Ought to You Take Collagen Dietary supplements?


The wellness trade has an obsession with youth. So naturally, collagen has change into and continues to be an enormous pattern for anti-aging and total well being.

There was some new analysis on collagen within the years since I wrote my first overview on collagen dietary supplements, so I’m bringing it to you right here, together with my ideas (have they modified?) on taking oral collagen dietary supplements.

The difficulty with loads of the research on collagen and pores and skin is that they’re carried out on animals, they’re sponsored by makers of collagen dietary supplements, or they’re simply poorly carried out typically. 

What’s collagen?

Collagen is a protein that’s made up of the amino acids glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline. It’s discovered within the pores and skin, bone, tendons, and ligaments of people and animals. Collagen is a inflexible structural protein, like scaffolding for our pores and skin and different physique components.

collagen benefits

We don’t must eat collagen to provide it – our our bodies produce collagen from the vitamins we eat, particularly vitamin C, copper, zinc, and meals which are excessive in protein like rooster and fish. 

Collagen also can assist our pores and skin look plump and hydrated, which is why, as we age, our pores and skin tends to sag and isn’t as elastic. Pores look bigger due to the lack of firmness. 

Different elements, corresponding to smoking, stress, genetics, solar publicity, and poor weight-reduction plan,additionally have an effect on the standard and price at which we lose collagen within the pores and skin. 

Collagen manufacturing begins declining within the mid-twenties by round 1% per yr. 

In accordance with the American Academy of Dermatology, girls lose as much as 30% of their collagen manufacturing within the first 5 years of menopause, which is simply sh*t luck. This results in crepey pores and skin, weakened muscle tissue, and stiff ligaments and tendons. 

collagen and skin
Growing older course of. comparability of Younger and aged pores and skin. Collagen, Elastin and fibroblasts in youthful and older pores and skin. age-related modifications within the pores and skin when Collagen fibers atrophy, and Elastin damaged. Vector illustration

It’s simply a part of getting older. Nothing – apart from surgical procedure – can repair these indicators of growing old.

What occurs after we take collagen?

Once we eat collagen, what occurs is similar as after we eat any protein. 

Protein meals are made up of chains of amino acids. Once we digest these meals, the amino acid chains get damaged down into particular person amino acids.

collagen benefits

The physique then takes these particular person amino acids and reassembles them into configurations that swimsuit its wants, then sends them the place they’re wanted. It’s not a certainty that the amino acids will likely be despatched to your pores and skin as collagen. We are able to’t management the place the proteins we eat, find yourself in our physique.

Though there are particular amino acids in our diets that construct collagen, these can be utilized in processes apart from collagen. 

For instance, proline – which we will eat in collagen dietary supplements however can be made by our physique out of one other amino acid referred to as glutamic acid – is utilized in pores and skin and joints, but additionally in muscle, in addition to the formation of different amino acid chains. So the entire proline you eat doesn’t essentially change into collagen.

The opinions and science of how collagen in our weight-reduction plan impacts our pores and skin are pretty combined. If collagen breaks down into its components with digestion, how then will consuming collagen end in improved pores and skin look? 

That is the place I left my final collagen overview. Nonetheless, I generally change my opinion when the science modifications and will get up to date. This may be the case with collagen dietary supplements.

Drumroll, please!

Do collagen dietary supplements enhance pores and skin?

Let’s check out the latest analysis round collagen and pores and skin.

Firstly, the simplest collagens look like derived from fish and cows (aka bovine collagen).

A number of opinions and meta analyses (right here), (right here), (right here), have been launched displaying that hydrolyzed collagen aka collagen peptides, improves the looks of pores and skin, growing hydration and elasticity. Nonetheless, the problem is the meta analyses are sometimes solely pretty much as good because the research they use – and ought to be taken with a grain of salt.

Different latest research on collagen (right here), (right here), (right here) additionally discovered beneficial outcomes by way of pores and skin look/hydration, though we now have to acknowledge the battle of curiosity in one of many research with a researcher working for a collagen complement firm. All three research have been additionally very small, with beneath 100 topics complete. 

The dosages in these research weren’t constant, and the ratio of glycine to proline and hydroxyproline have been distinctive. Some research used collagen merchandise that additionally had different substances. All of that is problematic in case you’re utilizing this analysis to show that collagen works, or in case you’re seeking to discover the optimum dosing for a collagen complement.

There simply doesn’t appear to be any consistency throughout research. 

What we now have right here, is a number of research which are a combined bag of sponsored, small, and probably flawed. Nonetheless, because the years have passed by, I haven’t seen many research on collagen which have not discovered beneficial outcomes the place pores and skin look is worried.

It’s a traditional case of, ‘the place there’s smoke, there’s hearth.’

If collagen dietary supplements assist with pores and skin hydration, it’s a logical clarification for the looks of fewer wrinkles. Extra hydrated pores and skin is much less crepey and wrinkly.

On condition that collagen dietary supplements look like secure, right here’s my backside line about collagen and pores and skin:

Extra analysis must be carried out. I’m speaking, bigger research with consistency in product and dosing and much more folks, together with no sponsorship.

Be sure to get the proper kind of collagen. Watch out for purposeful meals like popcorn and protein bars that comprise substances like collagen extra for advertising than anything. 

Guarantee your collagen complement that has third-party testing for security. There have been points with heavy metallic contamination of some collagen dietary supplements. Don’t simply purchase stuff off of Amazon; get a good model from a good retailer. 

Hydrolyzed collagen is the most effective type of collagen to take, because it has already been damaged down. 

Lastly, be real looking about growing old. No complement or weight-reduction plan goes to forestall growing old or enable you ‘age in reverse.’ All of us age, and all of us present indicators of growing old. Sadly, we’ve been fed a dangerous narrative round girls and growing old that stokes insecurity and sends us in search of the holy grail of youth.

The Galveston Weight-reduction plan guide overview – learn it right here.

Is collagen a very good protein powder?

Collagen protein powder isn’t the most effective supply of protein. For one, it has a limiting amino acid – tryptophan – which prevents collagen from being an entire protein. Whey remains to be the gold commonplace for protein powders, because it has essentially the most beneficial bioavailability and absorption price. 

Nonetheless, in case you’d like to make use of collagen as a protein powder, simply be sure your weight-reduction plan is full. That may be sure that you get that tryptophan from one other supply.

How about plant-based collagen?

This doesn’t exist. Collagen is current solely in animals. ‘Plant-based’ collagen dietary supplements comprise nutritional vitamins and minerals which are wanted for collagen manufacturing within the physique. Calling these dietary supplements ‘collagen’ is deceptive, which is why loads of them are named ‘collagen increase.’

Most of us get sufficient of what we have to make our personal collagen. I wouldn’t suggest vegan collagen merchandise until your weight-reduction plan is severely missing.

What about among the different claims round collagen?

Collagen and joint ache

One of many collagen advantages that appears fairly strong by way of analysis (right here), (right here), and (right here) has been the usage of collagen kind II for joint ache. This can be a completely different kind of collagen from kind I, so if you’re enthusiastic about attempting it, you’ll need to search for undernatured or kind II collagen.

Collagen and intestine well being 

Does collagen repair leaky intestine? 

Quite a lot of various well being practitioners appear to suppose so. Bone broth does comprise collagen, though the quantity can fluctuate throughout merchandise.

The GAPS weight-reduction plan overview: does leaky intestine trigger illness?

Whereas bone broth could also be soothing, to say that the collagen in it will possibly ‘seal up’ leaky junctions in intestine cells is a gross oversimplification. That’s a typical theme with these types of claims: the physique is much more advanced than how they make it appear. The cells of the intestine aren’t like bricks which have simply misplaced their mortar; to assist with elevated intestine permeability (that’s the precise analysis, not ‘leaky intestine’), it’s vital to take away the trigger, no matter that’s in every case.

I wrote about leaky intestine right here.

Must you take collagen on your pores and skin?

It could be price a strive, however don’t anticipate miracles. There appears to be loads of optimistic analysis round hydrolyzed collagen for pores and skin hydration and look, however the preponderance of that analysis appears to be decrease in high quality. 

Nonetheless, possibly there’s something to it?

What I don’t suggest you do is hearken to folks or firms making big guarantees about collagen and the way it can assist you ‘age in reverse’ or any of that nonsense. We have to normalize growing old and never use it as a advertising device.


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