Collagen powder: benefits and how to use?

This content is part of the Alternative Medicine category and may contain information that lacks scientific studies and/or medical consensus.

You may not even know what collagen powder is, but you’ve certainly heard about it. For those unfamiliar, it is important to know that collagen is produced by the body and is the most abundant protein in animals, including humans.

This protein can represent 25% to 30% of the body’s protein content. It is usually found in connective tissues such as bones, tendons, cartilage, veins, skin, teeth etc. ( 1 , 2 )

However, over the years, people end up suffering from a deficiency of this substance. This is because, with the arrival of adulthood, the body naturally decreases collagen production.

Therefore, it is necessary to supplement this protein , either through functional foods or through products made with this substance. One of these types is collagen powder, purchased from pharmacies. Follow below its benefits and how to use it.

What is collagen powder for?

Some of the main benefits of collagen powder are the prevention and treatment of gastrointestinal disorders. That’s because, this substance is considered a source of nutritious fiber.

Thus, the product is able to maintain the normal functioning of the gastrointestinal tract, increases the volume of stools and helps prevent constipation . ( 2 )

See below for other benefits of collagen powder and its consequences!

Improves skin firmness

The collagen supplement has proven action in improving the elasticity and firmness of the dermis. According to a Brazilian research carried out at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Ribeirão Preto (FCRP) at USP, this product acts by reducing flaccidity.

The FCRP professor and researcher, Patrícia Maia Campos, explains that the amino acids present in the composition of this product stimulate protein synthesis in the body.

The study was carried out with 60 women between 45 and 60 years of age, over a period of 90 days. Each participant used 10 grams of hydrolyzate daily. But, in the first 45 days, the team performed some tests, such as an ultrasound of the dermis. As a result, you can see more firmness and hydration on the skin. ( 3 )

Protect the joints

Another great effect of collagen powder is the protection of the body’s joints. This is because the fibrous protein acts as a joint cartilage lubricant, thus alleviating joint problems.

For example, gelatine that contains collagen is used, in addition to its use as food, as a folk remedy to improve blood circulation and diseases that affect the joints. With that, the product stands out as efficient in the treatment of osteoarticular diseases. ( 1 )

Allied to the benefit of the joints mentioned, collagen powder can also be applied in the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. Clinical studies have proven that the daily use of 10 grams of this product is enough to reduce joint pain that is very common in these problems.

This benefit has even aroused the interest of researchers, as in addition to attenuating the sensation of pain, hydrolyzed collagen has not shown side effects in patients. For this reason, it can be used in the long term in the treatment of these chronic diseases. ( 1 )

Another study, this time carried out by the Department of Public Health, Epidemiological and Economic Health at the Public Faculty of Liége, Belgium, showed a significant reduction in pain in patients.

Among the problems involved in this case were joint problems in the upper, lower and lower limbs. Altogether, 200 patients were observed, between men and women over 50 years.

All of them had chronic joint disease and as treatment they continued taking 1,200 mg collagen capsules a day. After six months, researchers observed an improvement in 51% of cases. ( 4 )

prevents aging

One of the best-known benefits of collagen is the prevention of skin wear. That’s why this protein is so used by the cosmetic industries in the manufacture of anti-aging products.

Even the lack of collagen in a natural way is considered one of the main reasons to explain aging. So, to regain skin elasticity and reduce the signs of this process, it is important to supplement the substance. ( 1 )

Another study, also Brazilian, decided to certify the veracity of this benefit by observing 30 patients. The research results show that using a nutritional supplement containing collagen, Hibiscus sabdariffa and  vitamin C daily ends up favoring the skin.

The benefits of this use are: greater elasticity, skin hydration, more firmness, less flaccidity and help to prevent dermal atrophy. ( 5 )

Helps in the treatment of hypertension

And who would have thought that a product so used by cosmetic industries would also serve as a heart health protector ? This is because the hydrolyzed collagen of bovine and porcine origin has an anti-hypertensive effect.

After studies carried out with hypertensive rats , it became evident that this protein has a potential to be applied in treatments and preventive actions of hypertension. ( 2 )

Protects the body against gastric ulcer

Studies show that depending on the dosage, collagen treatment can reduce the effects of gastric ulcers on the body by 40% to 77%. ( 2 )

Collagen powder: how to use it?

Collagen powder is a product easily found in pharmacies throughout Brazil. And it can be used as a mix for water or other natural drinks such as citrus juices. Thus, the protein ends up being better absorbed by the body.

In addition to the powdered type, collagen can also be found in the formula of some foods such as cereal bars, yogurts, ice cream, protein shakes and even chocolates . ( 4 ) However, the most suitable form of consumption remains the powder version.

Types of this protein

There are at least 18 types (named with Roman numerals) of this protein that vary according to diameter, composition, length, molecular structure, concentration and where they are found. Check out below those found in the skeletal musculature of animals and their main characteristics:

  • I: present in skin, bones, teeth and tendons. It is the most abundant in the body
  • II: found in cartilage, serving as a “spring” for the body
  • III: can be seen in arteries, muscles of the intestines and uterus, and in organs such as the liver, spleen and kidneys
  • IV: is produced by epithelial, muscle and blood capillary cells
  • V: is associated with type I, so it can be found in tendons, skin and bones. In addition to being present in the blood and placenta
  • XII: also interacts with the I, being found in tendons and ligaments.

Sources

As already mentioned, collagen is produced by the human body. However, over time this production decreases. Thus, some people and specialists started using collagen extracted from animals. For this reason, it is considered a product of animal origin. ( 2 )

Common questions

1) What is the amount of collagen powder per day?

In view of research, experts recommend that the daily dose of collagen powder is 10 grams. ( 1 )

2) What is the best time to take collagen powder?

There is no specific time to take collagen, following the consumer’s preference. But generally speaking, people prefer to consume it in the morning, often before breakfast.

3) How long does it take to take effect?

According to a study, after 30 days of use it is already possible to notice the differences in the appearance of the skin. ( 5 )

4) How much does this product cost?

The price of collagen powder will depend on the quantity and brand. Despite this, the values ​​vary between R$15 and R$140.

Is there a contraindication for collagen powder?

The contraindication of collagen powder applies to patients who have kidney problems. This is because collagen is a protein and this group of people needs to restrict protein, thus reducing the risk of kidney failure. ( 6 )

But if you have a chronic problem or use controlled medications, the ideal is to seek the opinion of a doctor before using this product.

Ellie Lauderdale

My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .

I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.

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