Collagen is an important protein that the human body regularly produces. It plays a crucial role in the body’s function and existence, by supporting the structure of the skin, bones, muscles, and connective tissue It holds the body’s cells together and gives stiffness and elasticity to the skin.
Why Collagen is important for your body?
Collagen is among the most abundant of the proteins that the human body produces. However, as a person ages, the rate of collagen production decreases.
As a consequence, the skin loses its firmness and starts sagging. This reduction in the elasticity of the skin is the main cause of wrinkle formation.
Meat and fish are good sources of collagen so regular intake of these can help in collagen replenishment. Bone broth is especially rich in collagen.
However, what is obtained through these sources is not always sufficient to keep the skin fully elastic so many people rely on collagen health supplements to make up for the depletion.
Let us dig deeper into understanding these collagen supplements and what are the common collagen side effects that users need to be aware of.
Benefits of taking Collagen Supplements
Collagen supplements help the individual in various ways if the body is unable to produce enough of it. The main benefits of taking a collagen supplement are the following:
Studies done on those taking collagen supplements have shown that the supplements help the cells to retain moisture better, increase the thickness of collagen fibers, and improve the elasticity of the skin. All these together prevent the formation of wrinkles and smooth out those that have already been formed.
Helps in promoting gut health
Collagen supplements are seen to have a curative effect on those who have problems related to irritable bowel disease. This is so, because, by strengthening the connective tissue of the gastrointestinal tract, collagen creates an environment that is conducive to healing problems resulting from IBD.
Replaces the collagen lost through the process of aging
Collagen is necessary for keeping the cells strong by binding them together. When the body fails to produce it naturally, the supplement makes up for the shortage and keeps the person healthy.
Reduces pains in joints
Because of the role collagen plays in supporting the structure of connective tissue, collagen supplements can help in keeping the joints strong and keep a person healthy and vibrant. The collagen supplements are generally anti-inflammatory in nature, and can also help in repairing cartilage. All these properties make collagen supplements highly beneficial for athletes.
Helps in keeping the bones healthy
Regular taking of collagen peptides, which are fragments of collagen that are more easily absorbed by the body, is seen to benefit the bones. Studies have shown that the bones of those taking collagen peptides have better mineral density as collagen can decelerate bone loss and help bone formation.
Are there any Collagen side effects that we need to be aware of?
Collagen supplements are generally considered safe to take and risk-free. It is necessary for skin and muscle health and so is often prescribed by doctors. Negative collagen side effects have rarely been reported by users.
Nevertheless, the likelihood of problems cannot be completely ruled out because collagen supplements are sometimes made by pharmaceuticals in combination with medicinal herbs or vitamins to make the supplement beneficial in more than one way, or to make it highly effective in the treatment of skin, hair, nails, etc.
Some herbal extracts in supplements may interact negatively with medications that people take on a regular basis for chronic ailments.
And some add-ons incorporated in the supplement may affect expectant or breastfeeding women negatively.
There are supplements that contain collagen and biotin. Biotin is a B Vitamin that plays a crucial role in many metabolic processes.
Combining collagen with other minerals or vitamins may create similar problems, especially when such supplements are taken continuously.
However, if a supplement consists only of collagen, it is unlikely to create any problems for the user.
In short, those, who are under treatment for any medical condition and are taking medicines, should take collagen supplements only in consultation with their personal physician. This rule is applicable to expectant and lactating women also.
Commonly reported Collagen side effects
As already noted, collagen supplements may create negative side effects under certain circumstances. Some of these possibilities are listed below:
Problems of medicine sensitivity
There is a range of foods and drugs that could cause allergies in people. Collagen may not be a major allergen but still some people may be sensitive to it.
It may cause constipation
Constipation is a likelihood in the case of some, especially if they take too much of the supplement. However, studies indicate that the problem soon gets rectified as the body becomes familiar with the change.
It may cause allergy
Those who are allergic to gelatin may be allergic to collagen also because gelatin is cooked collagen. Allergy to collagen is rare, but a reaction to the supplement can be intense for those who are allergic. Anyone who develops allergic reactions after taking collagen supplements should immediately consult a doctor and get some antidotes.
Problems related to the gastrointestinal tract
If some people are already suffering from problems related to gut health, taking collagen supplements may worsen these problems. People have complained of bloating and worsening symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome after taking collagen supplements.
Kidney stones are a possibility
Collagen contains the amino acid known as hydroxyproline. This may get converted into oxalate inside the human body. Too much oxalate in the urine could lead to the formation of kidney stones. However, in most cases, it is a likelihood only if a person takes too much of the supplement.
Collagen is widely recognized for its wonderful benefits in enhancing the health and radiance of our skin. But most people don’t know that it can also work wonders for other aspects of our well-being, including our bones, joints, and heart.
Following the guidance of a healthcare professional, incorporating collagen supplements into your routine is typically a safe choice.
Rest assured, for the majority of adults, the consumption of collagen supplements is unlikely to present any notable health risks.