While our bodies naturally produce collagen, production declines as we age, leading to wrinkles, joint pain, and other signs of aging. As a result, many people turn to collagen supplements to help replenish their body’s natural stores to combat ageing.
What is Collagen?
Collagen is a natural skeletal protein and is one of the body’s most abundant components, making up nearly 80% of the body’s skin, muscles and connective tissue. It is thought that from the age of 25, your body’s collagen levels deplete at a rate of 1.5% per annum. This means that by the age of 35 your body will have lost 15% and by 45, 30%. It is at this stage that you really start to notice a change in your skin’s elasticity and texture.
Knowing how much collagen to take to see results can be challenging with so many forms and dosages available. This article explores the science behind collagen supplementation and provide insights into how much collagen is needed to achieve your desired outcomes.
Why should you take collagen?
As you age, your body naturally makes less collagen. Starting in the 40s, the body can lose approximately 1% of collagen each year. By the time you are in your 60s or 70s, collagen loss will adversely affect your hair, skin, and joint health. Hence, individuals often take supplements to combat aging-associated collagen decline and promote overall health and wellbeing.
Here are the top reasons why you should consider taking collagen supplements:
Supplementing with collagen has been shown to improve skin health by increasing skin moisture and elasticity, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and promoting the production of other supportive proteins like elastin and fibrillin.
Research suggests that supplementing with collagen may help to improve joint health by stimulating the production of new cartilage, reducing inflammation, and protecting existing cartilage from degradation. Collagen may also help to improve joint mobility, decrease pain, and support overall joint health.
Collagen is a key component of the gut lining, and supplementation may help to support gut health by reducing inflammation, improving digestion and absorption of nutrients, and promoting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria.
Nails and hair
Like bones and joints, collagen is a significant building block of nails and hair, and supplementing with it promotes health and growth. Collagen can improve nail strength, reduce brittleness, and increase hair thickness, shine, and overall health.
Collagen makes up about 10% of muscular tissue. Strength and resistance exercise, and a collagen protein supplement, may help you gain lean muscle mass and greater control over your body’s composition.
Collagen can aid in weight loss by increasing satiety, reducing appetite, and improving metabolism. It can also support healthy muscle growth, aiding in weight loss efforts. However, collagen alone is not a magic weight loss solution and should be combined with a healthy diet and exercise.
How shall I take collagen?
There is evidence to suggest pure powder or liquid is more easily available in the body rather than in capsules and a recommended dose is 10g daily.
When do you start to notice the benefits?
Some people may start to see improvements in their skin, hair, and joint health within a few weeks of beginning collagen supplementation, while others may take 3–6 months to notice any changes. Consistent and long-term use of collagen supplements is recommended for optimal results.