The demand for products to improve appearance and skin condition has existed all through the ages. With time, this demand has grown explosively, with various conditions being responsible for the growing demand. For instance, lifestyle, pollution and other environmental effects on the skin have contributed to the demand for supplements to nourish and rejuvenate dull lifeless skin. The range of products presently available promise everything from flawless skin, to smooth and supple skin. Collagen supplements help boost collagen levels and restore balance, helping users get youthful looking skin. Here is a compilation of possible side effects of collagen, that will help users prevent or mitigate undesirable effects.
What is collagen and what are the side effects of collagen?
Before we take a look at the possible side effects of collagen, its time to understand more about collagen. Medically known as a peptide substance, collagen accounts for one third of the total proteins in the body of mammals. It is the primary constituent in the skin, in the connective tissue, and is part of organic substances in bones and teeth. Collagen has essential, integral functions – and the most important is the structural support that it provides to the connective tissues, the muscles and skin. Without collagen, individuals will end up with skin that is saggy and bones/joints that are not firm and supportive enough.
Collagen has a very important role in providing elasticity for the skin, and is produced naturally in the body. With advancing age, the ability of the body to produce proteins and collagen is reduced, and this impacts elasticity, resulting in the skin of aged individuals sagging. The formation of wrinkles is also attributed to the lack of elasticity. Food products that contain collagen help boost collagen levels to a certain extent, but, the best option for individuals who wish to increase collagen is to pick the right kind of supplements. One of the side effects of collagen is the formation of keloids due to excessive protein intake, it is therefore necessary to ensure that the intake is moderated as per requirement. Collagen peptides taken in the form of oral supplements help build up collagen levels in the skin and cartilage and this helps fight the effects attributed to lesser collagen levels.
Standout benefits of collagen peptides
Before we look at the side effects of collagen it is important to understand the known and standout benefits of collagen peptides. This will help identify the most suitable use cases and will prevent incorrect usage of the supplement. Full information about the supplement will also help individuals clearly understand more about the ideal quantity or dosage that needs to be consumed.
#1 Collagen helps improve skin health
Collagen is known to improve skin health. Studies have been conducted in the past to learn all about the claimed and the reported benefits of collagen in improving skin condition. The property of collagen in increasing moisture levels in the skin, the ability to reduce the formation of wrinkles and the enhanced elasticity levels are all considered as beneficial to skin health. Studies have backed these claims and there is enough documented evidence to prove the positive effects of collagen on the skin.
#2 Collagen helps improve joint health
Collagen is also known to have positive impact on joint health. The cartilage and joints typically wear and become unstable among the elderly, and this is attributed to the lesser collagen levels in the body. By increasing the collagen levels appropriately, it is possible to manage the conditions more effectively. Studies that were conducted on individuals who received supplements clearly indicate that the peptides have desirable outcomes. Elderly patients reported a clearly restoration and of ability, with eh peptides preventing further deterioration. This also help in pain management, as individuals with joint and cartilage problems typically experience pain n the joints that is difficult to handle.
#3 Collagen helps improve muscle mass
There is clear evidence that links increase in muscle mass with intake of collagen. There is scientific evidence to prove that collagen has an impact on the skin and cartilage, and by virtue of this, there is enough evidence to suggest that collagen also has an impact on muscle mass. Snice collagen belongs to the category of proteins, it helps build muscle. Amino acids and proteins are considered as the building blocks of muscle and by virtue of collage being an insoluble/fibrous protein, it has the same effect on muscles. However, it is important to note that collagen will present benefits only when the individuals on the supplements take up resistance training alongside. It is hard to expect results by merely taking collagen.
#4 Collagen helps manage bone health
Bone loss is another age-related condition, that is also attributed to lesser collagen production in the body. One of the important constituents in bone health, collagen helps keep bones strong, apart from helping maintain the structure of bones. Lesser collagen results in poor bone health, in addition to deteriorating structural support. With advancing age, osteoporosis is relatively common, and this is attributed to various conditions, which includes the lack of adequate collagen in the bones and cartilage.
Studies have clearly shown that collagen supplements help improve bone density and bone health among individuals. Studies have taken in to account the comparative results on individuals who were not on collagen supplements.
#5 Collagen boost heart health
Perhaps, one of the most striking benefits of collagen is its effect on heart health. While the insoluble protein has always been associated with various skin and cartilage related conditions, the impact on heart health is surprising. Studies have clearly documented the positive impact of collagen on heart health – participants in various studies have reported a decrease in stiffness associated with arteries, apart from a reduction in bad cholesterol levels, that are commonly known as low-density lipoprotein. Many heart related complications have been attributed stiff arteries and high levels of LDL. By virtue of reducing the stiffness in the arteries and by bringing down the LDL levels, individuals benefit from better cardiovascular health. There are other claims about collagen with respect to cardiovascular related conditions, but the same has not been fully corroborated or substantiated by scientific studies.
#6 Other benefits of collagen
In addition to the above, collagen is also known to present benefits that include improvement in gut health. Tis is very important as it help individuals experience overall better health. Similarly, collagen peptides are also known to help individuals in maintaining weight at desired levels, as collagen is an important protein. Other benefits of the peptides are mainly as a result of the mechanism of action, and this includes considerable improvement in mood, and a reduction in anxiety levels, apart from helping improve growth of nail and hair among users. This is related to the impact of collagen on skin and cartilage.
Side effects of collagen
Now that we have a clear idea of the benefits of collagen and the ideal use cases, it is time to look at the side effects of the supplements. Among the commonly reported side effects of collagen are digestion related undesirable outcomes. These effects are not strong or persistent in nature and are typically minor in nature. The problems are known to resolve naturally and quickly without the need for medical intervention. This is attributed to the oral form of the supplements and the fact that collagen is considered as insoluble proteins. However, excessive intake of collagen supplements may result in the formation of keloids. It is important to take only the required levels of collagen supplements to avoid this condition.
Other side effects of collagen include the possibility of experiencing bouts of diarrhea when on the supplements. This is again attributed to the fact that the collagen is typically insoluble and the peptide form of the collagen may cause some kind of discomfort that could result in diarrhea. These side effects of collagen are also typically mild in nature and may not require any kind of medication or medical intervention. As an extension of the above undesirable outcomes, individuals on the supplements are also likely to experience a general heavy feeling in the stomach. This may also resolve naturally after the initial stages of taking the supplements, and the user is most likely to adopt or adapt to the supplements.
Among the side effects of collagen, the possibility of the outbreak of rashes is considered as more uncomfortable. This is because of the physical manifestation and presentation of the rashes. While this is also not serious in nature, it may sometimes require topical applications to control the rashes. The rashes may also resolve naturally without the need for medication or attention, but in the event of the rashes appearing strong or intense, it may be necessary to take suitable treatment with specialist advice.
Suitability of collagen supplements for individuals with history of allergies
One of the side effects of collagen is the possibility of allergies, that are attributed to the content or ingredients in the collagen peptides. As the peptides are sourced from animal content, individuals with a history of allergies to certain products or proteins may experience outbreak of allergies when consuming the supplements. It is therefore necessary for individuals with allergies to avoid the supplements. It may be necessary to look for products that are free from ingredients that trigger allergies. Individuals are to clearly identify the reason for allergies (the type of allergens that cause the allergies) and then cross check with the ingredients on the label. This will help prevent the outbreak of allergies that are attributed to intake or contact with allergens.
Suitability of collagen supplements for individuals with special dietary preferences
In addition to information about the side effects of collagen, it is also necessary to learn all about the suitability of collagen supplements for all categories of users. For instance, many individuals presently have special dietary preferences – vegetarian diets, keto diets etc. It is necessary to understand that collagen supplements are not vegetarian in content. Manufacturers produce the collagen peptides from animal sources. In other words, the peptides are made from the bones of animals, from the protein content of animals.
Individuals who avoid any form of animal content in diets or supplements are advised to stay away from collagen supplements. While options exist for vegetarian sources, the choice is relatively lesser when compared with collagen peptides sourced from animal content. It is important to clearly check for and seek collagen peptides from sources and manufacturers who clearly label the products as free from animal content.