glycine helps protect your liver from toxins and can help repair any liver damage.
- Protects your heart and cardiovascular health – Proline, another component of collagen, may help repair arteries and clear fat deposits from them. It’s also been shown to reduce blood pressure.
How should you supplement collagen?
You can add collagen to your diet by eating foods high in it. The main sources of collagen in your diet will likely be foods high in protein, such as beef, chicken, fish and eggshell membranes. Bone broth is an excellent way to get collagen in your diet.
You can also take a collagen supplement as a powder or capsule; there are many on the market. The powder dissolves easily into tea, soups, smoothies or even baked goods.
Collagen can help you achieve greater health, so make sure you’re getting enough of it to reap the benefits.
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