Medically reviewed by Dr. Elizabeth Liotta
Collagen is an unsung hero in our our bodies that appears to lastly be having its day. Ever since Jennifer Aniston went public along with her assist for a selected collagen complement, it has been getting a number of consideration within the media. Might this be the key behind her seeming incapacity to age, her excellent hair and her shining pores and skin?
It bought us questioning: What precisely is collagen, and is taking it really good for you? We reached out to Dr. Elizabeth Liotta, a dermatologist and member of the HealthyWomen Girls’s Well being Advisory Council, to get the inside track.
What’s collagen and what does it do?
Collagen is made up of sturdy and secure fibers that work like glue to carry issues in your physique collectively and strengthen them. Yow will discover collagen in every single place, from head to toe, together with hair, muscular tissues, bones, tendons, ligaments, organs and throughout — in your pores and skin. Collagen additionally creates elasticity that permits us to maneuver, bend and stretch. This consists of creating pores and skin elasticity, which is why it will probably assist hold your pores and skin trying youthful.
What’s collagen product of?
Collagen accommodates 19 completely different amino acids, with a number of hydroxyproline, which isn’t present in another amino acids and helps your pores and skin heal and glycine, which helps your cells develop and keep wholesome, permitting your muscular tissues and mind to work higher and your physique to take away glucose out of your bloodstream, amongst different issues.
Collagen peptides function the constructing blocks to naturally produce collagen or different proteins wanted by the physique. In addition they act as antioxidants that work to stop the breakdown of bundles of collagen, referred to as collagen fibers.
How does getting old have an effect on the pure manufacturing of collagen?
As you age, you start to lose the collagen in your physique, and it turns into tougher so that you can make extra. Signs similar to joint ache, stiff tendons or ligaments, in addition to papery, wrinkling pores and skin are indicators that your physique is producing much less collagen.
Are there methods we harm the pure manufacturing of collagen?
Sure, collagen will be broken by a excessive sugar food plan and smoking, each of which trigger irritation within the physique. An excessive amount of publicity to ultraviolet mild from the solar may progressively harm the collagen fibers in your pores and skin, which might result in solar harm. This solar harm will be seen in pores and skin biopsies, however it’s also frequent to witness the harm in sagging pores and skin and wrinkles.
Are there methods to advertise the manufacturing of collagen?
There are a number of methods to advertise the pure manufacturing of collagen. Utilizing retinol can assist defend the collagen you do have and make it last more. Crimson mild remedy, additionally referred to as low-level laser mild remedy (LLLT), can assist easy out wrinkles, enhance pores and skin elasticity and stimulate collagen development. You may as well assist your physique make extra collagen by means of your food plan. Consuming excessive protein meals like pink meat, hen skins and thighs, and bone broth. Different vitamins, like vitamin C, zinc and copper, additionally play an element. You may get vitamin C from citrus fruits, tomatoes and leafy greens. For zinc and copper, strive fish, shellfish, nuts, complete grains, beans and gelatins. And, final however not least, carrying sunblock can assist defend your pores and skin, so much less collagen must be used to exchange broken cells.
Are collagen dietary supplements helpful?
Collagen in its complete type is just too giant to be absorbed by your physique and have to be damaged down by means of digestion into smaller elements earlier than it will probably enter the bloodstream. These smaller peptides are then simply absorbed by means of the gastrointestinal tract. So, sure, it’s helpful to take collagen dietary supplements. These can come as powder, tablets, pure meals and even drinks. Nevertheless, Kind II collagen is used to enhance joints and bones, so it won’t be absorbed as nicely if taken with different collagen dietary supplements, like Sorts I and III. For total anti-aging enchancment, Kind I and Kind III collagen dietary supplements are higher than a “whole collagen” bundle.
In that case, how must you select a well being complement product?
The selection of which collagen complement to take relies on what physique system you are attempting to enhance. In accordance with Dr. Liotta, “The dosing of collagen for dietary supplements for joints is 10 grams per day, which takes no less than 24 weeks to see progress, whereas a pores and skin complement of 5 grams per day would possibly take 8 weeks to see enchancment.” She added, “Coronary heart well being enhancements will be seen with 5 grams per day for six months, and muscle positive aspects could require 15 grams per day for 12 weeks.”
Are there any risks to utilizing collagen dietary supplements?
There will be some unwanted side effects when utilizing collagen dietary supplements, which might embrace diarrhea or worsening current kidney stones. It is a good suggestion to speak to your healthcare supplier earlier than beginning any kind of collagen supplementation.