By Emily Hirsch, MS, RD
Searching for the fountain of youth and still coming up empty-handed? Collagen may not be springing from fountains, but adding it to your daily routine may be the answer to helping you look and feel great all while slowing the aging process.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body. This protein plays an important role in binding connective tissues and is often referred to as the “glue” that holds the body together. Collagen creates the building blocks of your skin, hair, nails, cartilage, bones, tendons and joints.
Adding collagen into your daily routine can keep skin looking plump and smooth all while reducing the appearance of wrinkles.
Your body’s collagen production slows at a rate of 1 percent per year beginning around age 20, and you may have lost as much as 30% beginning around the age of 50. As you can imagine, losing collagen can take its toll on your skin, along with other parts of your body like your bones and joints. Collagen loss leads to increasing wrinkles, hair loss, brittle nails and joint discomfort and stiffness.
Adding collagen into your daily routine can keep skin looking plump and smooth all while reducing the appearance of wrinkles. Additionally, collagen supplements can keep your muscles and joints feeling young and mobile.
A study in 2014 found that for women ages 35 to 55 who took a daily collagen supplement for eight weeks, showed a significant improvement in skin elasticity compared with those who didn’t take it. Additionally, in a recent review of eight studies, researchers concluded that short- and long-term use of collagen supplementation can increase skin elasticity, hydration and skin collagen concentration with no reported side effects.
A 2018 systematic review published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, researchers found that collagen supplements provided short-term relief from osteoarthritis-associated pain.
With all the potential benefits collagen provides, there are many opportunities to add collagen as you move through your daily routine.
Adding collagen to your daily routine is a simple way to improve your skin, reduce joint discomfort and even enhance the quality of your sleep.
Research shows that regular collagen supplementation is required to maintain its anti-aging benefits.