Collagen is found in large quantities throughout the body; it’s involved in forming muscles, skin tissues, and even bone. Collagen supplements have become the new trend but has enough research been done to understand its benefits fully?
There are sixteen types of collagen in total, but the first four types of collagen I-IV are the main types that are present and responsible for structure, cushioning, and filtration in the body. It is a significant part of your connective tissues, which is what allows your skin and muscles the flexibility and elasticity to move.
As you age, collagen production in your body slows down, and the quality of existing collagen is inadequate; it shows in the loss of skin elasticity and cartilage degradation. Is the research sufficient to keep using it?
How Does Your Body Produce Collagen?
Proline is an amino acid found in foods like egg whites, dairy, and asparagus; another is glycine which is found in protein-rich foods, especially chicken and pork skin, as well as gelatin. Using vitamin C, these amino acids are combined to produce procollagen.
Procollagen is how all collagen starts off. This process is why we need protein-rich diets to help provide structural components for our skin and organs.
What Is Collagen Used For?
Collagen is supposed to provide and help your body improve bone density and nail strength so that you don’t have brittle nails or bones. A study shows that it may be effective in reducing joint pain as it improves joint flexibility.
It’s supposed to keep your skin hydrated and improve elasticity to help combat conditions like stretch marks. Other claims include targeting hair loss and increases your muscle mass, which appeals to people who want to gain muscle at the gym!
Are Taking Collagen Supplements Effective?
Doctors remain skeptical about the effects of collagen on the body. There is insufficient evidence to prove that the collagen available on the market in the forms of powders and gummies contributes to collagen production.
Side effects of taking these supplements could result in metal poisonings from toxic metals like cadmium and allergic reactions to collagen sources. If your collagen production is not regulated, mad cow disease is a brain disease that you could contract from cows, which causes coordination and memory problems that can become fatal in a matter of months.
Because of the uncertainty, you might not want to spend your money on products that have such little research. A better option would be to include protein-rich foods that encourage collagen production instead of taking supplements.
Dr Saadiqah Hajat