Collagen is a protein naturally made by the body. It makes up one-third of the protein in the human body. It is essential for bones, tendons, ligaments, muscles, and skin. With age, the collagen starts to degrade in quality and quantity.
Although genetics plays a critical role in how fast collagen degradation happens, environmental and lifestyle habits are also important. Smoking, excessive sun exposure, air pollution, and poor diet can contribute to creating free radicals, which speed the collagen breakdown process. Collagen has been gaining popularity because of the several health benefits it offers. It is often marketed as an anti-aging supplement. That has got it a lot of attention from customers.
What are the health benefits of taking Collagen?
Collagen plays an important role in providing strength to the skin. Around 80% of the skin is made from collagen and along with another protein, Elastin, it helps keep the skin elastic. Depending on genetics and lifestyle, most people start to lose collagen in their 20s.
It is estimated that every year, humans lose about 1 percent of collagen. When the body starts to produce less collagen, it leads to drier skin with more wrinkles. Collagen is known to provide hydration and density to the skin to slow the degradation.
There are several benefits of collagen to the bone and joint health. Collagen aids in the reduction of symptoms of joint pain or arthritis. It also helps in the maintenance of cartilage in the joints, which helps in the smooth function of the joints. Collagen is known to improve the density of bones weakened by older age.
In some cases, collagen has also known to be effective in the treatment of conditions such as acne, obesity, and heart disease, but this has not been proven by scientific evidence so far.
How to choose the right collagen supplement for you?
Collagen became popular in the United States in the 1980s as an expensive injectable filler to plump lips and soften wrinkles. In more recent times, collagen has become more popular as a dietary supplement. The industry for collagen has boomed, with celebrity endorsements and flashy advertisement campaigns. According to Nutrition Business Journal, the expected sales on collagen products in 2020 are estimated to be $293 million, up from $50 million in 2014. This has also meant a huge influx of collagen products. It has made the choice for the right collagen supplement difficult.
A good start to choosing the right product is to with a brand that gets it collagen from cage-free and antibiotic-free source of bones and tissues. Look for a certified third-party certification for the product. Another thing to look for in a brand is to check if they are environmentally conscious regarding keeping contaminants out of their product.
Some manufactures will add fillers, sugars, and another flavor to collagen products. These ingredients can cause stomach discomfort and decrease the ability to fight infections. Look for products that use natural flavors and are non-GMO and gluten-free. A simple solution is to go with a product with collagen as a single ingredient.
Collagen that comes from the connective tissue of the cows is very popular. It is known as Bovine collagen. It is well researched and tested. It would be a good choice to go with a product derived from a cow. Products from chicken sources are known to have contamination. Check for collagen brands that go for grass-fed sources. That is a good indication of a company that believes in preventing antibiotic resistance to spread and improve the overall welfare of cows.
Products with positive reviews at an authentic website are a good indicator of the quality and effectiveness of the brand and the product. Products that are highly rated should be given preference over the others. Also, try to read the testimonials to see if other users have had the desired results of the product. Lastly, pay attention to collagen cofactors in the ingredient list.
Certain vitamins, amino acids, and minerals help improve collagen synthesis. Some commonly used cofactors are Vitamin C, Lysine, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Lutein and Zeaxanthin. Some brands have combined these cofactors along with collagen in the product. The price of the product is going to be another important factor in choosing a product. The value provided by a good collagen product should make it worth it to spend a few extra bucks. It is important to do all this research to choose the best collagen product best-suited for your needs.