Collagen has plenty to offer anyone, especially those aging who want to support their mobility, appearance, and general joint comfort. The biggest question we want to answer in this blog is: What are the benefits for women in taking collagen? The collagen benefits for women are significant. Collagen supports skin, hair, nails, joints, and gut functions. Consuming enough protein, in general, is vital for healthy aging since the body uses amino acids to build and repair muscles and bones. The body also uses collagen to make enzymes, hormones, and neurotransmitters. Women can benefit from taking collagen supplements the most, including those:
- Looking for joint support and help with recovery
- Athletic or active
- Who lack protein in their diet (such as vegetarians)
- Who want to support the strength and appearance of their skin, nails, and hair
You should consult your healthcare professional before starting any new dietary or lifestyle regimen, including supplementation.
There are over 20 types of collagen, but here are the four most common:
- Type I: found in all of our connective tissues
- Type ll: found in our joints and intervertebral discs
- Type lll: central component of reticular fibers found in our skin and blood vessels
- Type lV: part of our kidneys, inner ear, and eye lens
Why Women Need Collagen
Collagen is a protein comprised of approximately 19 amino acids holding the body together. In addition, it helps to form connective tissues, including joints, skin, ligaments, tendons, hair, and more. Your body makes collagen, but you can also consume more from specific foods, such as bone broth and gelatin. The challenge for most people is that collagen is not abundant enough in most meat protein; therefore, supplements come in handy. While meat and dairy are excellent sources of amino acids, which help your body synthesize collagen-the structure that gives strength to skin cells as well hair follicles, among other things-they're not the only thing you need. For example, women and men produce less collagen once they reach their 30s or 40s. However, adding more to your diet can offer many benefits, such as:
- Assisting in skin health and elasticity
- Promoting joint comfort and mobility
- Assisting in gut function by helping maintain the integrity of the gut lining
Our favorite collagen products are here:
- Ancient Nutrition Collagen Peptides Immune Orange
- Ancient Nutrition Bone Broth Protein Pure
- Ancient Nutrition Grass-Fed Collagen
- Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides
Beauty Benefits of Collagen
Collagen protein acts as a support for the skin layer that helps keep skin resilient and supple. Almost 70 to 80 percent of the protein found in the skin is collagen. When collagen production naturally starts to accelerate its decline in middle age, this can result in changes in skin elasticity, including the increased appearance of wrinkles and sagging skin. Some of the collagen benefits for women who want healthy skin, hair, and nails:
- Supporting skin elasticity and tone
- Improving the appearance of crow's feet
- Reducing collagen degradation with noticeable results
- Promoting hair thickness and growth while reducing hair breakage
- Contributing to healthy, strong nails
Joint and Exercise Benefits of Collagen
Collagen helps form joints, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage, facilitating normal mobility, flexibility, and strength.
Joint-related benefits of collagen for women include:
- Contributing to joint health and joint comfort
- Supporting exercise performance and recovery
- Reducing exercise-related discomfort
A decent amount of research shows how consuming more protein, including collagen, can help your metabolism and body composition. Not only will this make you feel better on the inside, but it'll also boost your energy levels outside.
Gut Benefits of Collagen
Since collagen forms and repairs the lining of the intestinal wall, it can contribute to the overall health of the gastrointestinal tract. For example, it helps keep fascia tissue strong, which lines the gut, contributing to healthy "tight junctions" in the intestinal barrier. As collagen helps maintain gut integrity, it also assists in nutrient absorption, digestive health, and healthy immune system function. Most of the immune system is located inside our gut; therefore, prioritizing gut/microbiome health is crucial. A healthy gut also facilitates normal hormone and neurotransmitter production. Other gut-related benefits of collagen for women include: supporting normal phase 2 liver detoxification, central nervous system, and promoting relaxation, which is essential for the "gut-brain connection."
Side Effects of Collagen Supplements
Collagen supplements are a popular way to support your skin and joints, but they risk side effects. The good news is that you can avoid these problems if you know what ingredients should be avoided when looking at labels. For example, collagen supplements may cause digestive issues such as heartburn or feelings of fullness in some people because it contains common food allergens like fish/shrimp eggs which could trigger an airborne reminded allergy reaction from those who have had previous reactions while eating them before taking collagen capsules. Regardless, supplements appear to be safe for most people.
When Do You See Results From Collagen?
Collagen turnover is a slower process than expected. Because of this, no matter your goal for using collagen, it will take at least eight weeks to experience noticeable results. For example, most studies use a minimum of eight weeks to assess the effects on skin and joint pain, but other studies use extended periods, such as 12 months, for bone health. Thus, it would be best if you were patient and did not expect results immediately.
Because collagen's amino acid composition differs from other proteins, the possible alternatives are limited. However, you can find supplements that contain amino acids involved in collagen synthesis (glycine, lysine, and proline.) In addition, some supplements contain amino acids from vegan sources, vitamin C, and hyaluronic acid, which helps your tissues retain water. In addition, Keratin has been suggested as an alternative to collagen. Still, there's limited research to support keratin products for anything other than topical application on skin and hair. Furthermore, Keratin is not vegan, as it's derived from various animals' feathers, wool, and horns.
Collagen supplements have several health benefits and very few known risks. For example, supplements may help increase muscle mass, prevent bone loss, relieve joint pain, and improve skin health by reducing wrinkles and dryness. In addition, although several foods contain collagen, it's unknown whether they offer the same benefits as supplements. Nevertheless, collagen supplements are generally safe, easy to use, and worth trying based on your health goals. Even though collagen supplements differ in ingredients and collagen type, a product that contains types I and lll collagen fibers is the product to look out for, no matter your supplement goal.