Is Collagen Good for Seniors? (Benefits, Types, and More)

Collagen supplements have become a popular option for many people over the years. But is collagen good for seniors? Yes, this care option is healthy and beneficial for older adults. Collagen for seniors can be an important medical care option that provides many benefits and supports their health in a variety of ways. Understanding why and answering the question “what is the best collagen for seniors?” can help you plan a treatment plan for yourself or a loved one in your life.

The Different Collagen Types

The body has 28 different collagen types but collagen supplements typically come in four or five varieties. The most common types used by seniors include:

  • Type I Collagen: Type I accounts for 90% of the collagen in your body and is found just beneath the surface of the skin. Supplements include collagen from eggshells, fish, cows, and other sources. It can help support your joint, hair, skin, ligaments, and nail health.
  • Type II Collagen: Type II collagen is less dense than Type I, which means it can be more easily absorbed in supplement form than Type I. It helps rebuild damaged joint cartilage, increases range of motion, and can minimize joint inflammation response.
  • Type III Collagen: This type is the second-most-common found naturally in the body. It uses a singular alpha chain, rather than the multiple chains used by other collagen. It can help fight off various inflammatory diseases and helps provide extra amino acids in the body.
  • Type V Collagen: Type V collagen is produced naturally in the eye and supports vision health. It helps light pass through the cornea and can work with Type I and Type III to produce extra support fir tissues and organs in the body. Type V also supports bone, muscle, liver, and lung health.
  • Type X Collagen: This less-used collagen type is naturally found in the joint cartilage and helps with bone formation. Physicians often use this collagen to test for rheumatological disorders, as higher levels may indicate a higher risk of these diseases.

Why Older Adults May Benefit More From Collagen Supplements

Older adults are often more likely to be deficient in collagen and may experience many unfortunate side effects. These problems make collagen for seniors a helpful option, one that can improve many treatment programs. Just a few problems low collagen may cause include:

  • Higher risk of various rheumatoid diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis
  • Skin rashes developing throughout the body in awkward places
  • Pain in the joints that worsens as collagen levels drop
  • Organ and muscle damage caused by poor collagen levels
  • Skin losing its elasticity and aging a person physically
  • Higher risk of injury and damage to bones in simple falls
  • Ulcers throughout the mouth and dry eyes
  • Higher risk of stroke and other cardiovascular conditions
  • Aches throughout the body caused by torn tissues
  • Problems with breathing or pain in the chest
  • Increased risk of lupus and other similar conditions

So is collagen good for seniors? Absolutely! Without it, they may experience many long-term health problems that can decrease their quality of life significantly. Thankfully, supplements and dietary changes can help seniors increase their collagen levels safely and naturally.

Foods Naturally High in Collagen

When answering the question “is collagen good for seniors?” it is critical to not only know how collagen supplements help but ways seniors can change their diet to naturally increase their collagen production. The following foods either contain high levels of collagen or help with its production and synthesis:

  • Bone broth made with bones from a reputable butcher contains high collagen levels
  • Chicken, particularly when eating the neck and browner meats
  • Fish and shellfish, especially when grinding the bones and heads
  • Egg whites, which contain high amounts of protein that help with collagen production
  • Berries, like blackberries, provide vitamin C that helps with collagen production
  • Citrus fruits also contain high levels of vitamin C that helps in producing collagen.
  • Tropical fruits, like kiwi and pineapple, also include high vitamin C levels
  • Garlic contains high sulfur that helps increase collagen production and synthesis
  • Beans contain multiple amino acids that help with collagen synthesis
  • Leafy greens, like kale and spinach, may help improve collagen synthesis

Each of these foods is also healthy for seniors for other reasons, including high vitamin content, low fat levels, and heart-boosting minerals. Beyond taking collagen for seniors, eating these foods can help a senior produce more collagen naturally.

Why Seniors Should Take Collagen

Collagen for seniors is often essential for older adults because our bodies naturally produce less collagen as we age. That’s a big part of why our skin wrinkles so heavily as we age. Furthermore, less collagen is a primary cause of joint damage and pain, which can be very hard for many seniors to tolerate. Even worse, many common habits may decrease collagen heavily, including:

  • Smoking and drinking alcohol regularly
  • Excessive sun exposure, including working outside
  • Poor sleep habits that may worsen as we age
  • Lack of exercise that may intensify as collagen production decreases

These serious problems are just some of the reasons why so many people start asking their doctors “is collagen good for seniors?” Thankfully, collagen supplements can provide many benefits that help older adults fight these symptoms and retain many healthy habits for years to come.

The Many Health Benefits of Collagen

Collagen supplements for older adults can provide many health benefits that improve their overall strength and minimize serious health risks. While collagen isn’t a single treatment for the following issues, higher collagen levels can improve treatments for:

  • Bone Loss: Collagen supplements provide seniors with higher levels of this vital bone-building nutrient and make it easier for them to minimize fragile bones later in life.
  • Wrinkled Skin: Extra collagen naturally hydrates the skin and can minimize wrinkle appearance. While it may not reverse aging symptoms, it can relieve their appearance.
  • Joint Pain: Collagen is a common joint-pain treatment and can help seniors struggling with pain in their elbows, fingers, knees, ankles, and elsewhere.
  • Hair and Nails: Seniors with hair and nail problems might get relief with collagen supplements. Collagen helps support hair and nail health in many ways.

Getting more collagen as a senior requires working with a doctor to identify methods that may help, such as collagen infusion. However, knowing the answer to the question “what is the best collagen for seniors?” can make it easier for you to get the help that you need.

How to Get More Collagen as a Senior

The easiest way to get more collagen as a senior is to take supplements. These come in many different types, including a powder that you mix with fluid or tablets that you can take with water or other drinks. These supplements provide a concentrated dose of collagen to the body that can help seniors stay healthier. But what is the best collagen for seniors? That all depends on a few things.

For example, some seniors may need specific types of collagen to support their health, such as Type III for joint health. Other supplements include protein, peptides, and other ingredients that help make them even better for various care situations. Let’s take a look at a handful of different collagen supplement options to answer the question “what is the best collagen for seniors?” as accurately as possible:

  • Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides: A useful source of protein and peptides that lacks Type II collagen for joint health. Beneficial in many other ways, including Type I collagen content: comes in a powder.
  • Besha Natural Collagen Peptides: Uses a 100% collagen mix that can mix very easily in powder drinks. While it lacks protein, it does provide plenty of collagen-boosting peptides.
  • Trunature Healthy Skin Verisol Collagen: This capsule-based collagen is based on clinical studies and includes multiple collagen peptides, though it requires four capsules per dose.
  • Healthy Origins UC-II with Undenatured Type II Collagen: People with joint problems may appreciate this collagen, as it comes in a single-capsule serving with a high Type II collagen concentration.

The amount that you take should vary based on your doctor’s medical suggestions. For example, some people may do well with 2.5 grams orally every day to improve skin elasticity and hydration. However, higher levels (up to 10 grams) may help with joint and bone health. Working with your doctor or dietitian can help you find an option that makes the most sense. A minimum of 2.5 grams is suggested by most specialists, with a max level of 10 grams.

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Stevie Compango, CNSC, CPT

Stevie is Certified Nutrition Specialist and Certified Personal Trainer for the past 10 years. He specializes in mobility and chronic pain management. His methods have helped thousands of clients improve the quality of their life through movement.

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