Collagen supplements are all the rage right now thanks to brands boasting anti-ageing properties. It’s still relatively new and many of us have questions about the recent surge in popularity. So, is it snake oil or a miracle elixir?
In the era of sip-able powders (matcha and activated charcoal, we’re looking at you!) it’s no surprize that collagen supplements are now available in the form of tasteless powders. And if you can drink it, chances are health nuts have mixed a serving (two tablespoons) of collagen into it. Collagen packed lattes? Check. Collagen smoothies? You bet. So easy, right?
However, will ingesting collagen really make a difference? What is collagen anyway? Collagen makes up about 30% of the structural protein in the body. It’s a natural protein found in the connective tissues in our bodies, which means it’s in our skin, hair, muscles, bones, and even in blood vessels.
Collagen is made up of amino acids, the building blocks of protein such as glycine, proline, and lysine, which are needed to repair muscles, bone, and joints, and support healthy hair and skin. The good news is that our bodies naturally make collagen from the foods we eat when we consume animal proteins, such as dairy, eggs, and meat.
But, and here’s the kicker, as we age the body’s collagen production decreases. In fact, our collagen levels drop by about 1% each year! So, wrinkles, achy joints, thinning cartilage and slower muscle recovery then? Unfortunately, yes.
So, should you invest? The studies done on oral ingestion of collagen are limited. Although, there is some evidence that drinking collagen can improve your skin. And one small study published in Current Medical Research and Opinion found that collagen supplements may help lessen joint pain.
Thing is, drinkable collagen doesn’t come cheap and since there isn’t robust evidence to support that ingesting collagen is an effective way to improve skin health and joints, the best solution may be to focus on eating enough protein. So, grill up some salmon, chicken or steak, all of which contain the high amounts of amino aids your body needs to make collagen. And because smoking, alcohol, and sunburn can affect your body’s natural collagen production, we recommend quitting the cigs, cutting back on booze, and lathering on the SPF.
If however you’re interested in giving collagen supplements a go, there are several things to consider. First, consider finding a supplement with a diverse amino acid profile, the more amino acids, the better. Second, though collagen come in many diverse sources, bovine is the strongest and most effective. The third and final recommendation is to think about finding a supplement that contains both Type 1 and 111 collagen if you’re looking for the best option for your skin.
The verdict: The business component of collagen is further along than the science component.
Whilst working on your skin from the inside out is a great way to approach skincare, we can also do this by implementing a healthy diet and drinking more water.
Source: womenshealthmag.com, sofwave.com, womenshealthmag.com.au, consumerreports.org, goodhousekeeping.com, webmd.com, asweatlife.com, renewalliance.com
DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.