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Why Collagen is Good for You: Benefits & Ways to Supplement

Why Collagen is Good for You: Benefits & Ways to Supplement

, by Aussie Pharma Direct, 11 min reading time

For centuries, people have intuitively understood the importance of collagen-rich foods. Ancient cultures around the world incorporated bone broths and stews made with animal parts – rich sources of collagen – into their diets, and we’re still doing it till today. 

Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies, making up about one-third of its protein composition. It’s found in our skin, bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments, acting like a glue that holds everything together. Here, we'll explore the role of collagen - how it supports these features, the science behind its benefits, and the different ways you can incorporate collagen into your daily routine.

What is collagen?

Collagen is a protein that plays a vital role in our bodies, often referred to as the building block of our skin, hair, nails, and connective tissues. It is the most abundant protein in the human body. It acts like a kind of molecular glue, providing structure and support to our connective tissues – think skin, bones, muscles, and even our tendons. It's also a key component in the production of keratin, a protein essential for healthy hair and nails.

Collagen is made up of long chains of amino acids, primarily glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline. These amino acids are essential for maintaining the structure and function of collagen.

What are the benefits of collagen?

Collagen offers a multitude of benefits that extend far beyond its famous role in beauty and anti-aging.

1. Improved skin health 

Collagen is renowned for its ability to improve skin elasticity and hydration. In fact, in a study conducted on 72 healthy women aged 35 years or older, it was proven that oral collagen peptides, together with other dermonutrients (like vitamin C, zinc, biotine etc.), significantly improved skin hydration, elasticity, roughness, and density after three months of intake. So, by supplementing with collagen, you can reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, leading to a smoother, more youthful complexion.

2. Stronger hair and nails

Hair and nails are primarily composed of keratin, a protein that relies on collagen for its strength and resilience. Regular collagen intake can lead to thicker, shinier hair and stronger, less brittle nails. This makes collagen a popular choice for those looking to improve their hair and nail health naturally.

3. Joint and bone health

Collagen plays a critical role in maintaining the integrity of cartilage, which cushions and supports our joints. As we age, collagen production decreases, leading to joint pain and stiffness. Supplementing with collagen can help reduce joint discomfort, improve mobility, and support overall joint health. Additionally, collagen provides essential support for bone density, reducing the risk of fractures and osteoporosis.

4. Gut health

Collagen contains amino acids such as glycine and glutamine, which are vital for maintaining a healthy gut lining. A 2022 study on the effect of daily collagen peptide supplementation on digestive symptoms show that these amino acids help repair the intestinal barrier, reducing inflammation and promoting better digestion, although more research needs to be done. This makes collagen beneficial for individuals with leaky gut syndrome or other digestive issues.

5. Muscle mass and recovery

Collagen is a key component of muscle tissue and contributes to muscle mass and strength. It may aid in muscle repair and recovery, making it particularly beneficial for athletes and those engaged in regular physical activity. By supporting muscle health, collagen helps improve overall physical performance and reduces the risk of injury.

6. Heart health

Collagen provides structure to the arteries, which are responsible for transporting blood from the heart to the rest of the body. It's does not have a direct impact to heart health but healthy collagen levels help maintain the elasticity and flexibility of these blood vessels, reducing the risk of arterial stiffness and cardiovascular diseases.

7. Weight management

Protein-rich foods, including collagen supplements, help maintain satiety and prevent overeating, making it easier to maintain a healthy weight.

What collagen should you take?

Choosing the right type of collagen can seem overwhelming, but understanding the different types and their unique benefits can help you make an informed decision. Collagen supplements come in various forms, each designed to support specific aspects of health and wellness. These are main types of collagen and ways they can benefit you.

1. Type I Collagen

  • Source: Mainly derived from bovine (cow), marine (fish), and eggshell membranes.
  • Benefits: Type I collagen is the most abundant collagen in the human body and is a major component of skin, tendons, bones, and ligaments. It is particularly effective in improving skin health, promoting skin elasticity, and reducing wrinkles. It also supports the health of bones and tendons.

2. Type II Collagen

  • Source: Primarily found in chicken cartilage.
  • Benefits: Type II collagen is the main collagen in cartilage. It is known for its role in joint health, providing cushioning and support to the joints. Supplementing with Type II collagen can help reduce joint pain and improve mobility, making it beneficial for those with osteoarthritis or other joint issues.

3. Type III Collagen

  • Source: Often found alongside Type I collagen in bovine sources.
  • Benefits: Type III collagen is abundant in the skin, muscles, and blood vessels. It helps support skin firmness and elasticity and is crucial for the health of internal organs and blood vessels. It is often used in conjunction with Type I collagen to enhance overall skin health.

4. Type V Collagen

  • Source: Found in the placenta and eggshell membranes.
  • Benefits: Type V collagen plays a significant role in the formation of collagen fibers in connective tissue. It supports the health of the skin, hair, and nails and is essential for creating healthy cell membranes and the tissues of the placenta during pregnancy.

4. Type X Collagen

  • Source: Found in chicken and bovine sources.
  • Benefits: Type X collagen is important for the formation of new bone and cartilage. It is particularly beneficial for joint health and the repair of cartilage, making it a valuable supplement for those recovering from joint injuries or looking to maintain joint health.

Are collagen supplements worth it?

Collagen supplements have gained immense popularity in recent years, promising a range of benefits from glowing skin to healthier joints. But are they really worth it? The answer largely depends on your individual health goals and lifestyle. For many people, collagen supplements can indeed be worth the investment, offering an effective way to support overall health and beauty.

Getting collagen from food

Before turning to supplements, it’s important to know that you can naturally boost your collagen levels through your diet. Here are some excellent food sources of collagen:

  • Bone broth
  • Chicken skin and cartilage
  • Fish and shellfish (mainly from fish skin and scales)
  • Egg whites and eggshell membrane
  • Citrus fruits
  • Leafy greens
  • Berries
  • Garlic

Supplementing with collagen

While it’s possible to get collagen from these food sources, many people find that supplements offer a more convenient and targeted way to boost their collagen intake. Here’s a quick overview of the various forms of collagen supplements:

  • Powders: These are versatile and can be easily added to smoothies, coffee, or any beverage of your choice. They are a popular option for those who want to incorporate collagen into their daily routine without altering their diet significantly.
  • Capsules: Ideal for those who prefer a quick and easy method. Capsules provide a precise dosage and are convenient for on-the-go use.
  • Liquids: Often flavoured and ready to drink, liquid collagen supplements are another convenient option for those who want an immediate and tasty way to boost their collagen intake.
  • Gummies: A fun and flavourful alternative, collagen gummies make supplementation enjoyable and are especially appealing to those who dislike swallowing pills.
  • Collagen protein bars: For those looking for a nutritious snack that also boosts collagen levels, collagen protein bars are a great option. They combine the benefits of protein and collagen, making them perfect for a post-workout snack or a quick, healthy treat.

Are there any good brands for collagen supplements?

Since the popularity of collagen supplements has soared, the Australian market offers a wide range of options. Here are a few reputable brands to consider:

  • The Collagen Co.
  • Swisse Beauty
  • Nutra Organics
  • Gelatin Health

Prefer a tastier option? If you'd rather ditch the capsules and enjoy your collagen in a more delightful way, then Chief is a brand worth exploring.

Chief focuses on using organic, grass-fed Aussie beef in their products. Specifically for their collagen-infused offerings, they utilise bovine collagen, which aligns well with Type I collagen – the primary type for skin health. But the best part? Both their collagen powder and protein bars come in a variety of flavours, making it a delicious way to support your well-being.

Chief's products are considered some of the best healthy snacks and supplements around because they contain no added sugar or preservatives. So, you can indulge your taste buds while potentially reaping the benefits of collagen.

The final take on collagen

Collagen plays a crucial role in maintaining healthy skin, hair, and nails. While its natural production declines with age, the good news is there are ways to support your body's collagen levels and potentially experience some of the benefits firsthand.

Whether you choose to incorporate it through dietary sources, lifestyle changes, or specific products like powders, bars, or capsules, the key is to find what works best for you. By understanding the different types and exploring various options, you can find a way to incorporate collagen into your routine and potentially experience its amazing benefits.


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