Collagen is an amazing supplement for men and women throughout the life cycle - but can it have more specific benefits for women and the menopause?
What is the menopause?
The menopause is the time in a woman's life when she stops menstruating (having periods).
This is a natural part of ageing which usually happens between the ages of 45-55 - but can happen a lot sooner or even much later.
Medically, you reach menopause when you have not had a period for at least one year.
However, you may have menopausal symptoms before your periods have stopped (perimenopause), as well as after the menopause (post-menopause).
Common menopausal symptoms
The most obvious sign of the menopause is changes to your menstrual cycle - periods tend to be less often with lighter bleeding as we approach the menopause - before eventually stopping altogether.
However, there are many other menopausal symptoms which can present before your cycle stops and even post-menopause too. In fact, it is estimated that there are 48 known symptoms of the menopause.
Here are some of the most common menopausal symptoms:
- Brain fog
- Mood swings
- Hot flashes
- Poor sleep
- Headaches & migraines
- Muscle aches & joint pains
- Loss of libido
- Weight gain & changes in body shape
- Vaginal dryness
- Dry & itchy skin
If you have noticed a combination of these symptoms in addition to irregular periods - it could be the start of the menopause.
Whilst the menopause is completely natural and normal, it's not always a breeze for everyone - and the symptoms can really effect your quality of life.
Together with the fact that menopausal symptoms can persist for many years, lots of women seek natural solutions to help manage them better.
One thing which could help is incorporating collagen peptides into your daily routine. Let's explore.
Collagen and the menopause: What does the evidence say?
If you're struggling with menopausal symptoms there are lots of things which can help. This includes hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and certain medications (if your menopause was triggered by another condition).
As well as prescription medications, diet and lifestyle choices can help to manage menopausal symptoms - this includes supplements.
Interestingly, there is growing evidence to show that collagen supplementation could be a natural, safe and effective way to help manage some menopausal symptoms.
Let's take a look at the evidence.
- Help to promote hormonal balance
Changes in hormones are the underlying cause of the menopause.
Levels of oestrogen and progesterone decrease and a big drop in oestrogen levels causes most menopausal symptoms.
Studies have shown that collagen supplementation helps to mitigate the negative effects of low oestrogen levels on our mood and emotions, by inhibiting the effects of cortisol (a stress hormone).
Collagen could also promote satiety hormones, helping to avoid cravings and prevent weight gain which is also common with the menopause.
- Anti-ageing benefits for skin
Our natural production of collagen declines as we age - from as early as in our 20s - but studies have shown that this accelerates during the menopause.
In fact, research has found that women's skin loses about 30% of collagen during the first 5 years of menopause - declining a further 2% each year thereafter.
As we lose collagen, our skin loses its firmness, begins to sag and becomes prone to wrinkles.
Daily collagen supplementation can help to bring your collagen levels back up again - improving skin health, hydration, firmness and reducing the visible signs of ageing such as wrinkles and sagging skin.
- Ease bloating & digestive symptoms
Hormonal balance, gut health and overall wellness are all very interconnected.
This means that there are some key signs of the menopause which manifest as digestive symptoms such as bloating and wind.
Most women will also experience changes in appetite, weight gain and changes in body shape.
As a key structural protein, collagen is also essential for digestive health. One of the most widely known benefits of collagen is to promote gut health - which in turn can help with the menopausal symptoms mentioned above.
Read on to learn more about the benefits of collagen for gut health.
- Increased bone density & joint support
Collagen is a key structural protein in bones, joints and connective tissues.
So as we age, declining collagen levels take their toll on our joints and bones just as they do with our skin.
This is a key contributor to some menopausal symptoms such as aches and pains, muscle weakness and sore joints.
Collagen supplementation has been shown to improve bone density and joint support to help mitigate these symptoms.
Ageing women also face the increased risk of osteoporosis with age - as lower oestrogen levels inhibit calcium absorption.
As collagen is essential for calcium absorption and uptake, getting more from your diet can help to reduce this risk.
What else can help manage menopausal symptoms?
As well as medication and supplements, there are some proactive diet and lifestyle hacks you can use to keep on top of menopausal symptoms.
By focusing on which symptoms are causing you the most trouble, you can make sure that your lifestyle is as supportive as possible.
Here are some simple tips for happier hormones and less menopause misery!
Self Care - Schedule some time for your favourite meal, a hot bubble bath and an early night. This can help to improve sleep, reduce tiredness and lift your mood.
Eat Well - Staying optimally nourished provides natural energy to help fight menopausal fatigue. Eating well will also support maintaining a healthy weight and digestive system.
Prioritise Sleep - Getting enough sleep can help to reduce problems with memory & concentration, as well as low mood and irritability.
- Supplementation - Consider starting a quality Vitamin D & Calcium supplement to support joint and bone health, and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
Collagen for all stages of the female life cycle
Collagen is not just for women of a menopausal age - in fact, it is not just for women!
Hydrolysed collagen peptides provide a whole spectrum of benefits for people of all ages and genders.
Incorporating Collagen Peptides into your everyday healthy routine can help to support healthy skin, joints and bones as well as promoting optimal gut health and much more.
With natural collagen levels declining from as early as in our 20s - in both women and men - supplementing your diet with collagen is a great way to continue to enjoy the benefits of this amazing nutrient.
All information provided on our website and within our articles is simply information, opinion, anecdotal thoughts and experiences to provide you with the tools to thrive.
It is not intended to treat or diagnose symptoms and is definitely not intended to be misconstrued for medical advice. We always advise you seek the advice of a trained professional when implementing any changes to your lifestyle and dietary habits.
We do however recommend seeking the services of a trained professional who questions the conventional wisdom to enable you to become the best version of yourself.