Many kinds of supplements have been used to help stimulate weight loss, including vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, and supplements that help increase metabolism. One supplement that has come into popularity for weight loss is collagen protein. Many collagen protein supplements claim to be able to help increase health and youthful appearance and promote weight loss, but what exactly is collagen? And how can supplementing with collagen help anyone lose weight?
What Is Collagen Protein?
Collagen is the second-most common substance found in the human body, with the first being water. Collagen protein provides the basis for strong connective tissues and healthy skin, and is a building block for all the body's systems. It also is a major component of membranes that surround and protect the internal organs, and of blood vessels, ligaments, tendons and bones. One fourth to one third of all the protein in the body is collagen protein.
Aging causes collagen protein to break down, leading to thinner, less elastic skin, weaker connective tissues, wrinkles, and other visible and non-visible signs of age. Not only does the collagen break down, but the body actually loses the ability to make more. This process begins at about the age of twenty. As the skin sags and wrinkles, hair becomes thinner and joints stiffen as connective tissues lose elasticity and wear down.
It is believed that supplementation with collagen protein can help restore this vital substance, allowing the body to repair itself. Collagen protein supplements supply the body with important amino acids that serve as building blocks to help strengthen and restore weakened connective tissues throughout the body, bringing back the tensile strength of youth that allows for a smooth appearance to the skin and a healthy elasticity to tendons and ligaments.
Additional effects of collagen protein supplements include:
- Better metabolism
- Improved appearance of the skin
- More reliable sleep patterns
- Higher energy levels
- Better skin elasticity
- Muscle retention
With more efficient metabolism and higher energy, weight loss often follows, leading to much improved overall health. The body is able to burn fat more efficiently, and increased energy levels lead to more frequent and more efficient exercise. Better, more reliable sleep cycles also help the body function at higher levels and eliminate fatigue that can cause stress and over-eating. Retention of energy-burning muscles also helps increase metabolism and the body's overall fuel-burning efficiency. Increased skin elasticity reduces lines and wrinkles, leading to a more youthful appearance.
Sources of Collagen Protein
Collagen protein can be acquired from various natural sources, as well as naturally-derived supplements. Some natural sources that help provide collagen building blocks or help stimulate the body to produce collagen include:
- Hyaluronic acid, derived from kelp
- CoQ10, a readily available supplement that also helps promote cardiovascular health
- Genistein, an isoflavone found in soy products
Collagen-building amino acids included in numerous supplements can also be derived from a variety of high-quality, natural sources, including marine and bovine sources. If taking collagen supplements, be sure to take a close look at the ingredients and how they are derived to avoid any possible interactions or allergies. Also, check with a doctor before taking any supplements to prevent drug interactions or other serious issues.