You might have heard about the benefits of collagen for hair, skin and nails.
However, did you know that collagen may also help increase muscle mass and improve heart health?
Collagen forms a major part of our skeletal muscle, making up about 1-10% of the dry weight of the muscle mass. Does this mean taking collagen peptide supplements may help boost muscle mass?
Collagen contains a significant amount of amino acids glycine and proline. These are building blocks for creatine, a muscle protein, which is widely used as a supplement for increasing muscle mass in the sports world.
Creatine not only promotes muscle growth but also supplies energy for muscular contraction during sports and other physical activities.
Collagen also contains amino acids arginine and glutamine that help repair muscles and heal wounds.
Moreover, studies show that collagen peptide supplements may help people suffering from muscle loss due to age; a condition known as sarcopenia.
In a double-blind placebo-controlled study, 53 men aged 70+ were exposed to a 12-week physical training programme. Some of them were supplemented with collagen peptides while others were given silica as a placebo.
As the study was concluded, it was observed that participants taking collagen supplements showed a significantly higher increase in fat-free muscle mass and experienced improved muscle strength.
Collagen shows some promising health benefits for the muscles in our body.
But does that include the heart?
Our heart is a muscular organ which pumps blood throughout the body using arteries and veins. Collagen forms an integral part of these arteries and veins, giving them their structure and enhancing their strength and integrity to help with blood supply across the body.
This implies that as our collagen supplies decline naturally with age, our arteries and veins become weak and fragile. Consequently, these weakened arteries and veins disrupt normal circulation of blood causing conditions such as varicose veins; studies show that patients with varicose veins have significantly different composition of collagen types I and III.
Other studies show that collagen peptides may help contribute towards the prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a heart condition in which the arteries become narrow and hard due to a buildup of fats, cholesterol and other substances inside their walls. This can lead to deadly diseases such as the coronary heart disease and high blood pressure.
Studies also suggest that the intake of collagen peptide supplements may increase the levels of HDL cholesterol which is good for our bodies. People with low levels of HDL cholesterol have a higher risk for developing heart diseases.
Tldr; collagen peptide supplements have been found to help decrease the risk factors associated with certain heart conditions such as atherosclerosis and may improve cardiovascular health.
Although more research is required to study the effects of collagen on heart health and its role in boosting muscle mass, it’s true that collagen has already shown some promising results.
Have you tried collagen peptide supplements before? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Gillies, A. R., & Lieber, R. L. (2011). Structure and function of the skeletal muscle extracellular matrix. Muscle & nerve, 44(3), 318–331. https://doi.org/10.1002/mus.22094
Zdzieblik, D., Oesser, S., Baumstark, M. W., Gollhofer, A., & König, D. (2015). Collagen peptide supplementation in combination with resistance training improves body composition and increases muscle strength in elderly sarcopenic men: a randomised controlled trial. The British journal of nutrition, 114(8), 1237–1245. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0007114515002810
Tomosugi, N., Yamamoto, S., Takeuchi, M., Yonekura, H., Ishigaki, Y., Numata, N., Katsuda, S., & Sakai, Y. (2017). Effect of Collagen Tripeptide on Atherosclerosis in Healthy Humans. Journal of atherosclerosis and thrombosis, 24(5), 530–538. https://doi.org/10.5551/jat.36293
Sansilvestri-Morel, P., Patricia Sansilvestri-Morel From the Division of Angiology, Rupin, A., Alain Rupin From the Division of Angiology, Jaisson, S., Stéphane Jaisson From the Division of Angiology, . . . Vanhoutte, C. (2002, July 01). Synthesis of collagen is dysregulated in cultured fibroblasts derived from skin of subjects with varicose veins as it is in venous smooth muscle cells. Retrieved March 31, 2021, from https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/01.CIR.0000022846.22923.46
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