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The Dark Truth About Collagen Supplements

By June 19, 2022June 22nd, 2022Supplements

Collagen is a protein naturally found in the body. It plays several important roles in the body and is one of the most important components of the connective tissue in the body. It is found in abundance in the body, however, its levels begin to decrease by the age of 25 years. Gradually the levels decrease, and this decrease is visible in the different changes in the body.

The protein has recently gained popularity for its potential benefits on the skin, nails, hair, and bone. The effectiveness of collagen, however, has been challenged especially with collagen supplements as they are believed to not have the required amounts of collagen to make a difference.

Natural Sources of Collagen

To combat the natural reduction of collagen in the body, foods that stimulate collagen production can be consumed. These foods will naturally replenish the collagen stores without having to take collagen supplements, which are yet to prove their efficiency.

Since the collagen stores are naturally found in the connective tissue of humans and animals, eating animal products such as chicken skin, pork skin, beef, and fish can help restore collagen levels in the body. Drinking bone broth soups or eating products containing gelatin can have a similar effect. Since bone broth is rich in collagen and gelatin is derived from collagen, it is clear how these products act as natural sources of collagen.

Some of the other natural sources of collagen include, but are not limited to:

  • Citrus fruits
  • Broccoli
  • Bell peppers

These foods aren’t rich in collagen but rather in Vitamin C which is needed for the synthesis of collagen in the body.

Benefits of Collagen

Collagen is a major component of the skin, and a reduction in collagen levels with aging is responsible for the lack of elasticity and sagginess of the skin. Low collagen levels are also responsible for the fine lines and wrinkles on the skin, with aging. Given the importance of collagen, it can be easily hypothesized and believed that collagen supplements can improve the appearance of the skin and effectively increase the beauty of the skin.

To test this hypothesis, multiple different kinds of research and studies were performed. One such study found that regular supplementation with hydrolyzed collagen at the dosage of 2.5 g could significantly improve the appearance of the skin. Another study found a positive relation between elastic skin and collagen supplements.

Collagen was also found to improve the hydration of the skin as seen in women who were given the supplements for 69 days. They reported a marked improvement in the hydration of the skin with reduced dry skin patches. All of these benefits point toward the effectiveness of collagen for skin and beauty.

Effective Dosage for Collagen

The effectiveness of collagen depends on the dosage of collagen being consumed. According to several pieces of research, around 2.5 g to 15 g of hydrolyzed collagen is safe to consume with no reported side effects at this dosage. However, the exact dosage of collagen differs based on the type of collagen used to make the collagen products.

Hydrolyzed Collagen

This type of collagen is often seen on the ingredients list as collagen hydrosylate. It is made from the collagen extracts from bovine, pig, chicken, fish, or other animal sources which are then broken down into easily-absorbable pieces. Hydrolyzed collagen is the most commonly used type of collagen in dietary supplements.

Recent studies have shown that the safety window for hydrolyzed collagen is between 2.5 g per serving to 15 g per serving. While there are no reported toxicities of collagen, it is not recommended to go over 15 g servings per day. For the purpose of beauty, 2.5 g of collagen hydrosylate has been found to be highly effective, which comes up to one capsule of the supplements.

Gelatin

This type of collagen is also derived from animal sources like hydrolyzed collagen but gelatin is cooked after extraction. Gelatin is often found in gummy supplements for those who would like a bit of flavor with their daily dose of collagen.

However, gelatin is the least used type of collagen for supplements and is only available in foods and gummies, the dosage of which differs from product to product.

Undenatured Collagen

This type of collagen is derived from chicken cartilage only. The undenatured collagen is used in dietary supplements but the preference remains to be hydrolyzed collagen. Studies show that 10 g to 40 g of this type of collagen may be able to improve bone and joint health. However, not much is known about the effect of this type of collagen on beauty.

Collagen Product Recommendations

There are several products on the market to choose from, however, not all contain the required dosage per serving, per day, of collagen to make a difference in the quality of the skin. Some of the best collagen products on the market, based on online reviews, are mentioned below:

  • Persona Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides
  • Garden of Life Grass-fed Collagen Beauty
  • Thorne Collagen Plus
  • HUM Nutrition Collagen Love
  • Youtheory Collagen

How to Buy the Best Collagen Products?

When deciding between different collagen products, it is highly important to read the online reviews to know any potential side effects or lack of benefits with the product of choice. Online reviews and ratings are often truthful and represent the product from an unbiased yet experienced view. It is also important to make sure the product is created with all the safety guidelines and protocols in place, to ensure that it is not tainted with contaminants that could negatively impact the health.

It is also important to check for third-party lab testing and certifications which further guarantee the safety, efficacy, and quality of the product. Never purchase a product without doing thorough research as your health is on the line.