The health benefits of collagen

Collagen is one of the main proteins in the body that is used in a whole host of connective tissues. For that reason, it has an entire range of functions in the body and is needed for good health.

A recent article by Healthline has looked into the many benefits of collagen supplementation, assessing recent nutritional studies and their results. One such study that the article references is the effect of collagen on the skin. As collagen is a major component of our skin, it is important to obtain collagen from the diet to keep the skin healthy. As we age, the body produces less collagen, which begins by the time you reach your mid-20s, and continues to decline at an increasing rate, which can result in wrinkles and the drying of the skin.

Other health benefits of collagen include:

  • Joint health, as collagen has a role in maintaining cartilage.
  • Bone health, as collagen gives bones their structure and strength. 
  • Muscle mass, where collagen comprises 1-10% of muscle tissue in the body.
  • Heart health, due to collagen’s role in giving arteries their structure.

Collagen is a very important protein so it is important to obtain in enough in your diet, either through sources such as meat, including chicken skin, beef and fish, or from food supplements.

The fruits that could improve students’ cognitive function

As exam season approaches, a recent study has looked at whether supplementation can play a role in the cognitive performance of students.

The study, reported by NutraIngredients USA found that supplementation with polyphenol rich extracts from grape and blueberries could have a positive impact on the cognitive function of students. While there was an increase in the test scores for students who had been supplemented with the grape and blueberry extract compared to the placebo, the evidence is not conclusive as subjective ratings for mental fatigue did not reach significance.

While this study was not conclusive, there are known nutrients and supplements that support cognitive function including zinc and iodine.

Could mushrooms improve our vitamin D levels?

Following a recent Nutrition News article that suggested how important vitamin D is for children, a recent study, published by Fresh Fruit Portal, has found that it may be possible to boost your vitamin D intake through eating mushrooms.

The study suggests that, simply by leaving mushrooms in the sun, it could increase their vitamin D content nearly eightfold. Dr Flavia Fayet-Moore of Nutrition Research Australia said, “A recent evaluation of random controlled trials showed that UV-exposed mushrooms are effective in increasing active vitamin D levels”.

The study found that by placing five button mushrooms or one portobello mushroom under UV light for 10-15 minutes can generate as much as 24 micrograms of vitamin D.

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Alison Astill-Smith author Alison is Director and Founder of Metabolics who writes about Metabolics updates, events and natural healthcare. Her experience and passion for natural supplements and healthcare comes from her years of experience as a practising osteopath, having founded Metabolics in her search for high quality, natural products in her own work. Alison has been a qualified and practising Osteopath since 1981 and regularly gives seminars on a range of healthcare subjects to the wider practitioner community helping share her knowledge and experience.