While we’re young, we don’t need to worry too much about collagen, but that changes with age.
Unfortunately, as we age our collagen levels decline and it can lead to some of those dreaded signs of aging. Fortunately, we can increase our collagen levels, but how do we know it’s time to start taking a collagen supplement?
Keep reading for the signs you should be looking for.
What is collagen?
Collagen is naturally produced by and the most abundant protein found in the body. It is a “complex protein” that contains 19 different amino acids, including arginine, glutamine, glycine and proline. It has been called the “glue” that holds the body together and is vital to skin, bone, joint/tendon strength and digestive health. However, with age, the body’s natural collagen production begins to slow down.
6 signs that you would benefit from taking collagen
- If you experience joint pain
With the natural loss of collagen as we age, joints begin to swell and get stiff. Research shows that collagen helps the joints move smoothly while reducing pain and the risk of joint deterioration. In addition to many studies, a specific study out of the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago, published in the International Journal of Medical Sciences has confirmed collagen’s ability to help treat arthritis symptoms.
- If you are fighting the effects of aging skin, have cellulite or stretch marks Taking collagen helps to minimize fine lines and wrinkles, create more supple skin, better elasticity, plump up sagging skin and reduce cellulite and stretch marks. The best benefit of all is that it gives your skin a “youthful glow”.
- If you have weak hair, nails and/or teeth
Because collagen is the building block of nails, hair and teeth, supplementing with collagen can improve the health of all three.
- If you have low energy and/or want leaner muscles
A boost in collagen may increase your metabolism by adding lean muscle mass to your
frame. Glycine, which is found in collagen, helps form muscle tissue by converting
glucose into energy that then feeds your muscle cells. This process improves your
- If you have high blood pressure (hypertension)
The amino acid proline helps clear fat accumulation in the arteries, repairs tissue within the joints and arteries, and helps control blood pressure. Another amino acid, arginine, helps widen the arteries and relax the blood vessels for better circulation.
- If you suffer from leaky gut
Collagen helps break down proteins, soothes the gut’s lining, and heals damaged cell walls which can help prevent or treat leaky gut syndrome. Research published in the Journal of Clinical Pathology found that concentrations of collagen are decreased in patients with IBD and leaky gut issues. Therefore, supplementing with collagen will benefit your digestive health.
How can you supplement with collagen?
Collagen occurs naturally in bone broth, but you can also eat foods that help your body naturally boost its collagen. Foods that are high in vitamin C like citrus fruits, dark leafy greens, strawberries, and blueberries can help with collagen production. You can also find collagen as a powder and because it is tasteless, you can easily add it to your drinks, oatmeal, yogurt etc. Some people opt to get it injected into their skin for cosmetic purposes to plump their skin and make it more supple. Collagen is also available to take in capsule form. Be sure to take hydrolyzed collagen as its small amino acids are easily absorbed into the body and most effective in this form.
However you take it, hydrolyzed collagen can benefit everyone as they age because who doesn’t want to have younger looking skin and relieve the joint pain that’s bound to happen with aging, stiffening joints.