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Collagen has seemingly come out of nowhere in the wellness space. It is becoming increasingly popular amongst the population as a hedge to ensure superior health and wellness outcomes. But, what is collagen? Does it have benefits? Let's explore the latest wellness product.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, made up of crucial amino acids that make up essential body areas such as skin, cartilage, and joints. Collagen can come from different sources, with the main ones being bovine and marine. Your body produces collagen on its own when in a healthy state, but this process can break down slowly as we age. Additionally, vitamin C is a critical co-factor in the production of collagen in the body. Three main types of collagen exist - Type 1, Type 2, & Type 3 all have benefits.
1) Skin Elasticity & Hydration
A commonly cited benefit of collagen supplementation is that it improves skin health outcomes. This is especially true for older populations, although younger folks looking to optimize their skin health over the long term also see great utility from collagen supplements.
2) Hair Health
Collagen is important for hair growth and structure in the body, so it could protect against hair issues over the long-term.
3) Joint Pain Relief
Collagen is a critical component of joints and cartilage; therefore, supplementing collagen can help support this, especially if there are present joint problems. This benefit seems to be more skewed to Type 2 collagen.
This is a tricky question to answer, but the best way to frame it would be "it depends." Collagen is critical to overall health and wellness, but supplementing with collagen is less certain. As a rule of thumb, maintaining a healthy diet rich in vitamins and protein should be the central area of focus for everyone. However, collagen supplementation could provide valuable benefits if you struggle with skin health, hair quality, or joint pain.
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