IS COLLAGEN THE SECRET TO HEALTHY SKIN, HAIR, AND JOINTS?

About 3 months ago, I made an impulse buy at the Vitamin Shoppe and bought a powder form of the dietary supplement collagen. And now I’m hooked!

 

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IS COLLAGEN THE SECRET TO HEALTHY SKIN HAIR & JOINTS

I’m usually not one to make impulse decisions when shopping, but oh well, at least this is better than buying another pair of shoes, right?

I decided to start taking collagen after reading an article published in the journal Clinical Interventions in Aging which described how a 12-week study found that collagen could counteract signs of natural aging of the skin.

It has also been shown to support the growth of healthy hair and nails as well as support the joints.

So is collagen the secret to healthy skin, hair, and joints?

As always, I’ve done the research to find out and I want to share it with you!

 

 

What is collagen?

I bet you’re wondering what exactly collagen is, how it prevents wrinkles and other signs of aging, and whether or not it’s safe to take.

Let’s start with the basics.

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, found in connective tissues such as bones, cartilage, tendons, teeth, digestive system, muscles, skin, etc. You could think of collagen as the building block protein that keeps our skin, hair, nails, and other body parts durable and strong.

To date, 29 types of collagen have been identified, however, over 90% of collagen throughout the body is of type 1 through 5, with type 1 being the most abundant. Below are the tissues and organs where collagen types 1 through 5 can be found.

  • Collagen type I: skin, tendon, vascular, ligature, organs, bone
  • Collagen type II: cartilage
  • Collagen type III: reticulate fibers
  • Collagen type IV: forms bases of cell basement membrane

However, our body’s natural production of collagen slows down as we age. Therefore, supplementing with this protein daily can increase the amount of collagen in our bodies and lead to the following benefits. 

SKIN BENEFITS

Skin is the largest organ in the human body. It makes sense, then, that type I collagen is the most abundant out of all 29 types that have been identified. When it comes to the skin, collagen provides the skin with strength and elasticity, and also helps to replace dead skin cells.

A 2014 double-blind, placebo-controlled trial studied the effects of oral administration of collagen to women ages 35 to 55. The women were randomized to either receive the treatment (2.5 to 5 grams of collagen hydrolysate once daily) or placebo for 8 weeks.  At the end of the study, skin elasticity in the treatment group showed statistically significant improvement in comparison to the placebo group. (Skin Pharmacology and Physiology)

IS COLLAGEN THE SECRET TO HEALTHY SKIN

Image via Healthy Habits

However, it’s important to note that while oral intake of collagen supplements can be beneficial to the skin, putting collagen in a topical skincare product is worthless. Applying collagen topically has never been shown to stimulate collagen synthesis or growth. This is because collagens have a molecular weight of 15000 to 50000, making them too large to penetrate the top layer of skin. Typically only molecules of size 5000 Daltons or less can effectively permeate the skin.

BONE AND JOINT BENEFITS

The stiff, achy, swollen joints that come with older age are caused by decreased production of collagen. It has been proven, however, that supplementation with oral collagen can be beneficial for those suffering from joint pain! We are taught in pharmacy school that the best OTC treatment for osteoarthritis is acetaminophen (Tylenol). Since reading that osteoarthritis patients can find relief from their symptoms by supplementing with collagen, I am now going to recommend collagen supplements to my patients. Not only is it a natural remedy, but it also does not have the risk of liver toxicity like with acetaminophen.

 

WEIGHT LOSS

If collagen is the secret to healthy skin, hair, and joints, how can it help with weight loss, too? It turns out that 2 scoops of collagen packs in about 20 grams of protein! Adding those 2 scoops to your morning coffee or juice can help you to feel fuller for longer! According to Authority Nutrition, protein can even out hunger levels, reduce late night junk food cravings, and even boost metabolism.

 

My experience with collagen

I purchased the NeoCell Super Powder Collagen. This brand has a known reputation for producing high quality collagen supplements over the past two decades.

Since this supplement is formulated as a tasteless powder, I will either add it on top of my morning oatmeal or blend it into a smoothie.

Over the 3 months that I have been taking collagen as a dietary supplement, I have noticed a difference in the rate at which my hair grows and a reduced likelihood of breakage!

Collagen the secret to healthy skin hair and joints

 

So is collagen the secret to healthy skin, hair, and joints?

In my opinion, there’s not just one “secret” to maintaining health and well-being, but I do believe supplementing with collagen can replace the collagen that is lost over time. Plus, a 30-day supply is only $10.85! And it’s easy to add to a smoothie, oatmeal, or even just mixed with water since it has no taste.

 

 

So would you give collagen a try for healthy skin, hair, and joints? Leave me a comment with your thoughts below!

 

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