Collagen Powder - Top 5 Benefits of Collagen Supplementation Backed By Research
First things first, What is Collagen?
Collagen is a fibrous protein that exists naturally in the body and is responsible for maintaining the elasticity in our skin, strength in our nails & hair, and fluidity in our joint cartilage. Our bodies produce collagen regularly, however, as we age, collagen production begins to slow down - a rate of nearly 1-2% loss per year after age 30.
The result? Wrinkles & less firmness in the skin. Stiffness in the joints. Brittle hair & nails. While collagen loss is not preventable, studies have shown there are lifestyle habits & supplementation that can help slow this process down. But before we talk about that, let's quickly get into the different types of collagen.
The Different Types of Collagen
What? There are different types of collagen? Not all collagen is made the same and when supplementing for specific purposes, you should be able to identify the differences. There are actually more than a dozen different types of collagen, but we will specifically go over the most abundant types: Type I, Type II, & Type III
Type I Collagen - Hair, Skin, Nails, & Bones
Type I Collagen is a Fibrillar class collagen & makes up 90% of our hair, skin & nails. It is also naturally distributed in most of our connective tissues, ligaments & bones.
Type I Collagen, as a result, is highly recommended for improving skin, hair, & nail health. 12 week clinical trials have shown that "Supplementation with 50 mL of [Collagen] on a daily basis for 60 days led to a noticeable reduction in skin dryness, wrinkles, and nasolabial fold depth. In addition, a significant increase in collagen density and skin firmness was observed after 12 weeks." 
Type II Collagen - Joint & Cartilage
Type II Collagen makes up a significant portion of the protein & collagen in your joint cartilage. It has been utilized historically to help treat various types of arthritis, back pain, neck pain, or post-injury. Research has shown that taking collagen type II by mouth for 3 months reduces joint pain, swelling, and time to walk 15 meters in people with Rheumatoid arthritis.
Type II Collagen, therefore, is highly recommended for individuals specifically seeking to improve cartilage and joint health.
Type III Collagen - Arteries & Cardiovascular System
Type III Collagen forms the arterial walls & is typically found with Type I Collagen. Most supplements today provide Types I & III together for total skin, hair, & nail health. Studies have shown "type III collagen is essential for normal collagen I fibrillogenesis in the cardiovascular system and other organs" 
It is recommended to take both Types I & III Collagen together for the best benefit & for those seeking full skin, hair, & nail benefits.
5 Great Benefits of Collagen Supplementation
1. Improve Skin, Hair, & Nail Health
In one double blind, placebo-controlled study on women aged 35-55, those that took a supplement containing 2.5–5 grams of collagen for eight weeks experienced less skin dryness and a significant increase in skin elasticity compared to those who did not take the supplement 
2. Improve Joint Health in Athletes
In a 24-week study of athletes with activity-related joint pain - there were statistically significant implications for the use of collagen hydrolysate to support joint health and possibly reduce the risk of joint deterioration. The results suggest that athletes consuming collagen hydrolysate can reduce parameters (such as pain) that have a negative impact on athletic performance. 
3. Fight the Symptoms of Osteoarthritis
A comprehensive review of the literature & studies on collagen as a means to help treat osteoarthritis, confirmed that "hydrolyzed collagen has a positive therapeutic effect on osteoporosis and osteoarthritis with a potential increase in bone mineral density, a protective effect on articular cartilage, and especially in the symptomatic relief of pain." 
4. Help Cardiovascular Health
A 6-month trial on subjects taking Collagen tripeptide twice daily "indicate that CTP contributes to the prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis (the build-up of fats, cholesterol, and other substances in and on the artery walls) in healthy humans" 
5. Improve Muscle Mass
The utilization of Collagen Peptides as supplementation in conjunction with resistance training has shown improvements in body composition and increased muscle strength of elderly subjects.
A study of 53 male subjects in a random double-blind placebo-controlled study provided "data (to) demonstrate that compared with placebo, collagen peptide supplementation in combination with resistance training further improved body composition by increasing FFM (fat-free mass), muscle strength and the loss in FM (fat mass)."