You’ve probably heard that collagen improves the health of the skin, nails, and hair. But the benefits of collagen are much more. It can be said that from hair and nails to heart and liver, collagen is essential for optimal body health. Collagen is a long chain of amino acids and the most abundant and important structural protein in the body. It is composed of individual amino acids like glycine, proline, arginine, and hydroxyproline. In nature is found in animal tissue, especially bones and connective tissue.
The problem with collagen is that we quite easily lose this valuable element for many reasons: natural collagen production decreases with age, hormonal changes, poor nutrition, dehydration of the body, stress. For these reasons, we need some extra collagen. When we begin to make collagen, the natural production of collagen in our body also increases. Also, it is often added to skin products to boost skin health. To use collagen locally is useful, but if you consume it you will have amazing results.
Benefits of collagen
– Improving the health of the digestive system – Collagen soothes and restores the digestive system and helps break down the protein and fat in the food we eat. Besides, it improves gut health and liver function.
– Helps bone and joint health – By helping the body’s natural production of collagen and providing a source of the amino acid collagen improves bone and joint health over time.
– Improving skin quality – Some doctors called collagen – the new anti-aging product of the century because it helps our skin regenerate, make it more elastic and more stable. At the same time, collagen significantly improves the health of hair and nails.
– Support the body’s natural hormone production – Some studies have shown that specific amino acids in collagen can help improve the balance of amino acids in the body and can support the natural functioning of hormones.
– Helps weight loss – Collagen is a protein, and medical research binds high protein diets with improvement and weight loss. And there is no fat in collagen, which is the perfect solution for people like me who genetically have a problem with saturated fats in the meat and should not overdo it.
– Helps to fight cellulite – Structural changes in skin tissues, including weakened collagen and elastin fibers, make cellulite more visible because the skin becomes thinner.
Collagen, Collagen Peptides, Hydrolyzed Collagen, and Gelatin
When I learned about collagen and its wonderful benefits for the body, I was a little confused at first. The information is a lot and not everywhere everything is clear and well explained. When I did a little study I came across a few names – Collagen, Collagen Peptides, Hydrolyzed Collagen, and Gelatin. And when I understood the difference between them, I quickly and easily decided what to choose.
At first, it is important to understand that collagen peptides and gelatin are made by breaking down the full-length collagen molecules. This means that they are made of the same amino acids as collagen, but they have different properties.
So, everything comes from collagen. But full collagen is ineffective as an oral supplement because of its long twisted shape. Therefore, it has to be transformed into another form, so that it can be absorbed more effectively by the body.
Collagen peptides are shorter chains of amino acids than collagen and gelatin and because of this they are better absorbed into the bloodstream. Collagen peptides and hydrolyzed collagen are two names for the same product. Full-length collagen is broken down into collagen peptides by a process called hydrolysis that determines the name. And there are also collagen supplements on the market in case you don’t like to use collagen peptides for any reason. They are more comfortable sometimes when you are out, for example. Or if you don’t like to eat or drink the collagen peptides as they have a slight smell. I prefer peptides. I believe that any supplement which is in powder or liquid is absorbed better and faster by the body. Sometimes I put the collagen peptides in my coffee, but mostly in my morning smoothies. They can be added to any recipe. For me, collagen peptides are the easiest way to consume collagen, because they dissolve in hot or cold liquids.
Gelatin is collagen that has undergone partial hydrolysis, which makes it a gel. These partially hydrolyzed chains in gelatin retain much water, causing gelling. In other words, by slowly cooking bones and cartilage in water is form gelatin. The collagen in the animal bones and connective tissue is turned into gelatin that dissolves in the broth. Gelatin is handy as a gelling agent in food manufacturing and is a great thickening agent for desserts and stews. It has the same benefits for the body as collagen peptides, just the way of using is a bit different because it has different properties. For example, to drink gelatin, you should dissolve it in hot water and drink it right away. You can use only hot water. Different is the way it is used in cooking too.
Collagen During Pregnancy
To use collagen during pregnancy is safe, so don’t worry. It may help and support you in many ways during your pregnancy:
– it’s a good liver support
– improves digestion
– boosts energy
– it’s great for helping your skin avoid stretch marks
Unfortunately, I learned about the benefits and importance of collagen when my daughter was six months old. I knew from before that collagen was useful but I did not know it could be taken during pregnancy and how useful it could be during that period. Perhaps you will ask yourself “How is that possible ?!” But that’s the truth. During my pregnancy, I was looking for information about what is useful and what is not useful for pregnant women, constantly and from different sources. But anyway, I have not found this information anywhere, or I have not paid attention. Fortunately, my daughter is good and healthy. Of course, you can feel good and be healthy without taking collagen. But as collagen helps so much for our health why not use it?!
I had a cesarean and fortunately recovered relatively quickly. But after a few months of baby care, breastfeeding, and a little sleep, I felt very tired. But one day we were walking in the park with one girlfriend and we talked about it, then she recommended drinking collagen and explained to me a little more about it. Then I read and informed myself more about collagen and the benefits of taking collagen. And since I love experimenting and trying new things, I decided to try it out. Now, after about half a year of regular intake of collagen, I see real benefits. My skin looks more hydrated and smoother, the problems I had with my stomach disappeared, my digestion improved and I feel much better. For sure, I will not miss it during my next pregnancy.
– When choosing collagen, it is important to make sure that it is obtained from grass-fed and pasture-raised animals.
– It is good to choose calf hydrolyzed collagen as it is the closest collagen composition that our body synthesizes and plays a major role in the health of skin, hair, nails, muscles, joints and bones, gums, teeth, eyes, blood vessels, and intestines.
– Take vitamin C together with collagen or choose one that also contains vitamin C. According to some medical research, when one begins to take collagen, the natural production of collagen in our body also increases. For this to happen, the body needs another very important element – vitamin C. To produce collagen, our body passes through a complex series of events that happen inside and outside the cage. Vitamin C is active inside the cell where its role is to add hydrogen and oxygen to 2 amino acids – proline and lysine. This helps the body produce procollagen – the molecule preceding collagen. In fact, without the aid of vitamin C, this process is interrupted and our body can not produce its collagen. So, If you decide to try it, don’t forget to take vitamin C when you take the collagen.
– The daily dose of collagen – depending on your age and condition of your skin around the face and eyes, but the recommendations are to consume a range of 10-15g daily. Minimum of 5g and up to 30g, per day. Usually, the best age to start using collagen is around 30-35 years.
– Collagen can be drunk at any time of the day.
It is safe for long-term use. The recommendations are to take collagen continuously during our lifetime. But if you are not sure, consult your doctor.
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