Collagen supplementation, and its various forms, has been exploding in popularity recently. But is it all hype, or can it really help you look and feel younger?
So far, the scientific data is fairly limited. However, it is promising. Several small studies show that collagen supplementation may have the potential to strengthen joints and improve skin health and appearance.
Collagen is a protein that binds tissue together and is sometimes called “the body’s scaffolding.” It’s found in humans and animals, and some cultures have used it for centuries as an anti-aging tool.
Like many other body parts, collagen breaks down with age. The breakdown outplaces replacement, and the result can be wrinkles, weak joints, and skin that lacks a supple, plump appearance.
One small study featuring 69 women between the ages of 35 and 55 found that taking 2.5 or 5 grams daily for 8 weeks showed improvements in skin elasticity compared to women who did not take it.
Another study showed 1 gram per day for 12 weeks led to significantly more hydrated skin, fewer visible wrinkles, improved blood flow in the skin, and higher collagen content.
Despite these findings, not all experts are convinced that supplemental collagen is safe and effective.
It’s important to exercise extreme caution when selecting a collagen supplement. Supplements are often made of ground-up animal parts, which could carry disease. Therefore, it’s essential to research the source and parts used.
Some things to look for include the GMP label and if the product is third-party tested.
It is worth pointing out that collagen supplements have a strong history and are generally safe for use.
Using collagen to improve skin and bone health might help you look and feel younger, but remember, nothing is guaranteed. Try it out and see if it works for you!