We've been seeing plenty of articles promoting the benefits of ingestible collagen. Whether you like your collagen in a capsule or prefer a drinkable powder, the question is...does it do anything for your skin?
*Remember, many studies are funded by the supplement industry, while endorsements (by Doctors or health professionals) are often paid promotions.
FIRST, WHAT IS COLLAGEN?
Collagen is a protein, with approximately 60% of its makeup being the amino acids Glycine, Proline, Hydroxyproline and Arginine. Collagen is found primarily in bone, skin and various tissues of animals, including human beings. When it comes to skin, collagen is an essential factor in skin firmness, fullness and shape and is necessary for keeping a youthful complexion. It's also an incomplete protein (lacking Tryptophan) and generally a low-quality source of dietary protein.
WHAT INFLUENCES COLLAGEN PRODUCTION?
There are a few factors, such as estrogen levels, diet, stress, and lifestyle, that can influence our bodies ability to produce collagen and maintain optimum levels to keep skin looking youthful. From a dietary standpoint, ensuring our bodies have the proper mix of amino acids, vitamin C, and anti-oxidants is important in maintaining youthful collagen levels.
- A proper balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle are super crucial for collagen production.
From the Cleveland Clinic, "Collagen can't be absorbed by your body in its whole form. Your body breaks down the collagen proteins you eat into amino acids. So, eating collagen-rich foods doesn't directly result in higher collagen levels in your body."
IS IT BENEFICIAL TO INGEST COLLAGEN SUPPLEMENTS?
It may be beneficial for some individuals but, there are better options. Collagen protein is primarily Glycine + Proline which are non-essential amino acids (meaning our bodies can produce these on their own) and an incomplete protein source.
Collagen is lacking (incomplete) when it comes to the essential amino acids our bodies cannot produce but are necessary for tissue repair and new collagen synthesis. These essential amino acids must be obtained through other food sources or additional supplementation.
Once ingested, a collagen supplement goes through the same digestive process as all other proteins, broken into smaller chain amino acids and then "reassembled" by our bodies into complete amino acid chains and the building block of tissues and new collagen. To make the most of any protein source, it should be complete, containing all the necessary amino acids...this is where collagen on its own comes up short.
- Higher-quality protein sources will offer a more significant benefit
- Collagen contains only 8 of 9 essential amino acids (it's an incomplete protein)
- Collagen is broken down once ingested, just like all other proteins
- Other nutrients, such as Vitamin C, are necessary for collagen formation
So while we aren't against the use of collagen supplements, it's important to understand their role in the maintenance and repair of healthy skin. A collagen supplement may be more helpful for those with a poor diet, and lacking enough protein intake.
HOW CAN WE SUPPORT AND PRESERVE OUR BODY'S OWN COLLAGEN LEVELS?
Following a proper, balanced diet is extremely important in maintaining and encouraging optimum levels of our body's collagen. If you are vegan or vegetarian and don't eat a varied diet, or you're an individual that consumes very little or incomplete protein sources, then a collagen supplement may show a benefit as one may be lacking specific amino acids. The key is ensuring our bodies have a complete mix of non-essential amino acids and nutrients to build the protein strains necessary for collagen production.
- Ensure a healthy balanced diet with adequate protein intake
- Eat high-quality (complete) protein sources (should contain the 9 essential amino acids)
- Ensure your diet has enough fruits and vegetables (Vitamin C and anti-oxidants are essential for collagen synthesis)
While part of our body's own process is the elimination of old collagen, we can minimize its premature destruction by:
- Reducing sugars and refined carbs in our diets
- Avoiding excessive UV exposure
- Getting enough sleep
- Avoiding excessive alcoholic beverages
- Not smoking
- Reducing stress levels
Looking for a supplement designed specifically to support Collagen production? We love Herbaland Vegan Collagen Booster. Everything you need to assist optimum collagen levels. A great-tasting gummy bear and, it's Vegan!
A great topical product formulated to support collagen formation in the skin is Vitae Ageless Infinity Super Serum, which contains many proven collagen- stimulating ingredients.
Do you have collagen in your skin cream? The collagen molecule is too large to penetrate the skin and does little beyond some surface hydration. Peptides on the other hand, do penetrate and can support collagen formation.
TREATMENTS THAT SUPPORT COLLAGEN PRODUCTION
At Glow Luxe, we have a variety of treatment options designed to stimulate collagen and preserve the collagen your body already has. We offer complimentary consultations so you can assess your options.
Call 250.590.5459 Today!