You may have heard hydrolyzed collagen can make a big difference when it comes to the health of your joints and skin.
And that’s because it can, but before we share 7 benefits of taking hydrolyzed collagen, we wanted to help you understand more about this powerful protein.
What is hydrolyzed collagen?
Hydrolyzed collagen (HC) is collagen derived from bovine bone and cartilage, and can also be taken from fish scales and bones.
Read More: Discover What Fish Collagen Can Do for You
The process of breaking down the collagen from the bones or scales results in small, intact amino acids which have not been damaged. When we take these amino acids, they are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, and are used as the building blocks of new collagen.
Our body’s collagen production naturally slows down as we get older so it’s important to add collagen through supplementation in many cases.
The collagen degenerative process causes our skin to have wrinkles, sag, and thin. Our body also suffers joint pains because of weaker and less cartilage due to collagen loss. Other lifestyle factors like eating a diet high in sugar, smoking (including second-hand smoke) and high amounts of sun exposure without broad spectrum sunscreen contribute to depleting collagen levels as we age.
With that in mind, taking hydrolyzed collagen can help combat some of the damage caused as we age and lose collagen.
What are the benefits of taking hydrolyzed collagen?
7 Benefits of Taking Hydrolyzed Collagen
1. Creates healthy skin
As your collagen decreases, your skin loses its elasticity and becomes thinner. Consequently, cellulite becomes more obvious. Increasing collagen levels can help your skin look firmer, increase smoothness, reduce cellulite and aid in skin cell renewal to keep your skin as healthy as possible.
2. Strengthen hair and nails
Collagen protein is the building block of your nails and hair. Consuming collagen can strengthen your nails and possibly reverse signs of hair loss for some people. A study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology* found there’s an “essential relationship between extracellular matrix (ECM) and hair follicle regeneration, suggesting that collagen could be a potential therapeutic target for hair loss and other skin-related diseases.”
3. Builds muscle and boosts metabolism
Collagen contains 3 amino acids–glycine, arginine and glutamine. Glycine helps form muscle tissue by converting glucose into energy that nourishes muscle cells. Retaining muscle mass is critical as you age as it helps support posture, bone health and burns more calories than fat. Arginine boosts the body’s ability to make protein from other amino acids, which is important for repairing muscle tissue, healing wounds and boosting metabolism. And glutamine provides fuel to our cells, made up of carbon and nitrogen. Therefore, a boost in collagen may help increase your metabolism by adding lean muscle mass to your frame and important essential amino acids.
4. Protects heart health
The amino acids proline and arginine found in collagen help protect your heart. Proline helps shrink the fat in your arteries thereby minimizing fat accumulation which contributes to heart health. Through aiding the arteries with plaque buildup, it assists in the prevention of arteriosclerosis. It also helps control blood pressure. Through nitric oxide production, arginine allows for better vasodilation. Arginine also assists in the relaxation of muscle cells and blood vessels to allow for better circulation.
5. Reduces joint degeneration and pain
Collagen’s “gel-like” substance allows us to glide and move without pain. It buffers our bodies from the effects of vibration and shock helping us hold on to valuable cartilage as we get older. As we age and our collagen decreases, our joints aren’t able to glide as well and our tendons and ligaments start moving with less ease, leading to stiffness, swollen joints and joint pain. Collagen consumption can help your joints move more easily, lessen pain and reduce joint deterioration.
A study published in the International Journal of Medical Sciences** found that people with osteoarthritis joint pain treated with type 2 collagen exhibited significant enhancements in daily activities, such as walking up stairs, sleeping and showed a marked improvement in their quality of life.
6. Detox and liver health
The amino acid gylcine found in collagen aids your body in the detoxing of harmful substances. One of the easiest ways to cleanse your liver is with a bone broth fast. This may help your body rid itself of chemicals improving overall immune function. Studies*** have found that glycine can be used to help reduce alcohol-induced liver damage and other forms of acute or chronic liver injury.
7. Heal digestive system
Collagen helps break down proteins and soothes your gut’s lining, healing damaged cell walls and nourishing it with healing amino acids. Amino acids in collagen build the tissue that lines the colon and GI tract. Collagen also helps with the absorption of water within the intestines, keeping things moving out of body. By consuming collagen, the biggest benefit to your digestive system is that it helps form connective tissue and therefore heals and seals the protective lining of your gastrointestinal tract. Supplementing with collagen can assist with treating leaky gut syndrome, IBS, acid reflux, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and other gastrointestinal health issues.