Health

Why Is Collagen So Important For Our Health?

Collagen is most abundant protein in our bodies, found in our muscles, bones, digestive system, tendons, and blood vessels. The easiest way to look at collagen is as the “glue” that keeps us together…

Ultimately, collagen is what gives strength and elasticity to our skin and binds cells and tissues together while maintaining their form and integrity. Collagen sends out important signals to our body's cells, telling them to repair damaged cells and overcome inflammation.

As we age, collagen production in the body naturally begins to slow down, which is why it's important to get enough collagen from our diet to help combat the signs of ageing, such as wrinkles, sagging skin, digestive issues, and joint pain. 

Top 5 Benefits of Collagen

Strengthens hair and nails

Collagen may be beneficial in stimulating hair and nail growth, making them thicker and stronger. Specifically, increasing nail strength by reducing brittleness and making them less prone to breakage with a study demonstrating a reduction in broken nails and increase in nail length when collagen peptides were taken daily.

Improves gut health

Collagen helps form connective tissue within the body, therefore it can be assumed it can assist to strengthen the mucosal membrane in the gut. In-depth studies are still lacking in this area, though many people are using it as a complementary medicine for inflammatory bowel disease.

Improves your skin

Collagen is one of the major components of our skin, providing strength, elasticity, and hydration.

Collagen peptides of fish origin have been shown to deliver numerous benefits to skin health, including:

  • significantly increasing skin hydration
  • increasing the collagen content and dermal matrix

Overall it can increase the collagen content within the skin and enhance its hydration, reducing wrinkles and improving hallmark signs of aging. This can be attributed to the functionality of collagen supplements, allowing the body to produce collagen on its own. 

Reduces joint pain

As our bodies age, the amount of collagen in the body decreases and the risk of joint disorders, such as osteoarthritis, increases. Bioactive Collagen has been shown to assist with reducing pain during exercise and at rest by ~28%, however it is not effective in alleviating all pain.

Overall, it's an interesting option that may help some people suffering from joint disorders reduce their pain and make moving a little easier, however choosing a bioavailable form of collagen peptides is essential.

Boosts muscle mass

Collagen is a protein that assists with muscle strength and the proper functioning of muscles. Studies suggest collagen supplements can help boost muscle mass in individuals with declining muscle strength, boosting their muscle mass gain and muscular strength when taken in combination with regular resistance exercise.

With significant research into collagen as a supplement it's been deduced there are a number of potential benefits to taking collagen supplements, most notably for those suffering declining strength, joint health, and skin integrity.

If you're intrigued by the benefits of collagen but aren't keen to commit to supplements, beef and chicken stock are a great source of collagen you can easily incorporate into your diet.

 

For specific, individualised advice on incorporating collagen into your diet it is best to seek guidance from a Dietitian or your GP.

Peta Adams, APD

Article by Peta Adams, APD

Peta is an experienced no nonsense dietitian who enjoys cutting through the media spin to deliver realistic and achievable nutrition strategies for each of her clients. She has expertise to assist a wide range of clients with chronic and acute illness, particularly those with Diabetes, Disordered eating as well as generous experience with managing client's Food Allergies and Intolerances. She is also trained in the SOS approach to feeding fussy children with sensory difficulties and has postgraduate qualifications in Paediatric/Adolescent nutrition.

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