Collagen supplements – why take them & are they necessary?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body.  It’s the main component of connective tissues that make up several body parts, including tendons, ligaments, skin, and muscles and it has many important functions, including providing your skin with structure and strengthening your bones.

Foods that contain gelatine, such as bone broth, provide collagen as gelatine is a protein substance derived from collagen after it’s cooked.   Collagen is found in the connective tissues of animals. Thus, foods such as chicken skin, pork skin, beef, and fish are sources of collagen.

However, in recent years, collagen supplements have become popular as many are trying to avoid meat-led products and supplements are often hydrolyzed, which means the collagen has been broken down to make it easier to absorb.

Health benefits of collagen supplements

Collagen supplementation provides a variety of health benefits – they include:

1. May improve skin health

Collagen is a major component of your skin. It plays a role in strengthening skin, as well as in elasticity and hydration. As you age, your body produces less collagen, leading to dry skin and the formation of wrinkles. Studies have shown that collagen peptides or supplements containing collagen may help slow the ageing of your skin by reducing wrinkles and dryness.

Source – Absolute Collagen Client Testimonial 

2. May relieve joint pain

Collagen helps maintain the integrity of your cartilage, the rubber-like tissue that protects your joints.  As the amount of collagen in your body decreases with age, your risk of degenerative joint disorders such as osteoarthritis increases. Studies suggest that collagen supplements may help improve symptoms of osteoarthritis and reduce overall joint pain.

3. May prevent bone loss

Your bones are made mostly of collagen, which gives them structure and strength.

Just as the collagen in your body deteriorates with age, so does bone mass. This may lead to conditions such as osteoporosis, which is characterized by low bone density and a higher risk of bone fractures. Studies note that collagen supplements may help inhibit the bone breakdown that leads to osteoporosis.

4. May promote heart health

Researchers have suggested that collagen supplements may help reduce the risk of heart conditions.

Collagen provides structure to your arteries, the blood vessels that carry blood from your heart to the rest of your body. Without enough collagen, arteries may become less flexible and elastic.  This may lead to atherosclerosis, a disease characterized by the narrowing of your arteries. This condition may lead to heart attack and stroke.

5. Other benefits

Collagen also works to strengthen nails and to add volume and strength to hair.

What supplements should I try?

Brands such as Absolute Collagen Supplements, makes it easy to add an extra boost of collagen to your breakfast.  The supplements come in three flavours: Lemon, Mango & Mandarin and Raspberry.

The products are designed to be mixed in food and drink, including smoothies, coffee, porridge or yoghurt to effortlessly prevent signs of aging by plumping and smoothing skin.

3 easy collagen fuelled breakfasts:

Lemon Yoghurt

Add plain Greek yoghurt into a bowl and stir in the original lemon collagen supplement for a fresh and zesty lemon yoghurt. This breakfast is filled with probiotics and top with granola, which has been shown to lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol.

Mango and Mandarin Smoothie

Add 1 banana into a blender and add 200ml of milk or water, frozen exotic fruit of your choice and a Mango and Mandarin supplement sachet. Each sachet contains 7.7 grams of protein and can help you feel fuller for longer.

Raspberry Pancakes

Swirl a Raspberry sachet into your fluffy American pancake batter of choice for fruity pancakes. Top with a handful of berries and pistachios – both of which are high in antioxidants that help to protect collagen and elastin in the body.

Marine Liquid Collagen Drink For Women, €44.99 or available as a subscription for 1 box every 14 days €37.99 or 1 box every 28 days €69.98.

Absolute Collagen Supplement are free from lactose, gluten and dairy and contain no artificial flavours, colours or added sugar.  The range is made in the UK from 100% natural ingredients and it does not contain: gluten, soy, wheat, lactose, starch, yeast, pork derivatives, alcohol, fat, cholesterol.  Each daily 10ml sachet contains 32 calories from 7.7 grams of protein. Suitable for diabetics

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