Collagen is a popular supplement in the alternative health community. Some people are taking it to prevent wrinkles, others are taking it to strengthen nails and hair. While there are some great benefits of taking Grass Fed Collagen supplements, there are some downsides to taking it as well.
First, let’s dive into the benefits of taking collagen supplements.
Improves the Skin Health
Collagen is one of the essential elements in the formation of skin. It plays a role in its hydration and elasticity. As we age, our bodies produce less collagen and wrinkles form.
Some studies have demonstrated that taking additional collagen may slow down the appearance of aging skin with a reduction in wrinkles and dryness.
In a study published in Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, women who took a collagen supplement of 2.5-5 grams for eight weeks experienced less skin dryness and an increase in elasticity compared to those who didn’t.
The reduced wrinkle effect of collagen has been attributed to the ability to stimulate your body to produce its own collagen.
The additional collagen in your system may also promote the production of other proteins that can structure your skin, including fibrillin and elastin.
Reduces Joint Pain
Collagen has been known to help reduce joint pain. Your risk of developing degenerative joint disorders, such as osteoarthritis, increases as the collagen in your body decreases.
Some studies have demonstrated that supplementing with collagen may help to improve the symptoms of osteoarthritis.
One study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, examined adults who took 2 grams of collagen for 70 days. Those who supplemented with collagen had a significant reduction in joint pain and were able to engage in physical activity.
Collagen Strengthens Bones
Bones mostly consist of collagen. This gives them structure and keeps them strong.
As we age, the collagen in the body decreases. The bone mass does as well. This leads to osteoporosis, along with a loss of bone density and a higher risk of fractures.
Supplementing with collagen may inhibit the bone breakdown that leads to osteoporosis.
Post-menopausal women with osteopenia were studied. The women either took calcium combined with 5 grams of collagen or a calcium supplement without collagen. At the end of 12 months, the women taking the calcium and collagen had lower blood levels of the protein that promotes bone breakdown.
While these results are promising, more studies are needed to confirm the benefit of collagen on bone strength.
Collagen Helps Hair and Nails
Anecdotal evidence supports the theory that collagen supplements can help to increase the strength of your nails by preventing brittleness. It may also stimulate your hair to grow longer according to a study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology.
Improves Gut Health
While there is no scientific evidence to support the claim that collagen supports gut health, medical doctors such as Dr. Kellyann Petrucci and Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride are recommending the use of collagen to treat intestinal permeability, or leaky gut syndrome.
It is a core component of the Bone Broth Diet that Dr. Kellyann recommends and the GAPS diet that Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride created. These diets have reportedly helped people overcome intestinal permeability and heal from numerous diseases.
Collagen Promotes Brain Health
The link between collagen and brain health isn’t supported by scientific studies. However, many people have reported improved mood and a reduction in anxiety while taking collagen.
The GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) diet focuses in on getting more gelatin and collagen in the diet. Proponents of this diet claim improvement in autism symptoms, neurological health, and mood stability.
The Cons of Taking Collagen
While there are numerous reported benefits of taking collagen, one may overlook some downsides to taking a grass fed collagen supplement. One thing to seriously consider is that collagen is not a whole food. It is a processed food.
With all processed foods, there is incomplete nutrition. The ratio and balance of amino acids, fats and proteins is off when you are taking this type of supplement.
It is unlikely to cause a lot of damage, but it isn’t a nutritionally complete food. For that reason, you may want to consider spending your money on the higher quality grass fed bones or whole chickens to make the bone broth and meat stock yourself. This method will contain all the nutrients that your body needs.
My Conclusion on Collagen Supplementation
As someone who loosely follows the GAPS diet and has read up on the Bone Broth Diet, I supplement with grass fed collagen a little. This is mostly when I don’t have the time to make a bone broth or meat stock. I may take supplement a bit when traveling as well.
The BioOptimal grass fed collagen supplement is economical and high quality. You can find it on Amazon.com.