What are the Benefits and Side Effects of Collagen Supplements?
Collagen is the most plentiful protein found in the human body. It is the foundation of our bones, teeth, skin, tendons, cartilage, and connective tissues. Collagen is also helpful when repairing damaged cartilage and bones, while maintaining the elasticity, mobility and resistance of joints.
As we age, our bodies become less efficient at producing collagen. By age 40, most humans will have lost between 10% and 20% of their collagen levels. This leads to thinning hair, wrinkled skin, stiff joints, and issues with muscle regeneration.
It is possible to take supplements in order to regain collagen levels and turn back the hands of time. But what are the benefits and side effects of collagen supplement usage?
Improved Skin Texture and Firmness
Collagen supplements work within the body to decrease wrinkles and strengthen skin cells. As we age, our skin loses its elasticity as we lose collagen. As skin loosens, wrinkles take form. Collagen isn’t a miracle wrinkle cure, but it can put some of the elasticity back into your skin, and slow the formation of wrinkles. Collagen can also reduce the appearance of cellulite, which is a huge benefit.
Improved Blood Circulation
We’ve said before that Collagen helps to improve the elasticity of skin cells, so it stands to reason that these beneficial properties would extend to other parts of the body. Collagen can improve the flexibility and dilation of blood vessels. Blood flows more freely through flexible vessels, which can aid in lowering blood pressure and improving cardiovascular health.
Improved Joint Mobility
Collagen supplements help arthritis patients by improving on joint flexibility. Collagen can help those suffering from reduced mobility reclaim some of their day to day freedoms.
These supplements help when fighting back against one of the most embarrassing aspects of the aging process, thinning hair. While Collagen is not a baldness cure, it is very effective at taking the hair you already have and thickening the follicles. This gives you a full head of strong healthy-looking hair.
Recover from Injuries
The healing of bones and ligaments is one of the key benefits to increased collagen production. Individuals with low collagen levels have a much harder time healing from injury. Without collagen to knit those tissues back together, the process becomes slower and less effective. By supplementing the body’s production of collagen, you can speed up recovery times and rebuild strong, healthy bones and joints.
High Calcium Levels
Collagen supplements are often made from animal sources. Those derived from shell fish or other marine life contain high amounts of calcium. This can cause hypercalcemia in individuals. While calcium is good for us, the old adage “too much of a good thing” rings especially true here.
When calcium levels soar, some common symptoms include bone pain, constipation, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and abnormal heart rhythms.
Because collagen supplements are created from animal sources, allergies are always a concern. Individuals with a hypersensitivity to shellfish and eggs might experience a severe reaction.
Bad Taste in the Mouth
When supplements are created from marine sources, they can have an unpleasant taste or odor. This tends to leave a bad taste in the mouths of users. Usually taking your supplement alongside some kind of fruit juice can help to mask the taste. Acidic juices should be avoided, as they can lower the supplement’s strength.
The Pros Outweigh the Cons
Collagen supplements comes with many benefits and a few side effects. By and large, the benefits far outweigh the potential side effects, which are all rather tame and avoidable. As we age, it’s important to continue to supplement out collagen production in order to live fuller and healthier lives.