Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body; nearly 80% of your skin is actually collagen. In the body, collagen acts like a glue that holds everything together. Without it organs and tissues deteriorate rapidly.
Why do we need to ingest collagen? As we age, our body is unable to produce collagen at the same rate that it did when we were in our teens and early twenties. Recent studies have shown that ingesting collagen helps keep our bodies producing collagen at higher levels.
Check out these five benefits of ingesting collagen:
1. Skin health
Collagen has been the “it” ingredient in skincare since the 1980’s. Topical applications of collagen create a temporary cushion on top of wrinkles to reduce the appearance, but washes off with your next shower. Collagen supplements (especially Type I collagen) help stimulate your skin cells to produce their own collagen. Higher levels of collagen present in the skin means fewer fine lines and wrinkles, more elasticity, and better hydration–in short, you look younger longer.
2. Joint health
The cartilage in your joints is somewhere between 70%-95% collagen. When the body’s natural aging processes kick in and collagen production slows down, you can experience some classic signs of aging such as joint pain, stiffness, and deterioration. Collagen supplements help keep joints structurally sound and fluid. Bonus: hyaluronic acid, a water-absorbing molecule often found in hydrating skincare, is part of the lubricant in your joints. Ingest hyaluronic acid and collagen together to increase skin moisture and keep joints working smoothly.
3. Prevents bone loss
We’ve all heard about the importance of calcium for bone health, but it’s a little known fact that collagen is just as important! Much like your joints, bones can deteriorate when your body is no longer able to produce enough collagen. Ingesting collagen promotes healthy bone density into old age by keeping cells stocked with enough nutrients to continue collagen production.
4. Weight management
First thing’s first: collagen is not a weight loss supplement. The only safe way to lose weight is through proper diet and exercise. Collagen can, however, make these goals a little easier to achieve. Collagen is a protein; protein keeps you feeling full. Ingesting collagen promotes satiety, which can help stave off cravings and help you feel full longer.
5. Wound healing
Some recent studies have linked collagen consumption and application to increased wound healing. In one study, participants found collagen application to be as effective as stitches at healing wounds! Collagen’s benefits in cell renewal make it an effective part of the skin’s healing processes.