Collagen is a structural protein found in the body. It is formed when amino acids bind together to create a collagen helix. These helixes are most often found in the body’s connective tissues, including bones, ligaments and skin.
What is the Role of Collagen?
Collagen is nature’s way of keeping connective tissues healthy and protecting the body from injury. There are several types of collagen, but the three main kinds include:
- Type I – This collagen type is found in skin, nails, hair, bones and ligaments. Over 90% of all collagen found in the body is this type.
- Type II – Cartilage and joints contain the largest portion of Type II collagen.
- Type III – This type resides in the organs of the body and also boosts bone health and tissue growth.
How Do Collagen Supplements Help?
As bodies age, they produce less collagen. By age 50, most people produce half as much collagen as when they were teenagers. Collagen supplements boost the body’s ability to produce more protective collagen to improve the skin’s health, reduce joint pain, increase muscle mass and prevent bone loss. Collagen supplements come in many forms. The type you choose is usually based on personal preferences.
- Collagen powders – The best collagen powders come in packets or tubs. They can easily be added to smoothies and other drinks, as well as many foods. Their versatility and lack of taste make them one of the most popular forms of collagen supplements. These powders are sometimes labeled “peptides” because of the process of breaking down the amino acids into a form that the body can easily absorb. You can also find powders with flavoring to add to water for a tasty drink. They keep you hydrated while they boost your collagen levels.
- Collagen capsules – This form of collagen is ideal for the person who would prefer to take a pill. The collagen powder is contained within the gel capsule. There is no stirring or shaking, which makes it a quick and easy way to get your collagen dose. The pills do tend to be quite large and you’ll likely need to take several to get the right amount.
- Liquid collagen – The liquid form of collagen comes in bottles that have been pre-dosed and are ready to drink with no mixing required. If you aren’t fond of the taste, however, you are probably better off going with one of the other options.
Many collagen supplements contain a combination of at least two different collagen types. Before choosing the best collagen supplement, look for those that are designed to meet your specific needs. For example, if your main concern is joint strength, you will likely choose a different blend than if you are looking to reduce wrinkles and other signs of aging. Read the label carefully so that you know exactly what you are buying.
Collagen supplements can make you look and feel younger and healthier. With the many options available, you are sure to find a good fit for your preferences and lifestyle.