Do Collagen Supplements Really Work?

Critical Takeaways

  • Collagen is the most ample protein in the body and delivers construction to the pores and skin, cartilage, bone, and connective tissue.
  • As we age, collagen production obviously decreases, contributing to a drop in actual physical function and the appearance of wrinkles.
  • Some scientific evidence indicates that oral collagen nutritional supplements can outcome in improved collagen ranges, but there are other supplements, skincare merchandise, and lifestyle patterns that could be as, if not far more, efficient at increasing collagen manufacturing and excellent.

In a skincare-obsessed tradition, it can be challenging to know what health supplements, serums and lotions are genuinely worth the dollars and which types are ineffective.

Oral collagen supplements are a prime illustration of a well-known item that firms frequently claim can have miraculous anti-aging added benefits. But there is a lot of debate about no matter if consuming these nutritional supplements is the most effective way to boost collagen excellent, improve generation, and gradual degradation.

Collagen is the most ample protein in the entire body, and it gives structure to the skin, cartilage, bone, and connective tissue, according to Kristina Collins, MD, FAAD, a board-certified skin doctor dependent in Austin, TX. It’s vital to the procedures of wound healing, scar development, musculoskeletal purpose, blood flow, and vision, she mentioned.

“As we age, our collagen generation decreases and the good quality of our collagen declines as properly,” Collins informed Verywell. “That overall reduction of the collagen inside our bodies is expert as a decrease in bodily function, but the reduction of the collagen of our pores and skin occurs ideal prior to our eyes with the physical appearance of wrinkles in sagging pores and skin.”

In the course of the course of action of ageing, a gradual reduction of collagen can consequence in volume loss all-around the eyes or facial area and musculoskeletal complications like mobility difficulties or joint pain, she spelled out.

Are Collagen Health supplements Successful?

Brands usually publicize collagen dietary supplements as capable of restoring skin firmness, boosting bone wellbeing, and strengthening hair and nails. But gurus are conflicted on regardless of whether these health supplements can, in reality, produce these success.

“Many people query how efficiently we are capable to truly soak up any beneficial type of collagen or its peptide components by way of the digestive system,” Collins claimed.

There is no conclusive proof about the perfect format for collagen supplementation but, she additional. Many collagen health supplements incorporate hydrolyzed collagen—which is partially damaged down and less difficult to absorb—and peptides, which are lesser chains of amino acids that may well transform out to be even extra successful.

There is some scientific evidence to back up the efficiency of collagen supplementation. A meta-evaluation posted in the Worldwide Journal of Dermatology in 2021 concluded that 90 days of collagen supplementation can decrease wrinkles and enhance pores and skin hydration and elasticity. 

And a 2022 examine with 100 members showed that the oral supplementation of small-molecular-weight collagen could strengthen wrinkles, elasticity, hydration, and barrier integrity of photoaged facial skin devoid of adverse results.

Even though these scientific tests aid the use of oral collagen, promises built by collagen health supplement brands often surpass the proof at this time supported by the literature, claimed Kunal Malik, MD, a board-licensed dermatologist based in New York Metropolis.

Option Approaches to Enhance Collagen Production

Other than nutritional supplements, there are ways to knowledge similar benefits made available by improved collagen production. When it arrives to skincare, Malik recommends applying topical vitamin C in the sort of l-ascorbic acid, combined with ferulic acid and alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E). 

“These 3 elements have a synergistic antioxidant influence and safeguard in opposition to UV irradiation, which causes not only photoaging but also skin cancer,” he explained. “The result is even stronger when Vitamin C+E and ferulic are combined with SPF.”

Solar defense is specifically vital, Malik spelled out, due to the fact UV harm generates free radicals that enhance the range of enzymes that break down collagen. UV hurt leads to collagen to break down a good deal speedier than the ordinary growing old procedure, he explained, so putting on a minimum amount of SPF 30 every day is good defense towards collagen degradation.

Collins, meanwhile, claimed any antiaging skincare regimen should really incorporate many sorts of elements that endorse the creation of collagen, including vitamin A derivatives, as in retinol, retinoate, and just about anything with “retin” peptides, which are shorter amino acid chains that provide as making blocks for collagen and hyaluronic acid, which acts as the “glue” between the amino acid constructing blocks.

Collagen cream, although, is “completely useless” since the molecule of collagen is too massive to make it earlier pores and skin carrier, Collins included.

“We can’t take up collagen by means of the pores and skin, but we can soak up numerous styles of molecules that both help collagen synthesis and downregulate collagen degradation,” she stated.

Niacinamide and coenzyme Q10, for case in point, are good collagen-boosting minerals that can be absorbed topically, in accordance to Collins.

Taking oral nutritional supplements containing vitamin C, zinc, manganese, coenzyme Q10, glycine, proline, and copper can also assistance generate new collagen, she claimed. These ingredients—called “cofactors”—are molecules that require to be existing for collagen output to happen. Additionally, these less complicated molecules can be absorbed by the GI tract more very easily, she mentioned.

And there are some way of life routines that can assist with collagen ranges, far too. Cigarette smoking and consuming excessive sugar or processed foods can lead to a decline in collagen concentrations, Collins mentioned, which is why she suggests drinking a lot of water and having a effectively-well balanced eating plan with an emphasis on plant-based mostly, full meals.

“Good sleep hygiene and anxiety reduction are also beneficial for maintaining the cellular processes that control our collagen synthesis or breakdown,” she mentioned.

What This Suggests For You

Whilst oral collagen supplements may well function to strengthen collagen amounts, there are a quantity of skincare items, alternative nutritional supplements, and life style practices that might be even additional productive when it will come to strengthening collagen top quality, escalating generation, and slowing degradation.