There are a number of reasons why people may take a collagen supplement, whether they want to improve skin health (like skin elasticity), build on bone health, or reduce joint pain, collagen supplements offer many different benefits, but they do vary in the human body depending on factors such as age, nutrition, consistency of intake, and overall health.
What is Collagen?
If you are not currently familiar with this particular protein, then this will help you understand why collagen is important to the body.
It is classed protein that is plentiful within your body. When it comes to your connective tissues it is the main component that makes up a variety of your body parts to help you function. These include tendons, ligaments, skin, and muscles.
Collagen is a necessity for the body as it provides for your skin structure and strengthens your bones.
What Types of Collagen Are There?
Whilst you may be amazed to know that the body produces 28 types of collagen, there are 4 main ones that are the most common as Healthline states –
- Type 1 – classed as the most common, found in all the connective tissue
- Type 2 – found in the joints and intervertebral discs
- Type 3 – this is the main component of reticular fibers, these are found in skin and blood vessels
- Type 4 – a component of the kidneys, inner ears, and eye lenses
Why do People Take Collagen Supplementation?
It is important that natural collagen production happens to keep everything in the body going, however, that is not always the case and that is why taking collagen supplements has become increasingly popular, whether that be in the form of collagen powder that has hydrolyzed collagen peptides in as well as essential amino acids, or a collagen supplement in a tablet/capsule.
What do Collagen Supplements do?
These different collagen supplements will help with joint health, provide skin benefits for healthy skin, stimulate muscle growth, increase muscle mass and nail growth, as well as improve bone density.
Our bodies produce collagen naturally but when that decreases, taking collagen daily can make sure that the body is functioning as it should.
When Will You See The Results?
There is not so much research into how effective collagen supplementation is on the body, however, people who have taken it personally have said that they feel and see a change in themselves. Studies focus on the benefits of collagen supplements instead of outcome factors.
There are different reasons for the effectiveness of some supplements, and that can be down to diet, nutrients, health, and age.
Health & Lifestyle
The food you consume as well as the nutrients will have a factor in this as it can interfere with absorption. If you are a drinker or a smoker this can have a negative effect on your body and this will affect natural skin health anyway, so taking a collagen supplement may not do much good.
Lack of sleep and stress are also part of collagen issues, so reducing those will offer more benefits for the body.
Aging is a natural form of losing collagen, so joint and bone health will deteriorate, plus lack of skin hydration and elasticity will be noticeable too. Whilst a collagen supplement may help, it will not reverse these effects. It can only go so far.
Having a healthier lifestyle will be better for collagen production and it will naturally support skin health and offer joint support. Taking collagen supplements can provide a better outcome, but focusing on lifestyle will be an essential part of this.
Not all supplements on the market are made the same way and they can have a high price on them with limited benefits. Many collagen pills and powders will contain types 1, 2, and 3 in them as they are the most abundant proteins in the body.
If a collagen supplement does not have these in, or a form of them depending on if it is a vegan supplement or not, then this may not help the body in the way it claims.
Regulators may be clamping down on misleading information, but they are still out there and people could be buying products that haven’t been properly checked out and supported by the proper channels.
Benefits of Collagen Supplements
There are many health benefits of collagen that is important for people to know so that they can make an informed decision about what to go for if they decide on a supplement.
Skin Health Benefits
One of the main components of your skin is collagen. It will help strengthen it as well as keep it hydrated and provide skin elasticity which will decrease as time goes on in the form of wrinkles and dry skin.
Taking collagen supplements can help reduce these effects and slow them down too so that the skin feels more hydrated and doesn’t sag as much.
Collagen has also been noted as helping with acne issues and other skin complaints, however, this has not been determined by tests, so this is just for individuals who have stated these effects.
Reduction in Joint Pain
Collagen will help with cartilage (a tissue that protects joints), so as someone ages and their cartilage reduces, problems such as osteoarthritis will occur.
People have said that when they take collagen supplements they feel like their joint pain has been reduced and their arthritis symptoms feel better.
Despite the fact that people have come back to say they do feel better in the joints when taking this type of supplementation, it is not recommended as medication by doctors, as more research will need to be done on the effectiveness of it before it is classed as a treatment procedure.
Could Boost Muscle Mass
When people age they may develop something called sarcopenia which decreases muscle mass. Taking collagen supplements could help with strengthening muscles so that people feel stronger.
Despite this result, when compared to taking other muscle mass supplements such as whey protein it doesn’t act better because whey protein will have more amino acids within it which is important in muscle building.
People who are solely focused on building their muscles and strengthening their bodies may do better at taking whey protein, however, that doesn’t mean collagen supplements should be ruled out as more information will need to be recorded.
May be Good For The Heart
Heart conditions can happen to anyone and they have a few reasons behind them, however, there are researchers who have said that taking collagen supplements will reduce the risk of heart conditions occurring.
Without the right amount of collagen, arteries can become a lot less flexible and without a good structure this can lead to heart attacks and strokes due to a narrowing effect.
Whilst this does look promising in studies, it can not be completely agreed upon across the board and will need further research to see if this could be used as a form of preventative treatment.
After reading this article, hopefully, the question – “how long does it take for collagen supplements to work?” has been answered for you.
Remember it does depend on a few factors and if you really want to take a collagen supplement then you may need to run it by your doctor first, especially if you are also on other medication that can make a difference to the absorption or effects.