I am writing this post as I find it a little frustrating that there are sweeping statements that ‘Collagen supplements don’t work’. The first thing I want to say is there is no ‘one size fits all’ and everyone is different with individual circumstances (medication, lifestyle etc) that will play a role in the efficacy of anything they will try.
Another thing I would like to say is, like many mainstream supplements, vitamins and minerals, some collagen supplements can be filled with bulking agents and artificial sweeteners, in fact I have tried a specific brand that is so full of sucralose and additives it makes your toes curl. These ingredients also counteract the effects of collagen.
Collagen supplements are not only good for the skin but for fascia health, which is the interlinking network throughout the body influencing ligaments, tissues and tendons and guess what it is made of … Collagen. Collagen is an important complex protein in the body that provides structural integrity to key areas such as the skin, hair, nails, bones, joints, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, fascia, teeth, gums and blood vessels. In fact, collagen is responsible for making up 75% of our skin composition.
I use and recommend two collagen supplements, the first being my own Coll-Force supplements, containing a tailored combination of marine collagen, as well as a clever vitamin, mineral, herbal and nutrient blend that is designed to work from within to help protect the body on a cellular level against ageing and oxidative stress. These synergistic ingredients also help to keep skin elastic, radiant and supple, and their actions are backed by science, with a number of EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) approved health claims. This supplements has proved so popular for the integrity of hair, skin and nails but also great for gut health. The other supplements I prescribe is Col-mino, this has the marine collagen again but also an important colostrum ingredient that is so beneficial for immune and gut health.
Col-Force boost levels of peptide rich amino acids which increase the density of skin and hydrate fascia (you have superficial fascia and deep fascia in the face as well as the body so by hydrating the fascia it improves the appearance of the skin also! think of a dehydrated natural sponge, what happens when you immerse it in water (hydrate it) it plumps up).
100 women between the ages of 45 -65 took part in an independent study in 2013, it was a placebo-controlled study that was published in Skin Pharmacology and Physiology. The women who took 2.5 grams of a hydrolyzed collagen peptide once a day for eight weeks showed a 20% decrease in wrinkle depth around their eyes and the levels of pro-collagen I—the precursor to collagen—were up 65%. The skin still demonstrated elevated moisture levels and elasticity four weeks after they stopped taking the supplements.
In our natural diet, collagen has a very high Dalton weight with an average molecular weight of approximately 300,000 Da (Ohara et al., 2007) which requires a significant amount of breakdown via digestion before it is available to the body. However, hydrolysed collagen, has been specially formulated to have a very low molecular weight, typically 2000 Daltons, which means it has smaller peptides and amino acids which are more easily absorbed through the enterocytes within the intestinal wall and used by the body (Iwai et al., 2005).
Indeed, several studies have highlighted the high level of absorption of hydrolysed collagen into the blood stream; for example following consumption of hydrolysed collagen from cartilage, chicken feet, and porcine skin, the level of peptides in the blood rose significantly, reaching a peak 1-2 hours after ingestion (Iwai et al., 2005).
Significantly, collagen derived from marine sources, as present in Collagen Shots, has been shown to be even more readily absorbed than other sources of collagen (Ohara et al., 2007), meaning that Collagen Shots are an excellent source of collagen that is highly bioavailable to the body. Once in the blood stream, the collagen peptides are attracted to fibroblasts in connective tissue including the skin. It is suggested that collagen peptides influence the skin by stimulating the fibroblast cells to increase production of, and reorganise, collagen fibres (Postlethwaite, et al., 1978).
A further study compared the effects of supplementing the diet of a group of healthy women with 0 or 10g of collagen dissolved in a drink for 7 weeks and a dermatologist assessed the condition of their skin and measured the water content of the outer layer of the skin (stratum corneum) and the skin barrier function. After 3 weeks, 62% of the 10g group report improvements in skin condition compared to only 10% of the 0g grou
Although this blog is heavy on reports, studies and graphs I think the best way to explain about the Collagen supplements is to show you, here is a picture of a client I placed on Coll-Force before I could treat her and you can read her story here and a client that had used Coll-Force Shots for two weeks solid for psoriasis of the hands.
I have said this before in a post I wrote for Really Ree, for every report for, there is a report against. There is a mine field of information available for you to wade through on the internet. It is always good to look at live cases as above to help in your choices.
“Learn to see the truth with your own eyes”