The wellness trade has an obsession with youth. So naturally, collagen has develop into and continues to be an enormous development for anti-aging and total well being.
There was some new analysis on collagen within the years since I wrote my first evaluation 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 lots of the research on collagen and pores and skin is that they’re executed on animals, they’re sponsored by makers of collagen dietary supplements, or they’re simply poorly executed usually.
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.
We don’t have to eat collagen to provide it – our our bodies produce collagen from the vitamins we eat, particularly vitamin C, copper, zinc, and meals which might be excessive in protein like rooster and fish.
Collagen may 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-reduction 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 accordance with 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 getting older.
What occurs once we take collagen?
After we eat collagen, what occurs is identical as once 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 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 can be utilized in processes aside from collagen.
For instance, proline – which we are able to eat in collagen dietary supplements however can be made by our physique out of one other amino acid known 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 develop 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 evaluation. Nonetheless, I typically change my opinion when the science modifications and will get up to date. This could 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, rising hydration and elasticity. Nonetheless, the problem 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 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 had been additionally very small, with beneath 100 topics whole.
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 components. All of that is problematic in case you’re utilizing this analysis to show that collagen works, or in case 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 now have right here, is a number of research which might 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 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 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 protected, right here’s my backside line about collagen and pores and skin:
Extra analysis must be executed. I’m speaking, bigger research with consistency in product and dosing and much more individuals, together with no sponsorship.
Be sure to get the precise kind of collagen. Watch out for purposeful meals like popcorn and protein bars that include components like collagen extra for advertising and marketing than the rest.
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 perfect type of collagen to take, because it has already been damaged down.
Lastly, be reasonable about getting older. No complement or weight-reduction plan goes to stop getting older or allow you to ‘age in reverse.’ All of us age, and all of us present indicators of getting older. Sadly, we’ve been fed a dangerous narrative round ladies and getting older that stokes insecurity and sends us searching for the holy grail of youth.
Is collagen a great protein powder?
Collagen protein powder isn’t the perfect 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 probably the most beneficial bioavailability and absorption fee.
Nonetheless, in case you’d like to make use of collagen as a protein powder, simply be sure that your weight-reduction 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 include nutritional vitamins and minerals which might be wanted for collagen manufacturing within the physique. Calling these dietary supplements ‘collagen’ is deceptive, which is why lots of them are named ‘collagen increase.’
Most of us get sufficient of what we have to make our personal collagen. I wouldn’t advocate vegan collagen merchandise except 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 in case you are curious about making an attempt it, you’ll need to search for undernatured or kind II collagen.
Collagen and intestine well being
Does collagen repair leaky intestine?
Numerous various well being practitioners appear to suppose so. Bone broth does include collagen, though the quantity can differ throughout merchandise.
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 complicated 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.
Must you take collagen in your pores and skin?
It might be price a attempt, however don’t anticipate miracles. There appears to be lots 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, perhaps there’s something to it?
What I don’t advocate you do is hearken to individuals or corporations making big guarantees about collagen and the way it can assist you ‘age in reverse’ or any of that nonsense. We have to normalize getting older and never use it as a advertising and marketing device.