Collagen is a substance that appears naturally in the body, but some people take supplements to increase their levels, especially since the amount of collagen in the body tends to decrease as people age. One of the benefits associated with taking collagen supplements is the ability to look younger because of thicker skin creased with fewer wrinkles. Thin lips, dull hair and brittle nails also can be improved with extra collagen, allowing patients to look and feel healthier and more attractive. Some people also take these kinds of nutritional supplements to reduce joint pain and aid tendons and ligaments.
One of the most popular uses of collagen supplements is to get rid of wrinkles on the face. As people age, their skin loses elasticity because of a gradual reduction in collagen, usually resulting in fine lines and wrinkles. Thin, loose skin is believed to be firmed up with collagen supplementation, making wrinkles and fine lines less apparent. For this reason, some lotions feature collagen as one of their main ingredients, though some people prefer to take pills packed with this nutrient and there is some debate about whether collagen found in moisturizers actually does any good.
There are other cosmetic benefits that collagen boasts, because the skin is not the only body part that may look better after supplementation. For example, some people opt to get collagen injected into their lips to plump them up. In addition, the nails tend to become brittle with age, but collagen supplements can make them stronger and more elastic, meaning they break less easily. Similarly, hair often becomes thicker and shinier after supplementation, which is typically helpful among those whose hair has become thin and dull with age. Therefore, many products for the nails and hair include collagen, which can usually be rubbed directly onto the surface of these body parts for a more direct effect.
Additional benefits of the supplements have more to do with overall health than appearance. For instance, some patients take collagen supplements to get rid of pain with movement, especially in the joints. This substance is said to increase the elasticity and strength in both the muscles and joints, making it easier to move and to recuperate from injuries. This is because the cartilage needs the right amount of collagen to provide proper cushioning for the joints. Other types of connective tissue, such as tendons and ligaments, also may benefit from extra collagen, which can make it possible for older patients to stretch, exercise and heal.