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Collagen supplements: Health benefits, indications, safety, and time of action

Collagen supplements

Collagen is one of the main protein forms in the body. It is found in the connective tissue, bones, tendons, ligaments, and muscles. It is made in the body from essential amino acids but can also be taken from external sources (natural or as supplements). The supplement forms are gaining popularity these days. But often there are a number of queries related to collagen supplements that may not be easily answered. Read on to know everything on these supplements.

Collagen and its supplements

Collagen, a vital body protein is in skin, muscles, bones, and connective tissue. It provides and strength to these tissues. Normally, the body synthesizes it and it is also available to the body after eating foods such as pork skin and bone broth. Additionally, collagen supplements are available in the market. They are in demand in it, collagen is in a hydrolyzed form. Hence it is easier to digest it and absorption of it into the body is faster. It has a number of health benefits such as joint pains and skin integrity.

Health benefits of collagen supplements

Collagen is an integral part of skin. It strengthens it and also is required for its hydration and elasticity. When collagen is reduced due to any reason including the age factor, the skin sags. Wrinkles form and the skin becomes dry. In order to have a young look and rejuvenate aging skin, collagen supplements are required. Here comes the role of these peptides of collagen. It improved the elasticity and hydration of the skin in women when they took 2.5 to 5 gms of collagen supplements daily for 8 weeks. Other studies have confirmed these findings. These supplements also stimulate the body to increase the production of collagen, elastin, and fibrillin.

Collagen supplements are useful for the rebuilding of the cartilage of joints. Studies have shown that using collagen supplements lessens joint pain and age-related joint problems. Some studies on athletes taking these supplements revealed that it helped them overcome their pain at rest and during activity. It lessens the inflammation and cartilage regeneration improves. For the benefit and lubrication of the joints of the body, one needs around 8 to 12 gms. Collagen also aids in the prevention of bone loss. It makes it denser and stronger. Taking it alongwith calcium helps in osteoporosis. More research in this field would make things clearer.

Similarly, the supplements boost muscle mass and help in its proper functioning. They stimulate muscle growth after exercise and increase the creatine synthesis of muscles. It is good for the heart and decreases heart-related problems. It gives support to arteries. Adults on collagen supplements notice lesser artery stiffness. Levels of good cholesterol rise and the risk of heart attacks lessen.

Other benefits include nail and hair growth, fir gut and brain health, also in weight loss. But its role in weight loss is unproven.

How long it takes collagen supplements to work?

Collagen is part of the animal kingdom and hence foods rich in it are fish, pork and chicken skin, beef, and bone broth. Gelatin is a form of collagen obtained after cooking the latter. People with allergies to animal collagen should avoid the supplements. Eating collagen gives a bad after-taste in the mouth. It can also cause heartburns and a feeling of fullness.

People on collagen supplements can expect some results on their bodies after a few weeks. Usually, a time frame of 4 weeks is required before any discernible effect is noticed. The exact time varies from individual to individual because several factors affect the ultimate outcome.