top-down view of a blackboard with the word collagen surrounded by healthy collagen-rich foods

You’ve heard about it and seen the advertisements, but what is collagen? Collagen is a buzzword in the world of health and beauty for a good reason. It's a vital protein found in your body, playing a crucial role in various aspects of your health. 


At UAB Medical West, one of our primary goals is to give our patients as much information as possible, enabling them to use every tool at their disposal to live the healthiest life. Today,  we'll explore what collagen is, what it does, and why it's essential for your overall well-being. We'll also delve into the benefits of collagen, with a special focus on its impact on muscle mass and joint health.

What Is Collagen? 

Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body, making up a significant portion of your skin, hair, nails, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Think of it as the glue that holds your body together. Collagen provides structural support and helps maintain the integrity of your tissues.


There are different types of collagen, but the most common ones are types I, II, and III. Type I collagen is prevalent in your skin, tendons, and bones, type II is found in cartilage, and type III is in your muscles and blood vessels.

We Know What it is, But What Does Collagen Do

Collagen plays a pivotal role in various essential functions. One of its key functions is maintaining skin elasticity, acting as the structural framework that keeps your skin youthful and prevents sagging. Additionally, collagen promotes skin hydration by retaining moisture, effectively combating dryness and diminishing the formation of fine lines and wrinkles.


In the realm of muscle health, collagen serves as a vital component of the connective tissue surrounding muscles, contributing to muscle strength and facilitating improved muscle growth. When it comes to joint health, collagen takes center stage as a major component of cartilage, the cushion-like tissue that covers the ends of bones in joints. This integral protein provides support, reduces friction, and enhances joint flexibility, making it an essential factor in overall well-being.

Understanding Collagen Peptides 

Collagen can be found in various forms, with collagen peptides being one of the most popular. Collagen peptides are hydrolyzed collagen, broken down into smaller, more easily absorbed molecules. This form of collagen is often used in supplements and skincare products due to its enhanced bioavailability.


Collagen peptide supplements can be a convenient way to increase your collagen intake and experience its benefits, especially regarding skin health and joint support.

The Benefits of Collagen 

Whether obtained through collagen-rich foods like bone broth and fish or through supplementation, integrating collagen into your routine provides a range of benefits that enhance your overall health. Let's dive into the benefits of collagen.

Improved Skin Health 

Collagen reduces wrinkles and increases skin elasticity. Regular collagen consumption or application of collagen-rich skincare products can lead to a smoother and more youthful complexion.

Increased Hydration

By binding with water molecules, collagen keeps your skin hydrated and promotes proper hydration levels throughout your body. Maintaining adequate hydration is not just essential for appearance but also for supporting optimal bodily functions.

Boosted Muscle Mass 

By enhancing structural support for connective tissues, collagen aids in muscle growth and repair while reducing the risk of injury during exercise. Whether you're an athlete or just an everyday person trying to build strength, collagen can be a valuable addition to your fitness routine, ensuring both performance and recovery.

Better Joint Health 

Collagen can help alleviate joint pain and stiffness. By enhancing cartilage integrity, collagen promotes joint flexibility and reduces discomfort. As we age, joint health becomes a critical component of our overall health. The expert team at UAB Medical West can asses your joint health and develop a plan to maintain flexibility; call us at (205) 481-7000 to learn more. 

Hair and Nail Strength

Collagen not only supports the growth and strength of hair and nails but also helps reduce the occurrence of split ends and brittle nails, contributing to a healthier and more youthful appearance. Incorporating collagen into your diet or supplement regimen can make a noticeable difference in the quality and resilience of your hair and nails.

Gut Health 

Beyond its more well-known benefits, collagen may improve gut health by supporting the healing and protection of the digestive tract lining. By amplifying the strength of the gut lining, collagen can improve digestive well-being, making it a valuable addition to your overall health regimen.

Is Collagen Good for You?

Yes, collagen is undoubtedly good for you. Whether you're seeking to maintain youthful skin, alleviate joint pain, or enhance muscle growth, collagen offers a range of health benefits. However, ensuring you get enough collagen through your diet or supplement is essential.


Collagen-rich foods include bone broth, chicken, and fish. Collagen supplements are widely available in powders, capsules, and liquids. When choosing a supplement, look for one that is high-quality, easily absorbable, and free from harmful additives.

Let UAB Medical West Protect Your Bones and Joints

Collagen is a vital protein that is fundamental to your bones, muscles, and joints. Whether you're seeking to enhance your appearance or improve your physical well-being, it is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle. 


However, collagen is just one piece in the puzzle of overall health. Our expert team at UAB Medical West can help you take your wellness to the next level. Whether you’re seeking complex treatment or professional consultation in AL, our doctors are on your side; contact us today




Since 1964, we’ve promoted healthy bone and joint health in a neighborhood near you, including Hueytown, Hoover, Bessemer, McCalla, Vance, and others. Get in touch with us today by calling (205) 481-7000 or contacting us online!