Collagen has been projected, in recent times, to be beneficial to humans, it is said to stimulate hair growth, heal joint aches, hydrate the skin, clear wrinkles, and many more. For these reasons, it has been widely sought and used by many.
Does collagen work? Are these benefits evidence-based? Has there been any research conducted before concluding the collagen benefits for people? Or could it be one of the marketing strategies of producing companies of collagen supplements?
Truth is, these benefits were not just composed to sell collagen supplements, they are true and over time, different people have conducted investigations and have verified the benefit of collagen for human consumption.
Collagen Explained Briefly
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, it is the main component of connective tissues and it is known to provide structure to the body; skin, bones, and joints. Collagen is made up of amino acids, majorly Glycine, proline, hydroxyproline, and Arginine.
Knowing this, there are so many benefits to the use of collagen, either for your skin, hair, bones, or nails. The body produces collagen by itself but as we grow older, the production of collagen by the body slows down
7 Evidence-Based Benefits Of Using Collagen For Hair, Skin, And Nails
However, there have been questions asked by various people on the benefits of collagen. So, here are 7 evidence-based benefits of using collagen for hair, skin and nails.
1. Collagen may slow down grey hair
Grey hair is largely attributed to genetics and old age, however, another notable cause of gray hair is free radicals. Free radicals are caused by air pollutants, smoking, exposure to chemicals, poor diet, etc. Free radicals can cause harm to the cells that produce melanin pigment, which gives the hair color.
The body requires adequate antioxidants to fight damages caused by free radicals or the hair might begin to turn grey. There have been several types of research that attest that collagen, especially the one obtained from fish by-products i.e. scales, bones, etc may possess a high level of antioxidant.
In essence, collagen can act as an antioxidant to help fight the damages caused by free radicals. However, there isn’t any comprehensive research on the antioxidant properties of collagen.
2. May provides amino acids for hair growth
It was proposed that there is a possibility that the amino acids in collagen can produce keratin, which is a protein that enhances hair growth. As you take collagen, the body breaks the collagen down into amino acids(remember we said collagen is made up of amino acids).
These amino acids are in turn broken down by the body to make new proteins, which will be part of the body structure. One of the proteins made from amino acids is known as keratin.
Keratin is the protein that is responsible for the hair.
The major amino-acid that is known to produce keratin is the proline(the proline as stated earlier is a major component of collagen) consuming proline-rich collagen should be able to provide the body more keratin and other proteins it needs for hair growth. However, there are no completed human studies on the effect of this amino acid on hair growth.
3. Fight damages on hair follicles
Earlier, we mentioned that free radicals can cause hair to the cell that produces hair color and make the hair lack color and turn gray. Well, not just that. Free radicals are produced in the body but are majorly gotten from environmental pollution, UV rays, smoking, etc, once they’re in excess, they’re known to cause harm to the body.
One of the places attacked by free radicals in the hair follicle; the hair follicle is like a tunnel, under the outer layer of the skin and this is where the hair begins to grow. An attack on the hair results in hair loss.
Antioxidants are known to fight the free radicals in the body, but what do you do when the body produces fewer antioxidants as you grow old? As mentioned earlier, collagen from fish has been tested to highly possess antioxidants. Consuming fish or collagen peptides from fish will help fight off the free radicals in your body.
4. Reduces skin wrinkle
Collagen plays a major role in the human body, especially on the skin. But as we grow older, the production of collagen in the body reduces, and this can lead to wrinkles. Some studies claim that consuming collagen supplements can protect the body from wrinkles.
It can also stimulate the production of other proteins in the body. One of these studies was one that was carried out on some women who drank collagen mixed beverages daily for 12 weeks. In the end, there was a notable reduction in wrinkles on their skin.
5. Collagen for acne
Collagen, as a major building block in the body, is known to help the body heal wounds. However, as we age, the level of production of collagen in the body decreases, and this can affect how the body heals.
With the use of hydrolyzed collagen, there is an increase in the amount of collagen in the body and this can help fight off acne-causing bacteria in the body.
Also, a major amino-acid in the production of collagen in the body, known as Glycine is known to be anti-inflammatory, an increase in the intake of collagen can supply glycine into the body and this can help deal with irritation, swelling, and itching of acne.
6. Reduces Skin dryness
Skin dryness is one of the results of reduced collagen in the body and old age, a study carried out on the consumption of collagen for 8 weeks, the result showed a notable increase in skin hydration.
7. Eradicate all aging signs
Collagen isn’t called the youth drug for no reason, there have been studies of old people who took collagen for a long period with results of significant changes in the look of their skin, hair, and nail. According to a study conducted, there was a notable reduction in the signs of aging in people who took collagen supplements for 60 days, daily.
Wrapping it up
Collagen has superpowers, doesn’t it? Adding collagen to your diet wouldn’t be so bad after all. However, the best source of collagen are animals; fish, chicken, etc.
Not to say that hydrolyzed collagen isn’t effective, they are. They’re also obtained from animals, the only difference between both is that one is broken down while the other is not. You can get your collagen supplements from physical or online stores.