Collagen is the supplement of the future. As the most abundant protein in your body, it’s one of the major components of the tissue which makes up many of your body parts, including muscles, skin, tendons and ligaments.
Your body produces less and less collagen as you get older - from your twenties you lose around 1% a year - so it’s a no brainer to add more collagen to your diet as you get older to support your body and your mind.
Want to know about what collagen can do for you? We’ve put together a list of just some of its many benefits and trust us, soon you won’t be able to do without the stuff. Collagen can help to protect your heart, keep your joints supple and free of pain, promote good bone health and keep you looking youthful and glowy for longer than you thought possible.
1. Hair, skin and nails
Collagen is a big part of the makeup of your skin and hair. It strengthens your skin and could increase hydration and elasticity, helping to prevent dry skin and wrinkles. While scientific evidence about whether collagen conclusively helps to prevent or reduce signs of ageing are inconclusive thus far, some studies have shown that collagen supplement helps reduce skin dryness and elasticity, and increases the level of visible skin hydration and the depth of wrinkles. Anecdotal evidence also points towards collagen helping to prevent acne and help with other skin conditions, but more research is needed to be sure.
Additionally, taking collagen could boost your nail strength, and who doesn’t want nails that are as hard as diamonds? It could also stimulate your nails and hair to grow faster and longer.
If you’re looking for an extra boost to your skincare regime, you want to nip any signs of ageing in the bud or you’ve been experiencing lack of hydration, collagen could be the thing that gets people asking you what your skincare regime is, because you’ll be glowing from within.
This one’s a puzzler, but it’s been scientifically proved to be true. Taking collagen as a supplement has been shown to improve your bone mineral density. A study of women who took a daily collagen supplement showed improvement in their bone density a year later, especially when it was taken in conjunction with vitamin D and calcium. Researchers believe that it might trigger certain anabolic processes which promote bone growth.
The 90s didn’t just bring great R&B and hip hop into the world - it also was the time when scientists realised that taking collagen can help significantly with joint health, specifically reducing the symptoms of arthritis. It’s thought that the supplements helped to reduce pain levels and reduce inflammation, thus providing relief.
This is especially significant for athletes or people who exercise frequently, as this can put undue strain on joints and cause pain and discomfort. A study of athletes who took collagen daily for five and a half months found that it significantly decreased their joint pain both while walking and resting, compared to those who didn’t take it. If you want to maximise your ability to work out and do the exercise you love, collagen can help you get there.
4. Muscle mass
We know that protein boosts muscle mass, but what about collagen? 1-10% of muscle is collagen, and it’s necessary to keep your muscles strong and functioning at a high capacity. When 27 men took collagen while participating in a 12-week long daily exercise programme, they gained significantly more muscle mass than those who didn’t take the supplement. It’s also thought that taking collagen may promote the synthesis of muscle proteins such as creatine, found in Innermost’s The Power Booster.
5. Heart health
This is a big one. It’s thought that taking collagen could reduce the risk of heart-related problems as collagen provides structure to your arteries. Without enough of the stuff, your arteries could become weak and fragile and this could lead to atherosclerosis, a disease involving your arteries narrowing and potentially even leading to strokes and heart attacks.
A study of healthy adults who took a collagen supplement for six months found that there was a significant reduction in artery stiffness from before they started taking the supplement. Additionally, the levels of ‘good’ cholesterol in their body was raised, which indicates overall good heart health in a more general sense. If heart disease runs in your family, or you simply want to take every step possible to protect yourself from a future of potentially poor heart health, taking collagen supplements isn’t a bad way to do that (especially when they come with all of the additional benefits mentioned above).