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Collagen Benefits

Collagen is another topic that I did not have a whole lot of knowledge on. So when I was asked by one of my clients, I decided to do some research of my own to get a better understanding of how collagen affects the body. By no means am I an expert in this field now, but I feel as though I have a much better base and can speak more confidently upon the effects that collagen may have.

Collagen is a type of protein that is abundant in the human body. The main impacts that collagen has on the body is to help repair the skin and strengthen bones, as it is the main structural protein found in the skin. Some other benefits of collagen may include improved joint function & joint health, prevent bone loss, and improved heart health. While some of these are not necessarily direct influences of collagen, there is some evidence that would suggest that collagen is able to help to improve certain bodily functions.

This study did a randomized trial to see the effects of a collagen supplement. In this study they had a randomized, placebo-controlled, trial that yielded positive results in favor of taking a collagen supplement. They were able to find that skin hydration, elasticity, roughness, and density were all improved through supplementation when compared to the placebo-controlled group. All of these variables were found to be statistically significant, which is strong evidence that collagen can be an effective supplement (1).

With its possible ability to help increase bone density and reduce joint pain, collagen could be very beneficial to the older population. A lot of chronic diseases is this realm, such as osteoarthritis, are somewhat related to a collagen deficiency. There is some evidence that, by increasing the collagen intake in this population, the rate of these chronic diseases could be reduced (2).

As of now, the main source of collagen is from natural animal and plant sources. However, simply ingesting collagen doesn’t automatically mean that the body will be able to process and put that collagen to use. Collagen needs to be broken down into a simpler form in order for the body to convert it to a useable substance. Once it is broken down, then it can begin the synthesizing process (3). One of the main things that helps do this is Vitamin C. Vitamin C helps to synthesize the collagen in the body and acts as the “glue” that binds the collagen fibers together. Research has found that Vitamin C also has the potential to help accelerate bone healing after a fracture as well as increase collagen synthesis (4).

Things that you can add to your diet that will help boost overall collagen production:

Bone Broth- has high amounts of collagen and can be processed by the body immediately

Chicken- is a collagen rich source due to the high amount of connective tissue in the meat

Fish- has small amounts of collagen in the meat itself, but other parts of fish are collagen enriched

Eggs- contain proline, which is and amino acid that helps with collagen production

Citrus Fruits & Berries- most citrus fruits contain high levels of Vitamin C, which is critical in the production of collagen

Beans- contain different types of amino acids that are necessary for collagen synthesis

Nuts (cashews)- have high amounts of zinc and copper which boost the body’s ability to create collagen

Other ways to increase collagen levels in your body:

Powdered Supplements- comes in scoop form and can be easily thrown into a protein shake without even noticing a difference

Coffee Sweetener- comes in scoop form and is an easy way to spice up a coffee. For those of you that enjoy a morning coffee with some sort of sweetener or cream, this might be the best option for you!

Tablet Supplements- there are chewable gummies or pills that can be swallowed, it is more personal preference than anything

**Most of these come from animal products but there are a few vegan options available


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