Collagen is an abundant protein, and it’s the main component of our connective tissues. It performs several functions like strengthening the bones, tightening skin, etc. Recently collagen supplements have become very popular in the market. Most of them are hydrolyzed. It means supplement producing companies have broken down collagen so people can easily absorb it. Collagen offers some significant health benefits, but it is not free from side effects. This post will discuss the benefits and risks of consuming collagen and finally reveal whether it is safe or not.
Collagen supplements provide a lot of benefits ranging from developing muscle mass to preventing bone loss. In this section, we will discuss a few of them:
- Collagen works excellent in improving skin health by boosting its elasticity and hydration. As people age, their bodies start to produce less collagen, leading to dry skin and wrinkle formations. However, if you consume collagen supplements, it will slow your aging by reducing skin dryness and wrinkles.
- Our bones are mainly made of collagen. With the deterioration of collagen production, our bone mass also starts to lose its strength. It might result in osteoporosis characterized by low bone density. Doctors often recommend calcium supplements combined with collagen to treat conditions like osteoporosis.
- Many studies have shown the fact that collagen supplements can also reduce heart-related diseases. When we produce less collagen, our arteries become weak. It leads to heart diseases. On the other hand, when people consume collagen, their arteries become stronger and carry more blood from the heart to the body’s different parts.
- Cartilage is a rubber-like tissue that protects joints. Collagen is responsible for maintaining the integrity of the cartilage. When people get older, the amount of collagen production in their body starts to decrease. That’s why many older adults suffer from joint disorders like osteoarthritis, but consuming collagen supplements helps them to relieve joint pain.
- Around 10% of our muscle tissue is made of collagen. That’s why collagen is essential for keeping muscles healthy and functional. Sarcopenia is a disease that occurs due to loss of muscle mass. People suffering from sarcopenia can consider taking collagen supplements to treat this condition.
Collagen doesn’t have any side effects, but some supplements can be made of common food allergens like eggs, fish, etc. If you have allergies to any foods, consider checking the supplement label first to ensure that it doesn’t contain the substance that causes you allergic reactions. Many people have reported that supplements leave a bad taste in their mouths. It is not a side effect, but you must be aware of the fact.
Is It Safe?
Overall, it is fair to conclude that collagen supplements are safe for most consumers. It is widely available in the market in various forms, including tablets, powders, and capsules. But it is recommended to consult with your doctor before consuming it. The standard dose of collagen supplements is between 2.5 to 10 grams every day. However, many supplement makers recommend users consume up to 30 grams of collagen daily basis. So, you must consult with a health care expert to know about your proper dose.
Collagen is found in the tissues of animals. It means foods like beef, chicken skin, fish, and pork skin, are good collagen sources. While talking about collagen, you must also know about gelatin, a protein substance obtained from collagen. Foods like bone broth (it contains gelatin) can also provide collagen. It has a bioavailable form of collagen that the human body can use right away. That’s why bone broth is often referred to as more superior to supplements. There are a few more foods that can surprisingly boost the collagen production level of the body. The list includes the followings:
- Bone broth
- Tropical fruits
- Egg whites
- Leafy greens
- Citrus fruits
- Bell peppers
- Fish and shellfish
- Berries and more
Digestive enzymes break down collagen-rich foods into peptides and amino acids. However, when it comes to collagen supplements, the collagen profile is either hydrolyzed or already broken down. When people consume collagen supplements, absorbing collagen becomes easier for them compared to collagen in whole foods. Researchers still don’t know whether collagen-rich foods are as effective as collagen supplements or not.
Collagen supplements provide various health benefits, and it has least known risks. If you want to improve skin health or prevent bone loss, then you can consider consuming it.