Discover The 5 Surprising Benefits of Collagen

Collagen superfood - Dr. Axe

Celebrities and plastic surgeons made collagen famous for its ability to support firm, healthy, glowing skin.†

But what you might not know is that collagen is also being used in many supplements. And dozens of collagen powders are popping up in supplement aisles across the country.

The reason?

New research into this powerful superfood suggests it can also play a key role in all these vital health functions: 

Collagen benefits - Dr. Axe

But what exactly is collagen ­­— and how can you incorporate it into your life?

For starters, collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies.

It’s found in our muscles, bones, skin, blood vessels, digestive system and tendons.

It’s the second most common substance in the body — second only to water.

Because of all these vital areas that collagen influences and systems it keeps operating smoothly, it’s famously called the “glue” that helps hold the body together.

And it’s a good thing we have this “glue” in our bodies. Because without it, you’d most likely see distinct signs of aging and experience joint discomfort.  

Scientists know this is true. How? Because the body’s collagen production naturally begins to slow down as people age.

That’s one of the key reasons sagging skin and joint discomfort are associated with older age.

Collagen damage - Dr. Axe

While we can get collagen from a few foods, it can be hard to consume the parts of the animals where the collagen is concentrated enough to deliver significant health benefits.

That’s why supplementing your diet with collagen and collagen-dense foods such as bone broth can be beneficial.†

And if you’re wondering what collagen is good for, I’m glad you asked.


What Is Collagen? Top 5 Collagen Benefits

1. Supports Healthy Skin and Hair

When you meet people, how do you assess their age?

While a lot of factors play into your answer, the No. 1 giveaway of someone’s age is often his or her skin.

Think about how you looked in high school (or years ago) compared to today.

For example, just take one glimpse at your high school yearbook photo or another photo from years gone by. Instantly, you can tell you’re visibly older now than you used to be.

Have you ever wondered why that is?

To begin with, as we age, our skin cells don’t regenerate and repair themselves like they used to.

Generally, as a result, our skin loses some of its elasticity over time. As our skin’s elasticity fades, we start noticing fine lines, wrinkles and other appearances of aging that are often most noticeable around the eyes and mouth.

Here’s the thing: This is actually a normal part of life.

However, this process can be accelerated by many factors.   

For example, if your skin is exposed to the sun and UV rays for too long, that can cause the skin’s normal regeneration and repair cycles to lose efficiency.†

The result? Premature signs of aging, which no one wants.

The best way to combat this cycle and fight back against the appearance of early aging is to tackle the problem on two fronts:

  1. Limit your exposure to damaging UV rays and other environmental toxins.
  2. Support and promote the skin’s health with collagen.†

I believe that collagen is so beneficial that I consider it one of the best natural skin care ingredients available. In fact, some studies point to collagen’s ability to naturally support healthy skin elasticity, moisture and smoothness.†

2. Provides Support for Joint Discomfort

While bones and muscles are great, your joints are what keep you moving and living an active lifestyle.

Without joints to help you bend, moving would be impossible.

In other words, if you want to stay mobile throughout your life, supporting and maintaining joint health is critical.

Unfortunately, as we age, joint issues can surface.

Years of wear and tear and constant moving around can lead to joint issues.

While regular exercise, a healthy diet, good posture and wearing the right shoes can slow the rate at which your joints wear down, those measures go only so far.

We have to address the root cause of joint issues and give our joints extra support. That’s where collagen can come in.†

In fact, some studies point towards Type II collagen offering relief from joint discomfort and supporting mobility.†

Top collagen benefits - Dr. Axe

3. Helps Seal a “Leaky Gut”

Certain foods and molecules — such as gluten and casein — can irritate the gut.

Over time, this can cause the gut to become more permeable, allowing even larger protein molecules to “leak” into the bloodstream.

That’s why it’s important to fortify and support your gut with collagen.† Here’s why:

Collagen is one of the body’s main supportive proteins. It’s what gives bones, cartilage and tendons their strength.†

Once cooked, it becomes “gelatin.” Gelatin is important because it can support gut health.†

Collagen also contains the critical amino acids proline and glycine, which are known for supporting a healthy gut.†

4. Supports a Healthy Metabolism, Healthy Muscles and Healthy Energy Levels

A boost in collagen may help support a healthy metabolism, thanks to the amino acid glycine.

Like proline, glycine is a main component of collagen, and is a non-essential amino acid, meaning that the body can produce it on its own when given the proper diet. Glycine is also the smallest amino acid size-wise, but it has huge and powerful effects on the body and is catalytic in various biochemical reactions.

Glycine often acts as a glucogenic amino acid, which means that it supports the body’s blood sugar level balance.† Glycine also naturally provides glucose to your body’s tissues for energy.†

Glycine can also “get on your nerves” in a good way. It can positively affect the production of brain neurotransmitters that are necessary for maintaining healthy brain function and for supporting emotional health.†

5. Promotes Deeper, More Restful Sleep

The amino acid glycine can also support more restful sleep.†

Restful sleep is a big deal, too.  

You may have heard the phrase, “You snooze, you lose.” Actually, it is more like: “You snooze, you win!”

You need to get regular, quality, restful sleep, but most Americans come up short on getting enough Zzzzzzzs. In fact, the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention says that insufficient sleep is a public health epidemic, since our modern-day American society has resulted in people sleeping less and less.

In the 1960s, the average time Americans spent sleeping was between seven and eight-and-a-half hours per night; today, however, 50 percent of the American population averages under seven hours. Plus, one out of three Americans say they get a good night’s sleep only a few nights (or less) a month.

But sleep is essential because we require enough quality, restful sleep for physical and mental well-being. Why? During sleep is when the body restores itself through muscle growth, tissue repair, protein synthesis, growth hormone release and more.†


Try Collagen Today to Support Your Digestion, Joints and Skin

Beef bone broth - Dr. Axe

If you’re looking to get your collagen from major food sources, then I believe you definitely want to start consuming bone broth. Check out my recipe for making homemade Beef Bone Broth. As this delicious and nutritious liquid simmers, the natural collagen in the beef bones leaches into the broth.

But if you’re short on time, here’s another great option.

This is one of the most unique collagen products I have ever seen.

It’s formulated with clean, pure, pasture-raised, grass-fed cows in Argentina. It contains no antibiotics, growth hormones or other unwanted “dirty” chemicals that are often used in conventionally raised cattle and other livestock.


Final Thoughts on Collagen

Our ancestors chowed down on quite a bit of collagen as a natural way of life. Earlier traditional diets incorporated whole-animal eating.

Simply put, they ate many animal parts, like skin, tendons and ligaments, that we now commonly avoid or discard.

Luckily, it’s easier than ever to “get back to the basics” with collagen powders.†


†These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using this product.
Disclaimer: The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of Dr. Axe, unless otherwise noted. Individual articles are based upon the opinions of the respective author, who retains copyright as marked. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified healthcare professional, and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Axe and his community. Dr. Axe encourages informed personal health decisions based upon research and in partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.