Collagen For Weight Loss: Does It Really Work?
In the health and wellness industry collagen is a very popular topic. Collagen for skin aging; collagen for healthy hair and nails; collagen for joint pain; collagen for digestive issues; and more recently, collagen for weight loss.
How can one word be a part of so many varying areas of health? Well, quite simply, collagen is a powerhouse protein when it comes to our wellbeing.
What do the experts have to say with regards to collagen for weight loss? Does it really work? Why is it beneficial for weight loss? How much collagen should I take for weight loss? You’ve probably got a lot more questions when it comes to collagen for weight loss. We’re here to provide you with the information needed to answer your questions.
What Does Collagen Do?
To understand what collagen does, you need to know what collagen is. Collagen is a very important protein that is found in abundance in the human body. It basically affects every cell in the body in one way or another. You will find collagen in connective tissues, skin, ligaments, tendons, muscles, joints, organs, and even the blood. It holds the body together but it’s also necessary for the body to function.
The human body naturally produces collagen. This process is called collagen synthesis. Unfortunately, as we age, our collagen production begins to drop off. This can happen anywhere between our 20’s and 30’s.
Supports Skin Health
As we age, our skin starts to lose its elasticity and firmness. That’s because our bodies produce less collagen, a structural protein that helps keep skin plump and smooth. As collagen levels start to decline, this loss becomes more and more noticeable: wrinkles, sagging skin, and dry skin.
There are ways to support healthy collagen levels and maintain youthful skin. Eating a diet rich in antioxidants can help protect collagen fibers from damage. Taking collagen supplements that are made up of functional collagen peptides, or hydrolyzed collagen peptides, or using topical collagen rich creams or serums that contain ingredients like retinol, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin C can provide the skin with collagen and also stimulate collagen production.
Your gut is lined with a layer of cells known as epithelial cells. These cells form a tight barrier that protects your gut from harmful bacteria and toxins. Collagen is a key structural protein that helps to keep these epithelial cells healthy and in place.
Studies have shown that collagen can help to heal and repair the gut lining, improve gut barrier function, and reduce inflammation. Collagen has also been shown to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut, while reducing the growth of harmful bacteria.
When it comes to gut health, collagen is an essential player.
Joint Health Support
Collagen has a responsibility in supporting joint health. It’s composed of essential amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. These amino acids help to build and repair connective tissue, such as tendons and ligaments.
Collagen provides support for the cartilage that cushions the joints. Without adequate collagen, the joints can become weak and susceptible to damage. Taking a collagen supplement when joint pain becomes an issue, has shown to improve and support joint health. Better joint health can actually prevent injury.
Strong Hair and Nails
Anyone who’s ever had a bad hair day knows the importance of strong, healthy hair. And while there are plenty of products on the market that claim to promote healthy hair, one key ingredient that is often overlooked is collagen. Collagen is an absolutely vital protein that plays an important role in helping to keep both hair and nails strong and healthy.
Not only does it provide strength and structure, collagen also helps to keep hair hydrated and prevent breakage. It does this by forming a protective barrier around each strand of hair. Collagen also keeps our nails hydrated, preventing them from becoming brittle and unhealthy.
Collagen has an important role in the development of new cells, which helps to promote healthy growth. For these reasons, collagen is an essential ingredient for strong, healthy hair and nails.
Can Collagen Support Lean Muscle Mass?
Less collagen can lead to a loss of muscle mass. When we lose collagen, our muscles become weaker and cannot repair themselves as effectively. Collagen is a regenerative protein and is needed in the healing of muscles as they break down from exercise and over use.
Collagen can reduce inflammation, which can lead to muscle soreness and injury. Muscle health is fundamental in maintaining a healthy body weight.
As our muscles become weaker, we may start to see a decrease in our physical strength and endurance. Supplementing with collagen can help to offset these effects. Collagen supplements are often rich in other nutrients that are essential for good health, such as amino acids, vitamins C and E. Taking a collagen supplement may offer a host of benefits beyond just supporting lean muscle mass.
How Does Collagen Help With Weight Loss?
So, what does all this have to do with collagen being beneficial for weight loss? Well, gut health, healthy joints and lean muscle mass can have a lot to do with weight loss actually. If your gut isn’t functioning properly, you probably aren’t getting the proper breakdown and absorption of vital nutrients from the food you are putting into your body.
Improper digestion often leads to increased fat cells and a decrease in lean muscle mass. As mentioned above, collagen contains amino acids that are necessary for muscle growth, so including it in your diet helps build more muscle mass. Muscle burns more calories than fat even when inactive.
If your joints hurt, you will naturally be less active. Less activity means fewer calories burned which actually leads to weight gain, the complete opposite of weight loss!
Collagen also has some other properties that can actually lead to weight loss. Because collagen is very filling, taking it before meals could help you eat less. Collagen is slow to digest, meaning that it can help you feel full for longer after eating. This means less snacking and potential weight loss.
What is the Difference Between Type 1, Type 2, and Type 3 Collagen?
Although the body is made up of many types of collagen protein, there are three main collagen proteins that pertain to overall health benefits. Here’s what the experts have to say about Type I, Type 2 and Type 3 collagen.
- most abundant type of collagen in our bodies
- found in skin, tendons, ligaments and bone
- gives skin its strength and elasticity
- found in cartilage
- plays an important role in joint health
- found in the walls of arteries and intestines
- provides flexibility and strength
All three of these types of collagen are essential for our health. When considering collagen for weight loss, look for collagen supplements with Type 1 and Type 3 collagens.
Type 1 collagen helps to boost metabolism, burn fat and build lean muscle mass while Type 3 collagen helps to regulate digestion, reduce fat mass, prevent inflammation and may work to prevent cravings.
Collagen supplements come in a variety of forms: powder, liquid, gelatin, capsules as well as topical creams and serums. Collagen peptides or hydrolyzed collagen are words you need to familiarize yourself with when considering a collagen supplement.
Collagen peptides are made by breaking down collagen into smaller units. This makes them easier for your body to absorb and utilize. Hydrolyzed collagen is also made from collagen, but it’s broken down into even smaller fragments, making it even more easily absorbed.
How Much Collagen Should You Take Per Day For Weight Loss?
According to research, collagen may help with weight loss in a few different ways:
- collagen can help to reduce appetite and promote fullness
- collagen helps to regulate metabolism and support a healthy gut
- because collagen is high in protein, it helps to build lean muscle mass
So how much collagen should you take per day for weight loss? While there is no one-size-fits-all answer, most experts recommend taking around 10 -15 grams per day. Begin with the lower dosage to give your body time to adjust to the collagen peptides or hydrolyzed collagen and other ingredients in your supplement. You can always increase your dose if you feel the need to. When it comes to knowing how much collagen to take, remember, less is best at the beginning.
Are There Negative Effects of Taking Collagen?
As with taking any new product, a question frequently asked is: “Are there any side effects or concerns when taking collagen supplements?”
Although collagen supplements are generally considered safe, you need to be aware of possible gastrointestinal issues such as bloating, cramping or diarrhea. Most often these negative effects are caused by taking too large of a dose when starting collagen supplementation and the body just can’t absorb the amount of collagen. You should allow the body time to adjust to the collagen peptides and other ingredients found in the supplement.
Collagen supplements are made from either animal, marine or plant sources. Should you have an allergy to fish there is a pretty good chance that marine collagen supplements or hydrolyzed collagen made from marine or fish products, will cause an allergic reaction.
By knowing the ingredients of the collagen supplement that you will be taking, you can avoid a potential allergic reaction.
The Final Say
We hope you have found this article informative and have had your questions answered when it comes to collagen for weight loss, including how much collagen to take. For more health tips and resources, check out our Health BLOG. When looking for top quality products, be sure to consider our collagen product page where you will find the product just right for you and your health goals.