Collagen - Benefits, Food Sources, Dose, Virtues
Anyone who cares about the quality of their skin has heard of collagen, the miracle ingredient in any good anti-aging cream.
But this protein naturally present in the human body has many other uses... The point about collagen and its benefits!
Photo by Ponyo Sakana from Pexels
Collagen has been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine to treat joint disorders: doctors at the time advised their patients to consume animal cartilage, which is naturally very well endowed.
Later, in the 12th century, the German nun, Doctor of the Church, Hildegarde de Bingen, recommended the consumption of calf foot broth to strengthen the bones.
It was not until 1871 that collagen was actually identified, and a century later that European researchers began studying its effects on human health.
Collagen is a fibrous macromolecule of the glycoprotein type. It is the most abundant protein in the animal kingdom and represents 30-35% of the total protein in the human body.
Present in the skin, cartilage, tendons, connective tissue and ligaments, it ensures its adequate structure and solidity.
Collagen comes from the Greek kolla, meaning glue, in reference to its adhesive functions.
Collagen is necessary for both skin elasticity and joint flexibility.
It also has the ability to attract and retain water in the tissues to combat dehydration.
There are 3 types of collagen: collagen I in the skin and bone tissue, collagen II in the cartilage and collagen III in the muscles and blood network.
Unfortunately, the production of collagen in our body decreases with age, especially after age 40.
This decrease in collagen is the cause of the reduced elasticity of the skin and the fragility of the joints and bones.
Relatively few foods contain collagen.
It is found in the meat: especially in the gelatinous parts of the meat, such as the legs or paws, the tail, the snout, the marrow bone broth... Veal broth is also an interesting source of collagen.
The egg yolk membrane also contains collagens.
Collagen of marine origin is also found in the skin, bones and scales of fish. Finally, animal gelatin is made from animal raw materials rich in collagen.
Benefits and virtues
Pain in the joints
Collagen, one of the main ingredients of the joints, ensures their cohesion and elasticity.
When pain appears, due to age or intense physical activity, it is generally related to a deterioration of the connective tissue, which is in turn composed of collagen.
A 2008 U.S. study1 examines the effects of a collagen hydrolysate on joint pain in athletes.
The results suggest that "athletes who consume hydrolyzed collagen may reduce parameters (such as pain) that have a negative impact on athletic performance.
One year later, in 2009,2 a randomized trial studied the effect of collagen hydrolysate on joint comfort.
The results showed "a significant improvement in knee joint comfort as assessed by the visual analog scales for pain and the stomach pain subscale. »
A clinical trial conducted in 20083 at Anhui Medical University in China compared the effect of chicken-derived type II collagen (CIIC) and a basic treatment for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), called methotrexate (MTX), in RA.
The trial results suggested that type II chicken collagen was "effective in the treatment of RA. ICS is well tolerated and the incidence of adverse events for ICS is lower than for MTX.
A study dating from 20164 sought to evaluate the efficacy of undenatured type 2 collagen (UC-II) in osteoarthritic knee pain.
He concluded that "UC-II improved knee joint symptoms in subjects with knee osteoarthritis and was well tolerated. »
The quality and youth of the skin
Collagen synthesis decreases by about 1.5% per year from the age of 25. The level of body collagen is thus reduced by 30% at the age of 40 and by 60% at the age of 60.
This deficit of collagen, which increases with age, is directly related to a decrease in the quality of the skin, which becomes thinner, more fragile and wrinkled over the years.
A Brazilian study conducted in 20135 shows that a daily supplement of collagen hydrolysate for 4 weeks is effective in improving skin elasticity.
The same authors showed one year later6 that an oral collagen peptide treatment for 8 weeks reduced skin wrinkles.
Collagen is preferably taken before meals, and its absorption is promoted by vitamin C, hence the interest in coupling the two elements.
The dosage of collagen food supplements is not subject to a specific official recommendation. Manufacturers recommend doses ranging from 1 to 5 g per day. Cures should be followed for at least 3 months so that the patient can appreciate the effects.
In cosmetology, collagen is used in the composition of creams or serums, to be applied generally once or twice a day on the skin.
Side effects and contraindications
Collagen supplements are generally very well tolerated.
In a few rare cases, they can cause mild gastrointestinal distress. People with kidney failure should consult their doctor before taking collagen hydrolysate.