Mar 27, 2018 12:00 AM

Author: Office of Public Affairs

There are multiple collagen supplements on the market that promise to do a number of things. However, they probably don't deliver.

collagen skin care


What is Collagen?

Collagen is a structural protein that makes up about 30% of you body’s whole protein content. Collagen is like the glue that helps bind together cells and tissue in your bones, tendons, muscles, skin, teeth and nails.

Where does Collagen Come From?

Your body naturally produces collagen, but production peaks in your 20s and gradually starts to decline as you age.

Replenishing Collagen

Since collagen production decreases as you age, it seems to make sense that supplementing collagen in your diet or skin care routine would be beneficial, right? Collagen infused skincare has been around for several years, claiming to provide collagen directly to the skin. However, dietary collagen supplements have become more and more popular in the last few years.

Collagen Skin Care

Though collagen infused skincare items may promise to improve collagen levels in the skin, it is unlikely that they are actually effective. Collagen molecules are too large to be absorbed past the surface of the skin, making any benefits superficial and temporary at best.

Dietary Collagen

While there is some preliminary evidence that collagen supplements can help decrease joint pain or improve skin elasticity, the studies that have shown this are relatively small in scope and the results have yet to be duplicated.

Dietary Collagen

There isn’t any evidence that consuming collagen will help your body produce more of it. And, if you’re taking collagen hoping to help your skin, you may not see those results. Your body will distribute the collage proteins where they are most needed.

Is it Worth It?

Increasing your collagen intake may have some uncomfortable side effects - like abdominal cramps or nausea - and depending on the supplement, it could contain trace elements like copper, arsenic, or creatinine. However, most doctors agree that there aren’t any major risks to taking collagen supplements, though you may not see the results you expect.

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