Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body. It constituents about 30% of the total protein in the body, and it is the primary building block of your muscles, skin, tendons, bones and ligaments. It is also found in many blood vessels, organs and intestinal lining.
The main function of collagen is to provide strength, structure, and support throughout the body. These roles include replacing dead skin cells, helping your blood clot, providing a protective covering for your organs and giving structure and elasticity to your skin.
Your body makes collagen naturally, and you can support this by eating a balanced diet, which includes fruits and vegetables. The food sources that provide collagen include eggs, meat, almonds, apples, whole-wheat bread, plain yoghurt, fish, etc.
In situations where the body lacks natural collagen, supplements are always available to compensate for it. Collagen supplements are available in various drug stores and supermarkets and can also be one of the ingredients in many creams.
Some factors that can decrease collagen levels in your body include exposure to ultraviolet rays, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and eating too many refined carbs and sugar.
The amount of collagen supplement you should take daily depends on why you are taking it and the form you are taking. If you are taking hydrolysed collagen, which is one of the most common forms of collagen supplement, the dosage is 2.5 to 15 g.
For undenatured collagen supplements, the dosage is 10 to 40 mg. Lastly, there is a form of collagen called gelatin, it is less often sold as a supplement but is used as an ingredient for some desserts, soups, sauces, and smoothies. However, it doesn’t have a specific dosage. Every collagen supplement has a recommended dosage from the manufacturer, so ensure you check them before taking them.
Side Effects of Collagen
Collagen supplements have not been associated with any adverse side effects. However, some manufacturers may combine other ingredients in the supplements that may cause side effects.
Consult a doctor before using collagen supplements if you are on a vegan or kosher diet. Also, if you have fish, egg, or shellfish allergies (any of these ingredients may be contained in the supplements).