It seems everywhere we turn these days someone is mixing collagen in their coffee or ads are popping up on about adding it to your diet to see enormous benefits. So, what gives? We thought we’d break it down in a simple and informative way to help you decide if collagen is for you.

So, what is it exactly? Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies and is the main part of our connective tissue – think muscles, tendons, skin and ligaments. The four most common forms of collagen (Types I, II, III and IV) are generally found in collagen supplements. Though there are 28 different types, these four are super important as they are found in our connective tissue, shock absorbers in our spine, ears, eyes, skin, kidneys etc. Hydrolyzed collagen (the type in supplements) or collagen that has already been broken down to make absorption easier generally contains Types I through IV. As a result, the body does not have to do much work in the case of digestion, making it more readily available for use. Ok sounds good, but why all the rage? Well, from the age of 20 the body’s level of collagen begins declining and the rate becomes even higher as we enter our 40’s and later on, menopause. This leads to a range of complications such as loss of bone mass resulting in osteoporosis for example, more joint pain from worn out cartilage and less skin elasticity and hydration resulting in more wrinkles.

Knowing that our collagen is on a steady decrease should then motivate us to increase its consumption – either from foods or supplementation, even both. Some foods we can incorporate into our diets to help with collagen are bone broth, fish, beef, chicken skin etc. Additionally, we need to include foods rich in Vitamin C such as citrus fruits and broccoli since they help the body make collagen.

So now we see that with collagen supplementation comes a host of benefits – better skin elasticity and hydration, increased bone mass, reduction in joint pain (because of less wearing out of cartilage), improved growth of nails and hair, and even improved heart health as collagen gives structure to the arteries, thus aiding in blood flow from the heart. Perhaps the best thing about collagen supplementation, together with these benefits is that it has very few downsides. Be sure to avoid collagen made from substances that you already have an allergic reaction to such as eggs, shellfish, etc and use in doses that are recommended. Other than that, we think it’s a definite go to for improving your health and something you may want to look into. Until next time…

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