By Stacy Mosel, LMSW
Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body. It is a building block that is required to form bone, cartilage, skin, hair and other tissues. Your body makes a certain amount of endogenous collagen, but you also consume it when you eat animal products or take collagen supplements. As you get older, you start to produce less collagen, and if you smoke, eat an unhealthy diet or have too much sun exposure, your collagen levels can decrease even more rapidly.
If you don’t have enough collagen, you might notice increased wrinkles or sagging skin, thinning hair, cellulite or fatigue, and you might have a higher chance of developing certain bone and joint conditions.
Collagen is composed of different amino acids. The word peptide refers to short chains of amino acids. Some of the amino acids in collagen peptides include glycine, proline, glutamine and arginine, all of which help your body stay healthy. Green Foods collagen peptide supplements are hydrolyzed, which means that the proteins in collagen have been broken down so it’s easier for your body to absorb and gain maximal benefits.
Collagen peptides aren’t just a beauty supplement used to help reverse the signs of aging, reduce wrinkles, and increase skin elasticity, although scientific research supports these uses; some research has also shown that dietary supplementation with collagen peptides may also improve joint pain and swelling, alleviate pain associated with osteoarthritis and increase bone density in menopausal women. Consuming more collagen may also provide benefits for people with leaky gut syndrome and help heal the gastrointestinal tract, but there’s not yet enough current research to support the benefits of supplementation.
You can use collagen peptides in many different and creative ways. One trending idea you’ve probably already heard of is to add collagen peptides to your morning coffee – this is a beneficial way to increase your collagen intake, as it dissolves instantly and doesn’t have any noticeable taste or odor to interfere with your enjoyment of your daily cup of joe. But you can also add collagen peptides to other foods, including oatmeal or other hot cereals, soups, smoothies, yogurt, baked goods or salad dressings — the sky is essentially the limit.
Potential Side Effects
It’s normal to be concerned about potential side effects or risks when taking any dietary supplement. Because collagen supplements are not regulated by the FDA, it’s important to use a high-quality supplement from a trusted source like Green Foods. Some collagen peptides are made from allergens like eggs or fish, so you should avoid them if you are allergic to those ingredients. However, there are not very many known risks or side effects associated with the use of collagen peptides. People who are nursing, pregnant or have a health condition should check with their doctors before using any dietary supplement, including collagen peptides.
The Bottom Line
Using collagen peptides can be beneficial for most people who want to promote health and well-being. Give it a try and see for yourself why collagen peptides have become such a popular supplement for people of all ages.
Stacy Mosel, LMSW is a contributing writer specializing in holistic health and well-being. She is a licensed social worker, psychotherapist, certified Reiki practitioner, yoga enthusiast and musician. She received a Bachelor's degree in Music from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1999 and a Master of Social Work from New York University in 2002.
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