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How Collagen Impacts Your Body
Here are some health benefits of collagen, as well as a few ways you can help your body naturally produce more collagen.
What is Collagen?
Collagen is one of the primary building blocks for bones, skin, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. It has many jobs in your body, including preventing blood clots, providing structure for your skin, and aiding in protein production.2
Types of Collagen
There are many different types of collagen, each playing different roles to keep your body healthy and functioning. Although there are at least 16 different types of collagen, here are the main 4 that make a difference in our body’s functioning:
- Type I – This type of collagen makes up about 90% of collagen in the human body. Type I collagen helps with your skin by aiding in its health and elasticity.3 The production of this type of collagen starts to slow after 25 years of age.
- Type II – Type II consists of loosely packed fibers and is necessary for building and maintaining cartilage throughout your body.2
- Type III – This type of collagen supports the structure of many important parts in the body including muscles and organs.2
- Type IV – Type IV is found in the layers of your skin and is a part of the basement membrane, a membrane that surrounds and protects cells, including the skeletal and heart muscles.4
Health Benefits of Collagen
There are many health benefits of collagen, including:
- Skin and hair health – Collagen improves skin elasticity, hydrates the skin, and helps prevent thinning hair. According to a review published in Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, the researchers found throughout numerous studies that patients who took up to 10 grams of collagen each day showed improvement in skin elasticity and moisture retention.6
- Stronger bones – Your bones become more brittle as you age, but collagen can help keep them healthy and strong. Foods that promote collagen production can help make your bones dense, as well as slow the bone aging process.5
- Joint Aches and Pain – Collagen supports connective tissues and improves joint pain caused by exercise. According to a study published in the Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism Journal, athletes with knee pain who took 5 grams of collagen daily for 12 weeks had less joint pain than those in the placebo group.7
Collagen is vital to your body and its functions. However, the older you get, the less collagen your body naturally produces.
In order to help promote collagen production, some people try to eat more foods containing protein. Others add collagen to their tea, smoothies, and coffee.
Here are some ways to help your body naturally produce more collagen as well as some other alternatives you can use to promote collagen production. If you think you are collagen deficient, consult with a doctor about healthy ways to add more collagen into your diet.
Natural Collagen Production
All collagen starts off as procollagen, which your body makes by combining two amino acids: glycine and proline.2
To help your body naturally produce collagen, there are certain nutrients you can consume that will enhance collagen production.
- Vitamin C – Vitamin C is essential for many reasons, one of them being collagen production. You can find vitamin C in many foods, including citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons.8
- Proline – Proline, an amino acid, is needed to make procollagen. Proline is found in egg whites, dairy products, asparagus, and more.
- Glycine – Glycine is another amino acid needed to make procollagen. Glycine is found in pork and chicken skin, as well as more high-protein foods.
Foods that Promote Collagen Production
Eating a diet with a sustainable amount of protein, vitamins, and minerals helps your body produce collagen. Here are some food options if you want to help your body produce more collagen:
- Dairy products
- Whole grains
Aside from the many foods packed with protein and minerals, another option to consume collagen is bone broth. Bone broth contains a great amount of collagen from beef, chicken, or fish bones, depending on which kind you get. You can drink bone broth as a liquid or use it in a dish as an ingredient.
Not only does bone broth contain collagen, but it also provides many other health benefits, including:
- It is rich in nutrients such as zinc, vitamin A, and iron
- It can help maintain joints and provide relief from pain
- It can aid in digestion
- It can help you feel full and satisfied for a longer period of time because of the protein10
Try Collagen Today
If you’re interested in the health benefits of collagen, try eating a healthy diet that promotes collagen production.
If you have questions about how a collagen deficiency may affect you and your body, talk with your doctor.
Here at Saber Healthcare, our Dietary department works to create meals that meet each resident’s nutritional needs and provide them with the necessary protein and vitamins. Click here to learn more about what we do.
Saber Healthcare is an organization dedicated to providing consultant services to long term care providers. This article is for informational purposes and is not meant to be seen as professional advice. Please consult with a medical expert before relying on the information provided.
- Migala, Jessica. “8 Potential Health Benefits of Collagen – and 1 Thing It Can’t Do.” Everyday Health, everydayhealth.com. September 8th, 2020. Accessed August 17th, 2021. https://www.everydayhealth.com/skin-beauty/potential-health-benefits-of-collagen-and-thing-it-cant-do/.
- Jennings, Kerri-Ann. “Collagen – What Is It and What Is It Good For?” Healthline Media, healthline.com. May 5th, 2020. Accessed August 16th, 2021. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/collagen.
- Kumar, Karthik. “What Is the Best Form of Collagen to Take?” Medicine Net, medicinenet.com. May 17th, 2021. Accessed August 17th, 2021. https://www.medicinenet.com/what_is_the_best_form_of_collagen_to_take/article.htm.
- “Type IV Collagen.” Elsevier B.V., ScienceDirect. Accessed August 17th, 2021. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/biochemistry-genetics-and-molecular-biology/type-iv-collagen.
- “Health Benefits of Collagen.” WebMD LLC, Nourish by WebMD. Accessed August 16th, 2021. https://www.webmd.com/diet/collagen-health-benefits#1.
- “Oral Collagen Supplementation: A Systematic Review of Dermatological Applications.” Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, JDD Online. January 2019, Accessed August 17th, 2021. https://jddonline.com/articles/dermatology/S1545961619P0009X.
- “Improvement of activity-related knee joint discomfort following supplementation of specific collagen peptides.” Canadian Science Publishing, Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism Journal. January 24th, 2017. Accessed August 17th, 2021. https://cdnsciencepub.com/doi/10.1139/apnm-2016-0390#.X0v7bNNKjlw.
- “5 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Vitamin C.” Saber Healthcare Group, saberhealth.com. September 4th, 2020. Accessed August 16th, 2021. https://www.saberhealth.com/news/blog/5-vitamin-c-benefits.
- “The Best Way You Can Get More Collagen.” Cleveland Clinic, Health Essentials. May 15th, 2018. Accessed August 19th, 2021. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/the-best-way-you-can-get-more-collagen/.
- Johnson, Jon. “What are the benefits of bone broth?” Healthline Media, Medical News Today. January 12th, 2020. Accessed August 19th, 2021. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323903.