What are the benefits of collagen?
- Diverse composition
- Contains multiple amino acids
- Improves skin health
You may come across collagen every now and then, your local pharmacies and grocery stores will have a bunch of them alongside vitamin C and fish oil. You may wonder if these are truly beneficial for you and just how effective are they? They are, in fact, beneficial to the human body and they are very effective for maintaining your health; especially your skin.
This complex protein contains a staggering amount of amino acids, 19 in total. With the 19 amino acids, collagen contains a mix of essential and nonessential types. There are four major amino acids that are present in collagen, these are arginine, glutamine, glycine, and proline.
Difference Between Collagen and Gelatin
Due to the close similarities between collagen and gelatin, they often get mixed up. Both collagen and gelatin have nearly identical compositions and can almost be interchangeable with one another. Generally, the confusion becomes more prominent when you talk about supplements as their benefits are alike. One thing you should know about gelatin is that it is produced when collagen is heated, typically when boiled.
Gelatin and collagen are commonly sold as supplements in powder form. Collagen powder contains proteins which are broken down into individual peptide chains. Broken down, it makes it easier for people to digest. This form of collagen can easily be mixed hot and cold water; and because it’s tasteless, you can even add it to any drink that people want. Because collagen powder is tasteless, it can even be added to almost any food recipes. Consumption of collagen powder is commonly suggested for people with digestive problems.
On the other hand, gelatin powder, like collagen, offers similar health benefits and nutrients. The main difference is that gelatin powder is the form that gels and is typically found in gummy candies, marshmallows, and many chewable candies. For people who take on specific carbohydrate diets, it’s recommended that they consume gelatin powder due to its ability to coat the digestive tract and improve digestion. Naturally, bone broth contains collagen and is one of the best sources for it. You’ll notice this with the thick gel formation of bone broth when kept in the refrigerator.
On a molecular level, collagen is bound together in a tight triple helix which is composed of three chains. What’s amazing about each chain in the structure of collagen is that it’s 1,400 amino acids long. Glycine and proline are two of the primary amino acids found in these collagen chains. The importance of collagen consumption is further highlighted by the two amino acids as both are not abundant in animal meat. Even if you have meat as a source of protein in your diet, you may lack these amino acids.
Previously, we’ve mentioned the presence of nonessential amino acids. Despite what its name might suggest, these amino acids are important as well. Normally, nonessential amino acids are naturally produced by the body. Though its production may be compromised when you get sick or under the effects of physical or emotional stress, your body will need the aid of outside sources of collagen for it to maintain healthy amounts of these nonessential amino acids.
Proline, glycine, glutamine, and arginine are among the highest percentage of amino acids present in collagen. They are also the most desired to acquire due to their outstanding benefits. Why are they so sought after? Here are the benefits of each:
Proline makes up a huge portion of collagen, around 15 percent. Proline is aids in maintaining the health of your blood vessels, improve cardiovascular and joint health. These beneficial amino acids ensure that your body runs seamlessly.
Glycine which encompasses a third of collagen’s structure has one of the most important roles for maintaining our body’s health. Glycine is responsible for ensuring proper cell functions and helps build healthy DNA. Glycine is known to form creatine in the body which promotes muscle growth and aid in boosting the body’s energy during moments where extensive physical effort is needed.
Glutamine is known to be the most important amino acid for the body. The body produces this amino acid naturally and can also be obtained from food sources. Amazing for the skin and other health benefits such as preventing anxiety, combating sleep disorders, and improving digestive health, glutamine greatly improves a person’s overall health.
Improves Skin Health
One of the main effects of consuming collagen is its ability to maintain skin health and reverse the effects of aging. Regular collagen consumption can increase the elasticity of your skin, which means it fights the effects of oxidation and reduces wrinkles.
Collagen also aids in repairing your skin and amplify the whole skin repair process. This results in a chain effect which encourages your body to form new collagen. Due to the presence of antioxidants in collagen, collagen helps limit the production of free radicals which can be harmful to skin cells.
Collagen has various benefits and one of them is its responsibility to maintain the health and integrity of our skin. As the largest organ in our body, our skin needs to be well taken care of. It’s vital to regularly consume collagen and include it in our diet, to maintain the wellness of our skin. If you’re looking for collagen supplements or any other supplements such as vitamin C or fish oil, click here to check out Puritan’s Pride’s products.