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The Rise of Collagen

The Rise of Collagen

Collagen use is surging and not just to give you fresh and glowing skin but also to help with joint pain and other medical conditions.

Yes, even though collagen is best known as the natural protein which gives skin its plump, nourished look, it can also enhance general health and wellness.  

In fact, doctors sometimes call it the “glue” which holds everything together, including your skin, hair and nails, muscles, ligaments, bones and joints.

It also can help to reduce inflammation and taking a collagen supplement can boost your body’s own collagen creation.

This explains why many athletes and osteoarthritis patients with painful joints have eased their aches and inflammation with collagen supplementation.

In the past it was widely used as a pricy injectable filler to smooth wrinkles and plump up lips but today it is gaining traction as a safe neutraceutical – or natural pharmaceutical – that you can take in tablet, powder or liquid form.

In addition to relieving joint pain, collagen may also help increase muscle mass, prevent bone loss and even help to reduce risk factors associated with heart conditions such as atherosclerosis.

You’ll need patience, though, as most users only reported a visible difference after three to four months.
It’s also wise to check that it’s the real deal so look for collagen peptides, or hydrolysed collagen, which is more easily absorbed by the body than pure animal collagen.

For potential joint pain-relieving effects, start off with a dosage of 8–12 grams daily.

This amount will potentially also give you the welcome side-effect of better skin – after all, up to 80% of your skin is made of collagen, which works with another protein called elastin to keep it supple.

However, don’t confuse collagen injections or dermal fillers with botox. Although both are aimed at ironing out wrinkles, they use very different scientific mechanisms to remove fine lines. Botox paralyses, while collagen plumps and one is not a substitute for the other.

You also need to know that most collagen is derived from animals, such as fish scales, animal hooves, hides and bones so those products are not suitable for vegans and vegetarians. Unfortunately, plant-based collagen is not as effective as that extracted from animals.

Despite the raw ingredients used in it, a good quality collagen powder should have very little smell, with a taste and texture sometimes likened to coffee creamer.

Bear in mind also that dietary supplements vary widely in quality and are generally not regulated as rigorously as drugs. This means the onus is on you as the consumer to check the ingredients - so read the label carefully for unnecessary additives.

Fortunately, if you are taking the recommended dose there are no documented negative side-effects of taking collagen peptides.

You do need to be aware, though, that it is a long-term commitment because as soon as you stop taking a collagen supplement, the positive effects will stop too.

In the end, your health is in your hands, so once you have done your reading and research, you are ready to decide if collagen supplements are a worthwhile wellness option for you.

Date Published: 
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