5 Reasons to add Collagen to your Diet & What is it?
Collage is a type of protein that is the major component of muscles, bones, hair, skin, nails, our digestive system and blood vessels. Our bodies have many types of collagen but 80% is made up of 3 types that are present in high concentrations in the above tissues. Think of collagen as the ‘glue’ holding us together making tissues stick, glide and have elastic (stretchy) properties.
1. Improves the quality of our Hair, Skin, Nails – aka makes us look younger. As we age we make less collagen by supplementing you can help halt this decline and improve your skins glow, elasticity and youthful look. (1)
2. Helps heal the gut – our gut lining is very sensitive to injury and requires collagen as well as many other proteins to repair itself. Specifically, gelatine which is derived from collagen is a fantastic healing food – found in high quantities in Bone Broth. If you have leaky gut or gut issues then collagen might be a good idea. (2)
3. Good for Joint Pain and Degeneration – in between most of our joints we find cartilage which is made up of collagen among other things. Again as we age we stop producing the building blocks of cartilage so supplying them in the diet can aid in repair and help halt degeneration. In a human trial of osteoarthritis sufferers, it was found that collagen supplementation improved pain scores, ability to perform daily tasks and quality of life. Also a study of athletes taking collagen supplements for 24 weeks found that it was likely to reduce joint degeneration in high risk athletes. (3 & 4)
4. Protects Your Arteries – collagen’s many amino acids that make it up are needed to have healthy elastic arteries. Atherosclerosis is when there is hardening of the arteries and is causes by inflammation, poor diet, lack of exercise and inadequate amino acids found in collagen. (5)
5. Injury Repair of Muscle, Tendon and Ligaments– collagen provides strength, elasticity and flexibility to our muscles, tendons and ligaments. When injured we need to have the building blocks including collagen to repair those tendons. In a study of mouse achilles tendon injury models it was fond that oral collagen supplementation improved the tendon repair and strength. (6)
Collagen can also be referred to as hydrolysed collagen, collagen peptides, hydrolysed gelatine and many other names. Ensure your getting a good quality clean source if your going to supplement. Try adding it to smoothies, bulletproof coffee, baking, soups as its flavour is almost non-existent. Ensure your collagen is from grassfed, pastured or quality marine sources. Another great way to get lots of collagen and gelatine in your diet is by consuming bone broth – easy to make at home or many health food stores now carry ready made options.
Disclaimer – this blog is not intended to diagnose or treat and is for informational purposes, before starting any supplementation or dietary changes speak to your medical doctor.
Article written by Nicole Paine, DC, BA, MSc
Doctor of Chiropractic, Acupuncture & Dry Needling
Masters Human Nutrition & Functional Medicine
BA in Kinesiology & Physical Education
Functional Range Conditioning & Release
Active Release Techniques® Full Body Certified
Kinstretch, Functional Range Assessment