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What’s the Deal with Collagen Supplements?

Collagen supplements have gained popularity as an easy fix for healthier skin, hair, and nails. Available in traditional capsules or as a powder that can be stirred into your morning coffee, it seems like a straightforward method to boost your intake of this kind of protein. However, what does clinical research have to say about the actual benefits of collagen supplements?

What is collagen?

Collagen is a type of protein that is highly abundant in your body. It is sussed in a variety of bodily systems including strengthening your bones and providing your skin with elasticity.

Of the 28 types of collagen, four are most prominent in supplements:

Type 1: Found in all connective tissue

Type 2: Makes up your joints

Type 3: Comprises reticular fibers (think skin and blood vessels)

Type 4: Found in the kidneys, inner ear, and eye lens.

People generally take supplements containing one to five different kinds of collagen, and they are typically marketed toward post-workout muscle repair, and skin and hair improvements.

What are the benefits?

The research on collagen supplements has picked up speed in recent years, and new evidence suggests a real benefit to taking additional collagen.

Several studies have found a correlation between taking collagen supplements and improved skin hydration and elasticity. As collagen plays such a significant role in your skin, it’s no wonder that encouraging its production may help slow down the aging process and deter wrinkles and dryness.

Similarly, collagen is a key component of hair and nail growth, and there is evidence that incorporating it as a supplement may address brittle nails and help to boost healthy hair growth.

Given that Type 2 collagen is highly concentrated in the joints, this supplement is often recommended for people with arthritis and general joint pain. It seems that supplementing the amount of collagen in your system helps to compensate for the natural decrease of cartilage integrity as you age.

Additionally, collagen supplements may help in preventing the loss of bone mass during the aging process This could potentially prevent or slow the onset of osteoporosis in some people, by inhibiting the loss of bone density.

As always, this supplement may not be beneficial to every individual and should not be taken without the advice of a medical professional. Collagen supplements appear to be clinically backed but may be harmful to people with certain conditions.

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