What Is Collagen?


What Is Collagen?

Collagen makes up roughly one-third of your body’s protein content. It's an important component of bones, skin, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Many other body parts, such as blood vessels, corneas, and teeth, contain collagen.

It can be thought of as the "glue" that holds everything together. The word collagen itself was derived from the Greek word "kólla," which means "glue." It serves a variety of functions, including providing structure to your skin and aiding in blood clotting.

It's become increasingly popular as a nutritional supplement and ingredient in shampoos and body lotions in recent years. Still, you might be wondering what collagen is and what it can do for you. This article provides a comprehensive overview of this crucial protein.

What are some of the advantages of collagen?

Hydrolyzed collagen (collagen hydrolysate) and gelatin are two supplements that are gaining popularity. When collagen is cooked, gelatin is formed.

These have already broken down the large protein into smaller peptides, making it easier for the body to absorb.

Collagen supplements haven't been studied extensively, but those that have been conducted show promise in the following areas.

Collagen for Weight Loss

There has been very little research on the direct relationship between collagen supplements and weight loss to date. The majority of the research are outdated or may even have worked with animals.

While more research is encouraged, current ones show how collagen supplements can help you lose weight in an indirect way.

Collagen supplements have been shown to increase satiety or the feeling of being full. This could help with losing weight and management by reducing hunger and, as a result, the number of calories consumed per day.

It's important to note that gelatin is an incomplete protein, meaning it lacks all of the essential amino acids. Supplements, on the other hand, can boost your overall protein intake, potentially increasing satiety.

Collagen for Skincare

Collagen contains hydroxyproline, an amino acid found only in young skin. Prolyl-hydroxyproline, a collagen fragment made up of only two amino acids, was discovered to cause skin cells to produce more hyaluronic acid in vitro (in cells). Hyaluronic acid is another component that helps the skin retain water.

However, you usually have little control over where your body places things. When you eat or drink a protein like collagen, enzymes in your stomach and small intestine break it down. Long before your body can absorb these small fragments, they are usually up to three amino acids long. That's a small number of amino acids. Most of the time, your body has no way of knowing that these fragments are made of collagen; they could be made of any number of proteins.

Collagen Can Help You Gain Muscle Mass

Collagen supplements have been shown to help increase muscle mass in some studies.

The benefits of taking collagen supplements while exercising was discovered in a small study of 53 men. The study's participants were given either 15 grams of collagen or a placebo pill once a day.

For 12 weeks, the participants exercised regularly. At the end of the study, those who took the collagen supplements had a significantly greater increase in muscle mass and strength than those who took the placebo pill.

Collagen, according to the researchers, aided in the production of proteins involved in muscle growth.

Although this study is encouraging, more research is needed to fully understand the beneficial effects of collagen on muscle growth.

Make Your Bones Stronger

Collagen contributes to the strength of the bones by making up a large portion of the structure.

Bones can become weaker as a person ages and collagen production slows, as the person loses the collagen needed to keep the bones strong and supported. Osteoporosis, for example, can develop as a result of this.

There is some evidence that taking collagen supplements can help prevent bone density and strength deterioration.

One small study, for example, had women take calcium or calcium and collagen supplements for a year.

The women who took the calcium and collagen had lower blood levels of a protein that breaks down bones, according to the researchers.

However, more research is needed to fully prove the benefits of collagen in promoting strong bones.

What happens if your collagen levels plummet?

Is collagen beneficial to the skin and hair? With age, the body's collagen production decreases dramatically. When this happens, your skin's elasticity and epidermal thickness decrease.

Skin damage occurs, resulting in wrinkles, crepey skin, and sagging skin. Collagen deficiency can cause stiffer and less flexible tendons and ligaments, muscle shrinkage and weakness, joint pain, osteoarthritis, and gastrointestinal issues. Hair thinning and hair loss can be exacerbated by a lack of collagen.

Are collagen supplements safe?

Only a few studies have been done to back up the safety and efficacy of collagen supplements. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States does not approve or evaluate any of these supplements. Experts believe that heavy metals like mercury and titanium may be present in these supplements.

Supplements containing collagen are generally reported to have no negative side effects. Some people may experience minor side effects such as rashes, diarrhea, or bloating.

If you are looking to purchase collagen products, it is a good idea to source your supplements and products from trusted brands like Garden of Life, for instance.

The bottom line

Collagen supplements may also help to relieve joint pain, making exercise more enjoyable.

Collagen supplements, on the other hand, aren't a magic bullet or a replacement for good habits. It's still important to eat well, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep if you want to trim down some unwanted pounds in the long run.

If you want to try collagen supplements to help you lose weight, do so as part of a comprehensive plan rather than as a substitute for good habits. It's also a good idea to consult a physician to ensure that collagen supplements are safe for you.

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