By Liana Moynier
In recent years, collagen has taken the wellness world by storm. Collagen has gone from being an injectable lip and wrinkle plumper to one of the most popular supplements on the market—boasting health benefits that range from boosting skin radiance and preventing visible signs of aging to healing the digestive tract. As someone who is more than a little worried about premature wrinkles, and ,more importantly has suffered from leaky gut syndrome in the past, I decided to start giving collagen a shot about a year ago to see what all the fuss was about. I learned that there are many effective ways to supplement with collagen. I also became acquainted with the scientific literature on collagen, which served to confirm that you should be supplementing with collagen too.
What Is Collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. It is a main component of all our connective tissue—including our skin, joints and our gut lining. It’s also a significant part of our bone structure. As you get into your thirties, collagen production begins to decline, resulting in signs of aging. Fine lines and wrinkles start to show up, and the likelihood of developing bone and joint conditions like osteoporosis and osteoarthritis begins to increase. This is where supplementing with collagen can become helpful.
The Science and Benefits of Taking Collgen
Okay, let’s get to the good stuff: what are the main benefits you can experience as a result of supplementing with collagen? For me, I found that my whole digestive system seemed to be more settled than it previously was after a few months of consistently supplementing my diet with collagen, and of course eating clean as well. I also felt that my muscles recovered faster after working out, and my skin even seemed smoother, although I wasn’t sure if I was imagining it.
As I read through the literature, though, I found that some studies have shown that collagen supplementation can improve skin elasticity over time, which is great news for anyone over age 30. Additionally, one of the amino acids present in collagen is key in calming gut inflammation and can possibly help to heal leaky gut syndrome. And, some studies have also shown that taking collagen internally can help prevent and treat osteoarthritis, joint pain and osteoporosis.
How to Supplement with Collagen
My favorite way to supplement my diet with collagen is by eating whole foods that contain collagen, stimulating collagen production, or both! Some good sources include bone broth, which has a high content of natural collagen, and foods that are rich in vitamin C such as leafy greens, berries and red peppers. Eating a variety of these foods every day will help stimulate natural collagen production. You can also take a collagen supplement. Hydrolyzed collagen is the most absorbable form of collagen, as its molecules have been sized specifically for the body to be able to absorb. This type of collagen usually comes in a tasteless powder form, and a spoonful or two a day can be added to foods or drinks.
Regardless of your age, supplementing with collagen can be beneficial. Whether you are supplementing with bone broth or collagen powder, getting this vital protein will provide benefits. Just remember—like with any regimen, it is important to take collagen regularly over time in order to maintain the availability of its benefits in the body and to consistently experience those benefits!
Liana Moynier is a freelance writer covering topics related to natural health, wellness and foods. She enjoys an active lifestyle near the ocean where she lives on the Central Coast of California.