Matthew Burrell N.D.
Naturopath and Neuromuscular Therapist
I’m sure by now, you will have come across advertising and influencers advocating for the benefits of collagen. Some of you may have been wowed by the information, some of you may be sceptical.
Allow me to explain what collagen is, the importance of collagen production, and its benefits.
FIRSTLY, WHAT IS COLLAGEN?
The word collagen originates from the Greek word “kola” meaning gum and “gen” meaning producing, essentially translating to the gum that holds us together.
Collagen is a protein found in the human body that accounts for approximately 30-40% of your total protein status. It provides structure to your skin, tendons, and bones. If you imagine a rope, the helix structure of collagen is very similar and that’s how it’s intertwining configuration provides stability and strength.
Collagen forms a large portion of your extracellular matrix; a scaffold-like entity that provides structural support to the cells within all tissues and organs. It affects how your cells communicate and interact, regulating cellular growth and metabolism.
So, collagen certainly delivers on this promise when it comes to structure governing function. Collagen is clearly a very important biological ‘glue’.
WHAT FACTORS IMPACT COLLAGEN PRODUCTION?
There are several factors that can result in a reduction in collagen production. The most impacting is aging. As you age your body begins to break down collagen at a greater rate than it can be produced. Other factors such as UV exposure, smoking, consumption of inflammatory foods, stress, and genetics can also impact your collagen stores.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF COLLAGEN?
Hydrolysed collagen proteins can be extremely helpful in a number of situations. Given that collagen plays a key structural role in many tissues, it has been shown to:
- help improve bone integrity;
- support healthy blood pressure;
- improve nail growth;
- reduce the appearance of wrinkles and rejuvenate the skin;
- decrease some of the symptoms associated with osteoarthritis;
- improved gastrointestinal tract health.
For athletes wondering about the benefits and use of collagen supplementation, a recent study showed that collagen supplementation (i.e. 15g in 250ml of water), consumed within 60 minutes after resistance exercise training over a 12-week period was associated with:
- Increased body mass – A significant difference in increased muscle mass compared to the group who did not receive collagen peptides.
- Fat-free mass – This was a result of increased lean muscle mass. Larger amounts of lean muscle mass ensure that your metabolism (engine) is running is running efficiently.
- Muscle strength – Although both groups improved in muscle strength there was a greater improvement in the group that received collagen supplementation.
If you haven’t tried collagen before and you feel that you would like to improve the structure and function of your bones, skin, joints, muscles, and gastrointestinal tract.
Feel free to pop into Claridge Naturopathic Clinic, to check out our high-quality, inexpensive collagen product available in our Nurture Healthy Living Store.
If you would like specific information about the dosing and duration of your collagen prescription, I would love to discuss this with you further. Please feel free to contact our reception team on (03) 5221 8220 to arrange an appointment.
Take care and stay well,
Wang H. A Review of the Effects of Collagen Treatment in Clinical Studies. Polymers (Basel). 2021 Nov 9;13(22):3868. doi: 10.3390/polym13223868. PMID: 34833168; PMCID: PMC8620403.
Hydrolysed Collagen Proteins Making a Come back? – Designs for Health
Oertzen-Hagemann V, Kirmse et al. Effects of 12 Weeks of Hypertrophy Resistance Exercise Training Combined with Collagen Peptide Supplementation on the Skeletal Muscle Proteome in Recreationally Active Men. Nutrients. 2019 May 14;11(5):1072. doi: 10.3390/nu11051072. PMID: 31091754; PMCID: PMC6566884.