Collagen; Benefits, Functions, & Significance for Human Body

Collagen is a naturally occurring protein in body that forms flexible fibers. These various fibers help support your cells and tissues. Mostly, it is found in connective tissues of body, such as tendons, bones, skin, ligaments, and muscles.

Functions of collagen

Collagen provides structural support and elasticity to bones, tendons, skin, cartilage, and joints.

Collagen makes up the majority of the protein in your body.

Researchers have found 28 types of collagen, but type I collagen — the kind in your connective tissue — is the most prominent. Type I collagen makes up 90% of your body’s total collagen.

It gives the connective tissues in your body structure.

It helps cell communication that allows cells to grow and do their work.

It supports cell migration that helps wound healing and immune responses.

A 2019 review of many studies found taking collagen supplements for short and long periods helped wound healing and reverse some skin aging effects.

Mainly, the research focused on people who took 2.5-10 grams of collagen daily for 8-24 weeks, or folks who took 3 grams daily for 4-12 weeks. The most significant skin benefits of taking collagen included

Increased skin elasticity

Improved skin hydration

Collagen supplements may also help you produce more elastin, a protein that makes skin more elastic.

Collagen is the main component of your bones and helps keep your bones strong.11 So, supplementing collagen may help bone-related health issues and strengthen your skeleton.

Your muscle mass and strength may also decline with age, medically known as sarcopenia. Combining collagen supplements with exercise might help folks regain muscle mass related to aging. Researchers also theorize that collagen supplements can support muscle proteins, like creatine, that stimulate muscle growth after exercise. This may help folks of any age improve their muscle mass.

Sources of Collagen
  • Chicken
  • Pork
  • Beef
  • Fish
  • Bone broth
  • Gelatin containing foods.
  • Your body also synthesizes collagen from amino acids.
Side Effects 
  • Diarrhea
  • Indigestion
  • Headache
  • Bad taste in the mouth.
Who Can Benefit From Collagen Supplements?

Collagen studies are limited to certain populations, so it’s not known if collagen supplements benefit everyone in the same way. However, research all points to collagen supplementing helping people who experience bone density loss, muscle loss, and skin aging effects.

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