What is Collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein (approx. 30%) in the body and forms the structural component of muscles, bones, tendons, skin, ligaments, blood vessels and cornea. It comprises amino acids like proline, glycine, arginine and hydroxyproline.
Collagen is also present in the muscle tissues, blood vessels, digestive tract, heart, gall bladder and kidneys, holding the cells and tissues together. Collagen is a major component of hair and nails.
As we age, the production of collagen declines in the body. Therefore, collagen supplements have become incredibly popular.
We can also obtain it through diet by having collagen-rich foods like bone broth, chicken, fish, eggs, citrus fruits, beans, green leafy veggies, garlic, soy, bell peppers, and legumes broccoli.
Collagen: Benefits & Uses
- Support joint and muscle health: Collagen is necessary for all. It keeps our joints, ligaments and tendons strong. For an active person, athlete or bodybuilder, lack of collagen can cause more muscle pain, soreness, reduced recovery and increased injury risk. Similarly, low collagen levels among older adults can result in joint and bone pain, arthritis and stiffness, affecting the range of motion.
- Improve skin health: Collagen plays a significant role in maintaining skin elasticity and hydration. Collagen supplements promote the production of natural collagen in the body and other proteins that help structure your skin, reducing fine lines, dryness and wrinkles.
- Boost muscle mass: Collagen is an essential component of skeletal muscle; hence it may help boost muscle mass. Collagen may not be as effective as whey protein because it lacks leucine, but studies suggest adding collagen may stimulate muscle protein synthesis.
- Support gut health: Collagen contains glutamine amino acid, which is critical for a healthy gut and preventing diseases like leaky gut and Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
- Healthy hair and nails: Our hair and nails are primarily made of keratin protein. Lack of collagen also results in hair thinning and brittle nails because collagen contains amino acid - proline required to build keratin protein. So if you are looking for a one-stop remedy for hair fall, hair thinning and brittle nails, then collagen is the answer.
- Potent antioxidant: This connective tissue collagen provides the amino acid - glycine, which our body needs to synthesize glutathione - the most powerful antioxidant.
Collagens in the human body are strong and flexible. There are various types of collagen present in the body, but most of them belong to types 1, 2 and 3.
- Type 1: This beauty collagen is considered the best for skin and is present in ample amounts in our body. It is usually sourced from fish in the supplements. A reduction in type 1 collagen in the body can cause our skin to sag and become loose.
- Type 2: It is prevalent in elastic cartilage that cushions our joints and spine. Type 2 collagen is exceptionally healthy for cartilages and our skeletal system and is majorly sourced from chicken.
- Type 3: This type is generally found in organs, muscles and bone marrow. Marine collagen is rich in types 1 and 3 collagen.
How to choose the right collagen for you?
It is essential to determine the reason for which you want to buy collagen supplements.
- One should always go for hydrolyzed collagen peptides as they are rapidly absorbed into the body.
- If you require collagen for skin, go for type 1 marine collagen supplements.
- Choose collagen type 2 if you are taking it to strengthen joints and ease the pain.
- Type 3 collagen is beneficial during lung injury and kidney and vascular disorders.
- Vegetarian or vegan people can go for supplements that provide vegan collagen.
- Taking a collagen supplement infused with biotin and vitamin C can work wonders for your skin. Similarly, a collagen supplement with glucosamine can help alleviate the pain in your joints and keep them healthy.
- One should prefer a collagen supplement with fewer ingredients that contain no unhealthy sugars and preservatives.
- The product must be lab-tested with third-party certification.
How to use collagen?
Oral collagen supplements are widely available in powder, liquid and capsule form. One can take collagen powder with water or juice or add it to smoothies. Unflavoured collagen powder can also be added to tea, coffee or baked goods.
Collagen tablets or capsules can simply be swallowed with water or a beverage of your choice.
Where to buy collagen?
You can visit Nutrabay to avail best collagen supplements in India. Nutrabay provides you with the best prices and deals on all brands, making it one of the most affordable options to purchase your supplements. You can be assured of 100% genuine products and the best collagen powder price with Nutrabay, as each one is sourced from the brand directly.
Is collagen safe to use?
Collagen supplements are generally safe to consume. Some people might experience mild collagen side effects like bloating, heartburn and abdominal discomfort.
People who are allergic to fish, eggs and shellfish might experience allergic symptoms; hence it is advisable to read the allergen list carefully.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Which nutrients increase collagen production?
Apart from collagen foods, it is good to include foods rich in vitamin C, copper, proline, and glycine amino acids to increase collagen production naturally. For example, bell peppers, eggs white, wheat germ, cabbage, asparagus, lentils, sesame seeds and cashew nuts.
2. What can damage collagen?
There could be several causes because of which collagen levels may decline in the body:
- Environmental pollutants and chemicals.
- Ultra-violet rays.
- High sugar and refined carbs intake.
- Autoimmune disorders.
3. Can I take two types of collagen supplements together?
Yes, you may take but ensure not to increase the recommended dosage per day.
4. For how long can I take collagen supplements?
It is advisable to take a collagen supplement for at least eight weeks to see the results. However, the period may vary depending upon the reason for which the person is taking it.
5. How much collagen can I take per day?
Powdered supplement packaging often suggests taking 1-2 tablespoons daily, while a collagen tablet, capsule or gummy supplement may recommend 1-2 pieces.
Depending on the supplement, the servings can vary significantly in collagen content, so it is better to the nutrition facts for detailed dosage information.