Collagen has got a lot of hype through the media and insta-celebrities lately, so we’ve decided to take a deep dive into the science and let you know the proven benefits of taking it as a supplement.
Collagen supplements have shown promising signs of improving:
We create collagen naturally; it is the most abundant protein in our bodies. As we age, unfortunately the production of it declines. A result of this can be clearly seen in elderly people who often show signs of having wrinkly skin.
Collagen supplements come in two forms; Hydrolyzed collagen and undenatured type II collagen. At CYOS we sell the Hydrolyzed form so we will be focusing on the benefits of that particular type in this article. Hydrolyzed collagen is taken at doses of around 10g-25g a day, being Hyrdolyzed it means the collagen is broken down into peptides which makes it easier for the body to absorb.
A study was conducted on several women over 8 weeks where half of the women took a collagen supplement and the other half took placebo. After the 8 weeks the women who took the collagen supplement had noticeably more elasticity and moisture levels in their skin compared to the placebo. 
Another study was conducted on healthy subjects to assess with an oral supplement of hydrolyzed collagen, hyaluronic acid and essential vitamins and minerals could improve certain specific skin properties of post-menopausal women, mainly the depth of facial wrinkles, skin elasticity and hydration. The study showed a significant improvement in wrinkle depth and noticeable improvement in elasticity and hydration in the skin. 
A decreased amount of collagen in the body can increase the risk of developing osteoarthritis and overall joint pain as we age.
Collagen Hydrolysate has shown to be beneficial in the treatment of osteoarthritis and other joint disorders. A review of the literature found:
“According to published research, orally administered collagen hydrolysate has been shown to be absorbed intestinally and to accumulate in cartilage. Collagen hydrolysate ingestion stimulates a statistically significant increase in synthesis of extracellular matrix macromolecules by chondrocytes (p < 0.05 compared with untreated controls). These findings suggest mechanisms that might help patients affected by joint disorders such as OA.”
Another study was conducted over 24 weeks on athletes with activity-related joint pain. One hundred and forty-seven subjects were randomly assigned in two groups: a group receiving a liquid of hydrolyzed collagen and the other group receiving placebo. The main things that were evaluated were pain, mobility and inflammation. The study found that athletes who consumed the hydrolyzed collagen were less likely to experience joint pain and inflammation. 
Collagen is an important protein to keep our muscles strong and we know as we age we naturally don’t make as much collagen which can affect our muscle mass.
A study in the British Journal of Nutrition found that elderly frail men were able to improve their muscle strength and overall body composition by taking a collagen peptide supplement.  Over a 12-week period they took a collagen peptide supplement and participated in a daily exercise program. In comparison with the group who took the placebo the collagen group gained significantly more muscle mass and strength. 
Some studies have shown that taking a collagen supplement can reduce your risk of atherosclerosis which can then lead to heart disease.
A small study on 30 individuals found that by taking collagen supplements for 6 months they had a reduction in LDL cholesterol.  More studies on the effects of heart health are needed though.
Brittle nails can be common amongst women and refers to nails that have a rough surface, raggedness and peeling. A study was conducted where 25 participants took 2.5g of collagen peptides once daily for 24 weeks. The results found an increase of 12% nail growth rate and a decrease in the frequency of broken nails. The majority (80%) of participants said the use of collagen improved their nails appearance. 
We need more scientific research on the benefits of collagen on Gut Health, Brain Health and Weight Loss but some health practitioners believe collagen can be beneficial in all these areas. Regardless there are no known risks associated with collagen supplements and they appear to be safe for most people.
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