The truth: what collagen really does for you
Collagen supplements, drinks or even skincare products are trending as the wrinkle-fighting elixirs for skin and has even been mentioned to help acne and cellulite but that’s not all.
What is collagen?
One of the biggest proteins in the body is collagen. It’s found in muscles, bones, skin, blood vessels, digestive system and tendons. It’s what helps give our skin strength and elasticity and even replaces dead skin cells. Sadly, from early to mid-20’s we start to lose our natural collagen. Loss varies with individuals but scientists agree that by the time you are 45 you’ve lost 30% of your body’s natural collagen. Falling collagen levels become evident when skin starts to lose its firmness and fine lines and wrinkles begin to appear as a consequence. For more information on what collagen is click here
Collagen supplements are an efficient way of replacing lost collagen. Not only does it benefit skin but also nails, hair, acne, cellulite and even bones, joints and ligaments.
When it comes to ageing we no longer worry about the laughter lines and wrinkles but what we do worry about is wanting to age healthily and not prematurely. We can easily trigger our ageing process early on depending on our choices around basking in the sun or the cold, smoking, drinking alcohol, moisture (using skin treatments that dry out the skin, it can lose its elasticity and the face ages), diet, weight, lack of exercise and stress. A double-blind placebo study found that women who took the collagen peptide orally regularly for eight weeks saw 20% reduction in wrinkles. Those who topically used collagen (collagen-based skincare) demonstrated that the products acted deeply and intensely on wrinkles, reducing the appearance.
Acne is an inflammatory skin condition that is characterised by blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, cysts that occur on the face, neck, chest, back, shoulders and even the upper arms. Collagen has many functions but did you know it can help treat acne? Collagen can help rebuild and repair the structure below the skin, also speeding up the healing process.
Cellulite affects around 85% of women over the age of 20 whether it shows as dimples, flaccidity or an ‘orange peel’ appearance but with the use of collagen peptides, it can reduce the signs of cellulite. In a different double-blind placebo study it was shown that regular oral consumption of collagen helped restore the normal structure of dermal and subcutaneous tissue and after 6 months there was a reduction in appearance of 9%.
As well as wanting to look after our skin, hair and nails are also an important part of our beauty regimens to help achieve strong, healthy and long nails and hair. With brittle and weak nails being a problem amongst most women and men, with the symptoms exhibiting surface roughness, raggedness and peeling, this study finds that collagen supplements can improve the problem. It is demonstrated that the results of the study did increase nail growth of 12% and improved brittle nails of 64% in just 4 weeks.
Ever dream of thick, glossy and healthy-looking hair? With collagen supplements or supplements containing collagen it can help increase hair growth for those with thinning hair. A double-blind study revealed that control-treated subjects improved in overall hair volume, scalp coverage, and thickness of hair just after 90 days. In just over 180 days results also shown hair shine, skin moisture retention and skin smoothness.
Body & Joints
Whether you’re a professional athlete or exercise/train as part of your everyday job or lifestyle or getting older with age, your bones, joints and connective tissue wears and tears over time. It is also mentioned that collagen can help rebuild the existing collagen stores in the body and joints as well as stimulating the body’s own production. It may also help aid the repair and regenerate ligaments, tendons, joints and bones as well as improving the connective tissue of the skin but that’s not all. It is also mentioned that collagen can help stabilise the body’s immune system and neutralise the production of abnormal molecular structures which are known to be a major cause of joint problems and stiffness. This research has been authenticated by the CRI (Collagen Research Institute) which is based in Kiel, Germany and headed by the world’s leading authority on Collagen Hydrolysate research Dr Steffen Oesser.