Supplementation is something we already have in place in our lifestyle. Especially in recent years, products presented as ‘healing’ for injuries, bones and muscle pain have become very fashionable. One of the most popular is collagen supplementation, a substance that is naturally produced by our bodies. So, how much do you need to take it?
Collagen is a very abundant protein in our body and a fundamental part of the tissues. It serves as ‘scaffolding’ for skin cells, bones, tendons, or cartilage. In addition, it intervenes in vital functions such as blood clotting.
«Collagen, in its different forms, is a fundamental part of all the tissues that form the joints, from the bones that articulate, the cartilage that covers the contact surfaces, the menisci that protect movement, or the ligaments that stabilize it and the muscles that move them,» stresses Dr. Luis A. Sanz Ferrando, team leader of Orthopedic Surgery and Traumatology at the Hospital Universitario HM Puerta del Sur in Madrid, in an interview with Infosalus.
According to this specialist, collagen supplements are a way of eating more protein in the diet. In fact, once ingested, he explains that it separates its components to form again, so it is not assimilated by the body directly.
Assuming that our diet is healthy and balanced, the traumatologist surgeon maintains that we should not need protein supplements of these characteristics. However, he draws attention to the particular case of older people, who do not always meet their daily protein intake needs.
The key to ageing
«Aging affects the amount and strength of collagen that our body synthesizes from the nutrients in the diet, with the skin being the most visible sign of this process,» he warns.
Furthermore, Dr. Sanz Ferrando adds at this point that in cases of dietary protein deficit, the benefit of collagen supplements is «unquestionable». Although he assures that there is no scientific evidence that, in healthy people with a balanced diet, their intake improves the symptoms or prognosis of traumatic or degenerative lesions (arthrosis).
«Even so, some people report improvement in their joint conditions and even the appearance of their skin after supplementing their diet with collagen, and it cannot be ruled out that this improvement is due to the placebo effect. It has also been proven that its intake is safe and has no side effects beyond mild digestive discomfort in some cases,» adds the team leader of Orthopedic Surgery and Traumatology at the Hospital Universitario HM Puerta del Sur in Madrid.
Foods in which we can find collagen
- The food richest in collagen is gelatin, a product derived from the connective tissue of cattle, pigs and poultry.
- We also find a high concentration of collagen components (the amino acids Glycine and Proline) in egg whites; in dairy products, cereals and meats, particularly in the skin of chicken and pigs.
- Also very important for the production of collagen are Vitamin C (fruits and vegetables) and Copper (legumes, nuts, cocoa).