Collagen’s Key Role In Anti-Aging and Youthful Skin

Collagen is the main structural protein in the extracellular matrix in the various connective tissues in the body. As the main component of connective tissue, it is the most abundant protein in mammals,[1] making up from 25% to 35% of the whole-body protein content. Collagen consists of amino acids bound together to form a triple helix of elongated fibril[2] known as a collagen helix. It is mostly found in fibrous tissues such as tendonsligaments, and skin.

Collagen is found in the dermis and is the most abundant protein in the skin, making up 75% of this organ. This is also your fountain of youth. Collagen wards off wrinkles and fine lines. Collagen is what makes the skin and muscle connect and helps us the stay plump and youthful. When you age collagen is much harder for an older person to produce which contributes to sagging jowl, thin droopy skin, superficial as well as deep set wrinkles, droopy eyes, thin skin, and discolor. This is why when older people show picture of themselves in their youth, they look so different.

Below are articles curated from various reputable sources that I have found as well as linked to. These article discuss whether supplements can help us slow that process of anti-aging and if taking collagen orally does help create and help us reproduce collagen like we do when we are young.

From Consumerhealth.org

In-House Research: our goal is to verify the ingredients used in collagen supplements and make sure they are purely natural, high quality and clinically proven. Next, we conduct a survey of customers, test the top brands for label accuracy and gather honest reviews. We list out all the pros and cons of each brand and pick the top 3. Lastly; we want to make sure the companies stand by their products, so we check each brand’s guarantee, delivery time and customer service. Generally speaking, brands that offer a hassle-free 90 to 365 days money back are the ones you can trust.

Learn about collagen benefits and how to choose the right brand below:

  1. Improves Skin Health – several studies have shown that collagen peptides or supplements containing collagen may help slow the aging of your skin by reducing wrinkles and dryness.
  2. Boosts Your Immune System – collagen is an immune system booster as it helps build antibodies and has important antiviral properties.
  3. Helps Relieve Joint Pain – as the amount of collagen in your body decreases as you get older, your risk of developing degenerative joint disorders such as osteoarthritis increases. In a recent study, adults took collagen daily for 70 days had a significant reduction in joint pain and were better able to engage in physical activity than those who did not take it.
  4. Prevents Bone Loss – Your bones are made mostly of collagen, which gives them structure and helps keep them strong. Consuming collagen supplements may help reduce the risk of bone disorders such as osteoporosis.
  5. Promotes Heart Health – Collagen provides structure to your arteries, the blood vessels that carry blood from your heart to the rest of your body. Without enough collagen, arteries may become weak and fragile.
  6. Hair and Nails Health – taking collagen increases the strength of your nails by preventing brittleness. Additionally, it may stimulate your hair and nails to grow longer.
  7. Promotes Gut health – Many practitioners promote the use of collagen supplements to treat intestinal permeability, or leaky gut syndrome.
  8. Improves Brain Health – Many experts claim collagen improves mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety.

Collagen Side Effects – Currently, there are not any known risks to taking the top rated collagen supplements.

How to Choose The Right Collagen Brand:

If you are interested in trying collagen, doctors agree that it’s important to choose wisely.

– Contains all five types of collagen I, II, III, V and X (Bovine, Hydrolyzed Chicken, Pure Hydrolyzed Marine Collagen, Eggshell Membrance and Avian Sternum Collagen).

– Made from non-GMO, grass fed, hormone free, and cruelty free sources

– Must be Hydrolyzed for Absorption –  collagens are hard to absorb, hydrolyzed collagens have already been partially broken down for easier and faster absorbtion.

– Capsules vs Powder – although choosing between collagen capsule or powder is a matter lifestyle but many consumers have reported collagen in capsule form is more effective and convenient.

Has your brand been third-party tested?
You should never buy supplements that don’t have Certificate of Analysis. The studies should be conducted in labs that are not affiliated with the manufacturer. These labs verify the product for safety and potency. Only buy supplements that are backed by third-party labs and manufactured in an FDA approved facility.

From Webmd.com

Collagen is often called the body’s scaffolding.

“It’s the glue that holds the body together,” says New York dermatologist Whitney Bowe, author of The Beauty of Dirty Skin: The Surprising Science of Looking and Feeling Radiant from the Inside Out.

She says collagen makes up about 75% of the dry weight of your skin, providing volume that keeps skin looking plump and keeps lines at bay. It’s also rich in in the amino acids proline and glycine, which you need to maintain and repair your tendons, bones, and joints.

“As we get older, we break it down faster than we can replace it,” she says, noting that we begin to lose about 1% of our collagen per year in our mid-20s and lose as much as 30% during the first 5 years of menopause.

Injecting collagen has fallen out of favor in many medical skin care practices, since it doesn’t last as long as other fillers and tends to prompt allergic reactions. And when it’s put on the skin, it doesn’t absorb well, Bowe says.

When she learned a few years ago that people were eating it instead, she was skeptical. But she has since changed her mind.

“Just in the last few years, there have been some impressive studies showing that ingestible collagen can indeed impact the appearance of skin,” says Bowe.

One 2014 study of 69 women ages 35 to 55 found that those who took 2.5 or 5 grams of collagen daily for 8 weeks showed a lot of improvement in skin elasticity, compared with those who didn’t take it.

Another found that women who took 1 gram per day of a chicken-derived collagen supplement for 12 weeks had 76% less dryness, 12% fewer visible wrinkles, better blood flow in the skin, and a 6% higher collagen content.

And a 2019 review of eight studies including 805 patients concluded that “preliminary results are promising for the short and long-term use of oral collagen supplements for wound healing and skin aging.”

Moyad, author of The Supplement Handbook: A Trusted Expert’s Guide to What Works and What’s Worthless for More Than 100 Conditions, cautions that many of the studies done so far on collagen are small and at least partially funded by industry.

“The science is truly in its infancy,” he says. “There’s a lot of conflict of interest, and not enough quality control.”

But he, too, believes collagen holds promise.

As a protein source alone, collagen is an excellent one, packing in more protein per calorie than other sources while containing less sodium and sugar. And Moyad finds the evidence suggesting it may improve body composition, joint health, and healing rates intriguing.

One recent study of 53 elderly men with sarcopenia, a loss of muscle caused by aging, found that those who took 15 grams of collagen daily, in addition to lifting weights three times per week for 3 months, gained significantly more muscle and lost more fat than those who only lifted weights.

Collagen has also been shown to act as a powerful wound healer, able to stop bleeding, recruit immune and skin cells, and stimulate new blood vessel formation. One study of 89 long-term care residents with pressure ulcers found that those who took collagen supplements three times daily for 8 weeks saw their wounds heal twice as fast. Another, of eight patients who had a small surgical skin biopsy, found that daily topical collagen healed their wounds at least as well as sutures.

While research is mixed, a few studies have also shown that collagen supplements help with arthritis pain and sports-related joint pain. If this benefit plays out in a large, long-term clinical trial, it could be a game-changer, says Moyad.

“We are desperate for more low-cost, nonaddictive, and safe pain-modifying products,” he says.

Not Everyone’s Convinced

All that said, some health professionals remain skeptical.

Augusta, GA-based dermatologist Lauren Eckert Ploch says stomach acids break down collagen proteins you eat before they reach the skin intact, so she’s not convinced it helps at all. “The jury is still out.”

Then, there is the ick factor.

“I think the elephant in the room here is safety,” says Moyad. “We are talking about ground-up fish, chicken, pig, and cow parts, and these parts tend to act as sponges for contaminants and heavy metals.”

In one recent test of 14 popular collagen supplements, by the supplement testing company consumerlab.com, all products contained the levels of collagen they said they did, but one also contained high levels of cadmium, a toxic heavy metal.

Meanwhile, dermatologists and consumer groups have also expressed concerns that those ground-up hooves, hides, bones, and nerve tissues — particularly if they come from cows — could carry diseases like bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease.

Andrea Wong, senior vice president for scientific and regulatory affairs for the industry trade group the Council for Responsible Nutrition, says that as ingredients go, collagen has an excellent track record.

“It has been around for ages, and there is a large body of evidence supporting its safe use,” she says. She notes that studies that see how well it works also look at side effects. In general, collagen has been shown to be safe, Wong said.

She notes that supplement companies are required to comply with federal “good manufacturing practices,” which prohibit unsafe levels of contaminants like heavy metals.

In 2016, the FDA prohibited the use of some cow parts in dietary supplements to “address the potential risk” of the presence of BSE. (Human consumption of BSE-infected meat has been linked to neurological disorders.) The FDA exempted gelatin — a key collagen source — from the ban, “as long as it is manufactured using specified industry practices.”

Because dietary supplements vary widely in quality and are generally not regulated as rigorously as drugs, Valori Treloar, a Massachusetts dermatologist and nutritionist, prefers that her patients get their collagen from homemade stock using bones from chicken, fish, or beef.

“I think collagen is interesting and there is some data out there suggesting benefit, but I prefer for my patients to eat food,” she says.

Look for companies that get their bones and tissues from cage-free, free-range, and antibiotic-free sources. Look for a trusted brand with a third-party label like NSF or USP. And check out the company’s website to see what it’s doing to keep heavy metals and other contaminants out of their products.

“Consumers need to have the attitude of ‘just prove to me that it’s clean and I’ll try it,’” he says, noting that it can take up to 12 weeks for results to show. “It might help, and it probably won’t harm, unless you are not being diligent about quality control.”

From The New York Times

By Gabriela Ulloa / Published Nov. 9, 2019Updated Nov. 11, 2019

It will make your skin look dewy and fresh, your bones and nails strong, and your joints pain-free. These are the claims made by the countless manufacturers of collagen supplements that come in the form of powders, pills and creams. For that reason, it’s no surprise that collagen has become a widely sought-after ingredient in the wellness and beauty communities. But collagen’s efficacy is still pretty up in the air. Frustrated? Here’s what we know.

Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins in the body. In fact, collagen is “the main structural protein that forms the connective tissue throughout our body, from skin to bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments,” said Dr. Shari Marchbein, a board-certified dermatologist based in New York. It’s no wonder that the bottled up version of this protein (usually made of animal collagen) is in high demand.

Collagen makes up a whopping 80 percent of our skin, and works with another protein called elastin that — yes, you guessed it — keeps our skin elastic. But as we age, our bodies naturally start reducing collagen production. The board-certified dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe described our body’s collagen as “ropes of protein in the skin.” When we’re young, the rope remains tight, but as we age, the ends begin to fray. Essentially, our bodies are not able to replace the collagen we are losing as quickly as it is breaking down. Starting in our 20s, we begin losing about 1 percent of our collagen each year, said Dr. Bowe. This, unfortunately, means drier skin. Sun exposure, cigarette smoke and pollution can also accelerate collagen breakdown. “The concept of supplementing our collagen, especially as we age and as our body’s natural collagen production declines, is incredibly appealing from a dermatologic standpoint,” she said.

Collagen peptides (also referred to as hydrolyzed collagen) which are in supplements, are different. They’re made of the same amino acids as collagen but are more easily absorbed by our bodies. That’s because they are much shorter chains of amino acids than collagen, making them more easily absorbed into our bloodstream (i.e. more digestible). That said, Dr. Marchbein reminds us that, “how much of the supplement is absorbed and whether those amino acids make it to their target organs to act as the building blocks to make more collagen is still up for debate.” Be sure to look at the label as companies often, or at least should, disclose what their product contains.

For the rest of the article please click here.

From Prevention Magazine

Our body naturally makes collagen, but it produces less as we get older. A decrease in collagen can result in loss of elasticity and structure throughout the body (cue wrinkles and looser skin). The thought is that if you consume more collagen, you can stave off aging skin or degrading joints—an enticing claim. Still, some experts doubt that taking supplements is the best way to maintain your collagen supply.

“I definitely discourage people from supplementing collagen,” says Ashley Barrient, RD, a bariatric dietitian at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. “It’s going to be a waste of money, because your body is not actually going to utilize that extra collagen. Instead, a well-balanced diet rich in lean protein, heart-healthy fat, fruits, and vegetables has all of the key collagen-synthesizing nutrients you need.” (If you do decide to try a collagen supplement, you need to read this.)

Even more, healthy whole foods have a variety of nutrients that often work in tandem to encourage the production of collagen and protect it from breaking down due to environmental damage. Read on for seven foods that will keep your skin supple, your bones healthy, and your hair and nails in tip-top shape by promoting your body’s natural production of collagen.

The list of foods that encourage collagen production are as follows but please read the article here to see why they are good for building this protein also known as “the fountain of youth.”

  • Red Bell Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Salmon
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Lean Turkey
  • Eggs
  • Sunflower Seeds

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