Male or female, it doesn’t matter, we all want to look our best.
Besides working out to help obtain a more youthful appearance, some swear by collagen supplements.
If you aren’t familiar with collagen, you should be because it’s already a naturally occurring protein in your body. That’s right, you’re born with it. In fact, collagen is the most abundant protein in the body.
How Collagen Claims to Help
An article published by Healthline shared that collagen helps promote skin elasticity, holds together bones and muscles, protects your organs, and provides structure to joints and tendons.1 Some supplements even credit collagen to helping individuals grow healthier skin, hair, and nails.
But, is additional collagen needed to reap these benefits? Well, it depends…
As your body begins to age, collagen production begins to decline. This typically begins around age 25.2
This means skin begins to lose its elasticity, causing fine lines, wrinkles and a less youthful appearance.
Before You Buy
But before running out to buy collagen supplements, there are plenty of ways a healthy diet can help the body produce new collagen. According to an article published on Medical News Today3:
Nutrients that may support collagen formation include:
- Proline: In egg whites, meat, cheese, soy, and cabbage.
- Anthocyanidins: In blackberries, blueberries, cherries, and raspberries.
- Vitamin C: In oranges, strawberries, peppers, and broccoli.
- Copper: In shellfish, nuts, red meat, and some drinking water.
- Vitamin A: Occurring in animal-derived foods and in plant foods as beta-carotene.
If you’d prefer going the supplement route, make sure you understand how much collagen you need so you don’t overdo it.
New York Times bestselling author and TV guest contributor, Dr. Kellyann Petrucci, MS, ND suggests 5g minimum per day, 10-15g for improved hair, skin, and nails, or 30g to help replenish cells.4 However, it’s important to note that this is just one naturopathic doctor’s opinion, and perhaps may not be the exact amount needed for your body.
Before starting any new health or fitness program, it’s best to consult with your personal healthcare physician.
Finding What’s Best for You
There are a lot of different collagen supplements on the market, but they’re not all made the same. Finding what’s best for you depends on a few factors: dietary preference, taste, and type.
Let’s start with hydrolyzed collagen. This type of collagen “is just a more processed form of collagen,” according to Nick Bitz, MD.5 This is supposed to make it easier for your body to break down the protein.
Next, you may come across collagen supplements labeled as Type I, Type II or Type III. All of these collagen types are made up of amino acids that are beneficial to the body, so no matter what type you take, they are essentially all protein and all work at boosting collagen production.
Bovine collagen (also known as beef collagen) comes from the cartilage, bones, and hides of cows, whereas marine collagen comes from the scales/flesh of fish. Some bovine and marine collagen supplements can have a strong and/or fishy odor, so make sure you read the reviews before buying blindly.
Good news for vegans out there –
There are vegan-friendly collagen supplements which use plant-based protein sources. So, you can still get some extra collagen if you aren’t consuming enough foods to naturally boost your collagen production.
Have you tried a collagen-boosting supplement and noticed a difference? We’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below!
Disclaimer: Whatever you choose to try, it’s important to remember that when starting any new dietary supplement or routine it’s best to first speak with your personal healthcare provider.
- Axe, DNM, DC, CNS, Dr. Josh. “5 Benefits of Collagen for Skin, Muscles, and Gut.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 15 Feb. 2018, healthline.com/health/collagen-powder-benefits.
- Orange, Karim. “Anti-Aging Part 1: The Importance of Collagen.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 20 Dec. 2016, huffingtonpost.com/entry/anti-aging-part-1-the-importance-of-collagen_us_583cd543e4b04e28cf5b8ac3.
- McIntosh, James. “Collagen: What Is It and What Are Its Uses?” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 16 June 2017, medicalnewstoday.com/articles/262881.php.
- Petrucci, MS, ND, Dr. Kellyann. “How Much Collagen Should You Take Daily?” Kellyann, www.drkellyann.com/all-about-collagen/much-collagen-take-daily/.
- Laurence, Emily. “Everything You Need to Know about the Different Types of Collagen.” Well+Good, Well+Good, 24 Oct. 2017, wellandgood.com/good-food/different-types-of-collagen-benefits-explained/slide/2/.