Barney has been having joint pain lately. Not enough where he feels justified in going to the doctor about it, but enough that its annoying. He’s an older man, in his 60s, so he doesn’t really like doctors anyway. His niece, Penny, suggested that he take collagen supplements, and started looking into the best collagen pills.
Today we will look at all the benefits of taking collagen and how to find the best collagen pills.
Why take collagen?
Collagen is the most common protein in your body, being the major component in tendons, ligaments, skin, and muscles. It provides your skin with structure and strengthens your bones.
With so many important functions within your body, it’s no surprise that sometimes people would need to take supplements of collagen.
For Barney, the number one reason really is that it helps joint pain. Studies have shown that it can help joint pain even in high-risk groups, like athletes. To help joint pain, you would probably begin with a dosage of 8-12 grams daily.
How does collagen help
It helps joint pain because it helps keep the integrity of your cartilage, which protects your joints. Barney is probably feeling pain because the amount of collagen in your body decreases as you get older. As the amount of collagen decreases, your risk of developing degenerative joint disorders such as osteoarthritis increases.
Collagen can also improve your skin health. It strengthens your skin and helps with elasticity and hydration. Less collagen in your body is a factor in getting wrinkles.
Taking collagen can also prevent bone loss. Your bones are mostly made of collagen, which is an important reason it is good to find the best collagen pills.
As the collagen in your body decreases as you age, so does your bone mass. This can lead to osteoporosis, which means low bone density and an increased risk of bone fractures. Taking collagen supplements can slow the bone breakdown that leads to osteoporosis.
The best collagen pills can also boost your muscle mass. Up to 10% of your muscle tissue is made of collagen. Collagen can especially help boost muscle mass in people with sarcopenia, a loss of muscle that happens with age.
Furthermore, collagen can help increase blood flow and promote heart health. It can also increase the strength of your nails and make your hair and nails grow longer.
It can also reduce hair loss and possibly reduce gray hairs by supporting the healthy structure of the hair follicle where the pigment is produced. If you have dry or brittle hair, collagen can help support healthy moisture levels just as it does in your skin.
Some people also believe that collagen can help with weight loss and give you a faster metabolism.
How to find the best collagen pills
Each supplement will have different types of collagen. There are 28 types of collagen, but types 1 – 5 are most common in supplements.
Types 1 and 3 are often found in the same supplement together. Type 1 will help skin, tendons, organs, and bones while Type 3 will help the vascular system and eyes.
Type 2 is what Barney really needs. This is the type of collagen best for joint pain. It is found in cartilage, especially around joints.
Types 4 and 5 are not as common for supplements. Type 4 helps filtration systems in the kidneys and gives protection to your brain. Type 5 helps your hair and your placenta.
Many of these supplements come in gummy form. While a lot of people love this, it might not be the best choice with Barney’s dentures.
It is great if you can find a supplement that also has Vitamin C. Vitamin C is required by your body to create its own collagen. A supplement that has both will be most effective.
Make sure you know where your collagen is coming from. This is more important if you have any allergies.
Type 2 collagen is often taken from chicken while types 1 and 3 typically come from cow, fish, or eggs. If you have an allergy to certain fish, for example, you may want to be careful about where your collagen comes from.
Other Options to the Traditional Pills
There are now also vegetarian and vegan options in collagen supplements. These contain a mix of amino acids, wheat extracts, and vitamins instead of animal byproducts.
There are also some other things to avoid in collagen supplements. Some supplements have fillers such as maltodextrin, flavors or sugars, oils, and artificial ingredients.
Be sure to check all the ingredients of your supplement for your specific need. For example, some supplements contain branched-chain amino acids. These help recovery from muscle trauma, but you don’t need them if you are just looking for collagen to help your skin or joints.
Natural sources of collagen
Collagen is found in the connective tissues of animals. Thus, the skin of chicken, pork, beef, and fish are all sources.
Foods that contain gelatin, such as bone broth, also provide collagen. Gelatin actually comes from collagen after it has been cooked.
Overall though, it is unclear if collagen in foods is absorbed by your body as effectively as supplements. Supplements are probably a better option.
If you don’t get a supplement with Vitamin C, you should get more natural sources of vitamin C. As stated before, Vitamin C helps your body produce its own collagen.
Cabbage, citrus fruits, red fruits, and carrots will all help you boost your own natural collagen production. Having a poor diet will increase your risk of not producing enough collagen on your own.
Not just pills
There are collagen lotions, but these are not very effective. Collagen is not easily absorbed through the skin and the effect on the skin itself would be temporary.
Many people opt for powders rather than pills. An example of this would be NutriXen multi-collagen protein powder. This powder gives you types 1, 2, 3, 5 and 10.
Protein powders are often preferred as they are easier fold into your normal routine. It’s not just taking a pill – you an put it in almost anything. You can put it in your coffee, your smoothie, or your oatmeal. You can also use it when baking bread or add it to a stew.
Barney will probably start taking collagen now. Hopefully, with these factors in mind, he can choose the best collagen pills for him and his joints.