Collagen supplements provide collagen, the protein that holds most of your body’s tissues together. Although you’re producing it constantly, your rate of collagen production slows down with age. This leads to wrinkles, joint pain, risk of injury, and other problems. But there are supplements that can maximize your collagen production. But the question is, do they actually work?
What Does The Research Say?
There is certainly evidence of the importance of collagen levels for various aspects of health.
- Research at the University of Pennsylvania showed that collagen can decrease arterial stiffening in heart tissue, which is a major risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Another study from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, found that glycine, another key component of collagen, helped repair liver damage caused by alcohol abuse.
So we know how important collagen is in general. What about the effectiveness of collagen supplements? Well, there is a growing body of evidence that they can contribute to increased collagen levels and health benefits.
- This study by researchers from the University of Texas and AminoScience Laboratories in Japan showed that arginine, which collagen is rich in, led to an increase of lean muscle mass and strength in elderly patients who took a supplement for it.
- A Penn State study showed that collagen hydrolysate supplements (collagen peptides) eased joint pain in athletes with sports injuries.
- Researchers at the University of Kiel in Germany found that taking collagen supplements had beneficial effects on skin health.
Collagen supplements clearly have an impact.
Not All Collagen Sources Are Equal
Bone broth is a collagen source that was popular a few years ago. It is healthy and natural, and people liked the taste. But it can take up to 20 hours to fully leach the collagen out of animal bones. And the collagen cells it yields are too big to pass through the intestinal wall. They can’t get to parts of the body that need it. That is why pill and powder collagen supplements use the hydrolysis process to break the collagen into peptides. These are smaller components that your body easily converts into collagen after they are absorbed through the intestine.
Another collagen source that might be too good to be true is topical collagen cream. It seeks to reduce wrinkles the same way oral supplements can. But oral supplements can increase collagen levels where they’re needed all over the body, while the cream can only help the skin. Additionally, since the skin is less absorbing than the intestinal wall, it’s possible that even in peptide form very little of the collagen will get into the skin enough to work.
Personally, I recommend the collagen powder supplement from Prisma Natural USA. It includes vitamin C which is essential to collagen, and has a molecular weight of 5000 Da, ideal for absorption, and delivers 10 grams of collagen per serving.
How Can I Know If Collagen Supplements Are Working?
If you want to try collagen, it helps to have an idea when you can expect to see results. Based on growth rate and cell renewal, hair, skin and nails should start showing results in about four weeks. To see peak results you will want to wait till the twelfth week. For joint pain, the rate of cell replacement is slower. You should look for improvement around three months after starting a collagen routine for an otherwise healthy person, and 3 to six months for someone with osteoarthritis. Don’t forget you’ll always get the best results from collagen if you try to eat healthy and get enough sleep.
In fact, the only downside to collagen powder as that it takes time and patience. But your body is designed to heal over time, and by promoting collagen growth, you can see results.
To purchase Prisma Natural Collagen visit their store here.