Do Collagen Supplements Really Work?
Collagen, an abundant protein found in the human body, makes up a large portion of our hair, our nails, and our skin. It is present in all of your connective tissue, which includes your bones, cartilage, and skin. Generally speaking, you don’t need to be taking collagen supplements and drinks as your body makes it on its own.
However, many are turning towards these types of options as they age because your natural levels do decrease over time. The idea behind taking these supplements is to help encourage the body to stave off wrinkles, encourage hair growth, and support overall skin health and elasticity. Yet the question remains.
Do Collagen Supplements Really Work? Or is it all hype?
The Science behind Collagen Supplements
Unfortunately, the science is murky at best. Although it logically makes sense to help boost our overall skin health by consuming collagen, there is actually no scientifically backed studies that show conclusive evidence that it does indeed work. Why is this?
Well, let’s take a look at what collagen is. It is a protein, to which its building blocks are amino acids. Amino acids get produced in our bodies when we consume items like fish, meat, and dairy products. These amino acids get rebuilt into other proteins that help with muscle repair, wound healing, and collagen.
However, when you consume collagen, your body doesn’t know that you are specifically targeting skin health. So it won’t necessarily have a one to one effect as intended.
Dangers Collagen Supplements
To date there have been no reports of adverse effects due to taking collagen supplements. Though it is important to note that collagen cannot be absorbed by the skin. So refrain from using lotions as a way to get collagen, as they do not work.
Are Collagen Supplements Effective?
One study did find that by taking a collagen supplement, it provided boosted the body’s natural production of its own collagen stores by providing the body with a plentiful source of the amino acids needed to build collagen.
This was a 24-week study done on athletes who were taking a dietary supplement for activity-related joint pain. In terms of studies done on the direct impact that taking collagen supplements had on the skin, resulted in inconclusive answers.
Yes, several studies showed that a percentage of individuals who used an oral pill form of collagen did have fewer facial wrinkles and facial lines, but there was no way to track whether this was directly related to the supplement.
Unfortunately, there are too many external factors that affect collagen production. For instance, a balanced diet that is rich in nuts, fish, and dairy will have a higher chance of boosting natural production. Whereas habits like smoking, autoimmune disorders, and sunlight can decrease collagen production.
So, Do Collagen Supplements Really Work? The jury is still out on this one. If you are looking to boost your collagen levels, the best route is to find natural ways to enhance what your body is already making.
You do this by eating a diet that is rich, plentiful, and balanced. This could include items like citrus fruits, Vitamin E (almonds), and fish. You also want to reduce things like immense sugar intake, smoking, and too much sun.
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