If you're anything like us, you've probably only ever heard of collagen when it comes to women's lip injections. Turns out, it's actually an incredible protein source with a whole bunch of benefits!
Collagen is one of the most abundant – and one of the most important – proteins in our bodies, making up approximately 30% of our bodies protein content, playing a vital role in skin, bone, joint, and tendon strength, as well as having benefits for digestive health.
The skin is made up of 75% collagen, but after the age of 25, collagen synthesis reduces at a rate of 1.5% a year and after the age of 45, the bodies collagen levels may have fallen by as much as 30%. The visible effects of this breakdown do not just appear as wrinkles, fine lines and dry skin; they also materialise as physical ailments, as collagen is basically the glue that holds your ligaments, joints and bones together.
MH sat down with Matt Caldicott, former Masterchef contestant and Nourished Nutrition Co-Founder, to learn about the top benefits of including collagen supplementation in your daily diet.
Reduction of joint pain and muscle degradation
- As collagen production decreases, our tendons and ligaments generally start to move with less ease – leading to stiffness and swollen joints. Collagen helps to repair cartilage and hold our bones together, allowing us to move with less pain. A 24-week study examined collagen supplementation’s effect on athletes with activity-related joint pain. Researchers found an improvement of joint pain in athletes who were treated with the dietary supplemented hydrolysed collagen.
Boosts lean muscle mass and energy levels
- Collagen contains the amino acid glycine which is important to muscle synthesis and the formation of lean muscle tissue, which in turn boosts metabolism. Glycine is also known to help slow the effects of aging overall by supporting posture, bone health, digestion and the central nervous system.
- Collagen is also rich in the amino acids, arginine and glutamine, which are known to help repair muscles, heal wounds, boost metabolism, improve energy levels and aid bodily growth and development.
Improved liver health
- Collagen has been proven to be helpful in cleansing the liver of harmful substances, whilst glycine also helps repair the damage your liver experiences when it absorbs foreign substances, toxins or alcohol that shouldn’t be passing through it.
Supports healthy digestive function and helps treat leaky gut
- Although only in the early stages of study, research has come to light that collagen can also help improve digestion and gut health in the body. Regular supplementation of collagen has been shown to repair the stomach and digestive lining and aid in digestion, whilst simultaneously soothing the gut’s lining - all of which can help prevent or treat leaky gut syndrome.