The wellness trade has an obsession with youth. So naturally, collagen has turn out to be 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 numerous the research on collagen and pores and skin is that they’re finished on animals, they’re sponsored by makers of collagen dietary supplements, or they’re simply poorly finished basically.
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 elements.
We don’t have to eat collagen to supply it – our our bodies produce collagen from the vitamins we eat, particularly vitamin C, copper, zinc, and meals which can be 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 components, similar to smoking, stress, genetics, solar publicity, and poor weight loss plan,additionally have an effect on the standard and fee at which we lose collagen within the pores and skin.
Collagen manufacturing begins declining within the mid-twenties by round 1% per yr.
In response to 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 tissues, and stiff ligaments and tendons.
It’s simply a part of getting older. Nothing – aside from surgical procedure – can repair these indicators of growing older.
What occurs after we take collagen?
After we eat collagen, what occurs is identical as after we eat any protein.
Protein meals are made up of chains of amino acids. After we digest these meals, the amino acid chains get damaged down into particular person amino acids.
The physique then takes these particular person amino acids and reassembles them into configurations that go well with its wants, then sends them the place they’re wanted. It’s not a certainty that the amino acids might 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 will also be utilized in processes apart from collagen.
For instance, proline – which we are able to eat in collagen dietary supplements however will also be made by our physique out of one other amino acid known as glutamic acid – is utilized in pores and skin and joints, but in addition in muscle, in addition to the formation of different amino acid chains. So all the proline you eat doesn’t essentially turn out to be collagen.
The opinions and science of how collagen in our weight loss plan impacts our pores and skin are pretty combined. If collagen breaks down into its elements with digestion, how then will consuming collagen lead to improved pores and skin look?
That is the place I left my final collagen overview. Nonetheless, I typically change my opinion when the science adjustments and will get up to date. This is perhaps the case with collagen dietary supplements.
Do collagen dietary supplements enhance pores and skin?
Let’s check out the most recent analysis round collagen and pores and skin.
Firstly, the simplest collagens seem 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 nearly as good because the research they use – and needs to be taken with a grain of salt.
Different latest research on collagen (right here), (right here), (right here) additionally discovered beneficial outcomes when it comes to pores and skin look/hydration, though we’ve 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 below 100 topics whole.
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 elements. All of that is problematic if you happen to’re utilizing this analysis to show that collagen works, or if you happen to’re seeking to discover the optimum dosing for a collagen complement.
There simply doesn’t appear to be any consistency throughout research.
What we’ve right here, is a number of research which can be 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.
Provided that collagen dietary supplements seem like secure, right here’s my backside line about collagen and pores and skin:
Extra analysis must be finished. I’m speaking, bigger research with consistency in product and dosing and much more individuals, together with no sponsorship.
Be sure to get the fitting kind of collagen. Watch out for practical meals like popcorn and protein bars that comprise elements like collagen extra for advertising and marketing 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 one of the best type of collagen to take, because it has already been damaged down.
Lastly, be sensible about growing older. No complement or weight loss plan goes to forestall growing older or enable you ‘age in reverse.’ All of us age, and all of us present indicators of growing older. Sadly, we’ve been fed a dangerous narrative round girls and growing older that stokes insecurity and sends us in search of the holy grail of youth.
Is collagen an excellent protein powder?
Collagen protein powder isn’t one of the best 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 customary for protein powders, because it has essentially the most beneficial bioavailability and absorption fee.
Nonetheless, if you happen to’d like to make use of collagen as a protein powder, simply be certain your weight loss plan is full. That can 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 can be wanted for collagen manufacturing within the physique. Calling these dietary supplements ‘collagen’ is deceptive, which is why numerous them are named ‘collagen enhance.’
Most of us get sufficient of what we have to make our personal collagen. I wouldn’t suggest vegan collagen merchandise until your weight loss plan is severely missing.
What about a few of the different claims round collagen?
Collagen and joint ache
One of many collagen advantages that appears fairly strong when it comes to analysis (right here), (right here), and (right here) has been the usage of collagen kind II for joint ache. It is a totally different kind of collagen from kind I, so if you’re all for attempting it, you’ll need to search for undernatured or kind II collagen.
Collagen and intestine well being
Does collagen repair leaky intestine?
Plenty of various well being practitioners appear to assume so. Bone broth does comprise collagen, though the quantity can range throughout merchandise.
Whereas bone broth could also be soothing, to say that the collagen in it could actually ‘seal up’ leaky junctions in intestine cells is a gross oversimplification. That’s a typical theme with these kinds 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 necessary to take away the trigger, no matter that’s in every case.
Must you take collagen in your pores and skin?
It could be value a strive, however don’t count on miracles. There appears to be numerous constructive 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 take heed to individuals or firms making enormous guarantees about collagen and the way it will help you ‘age in reverse’ or any of that nonsense. We have to normalize growing older and never use it as a advertising and marketing instrument.