What is collagen?
There are 28 kinds of collagen which is the most abundant protein within the body. It’s the primary connective tissue component making up various body parts, such as muscles, ligaments, tendons, and skin.
The 4 most common types of collagen are:
Type I: This is the most common kind of collagen; strong, flexible, providing resistance to stretch, tension, and force; present in all connective tissue, particularly skin, bone, ligaments, tendons, cornea, dentin, and scar tissue.
Type II: Providing resistance to pressure, present in hyaline and articular cartilage of intervertebral discs and joints.
Type III: Providing a flexible cellular support meshwork, the primary reticular fiber component, often present in organs that include blood vessels and skin. Also abundant throughout the initial phases of wound healing and is important in the formation of granulation tissue.
Type IV: This type of collagen is a meshwork providing attachment and support to the underlying extracellular matrix that forms the basement membrane's basal lamina, a crucial component of the eye's lens, inner ear, and kidneys.
Health benefits of collagen supplements
The majority of collagen supplements are hydrolyzed, meaning the collagen has been broken down to facilitate absorption. Collagen supplements are mostly available in powder form but are also available in capsules. There are various types of collagen found in supplements, with some having 1 or 2 types of collagen, while others have as many as 5 types.
1. Collagen supplements for preventing bone loss
Bone is a complex tissue comprised mostly of a collagen matrix filled in with hydroxyapatite crystal. The mechanical properties of bone are influenced by the collagen matrix which provides them with strength and structure.1✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE DOI: 10.1007/s00223-015-9996-2
Bone mass deteriorates with age just as collagen does which can result in diseases like osteoporosis, characterized by low bone density and a greater risk of fractures of the bone. Research has suggested that collagen supplements could help inhibit the breakdown of bone which leads to osteoporosis.
Menopausal women have a greater risk for osteoporosis. The long-term effectiveness of calcium-collagen chelate for bone loss reduction in postmenopausal women has been reported in a study. Thirty-nine women were randomly allocated to 1 of 2 groups: 1 group supplementing with 5 g calcium-collagen chelate with calcium and vitamin D or a control group supplementing with calcium and vitamin D every day for 12 months.
Total body, hip bone, and lumbar mineral density were assessed at the start of the study, and also at 6 and 12 months. The loss of whole-body bone mineral density in women supplementing with calcium-collagen chelate was significantly lower compared to that of the control group at 12 months in individuals who completed the study. The results support the use of calcium-collagen chelate in bone loss reduction in postmenopausal women with osteopenia.2✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE DOI: 10.1089/jmf.2014.0100
Another study observed similar results in 66 post-menopausal women who supplemented with 5 grams of collagen every day for 12 months. Individuals who supplemented with collagen had an increase of as much as 7% in bone mineral density in comparison to individuals who didn’t supplement with collagen.3✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE DOI: 10.3390/nu10010097
2. Collagen supplements for relieving joint pain
Collagen helps in maintaining the integrity of the cushioning tissue known as cartilage that helps protect the joints. The risk of degenerative joint diseases like osteoarthritis increases as collagen diminishes with age.
Osteoarthritis is a prevalent type of degenerative joint disease and is one of the most common causes of disability. The use of collagen is increasing due to positive outcomes in osteoarthritis treatment.4✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE DOI: 10.1016/j.mad.2016.12.012
Some research indicates that collagen supplements could help improve osteoarthritis symptoms and reduce symptomatic joint pain. Hydrolyzed collagen has a positive therapeutic effect on osteoarthritis and osteoporosis with a potential increase in bone mineral density, and also a protective effect on articular cartilage.5✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE DOI: 10.1590/1809-9823.2016.14145
A review of studies involving individuals with osteoarthritis observed that collagen supplementation resulted in significant improvements in symptomatic osteoarthritis symptoms and joint stiffness. The results indicated that collagen is effective in improving the symptoms of osteoarthritis by the reduction of both the VAS score and WOMAC index.6✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE DOI: 10.1007/s00264-018-4211-5
3. Collagen supplements for supporting skin health
Human skin is for the most part composed of connective tissue rich in collagen, providing functional and structural support. This collagen-rich tissue is produced, maintained, and organized by dermal fibroblasts. Dermal collagen fibrils experience progressive loss and fragmentation throughout the aging process, resulting in structurally weakened and thin skin.7✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE DOI: 10.1159/000371708
Research has however found that collagen peptides or supplements that contain collagen could help in slowing skin aging by reducing dryness and wrinkles. A review of 11 studies comprising mostly women observed that supplementing 3-10 daily grams of collagen for 69 days on average resulted in skin elasticity and hydration improvements.
Preliminary results are encouraging for the use of supplementing collagen for skin aging and wound healing. Collagen supplementation also increases dermal collagen density, skin elasticity, and hydration. Collagen supplements are generally safe without any reported unwanted side effects.8✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE PMID: 30681787
This is a sponsored post on behalf of Physicians Preference Vitamins. The information is provided by AHealthBlog and is based on scientific research.
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