Have you heard good things about collagen and are doing a bit of research to see if what you’ve heard’s true? Or maybe you’ve caught snippets of positive mentions about collagen here and there, and want to piece them all together?
Don’t worry, by the time you reach the end of this article, all will become clear about collagen – what it does to skin and several main collagen benefits.
There’s no one single source of collagen because it’s present in food form (from both plant and animal sources), as well as collagen supplement form. What’s more, different collagen sources provide different types of collagen, and therefore different health-related benefits.
As there’s no single source of collagen, it’s best to try and incorporate it into your diet/life in a way that works best for you. For instance, if you prefer animal sources over plant sources, stick to foods 1 to 3 below, and if you prefer fish/seafood and fruit sources, then stick to those instead. Or, if you don’t mind, then it’s perfectly ok to enjoy a combination of the two!Before we move on to talking you through some of the main food sources of collagen, we also wanted to mention certain nutrients can help with collagen production too. They are zinc, Vitamin C and copper, so bear them in mind when you’re planning your next collagen-packed meal!1
Other collagen food sources include citrus fruits (e.g. oranges, grapefruit, lemons, limes), berries (e.g. raspberries, blueberries, blackberries), tropical fruits (e.g. mango, kiwi, pineapple), garlic, leafy greens, cashew nuts, tomatoes, and bell peppers.3
The main tell-tale signs this is happening is when our skin looks less firm and starts losing its elasticity.
Our age can massively impact our collagen levels, and so too can this:
This is because: Sugar interrupts collagen’s ability to do what it does naturally and repair itself.
This is because: The sun’s UV rays can reduce collagen production, making excessive sun exposure a massive no, no.
This is because: Like UV rays, it’s reduces collagen production too. It can also lead to wrinkles.
Collagen supplements in particular can potentially encourage the body to produce collagen and stimulate the creation of other collagen-forming proteins.
Cartilage, the tissue that’s responsible for protecting our joints, is made up of collagen, and therefore starts to decrease as we get older. This means, we can potentially be more at risk of developing joint disorders, such as osteoarthritis.Research has found collagen supplements can stimulate tissues in the body to make more cartilage.8
Around 1 to 10% of muscle tissue within the human body is made up of collagen, which helps keep muscles strong and working as they should.
According to research, collagen supplements can potentially contribute to muscle growth and encourage the creation of muscle proteins, such as creatine.
It’s thought collagen supplements may have the ability to reduce the risk of heart-related conditions. The reason for this is because collagen contributes to and maintains the structure of our arteries that are responsible for pumping blood from our heart and around our body.
Not having enough collagen potentially means our arteries become weak and fragile over time.
Our bones are mainly made up of collagen, which gives them their structure and helps keep them strong. The older we get, the less collagen we have in our body and the less bone mass we have too.Studies have shown that taking collagen supplements may help maintain a healthy bone mass.9
Collagen can potentially help nails to grow strong and less brittle, and hair to grow
There’s limited medical evidence to back this up, but it has been suggested that collagen supplements can help with leaky gut syndrome
Another claim in which there’s limited research to back it up, but it’s thought collagen can help with weight loss because it can potentially speed up people’s metabolismHow are you feeling about collagen now? We’d like to think you’re a lot clearer on the main collagen benefits and now feel more than informed about what it is and some of ways it helps with skin and body health. To continue your collagen research read, ‘Can collagen keep your joints and bones healthy?’ Shop Supplements
Last updated: 8 February 2020
Author: Bhupesh Panchal, Regulatory Affairs
Bhupesh started his career as a clinical toxicologist for Public Health England, advising healthcare professionals all around the country on how to manage clinical cases of adverse exposure to supplements, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, industrial chemicals and agricultural products. After 7 years in this role and a further year working as a drug safety officer in the pharmaceutical industry, Bhupesh joined Holland & Barrett as a Senior Regulatory Affairs Associate in 2019.Bhupesh specialises in vitamins & minerals nutrition, health benefits & safety of botanicals and traditional herbal medicines. View Bhupesh's LinkedIn profile. In his spare time, Bhupesh likes to cycle and has been learning to speak Korean for several years.