Collagen is a fibrous protein found in tendons, muscles, bones, cartilage and skin. It plays an important role in maintaining skin elasticity. As we age, collagen produced by the body decreases- up to thirty percent by age forty. Other factors like too much exposure to sun damages the collagen present in the skin. This shows up as wrinkles and sagging skin. With advancing age there is pain in the joints and the nails become brittle as collagen is the building block of our body.
Many women resort to collagen supplements in a bid to overcome these problems. Synthetic collagen is sourced from cattle and chicken. It is available as pills, creams and injections. Oral supplements are the best as collagen is absorbed from inside. Injections are helpful too as they plump out the skin. The effects of supplements make take about two weeks to show. Collagen creams only moisturise the skin but the collagen molecules are too large to be absorbed by the skin.
People go in for collagen supplements because they have an overall rejuvenating effect. The results become apparent in a short time. Other benefits are:
- It has a marked effect on the skin reducing wrinkles and is better able to maintain lean muscle tissues.
- People suffering from arthritis experience improved mobility as it reduces inflammation. It benefits many other bone problems too.
- Collagen two is a major component of hyaline cartilage so supplements containing it help to reduce pain.
- They accelerate healing and strengthen connective tissues.
- Skin hair and nails become more youthful.
- It has a beneficial effect on the heart as it improves the circulation. This becomes possible as blood vessels are strengthened.
However, there may be some side effects of collagen supplements:
- Collagen injections have to be repeated after a few months. The effect is temporary as collagen is absorbed back in the body.
- The bruising at the site of the injection can last up to seven days.
- There may be rash or extensive swelling. Red bumps may be formed which may worsen and there may be permanent scarring. In addition allergic reaction may cause nausea, headache and vomiting.
- Infection may occur if the injection is not given in a sterile environment.
- Those suffering from auto-immune diseases can suffer form and adverse effect.
- Collagen can migrate giving a puffy or lopsided look. Firmness of the skin and contours of the face are affected and may become distorted by collagen.
So it is clear that if you consult an experienced doctor and identify safe supplements, you stand to gain tremendously from collagen supplements and improve your quality of life.