One of the most miraculous functions of the human body is the ability to create a brand-new life. For many women, having a child is one of the most incredible chapters in their lives and is something they strive to accomplish. While not everyone is interested in having a child, those who are interested have to take extreme care to protect their health and that of their child.
One of the most common tools for pregnant women include special vitamins and supplements that help promote the healthy development of the fetus. The main goal of expecting mothers is to keep themselves as healthy as possible so the fetus is not exposed to harmful elements. Unfortunately, some supplements women take before getting pregnant could threaten the unborn child.
Some supplements are more common and more important than others. Among the most common supplements in modern society are collagen supplements. Collagen is an important part of human development, especially in our earliest years. For those with diminished collagen levels, supplements are one of the most effective tools for bolstering them. While most people take collagen supplements without concern, pregnant women need to take extra care before taking any supplement they might have taken before conceiving their child.
The issue is that most women might not be sure if collagen supplements risk harming the child or if pregnant women can take them safely during pregnancy.
Why is Collagen Taken?
Collagen is a substance our bodies naturally produce early in life to produce certain body parts that define certain physical characteristics. Collagen is an essential building block our bodies use to produce hair, nails, skin, and more. As we age, our collagen levels diminish, and our bodies slowly lose the ability to generate these body parts at the same rate or quality. This depletion is not necessarily a threat to our health but can impact our physical appearance and confidence. This has led many to turn to collagen supplements to replenish their base levels and repair the body parts affected by age-induced depletion. While one of the main functions of collagen is cosmetic, it does provide serious health benefits that make it worthwhile.
One of the biggest benefits of collagen, supplementary or otherwise, pertains to the health of our largest organ. Our skin is an extremely important body part that protects our internal organs, bones, and muscles from the elements. While collagen is responsible for the initial development of our dermal layer, the levels we retain in later life help it regenerate. Over time, our skin becomes less taut, and wrinkles develop. Hydration also suffers from age, and our skin becomes dry and more sensitive.
Evidence suggests that collagen supplements can help counter the effects of age on our skin. A review of 11 separate studies assessed the use of collagen supplements in women taking 3 to 10 grams daily over 69 days. The results proved that additional collagen improved the elasticity and hydration of the skin.
Skin improvement, while important, is not the only benefit collagen offers. While the cosmetic and dermal benefits of collagen are one of the more popular reasons people use collagen supplements, there are others. One of the more significant benefits associated with collagen is cardiovascular.
Evidence suggests that collagen can improve heart health and protect users against heart attacks to a limited degree. One of the more advanced functions of collagen is that it helps structure the arteries in our bodies and the blood vessels that flow through them. When collagen levels diminish, the arteries lose their elasticity like the skin. This loss of elasticity can increase the risk of cardiovascular health issues.
Fortunately, evidence suggests that collagen supplements can help reverse the effects low collagen levels can cause. For example, there was a 6-month study that assessed 31 adults who were given 16 grams of collagen daily. Those in the test group experienced decreased artery stiffness and improved blood flow. The study also detected a 6% increase in the subjects' high-density lipoproteins (HDL) levels.
The benefits collagen provides can vary from superficial to significant in healthy individuals. These benefits are the root cause of collagen's increasing popularity among those who use dietary supplements. While there is an increased appreciation for collagen supplements, the effects of supplements can change depending on the physical state of the person taking them. This means the question of whether the supplement is safe for pregnant women or needs to be avoided is so important.
Is Collagen Safe for Pregnant Women?
Pregnancy can be a complicated time for expecting mothers, and most want to do everything possible to promote a healthy pregnancy. Many expecting mothers subscribe to as many naturalistic programs and diets as possible to protect their unborn child's health. While this is admirable, it is important to ensure that the supplements and programs you use do not carry more significant risks than your original lifestyle. Insofar as collagen supplements are concerned, the situation is no different.
Adding a supplement to your daily routine is always a risk, no matter who you are or what you do, but the risk increases when you are pregnant. Pregnancy puts you in a position where you are responsible for your health and the person growing inside you. This means adding something like collagen to your diet can be scary if you are not fully aware of its potential effects on your child.
Collagen occurs naturally in our bodies and plays a role in pregnancy since protein is critical to the healthy development and nourishment of the fetus. While the collagen our bodies produce naturally is used to help support fetal development, supplementary collagen is another matter.
Collagen supplements have been shown to provide certain benefits for pregnancies that might help the mother get through the pregnancy. The most important benefit is that collagen is a protein vital to the fetus's healthy development, as previously mentioned. Most medical professionals suggest that expecting mothers consume around 71 grams of protein daily to ensure the child's healthy growth. Collagen is a natural protein, making it an excellent source for expecting mothers to supply their developing child with essential proteins.
Another major benefit collagen provides for pregnant women is that it can minimize joint pain. It is no secret that hormones and posture changes can cause aches and pain during pregnancy. Your body will have undergone massive changes to accommodate the life growing inside you, and there will be growing pains.
One of the lesser-known benefits of collagen is peptides that have been shown to reduce joint pain caused by osteoarthritis. Several studies have corroborated the use of collagen for managing joint pain, albeit only pain caused by osteoarthritis. To date, no studies have proven or disproved that collagen can help with pregnancy-induced joint pain.
The benefits of collagen are not in question, though the range of effects they offer pregnant women is fairly limited. The primary use of collagen supplements is to provide minor cosmetic and skin benefits that have little effect on major health issues. Aside from that, collagen is a standard protein that primarily affects early physical development.
Concerning pregnant women, the safety of collagen supplements is not as clear-cut as you might hope. The truth is that collagen supplements are not dangerous, but their use during pregnancy is not recommended. The reasons why collagen supplements are not recommended are fairly broad but no less important.
Why are Collagen Supplements Not Recommended?
While collagen supplements are extremely useful for women, the use of these supplements when carrying a child might not be in your child's best interest. The main reason collagen supplements should not be used while you are pregnant is that doctors do not recommend their use. Most doctors oppose using dietary, herbal, or other supplements aside from prenatal vitamins.
While this might seem like a bias of sorts, there is a very good reason why doctors are opposed to collagen supplements in particular. Like most dietary supplements, collagen supplements are not regulated by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). Usually, the FDA regulates new medications and foods to ensure they are safe for human consumption. Unfortunately, dietary supplements are in a gray area that the FDA cannot regulate.
Because the FDA does not regulate collagen supplements, there is no guarantee that the supplements you purchase are free of harmful ingredients. This risk is especially prevalent in pregnant women who need to consider their child's health. Without FDA oversight, using collagen supplements requires you to find a reliable vendor that does not take shortcuts.
Otherwise, you risk exposing yourself and your child to harmful compounds like bacteria, heavy metals, and more. Buying from lesser markets means you will never have a guarantee about what is in the collagen supplements. Unfortunately, there are other reasons why your doctor is unlikely to recommend using collagen supplements during your pregnancy.
There is another major issue with collagen supplements that might give pregnant women pause before using them. There have been virtually no studies assessing collagen peptides' effects on pregnant women. This means there is no evidence suggesting that the effects of collagen will be as effective on pregnant women or be completely safe.
Conversely, there is no evidence that collagen harms pregnant women or the unborn child. While this lack of research does not necessarily mean anything, it is part of why doctors are hesitant to recommend collagen use during pregnancy.
There are also more mundane side effects of collagen that, while rare, might be exacerbated in pregnant women. The biggest side effects are that collagen can induce potential abdominal pain, nausea, and heartburn. While these are hardly the most serious side effects, pregnant women are already dealing with similar symptoms due to the pregnancy. While these side effects are not fatal and are unlikely to harm your child, they are extremely unpleasant and can cause additional discomfort that you could otherwise avoid.
Ultimately, collagen is a safe substance that will not likely cause you any harm and is even less likely to compromise your pregnancy if your supplement is from a reputable vendor. Regardless, you should always defer to your doctor when discussing what supplements and tools to use during the pregnancy. Your physician will have a deeper understanding of your physical health needs and how they might affect your unborn child. Otherwise, using collagen supplements is no more dangerous to a pregnant woman than it is to one who is not pregnant.
Keep it All Natural!
Collagen is one of the most important proteins in the human body and is the building block of several body parts. However, this protein also has additional effects that can help improve the health of the people taking it in ways that might seem peculiar. With the rise of collagen in the world of supplements, it is no surprise that more people are eager to take advantage of what it offers.
Unfortunately, not everyone can employ the supplement due to potential side effects that might harm even healthy users. While the side effects are average compared to certain mainstream medications, pregnant women are in a more precarious position than the average consumer. Nevertheless, collagen remains an all-around safe tool that most people can use without significant risk.
Even pregnant women are not at significant risk when using collagen during pregnancy, though they should default to their physician's recommendation. The only real concern is ensuring that any collagen consumed, whether pregnant or otherwise, comes from a reputable vendor. Fortunately, we at Bella All Natural can help with that issue.
We believe that natural supplements with no adulterants are the best way to treat health issues of any kind. Among our products are collagen supplements you can use to improve your health and appearance. You can rest assured that our products are safe and contain no toxins or chemicals. If you are in the market for a collagen supplement, we encourage you to visit our website and assess our products for yourself. Regardless of your decision, remember always to keep it All Natural!