Collagen supplements – benefits and side effects

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Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body which holds the whole body together. It is found in the bones, muscles, skin and tendons, where it forms a scaffold to provide strength and structure. It is the thing that keeps us looking good and youthful so no wonder we always want more of it.

As we grow older, the amount of collagen is lowering. By the age of 25, the levels of collagen decrease for  1.5% yearly. By the age of 40, we use more collagen than our body can produce so by the age of 60, more than a half body stores are spent.  But the good news is that we actually can do something to stop and slow this process. Lost body collagen stores can be replaced through the right supplements.

It is among the rarest supplements about which the great majority of nutritionists will give you thumbs up. It is strongly believed that all of us should include it in our diets. It has many benefits, but there are also few side effects. Here we will list both benefits and side effects, in order to help you decide whether to include it in your daily plan or not.

There are many forms of collagen supplements. Oral collagen supplements in pill or liquid form help ease arthritis, help in weight loss efforts, build muscle and rejuvenate skin. Collagen creams promise to prevent wrinkles. Collagen injections make the skin appear fuller, eliminating facial wrinkles. These injections are also used to create fuller lips. It is up to you and your needs to decide which of these you’ll take.

Health benefits of collagen supplements:

  1. Skin health: As the skin undergoes natural aging, its structure begins to deteriorate. Supplements increase strength around high movement areas of the skin where wrinkles form. Fortifying the skin’s structure by eating collagen also results in the strengthening of pore walls, slowing down sagging skin and enlarged pores. The result is more youthful looking skin.
  2. Hair and nails health: During the process of ageing, collagen production is reduced, so our hair and nails gradually become more brittle. Collagen is a key component to new hair growth and hair quality. Supplemental collagen can increase the hair shaft, improve hair and nail growth, and improve its quality to reduce breakage.
  3. Joint health: Amino acids in collagen repair our tissue. They have anti-inflammatory effects and are very effectivewith rebuilding joints. A recent study showed that collagen stimulates osteoblasts, cells that are responsible for bone formation.
  4. Athletic performances: Active people and sportsmen use collagen because it is proved to help in tissue reparation, reducing inflammation and in recovery after injuries. Also, they lower risks from muscle and ligament injuries. It also improves athletic performances, by increasing muscular mass.
  5. Weight-loss: Collagen is very rich in proteins. Studies showed that it is best to eat collagen for breakfast, it will be used most, and it will decrease your lunch portion for even 20%.
  6. Sleep: It is proved that collagen intake can improve your sleep quality. It also fights sleepiness during the day and improves the processes of learning and memorizing.

 

Just like any other supplement, there are few side effects of collagen intake. These are:

  1. Most common side effect of collagen intake is lingering taste in the mouth, but it usually subsides in 30 to 60 minutes. It is said that taking these pills with some kind of fruit juice can mask this bad taste. Acidic fruit juices, such as orange, apple, grape and tomato, can lower the collagen supplement’s strength and potency; therefore, they should be avoided.
  2. Possible allergic reaction for individuals allergic to collagen sources (bovine, porcine, fish, shellfish, and chicken).
  3. Some people who take collagen supplements have reported decreased appetite. Depending on person’s particular situation, this could be a side effect or a benefit.
  4. High calcium levels or hypercalcemia may occur as possible side effects of collagen supplements. Too much calcium in the body causes constipation, bone pain, fatigue, nausea, vomiting and abnormal heart rhythms.

We hope that we helped you to be more informed on this topic, but if you really consider taking some of the supplements in your daily plan, we recommend talking to your doctor and asking him for his opinion. There are a lot of pharmaceutical companies and therefore a lot of different types of products, so it is of your best interest to ask for a professional advice.

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