You already know about the benefits of collagen for healthy joints, skin, and bones. But you might not know that it can also protect your heart and reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.
As the most abundant protein in the body, collagen plays a critical role in the strength and structure of connective tissue. But as we age, we produce less and less of this essential protein. The decline starts as early as the age of 25, and by the time we’re 60, our bodies may make only half as much as they used to. The result: a greater likelihood of achy joints, sagging skin, fine lines, and wrinkles—and, as it turns out, a potentially increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Here’s how collagen works to support your heart—and why you should be taking it every day (plus, tips for choosing the right supplement):
1 It helps keep arteries healthy and strong.
Collagen provides structure to the arteries—the vessels that carry blood from the heart throughout the body. Without adequate structural support, arteries become weak, stiff, and inflexible, linked with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, and stroke.
Some research suggests that collagen can keep the arteries healthy and strong. In one small study, people who took a collagen supplement at breakfast and dinner (for a total of 16 grams per day) showed a significant reduction in arterial stiffness. Another study found that 2.5 grams of collagen per day had similar effects in lowering arterial stiffness.
2 It improves cholesterol ratios.
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