Collagen: Wonder Drug for the Middle Aged?

Source: Dr. Josh Axe, DNM, DC, CNS, HealthLine.com

You’ve heard it said by health experts, beauty gurus, and possibly even your best friend: Collagen is the new buzzword, and it can now be found in everything from creams and cosmetics, to powders and pills. The truth is, this may be one instance where the hype is actually warranted.

As the most abundant protein in the body, collagen is available in your muscles, skin, blood, bones, cartilage, and ligaments. You may want to consider squeezing in an extra serving of this vital protein:

Collagen is a building block that:
– promotes skin elasticity
– holds together your bones and muscles
– protects your organs
– provides structure to joints and tendons

Collagen is a major component of muscle tissue, so it should come as no surprise that it can have a big impact when it comes to building muscle mass. Plus, collagen also contains a concentrated amount of glycine, an amino acid involved in the synthesis of creatine. This can provide muscles with the fuel needed to power through your workout.

One of the most well-known benefits of collagen is its ability to provide elasticity to the skin. As you get older and collagen production declines, fine lines, loose skin, and dryness can occur. A study of women aged 35 to 55 years old taking collagen hydrolysate supplement showed an improvement in skin elasticity within four weeks.

As your cartilage weakens and deteriorates with age, you may start to feel stiff, achy joints. In a 2009 study, results showed that osteoarthritis symptoms decreased by 40 percent while the severity of symptoms dropped by an impressive 33 percent. In a study with the same collagen supplement, participants with rheumatoid arthritis saw a reduced number of swollen and tender joints, seven per cent of them experienced complete remission.

Collagen is in the gut’s connective tissue and can help support and strengthen the protective lining of your digestive tract — critically important because alterations in the function of your intestine, can allow particles to pass into the bloodstream. Individuals with inflammatory bowel disease have been found to be more likely to have lower levels of serum collagen. By increasing your intake of collagen, you could help build up the tissues that line your gastrointestinal tract and promote better gut health.

Convenient ways to bump up your collagen consumption:
Powdered gelatin can be mixed into soups, stews, and broths.
Collagen peptides are more digestible and can be added to smoothies, hot beverages, or baked goods as a powder, then taken daily less expensively in pill form.

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