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 general 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.
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 devour collagen to supply it – our our bodies produce collagen from the vitamins we eat, particularly vitamin C, copper, zinc, and meals which are excessive in protein like hen and fish.
Collagen can even 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, reminiscent of smoking, stress, genetics, solar publicity, and poor weight loss plan,additionally have an effect on the standard and charge at which we lose collagen within the pores and skin.
Collagen manufacturing begins declining within the mid-twenties by round 1% per yr.
Based on the American Academy of Dermatology, ladies 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.
It’s simply a part of getting older. Nothing – apart from surgical procedure – can repair these indicators of growing older.
What occurs after we take collagen?
Once we devour collagen, what occurs is similar as after we devour 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.
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 shall 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 may also be utilized in processes aside from collagen.
For instance, proline – which we will devour in collagen dietary supplements however may also 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 in addition 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 loss plan impacts our pores and skin are pretty blended. 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 modifications and will get up to date. This is likely to be 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 best collagens look like derived from fish and cows (aka bovine collagen).
A number of evaluations and meta analyses (right here), (right here), (right here), have been launched exhibiting that hydrolyzed collagen aka collagen peptides, improves the looks of pores and skin, growing hydration and elasticity. Nonetheless, the difficulty is the meta analyses are sometimes solely nearly as good because the research they use – and ought to be taken with a grain of salt.
Different current research on collagen (right here), (right here), (right here) additionally discovered beneficial outcomes by way of pores and skin look/hydration, though we’ve got to acknowledge the battle of curiosity in one of many research with a researcher working for a collagen complement firm. All three research had been additionally very small, with underneath 100 topics complete.
The dosages in these research weren’t constant, and the ratio of glycine to proline and hydroxyproline had been distinctive. Some research used collagen merchandise that additionally had different elements. All of that is problematic should you’re utilizing this analysis to show that collagen works, or should you’re trying to discover the optimum dosing for a collagen complement.
There simply doesn’t appear to be any consistency throughout research.
What we’ve got right here, is a number of research which are a blended bag of sponsored, small, and doubtlessly 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 basic case of, ‘the place there’s smoke, there’s fireplace.’
If collagen dietary supplements assist with pores and skin hydration, it’s a logical rationalization for the looks of fewer wrinkles. Extra hydrated pores and skin is much less crepey and wrinkly.
Provided 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 individuals, together with no sponsorship.
Be sure you get the correct sort of collagen. Watch out for purposeful meals like popcorn and protein bars that comprise elements 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 reasonable about growing older. No complement or weight loss plan goes to forestall growing older or allow you to ‘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 ladies and growing older that stokes insecurity and sends us searching for the holy grail of youth.
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 a whole protein. Whey continues to be the gold normal for protein powders, because it has essentially the most beneficial bioavailability and absorption charge.
Nonetheless, should you’d like to make use of collagen as a protein powder, simply be sure that 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 are wanted for collagen manufacturing within the physique. Calling these dietary supplements ‘collagen’ is deceptive, which is why loads of them are named ‘collagen enhance.’
Most of us get sufficient of what we have to make our personal collagen. I wouldn’t advocate vegan collagen merchandise until your weight loss plan is severely missing.
What about among the different claims round collagen?
Collagen and joint ache
One of many collagen advantages that appears fairly stable by way of analysis (right here), (right here), and (right here) has been the usage of collagen sort II for joint ache. This can be a totally different sort of collagen from sort I, so if you’re fascinated with making an attempt it, you’ll need to search for undernatured or sort II collagen.
Collagen and intestine well being
Does collagen repair leaky intestine?
Numerous 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 might ‘seal up’ leaky junctions in intestine cells is a gross oversimplification. That’s a standard 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 prognosis, not ‘leaky intestine’), it’s vital to take away the trigger, no matter that’s in every case.
Do you have to take collagen on your pores and skin?
It might be value a strive, however don’t count on miracles. There appears to be loads of 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 advocate you do is hearken to individuals 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 older and never use it as a advertising software.