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You've probably already noticed, but amino acids are enjoying great success on the market. Whether it's bone broth, increasing meat consumption in your diet, or purchasing collagen supplements, what you're doing is trying to get more amino acids.

Our body uses them to build muscle mass, but also for bones, cartilage, skin and hair, as well as connective tissue and much more. In fact, there are many types of different amino acids, although the type most present in our body is collagen, the protein that forms our connective tissue and our skin.

Since the natural production of collagen, that is, the one our body proceeds with, decreases as we age, we tend to need an adequate supply of collagen for strong bones and skin. In short, adding it to your diet is not a far-fetched idea at all, and this is why many companies that produce supplements have also begun to produce items containing collagen of animal origin, such as pills and drinks. But are these supplements really effective? This is what we want to talk about today.

collagen

What is Collagen Powder?

Let's start by saying that the different types of collagen are composed of different types of peptides, i.e. amino acids. One type supports the skin, another the tendons, and so on. This means that understanding which type is best for our health can prove difficult. 

Many peptide powders, i.e. collagen, contain a type of hydrolysed collagen type one, extracted from fish bones or bones. Hydrolyzed means that the amino acid chains have been broken, a process that allows it to dissolve in liquids. This type of collagen has achieved great popularity due to the fact that it can be added to everything from coffee to soups to smoothies. Furthermore, it is also a source of protein: two tablespoons contain approximately 18 grams.

What are the benefits of collagen powder?

Research on the side effects and benefits of collagen supplements is still ongoing, but so far some interesting aspects have been found regarding the effects of collagen powder on different parts of the body.

As for the joints, these have been by far the part of the body that has received the most attention from experts, so much so that it can already be said that collagen powder is useful for combating the symptoms of arthritis. What is not clear is how this happens. However, it is estimated that collagen tends to reduce inflammatory states, rather than contributing to the production of cartilage. 

Some studies of menopausal women taking collagen daily have also shown increased mineral density in their bones, especially when collagen is taken in combination with vitamin D and calcium. This research believes that collagen stimulates anabolic functions that promote bone growth.

And what about skin and hair?

Experts tend to say that in general the digestive process cancels the effects of collagen intake, and therefore it will not increase the protein density of skin and hair. Digestive enzymes, in fact, cancel their effectiveness, even if other research has shown how collagen peptides tend to reduce wrinkles and have healthier skin, which suggests that in the future other studies will demonstrate that there are effects also on nails and hair.

The point, if anything, is another. That is: no research shows that collagen supplements are more effective than getting it through food. 

Finally, some studies have shown that certain amino acids present in collagen, with particular reference to glycine, can reduce inflammatory states of the digestive tract. However, these are studies yet to be confirmed.

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Are Collagen Supplements Safe?

As with all supplements, studies are conducted on their health effects before they are placed on the market, so yes, we can say that there are no risks, but it is always good to contact your doctor for advice.

How to choose a collagen supplement

Given that it is increasingly advisable to choose food instead of supplements, for those who need extra help it is always better to know how to choose. First of all, the advice is to buy the product that contains the least number of ingredients, for example only hydrolyzed collagen or peptides. Secondly, to avoid using colorings and other artificial additives, it is not recommended to buy "flavored" versions which also usually contain sugars.

Finally, pay attention to product certifications. And as a final piece of advice: you can try supplements for a few months without fear of taking risks, in order to check which one is right for you.

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