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 help for a specific collagen complement, it has been getting a whole lot of consideration within the media Might this be the key behind her seeming incapability to age, her excellent hair and her shining pores and skin?
It acquired 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 news.
What’s collagen and what does it do?
Collagen is a protein. The truth is, it is essentially the most plentiful protein in your physique. There are not less than 16 varieties, however the commonest are Sort I, Sort II, Sort III and Sort IV.
Collagen is made up of robust and secure fibers that work like glue to carry issues in your physique collectively and strengthen them. You’ll find collagen in every single place, from head to toe, together with hair, muscle groups, bones, tendons, ligaments, organs and throughout — in your pores and skin. Collagen additionally creates elasticity that enables us to maneuver, bend and stretch. This contains creating pores and skin elasticity, which is why it will probably assist hold your pores and skin trying youthful.
What’s collagen made from?
Collagen incorporates 19 totally different amino acids, with a whole lot of hydroxyproline, which isn’t present in some other amino acids and helps your pores and skin heal and glycine, which helps your cells develop and keep wholesome, permitting your muscle groups 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. Additionally they act as antioxidants that work to stop the breakdown of bundles of collagen, known as collagen fibers.
How does growing older 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 comparable 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 injury the pure manufacturing of collagen?
Sure, collagen will be broken by a excessive sugar weight loss plan and smoking, each of which trigger irritation within the physique. An excessive amount of publicity to ultraviolet gentle from the solar also can steadily injury the collagen fibers in your pores and skin, which may result in solar injury. This solar injury will be seen in pores and skin biopsies, however additionally it is widespread to witness the injury 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 will help shield the collagen you do have and make it last more. Pink gentle remedy, additionally known as low-level laser gentle remedy (LLLT), will help easy out wrinkles, enhance pores and skin elasticity and stimulate collagen development. You can too assist your physique make extra collagen by your weight loss plan. Consuming excessive protein meals like purple meat, hen skins and thighs, and bone broth. Different vitamins, like vitamin C, zinc and copper, additionally play a component. You may get vitamin C from citrus fruits, tomatoes and leafy greens. For zinc and copper, strive fish, shellfish, nuts, entire grains, beans and gelatins. And, final however not least, sporting sunblock will help shield your pores and skin, so much less collagen must be used to interchange broken cells.
Are collagen dietary supplements useful?
Collagen in its entire kind is simply too massive to be absorbed by your physique and should be damaged down by digestion into smaller elements earlier than it will probably enter the bloodstream. These smaller peptides are then simply absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract. So, sure, it’s useful to take collagen dietary supplements. These can come as powder, tablets, pure meals and even drinks. Nonetheless, Sort II collagen is used to enhance joints and bones, so it won’t be absorbed as effectively if taken with different collagen dietary supplements, like Varieties I and III. For general anti-aging enchancment, Sort I and Sort III collagen dietary supplements are higher than a “whole collagen” bundle.
If that’s the case, how must you select a well being complement product?
The selection of which collagen complement to take depends upon what physique system you are making an attempt to enhance. In response to Dr. Liotta, “The dosing of collagen for dietary supplements for joints is 10 grams per day, which takes not 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 might require 15 grams per day for 12 weeks.”
Are there any risks to utilizing collagen dietary supplements?
There will be some unwanted effects when utilizing collagen dietary supplements, which may embody diarrhea or worsening present kidney stones. It is a good suggestion to speak to your healthcare supplier earlier than beginning any kind of collagen supplementation.