People have been telling me for years that I look younger than my age but it was only after I started taking a collagen supplement that I feel the difference in my skin.
When you are young, your body produces more collagen which is what keeps your face looking youthful and vibrant.
As we get older though, our bodies produce less and less of this protein so wrinkles start to form.
Collagen supplements help to fill in those gaps by providing the right amount of amino acids needed to produce new collagen cells.
After just two months of taking a daily dose, my skin looks noticeably smoother and healthier with no lines or wrinkles!
Complete collagen is the #1 secret for looking and feeling younger!
- What is collagen?
- Collagen can be classified again according to their structure and function.
- Factors that affect badly on collagen production
- What is the role of collagen?
- Medical and cosmetic uses of collagen?
- How do you prevent collagen loss?
- Collagen supplements
- What are the benefits of collagen supplements?
- How much collagen you must take per day?
- What is the best time to take collagen supplements?
- How long does it take to give results?
- What are the collagen forms used within the supplements?
- What happens if you take too much collagen?
- What are the side effects of collagen?
- What happens if you add collagen to coffee?
- Collagen with butter coffee?
- Collagen for weight loss
- Collagen supplements for men
- Is collagen safe for daily consumption?
- What happens if too much collagen builds up in your skin?
- What is scleroderma?
What is collagen?
Collagen is a type of protein that is widely found within the human body. Bones, joints, skin, muscles, and tendons are composed of various collagens in different proportions. One-third of the protein content is accounted for by collagen. Collagen is a building block that builds various human body structures.
Collagen products deplete as age gets advanced and due to environmental factors like UV light and exposure to smog and smoking.
What are the main types of collagen?
Collagen can be classified according to the source by which they are provided to the body.
The synthetic collagen which we take as supplements are referred to as exogenous collagen.
When our body produces essential collagen naturally they are called endogenous collagen. Collagen is produced naturally with the help of amino acids. Following are some essential ingredients that are needed in the natural synthesis of collagen.
Proline is a type of amino acid, produced within the human body and essential in the synthesis of collagen. Egg white, dairy products, red meat, and certain mushrooms are rich in proline.
Glycine is a simple as well as a stable amino acid that is helpful in collagen synthesis. Glycine is rich in protein sources like meat, eggs, fish, and legumes.
Vitamin c is also an important component used in collagen synthesis and this is found within citrus fruits like lemon, bell pepper, and oranges.
Zinc is an essential nutrient found in the body that can be obtained by consuming chicken, pork, beef, cheese, and daily products.
Copper is also another important ingredient that is essential in collagen synthesis. Copper is found in lentils and cashews.
Collagen can be classified again according to their structure and function.
Type 1 – This is the most abundant collagen type where it covers 90% of the collagen composition of the human body. This type is found in bones, tendons, teeth, and connective tissues. These are arranged densely and packed tightly to provide more strength to the structures.
Type 2 – This is a collagen type where they are arranged very loosely and found within elastic cartilages. They act as a cushion between the bone surfaces.
Type 3 – The third type of collagen is widely found within the arteries, organs, and muscles. This type provides the structural support for the above-mentioned structures.
Type 4 – This is found within the skin layers.
Factors that affect badly on collagen production
Other than aging several other bad practices and behaviors will affect collagen synthesis.
Consumption of too much sugar and refined carbohydrates can interfere with collagen repairing. So long-term consumption of foods high in sugar content and refined carbs will affect collagen synthesis.
Excessive sun exposure will alleviate collagen production and make your skin look aged. So avoid unnecessary sun exposure where UV radiation can suppress collagen synthesis.
Smoking is a bad habit that interferes not only with collagen production but it affects several other physiological processes within the body.
How to increase collagen production?
Precollegan is the precursor of the collagen where proline and glycine are combined in the production of procollagen. If you can improve your daily nutrient intake you can improve collagen production. Consumption of the required quantity of proline, glycine, vitamin c, and zinc will help in this process. These ingredients are important in collagen synthesis. the required quantities can maintain the synthesis.
What is the role of collagen?
Collagen is mainly produced by the cells within the connective tissues. Collagen is a macromolecule that is responsible for maintaining the physical properties of the structures.
Protect some of the vital organs. Kidneys are protected by a collagen layer.
After menopause women experience changes in their skin integrity and joint composition. As a result of the lower estrogen production, collagen production gets lower.
Medical and cosmetic uses of collagen?
Collagen can be used for various medical and cosmetic purposes. Collagen is taken from various sources such as cows, pigs and, sheep.
Collagen used in skin fillers
Collagen is injected to fill the depressions and irregularities on the skin. This technology can be used to treat scars and minimize their appearance of scars. Fillers that are made from collagen can be used to treat wrinkles and to improve the skin tone of aged people. Collagen fillers which are used to treat skin conditions are prepared using the collagen extracted from cows and cows. Special skin tests are done before the usage of fillers to make sure that they do not course any allergies to the human skin. Collagen can only be used to treat superficial skin conditions, where the deeper depressions are treated with fat and silicone. (Brianna Elliott, 2020)
Collagen for wound dressing
Collagen can induce the wound healing process and speed up the healing. They induce new tissue growth and help in filling the lost tissues within the wound. Collagen can involve in the stages of the wound healing process.
Collagen dressings can be used to treat second-degree burns, necrotic wounds, skin graft wounds, and chronic wounds. There is no use in using collagen dressings to third-degree wounds and it is important to avoid collagen extracted from a cow if the patient is an allergy to cow products.
Used for tissue regeneration.
Specific cell growth can be induced by this method especially when implanting periodontal treatments. Membranes designed with the use of collagen are resorbable, so there is no need to undergo surgical procedures to undergo for the removal of the membranes.
Collagen is taken from the donors and used in nerve regeneration and vascular repair. It is important to check the compatibility of the collagen used before being used in the prosthesis treatments.
As the age gets advanced and as a result of the declined hormone level the collagen within the joints gets wasted. Supplements that are rich in collagen can be used to alleviate painful symptoms of osteoarthritis and recent research studies show that these supplements can restore some of the joint functions.
When these collagen supplements are taken continuously, the collagen gets accumulated within the joint cartilages and helps in restoring the extracellular matrix.
Collagen for skin revitalization.
Many cosmetic manufacturing agencies are using collagen in the production of their creams and lotions where they can improve skin integrity. But the collagen molecules are larger and cannot get absorbed via the skin, but the moisturizing effect on these cosmetic products can make changes within the aged skin.
How do you prevent collagen loss?
Everybody likes to look younger, every woman likes to make their skin glow and be healthy. Collagen is the protein that is responsible for maintaining skin elasticity and integrity. With the advancement of age, collagen production declines, and wrinkles start forming within the skin.
How do you pause the collagen loss?
70% of the young skin dermis consist of collagen. So high collagen content makes our skin healthy and smoother. With the age, these collagen productions get reduced and the skin becomes thin. Here are some tips to slow down collagen depletion.
1. Take a healthy diet
Some of the lifestyle practices can induce collagen depletion. Health lifestyle practices will always help you to slow down collagen loss. Chronic use of caffeinated drinks, smoking, exposure to direct sunlight for a long period, and environmental pollution can trigger collagen loss. By avoiding such practices from your life, you can slow collagen depletion and prevent skin damage.
Accumulation of free radicals will induce collagen depletion. Pollution, UV light, and smoking will help in the accumulation of free radicals within the skin. As a result of these changes, the skin starts sagging and form wrinkles.
The use of antioxidants can remove the accumulated free radicals within the body. Daily consumption of foods rich in antioxidants can help in these problems. Tomato, green tea, some algae types, and lemon are rich in antioxidants.
2. Consume foods that help in collagen synthesis.
Foods rich in omega-three fatty acids and vitamin A can help in collagen synthesis. Fish, salmon, tuna are some of the foods which are rich in omega 3 fatty acids. Fresh fruits and vegetables are also important in collagen production. Bell pepper, berries, beans are some of the foods that increase collagen production.
Avoid foods containing much sugar and carbohydrates, they damage the skin by making the skin to be inflamed. Consume foods rich in vitamin c, zinc, and copper. Because these nutrients can help in collagen production.
3. Apply sun cream before exposing it to sunlight.
Sunlight is also essential in vitamin D synthesis, but excessive exposure to direct sunlight makes your skin look dull and aged. This is because UV radiation depletes collagen synthesis. Using a powerful sun cream can prevent the damage caused by harmful sun rays. Try to apply the sun cream more than one time, if you sweat and if you feel that the effect is gone.
4. Consume ingredients that induce collagen production.
Procollagen is the precursor of collagen, the production of procollagen can be induced with the consumption of Vitamin A. Retinoic acid can organize the already existing collagen within the skin.
Aloe Vera – Aloe Vera is a famous home remedy that is used in acne treatments and in treating sunburns. This can reduce skin inflammation. Other than that Aloe Vera can induce collagen synthesis. They can increase hyaluronic acid and induce collagen production. This natural ingredient is used topically to apply on skin and also taken orally.
Vitamin C – Vitamin c is considered an antioxidant. Consumption of fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin c, can help in boosting collagen production and help to secure the available collagen stores.
Hyaluronic acid – This ingredient is needed in the process of collagen synthesis. Foods rich in amino acids are containing hyaluronic acids. Therefore consumption of protein-rich foods is also beneficial in collagen synthesis. (Collagen: ‘Fountain of Youth’ or Edible Hoax?, no date)
5. Seek professional help.
There are advanced skincare treatments that can improve and prevent collagen loss. Therapy using red light, laser treatments, and microdermabrasion are some of the advanced skin care treatments that are done by health professionals. These are considered safe treatment options to increase collagen production. But it takes time for the restoration of normal skin function.
Collagen is produced naturally within the human body, but with time and due to several other reasons the collagen production slows down. This is the protein that maintains skin integrity and bone health. When the skin elasticity is lost, the skin starts forming wrinkles and gives you an appearance with wrinkles. Therefore if you need wrinkle-free skin, you can go for collagen supplements. (Carter, 2019)
The collagen manufacturing companies have taken steps to hydrolyze collagen and they are available as peptides within the supplements. These peptides are very easy to absorb via the intestine. These supplements are available in several dosage forms like tablets, capsules, and powdered collagen.
What are the benefits of collagen supplements?
People consume collagen for various purposes.
Collagen supplements can help in regaining skin elasticity and gives a younger look to the consumer. Most women use collagen supplements to slow the aging process. So they can prevent wrinkle formation.
With the age, the cartilages within the joints get depleted. So the cartilage functions can be restored with the consumption of collagen supplements.
Collagen can help in the improvement of muscle mass.
Collagen can prevent bone loss and can help in reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
Studies have shown that collagen supplements can be beneficial in the maintenance of cardiovascular functions. (Brianna Elliott, 2020)
How much collagen you must take per day?
As mentioned in the above section, collagen is an important protein that is the structural material in the connective tissues. From certain foods, you can get collagen and certain nutrition can help in the production of collagen within the body. If you consume a balanced diet, there is no need for collagen supplements. Because your diet can provide you the necessary collagen and nutrients needed for production.
The health authorities have given guidelines regarding the daily collagen dosage. But this depends on your health condition and age. Certain health conditions may require an additional collagen dose.
What is the best time to take collagen supplements?
You can decide the best time that suits your preferences. If you taking other medications and if you think that it is unpleasant to take several medications at once, you can avoid the supplements in medication time.
People who experience gastrointestinal side effects, they can mix the powdered collagen with any favorite milk or juice to increase compliance.
You can decide whether you need the supplements in the morning or else at night. For more details, you can discuss this with your doctor.
How long does it take to give results?
Collagen supplement usage is appreciated in the maintenance of healthy skin, joint function and there are many other functions. It will take around four weeks to start the results. But this can change depending on the individual factors. So it is important to be patient until you experience the results as this takes little time.
What are the collagen forms used within the supplements?
There are three main types of collagen used for the manufacturing of collagen supplements.
Hydrolyzed collagen – This is the collagen obtained from bovine and seafood. It gets absorbed easily into the body. This is the widely used form in the manufacturing of collagen supplements. Hydrolyzed collagen is manufactured as capsules or as powdered forms. This powdered hydrolyzed collagen can be consumed by adding them to water or juices. Recent research studies have proven that the consumption of 2.5g – 15g of hydrolyzed collagen is enough to full fill the daily requirements.
The use of collagen does vary mainly depending on the purpose of the usage. Around 2.5mg of hydrolyzed collagen is enough if your consumption is to maintain skin integrity, skin hydration, and to prevent joint pain.
Around 5mg of hydrolyzed collagen is needed if you need to improve your bone density.
15mg of hydrolyzed collagen is needed if you needed to improve the muscle mass.
Undenatured collagen – This is a collagen type derived from the chicken. 10mg – 4mg of raw collagen derived from chicken is enough for the maintenance of the joints.
Gelatin – Cooked collagen is used in desserts.
What happens if you take too much collagen?
Collagen is considered a safe supplement even for healthy individuals. But some will experience unpleasant taste as all other supplements do. But the over usage of collagen can result in feeling fullness and several side effects. If you feel that you need more than the recommended dose, please take bits of advice from your doctor before the consumption.
What are the side effects of collagen?
Collagen is nontoxic and is considered safe for consumption. But during the consumption, there may be instances where some of the food allergens are used during the manufacturing process. Food allergens like fish, eggs, and shellfish are used within the production process. Some people are allergic to these ingredients and they can experience allergic reactions after consumption.
There is a chance to experience unpleasant taste after consumption.
There are reported cases where the consumer experienced gastrointestinal side effects like nausea, the feeling of fullness, and a burning sensation.
What happens if you add collagen to coffee?
Collagen supplements are available in capsule form and as powdered forms. This powdered form can be consumed by mixing with water and juices. Some people mix collagen with their coffee. People use this method to add more collagen to their diet. Collagen powders are tasteless and they can be mixed easily with coffee and the consumer will be able to consume them without any taste.
But adding collagen to a hot drink is an issue to think twice about. Collagen is a protein, as we know that the proteins can be denatured easily when they are exposed to heat, acidic and alkaline solutions. But during the manufacturing process, they already have been exposed to high temperatures and they are available already in the denatured form. During protein denaturation, they only lost their 3D structure and there is no harm to the amino acid chain.
But exposing them again to high temperatures can involve changing their peptide structure and they become useless. So adding the collagen powder to a hot coffee is useless. The desired outcome cannot be expected from supplement usage.
Collagen with butter coffee?
Butter coffee is prepared by adding butter to the usual coffee. Butter is added to coffee to boot the fat-burning process. People believe that butter coffee can suppress the appetite and involve in weight loss. People add collagen to butter coffee to gain more results. But this is not proven by the studies, so the scientists believe there is no difference between the addition of collagen to coffee and butter coffee.
Collagen for weight loss
Collagen peptides can be used in the weight loss process and to reduce body fat content. As with other supplements, these are also available in the market.
Weight can be a result of genetic factors, excessive calorie intake, lower exercise, and a slower metabolism. If you consume more calories than you waste, these excessive calories get to build up as fat in your body and result in increased body mass.
Collagen peptides can be used to re-boost the metabolism and to help in weight loss. Metabolism can increase the amount of fat burn during the activities. Collagen will reduce the fat content and increase the muscle mass of the body. When the muscle mass is increasing, more calories will burn because they need more calories for the movement of the skeletal muscles.
Collagen supplements for men
Many think that collagen supplements are only for women. But both men and women will experience aging and their collagen productions get slow down. Therefore gender is not a reason to avoid collagen usage. Both men and women can consume collagen for the improvement of their skin, joint and bone health.
When we consider males, they are at a risk more than women because they expose to UV light, practice smoking, and consume more sugar. So there is a greater tendency for men to lose their collagen production.
Collagen helps to improve male heart health.
Males are more prone to get cardiovascular diseases. Their genes and lifestyle factors have proven that they have an increased risk for the development of heart diseases. Collagen supplements can help to resolve some of these issues.
Amino acids called proline, which is present in the collagen can help in avoiding atherosclerosis formation. Therefore it reduces the risk of heart diseases. Arginine in the collagen protein will relax the blood vessels and reduce peripheral resistance. Increased peripheral resistance within arteries can increase blood pressure and this is not good for the heart. These issues can be prevented with the usage of collagen.
Collagen to prevent hair loss in males.
With the loss of keratin protein, hair becomes thinner and they get lost easily. So these supplements can improve the health of the hair. Studies have proven that the use of collagen can helpful for balding.
Collagen for male skin
Collagen is the protein found in the dermis of the skin, this is responsible for the formation of new cells. When collagen production reduces with the age, it courses to form wrinkles. This can be prevented by consuming collagen supplements. Men will experience aging skin quickly s they do not provide enough treatments to the skin and as a result of the smoking.
Collagen for the improvement of testosterone production.
Millions of men will experience lower testosterone levels in their bodies. This can result in various health issues such as mood changes, infertility, and reduce sex drive. Lower testosterone can course to reduce bone density and it can result in obesity. These issues can be treated with the help of testosterone replacement therapy but it is expensive.
As collagen is considered a common growth matrix, it can support the growth of Leydig cells which are testosterone-producing cells. These cells will grow and increase testosterone production. With time the males can restore their sexual functions and resolve infertility.
Is collagen safe for daily consumption?
Health care professionals consider that it is very safe to consume collagen supplements daily. But if you have many other chronic conditions, it is better to talk with your doctor before getting any extra supplements. Because it can make you feel unpleasant if there are any drug interactions.
What happens if too much collagen builds up in your skin?
There are instances where excessive collagen is built in the skin and in muscles. Accumulation of collagen within the skin can course a condition called scleroderma. Excessive collagen accumulation in the muscles can be painful. This can be resolved using stretching exercises.
Still, the actual reason behind excessive collagen accumulation is not discovered yet. Several factors can be the reason for the formation of collagen. The combined effect of genetic factors, environmental factors, and immune disorders can be the reason behind excessive collagen accumulation.
What is scleroderma?
This is an autoimmune disease where the skin produces more collagen. As autoimmune diseases destroy their body cells, in this condition they destroy skin cells, and as a result, more collagen is produced within the skin. This is easy to resolve if identified in the early stages.
Skin thickening around the joint is an early sign of this skin condition. There are many other symptoms of this condition. Following are some of the changes you can experience due to scleroderma.
Accumulation of calcium under the skin
Blood vessels get dilated
Can experience spams in toes and fingers
The important thing these symptoms can be a reason for another dermatological condition, so it is better to meet a dermatologist to confirm your condition.
Although this is an autoimmune condition some risk factors can increase the occurrence of this skin condition. Chemotherapy drug usage, being an American and female gender are some of the risk factors.
There is no cure for this type of condition but the progression of the condition can be preventable. Ultraviolet radiation therapy, corticosteroid therapy, and immune suppressants can be used to treat the condition. These treatment options can prevent the progression and limit the formation of complications.
Complications of scleroderma
The complications may be mild, intermediate, or may affect seriously. Following are some of the complications that the patients experience.
Collagen build-up within the lungs can affect the patient’s breathing. It slows down lung function. This can be a reason to increase the blood pressure within the arteries located in the lungs.
Blood pressure of the kidneys can increase leading to protein loss.
Scleroderma within the heart can alter cardiovascular functions. Alterations of the functions can make other body parts weaker. This can increase the risk of congestive heart failure. Accumulation of collagen can result in right-sided heart failure which eventually ends up as complete heart failure.
Collagen accumulation within facial skin fascia makes the patient difficult to open the mouth widely. So cleaning and brushing become very difficult. They will experience less salivation and dental care is very common among these patients.
This can alter the functions of the digestive system. So it makes the patient difficult to swallow.
Males can experience erectile dysfunctions if collagen is built within the penis and in women, the penetration becomes difficult if collagen is built inside the vagina.
Collagen is a protein that is produced naturally within the human body. With the advancement of age, changes in hormonal levels and environmental factors can trigger the breakdown of collagen production.
In that case, collagen supplements can help to restore this function. Supplements are available in different dosage forms.
You can take advice from your family doctor to decide which form is most suitable for you.
Collagen can help in maintaining your skin functions, joint functions as well as many functions within the body.
Home remedies can help in boosting collagen production and there are ingredients that are naturally rich in collagen protein.
Brianna Elliott (2020) ‘Top 6 Benefits of Taking Collagen Supplements’, Healthiline. Available at: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/collagen-benefits (Accessed: 25 August 2021).
Carter, A. (2019) Collagen supplements: Benefits, safety, and effects. Available at: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325344 (Accessed: 25 August 2021).
Collagen: ‘Fountain of Youth’ or Edible Hoax? (no date). Available at: https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/news/20191212/collagen-supplements-what-the-research-shows (Accessed: 25 August 2021).
“I have the metabolism of a sloth and a body that hates putting on muscles. This curse motivated me to study weight loss and nutrition. I want to share my experiences and knowledge to help you achieve your ideal body.”— Christian Tanobey