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Can Supplementing with Collagen Improve Skin Health?

Collagen is the most abundant protein found in the body. And, as you age, your body starts to produce less collagen. As early as your mid-20s collagen begins depleting. Not trying to be the bearer of bad news, but during the first five years of menopause, collagen depletes as much as 30 percent and up to 50 percent after 60! 

There is another factor that contributes to collagen loss. "Aside from aging, the top reason people don't have enough collagen is poor diet, "according to Dr. Elizabeth Bradley, MD, Medical Director of Cleveland Clinic's Center for Functional Medicine. "Your body can't make collagen if it doesn't have the necessary elements."

Making Collagen Naturally

When your body makes collagen, it combines amino acids- nutrients you get from eating protein-rich foods like beef, chicken, fish beans, eggs, and dairy products. This process also requires vitamin C, zinc, and copper. 

You can get vitamin C by eating citrus fruits, broccoli, and greens. You can get the minerals by eating meats, shellfish, nuts, whole grains, and beans. It would help if you also considered switching your current oil to avocado oil. A 2006 study published in the Journal of Rheumatology found that avocado oil "significantly increased type II collagen."

"As you age, however, your body may no longer absorb nutrients as well or synthesize them as efficiently," Dr. Bradley says. "To make sure your body has enough ingredients to make collagen, you may need to change what you eat or take dietary supplements."  

I believe that food is the best medicine, and if I can treat myself by diet, that is my preference. However, as clean as we eat in our household (ask my son-in-law, who can never find good snacks in the pantry), I struggle to consume enough protein. That can be a concern if, like me, you participate in heavier weight lifting.

When you consider collagen's role in the body, it is essential to ensure you have enough, especially as you age. Collagen is a protein that serves as one of the main building blocks for your bones, skin, hair, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. And according to dermatologist Dr. Ohara Aivaz, "Collagen is what keeps our skin from sagging, giving us that plump, youthful look."

My physician, Dr. Suzanne Ferree Turner, specializing in AntiAging and Regenerative Medicine, recommends collagen supplements. In addition to stimulating collagen topically with copper peptides twice a day with a product like our Restoracell Serum and Moisturizer, she recommends using Hydrolyzed collagen and 50 milligrams of vitamin C daily.

Recommended Collagen

There are many collagen supplements on the market, and they are in three primary forms: Hydrolyzed collagen, Gelatin, and Raw. Dr. Turner recommends Hydrolyzed collagen, also known as collagen Hydrolysate, that breaks down into smaller parts, known as amino acids, via hydrolysis.

There is so much significant research in this area. Here are just a few worth noting. First, collagen Hydrolysate was given to 114 test study subjects, who were middle-aged women. After eight weeks of taking it daily, the analysis revealed a 20% reduction in the skin's wrinkles, fine lines, and creasing volume.  

A 2019 study by Quiris Healthcare, Germany, demonstrated that collagen supplements could increase skin hydration, elasticity, and dermal collagen density. Eleven studies with a total of 805 patients suggest that administration of collagen peptides can positively impact various skin conditions and skin aging.

Collagen supplementation was safe with no reported adverse effects in a randomized controlled trial. The intake of 10 g of collagen hydrolysate over at least 56 days increases skin moisture and collagen density compared to placebo.

Compared to placebo, a significant reduction in eye wrinkle volume along with an increase of procollagen type I and elastin is reported after the intake of 2.5 g collagen per day over 56 days. In addition, it showed that the intake of 2.5 g collagen peptides over 180 days led to a statistically significant decrease in the degree of cellulite and a reduced skin waviness on thighs. https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/11/10/2494/htm

When selecting a collagen supplement, be sure to choose Hydrolyzed Bovine collagen (it should be the only ingredient) and avoid flavored collagen because it could have sugar and extra calories. I use Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate.  It is an unflavored Collagen Hydrolysate, Grass-fed and Pasture-raised. It easily dissolves and can be used in coffee or a protein shake. I prefer to have it with my afternoon Protein Shake.

In my effort to truly ANTIAGE, I believe that using clean, hardworking peptides on my skin combined with proper nutrition and good supplementation like Hydrolyzed collagen has made a positive difference.