Is a Collagen Supplement Right for You?

Is a Collagen Supplement Right for You?

Collagen supplements are all the rage right now.

So, why are so many people hopelessly devoted to this protein?

Helping improve skin health, relieve joint pain, prevent bone loss, boost muscle mass and promote heart health are just a few of the benefits many claim collagen supplements can deliver. Sounds pretty fab, right?

Although collagen supplements have been around for quite a while, collagen has more recently popped up as an ingredient in foods like protein bars, smoothies, coffee creamers and many more. But the jury’s still out on exactly how effective collagen powders and other collagen supplements actually are when it comes to our health.

Here’s the skinny on this (perhaps super?) supplement …

What is it? Collagen is a type of protein. Skin, tendons, ligaments, bones and cartilage are made up of collagen. When your body makes more collagen, these tissues might become healthier and better able to support and protect your joints.

But many claim adding more collagen to your daily life will also show on your skin. Collagen and elastin support and sustain the dermis — the middle layer of skin. As you age, your body becomes less efficient at making collagen. Plus, sun exposure leads to collagen breakdown and results in less new collagen being produced.

How does our body make it? When you eat protein, your body breaks it down into individual amino acids. It then uses those amino acids — along with amino acids your body produces on its own — to make new proteins.

Amino acids are like building blocks, and the body puts some of them together in a specific pattern to form collagen. In addition to protein, your body also needs vitamin C, zinc and copper to help it form collagen. Learn more about eating for your skin here.

Are collagen supplements safe? Collagen supplements — as well as the collagen being sprinkled into various food products — are usually derived from the skin, hide, tendons, bones, cartilage or other connective tissues of animals or fish. As is the case with all dietary supplements, the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t verify that collagen supplements contain what they say they do. However, most studies have not found any serious adverse effects from collagen supplementation.

The bottom line? Taking a collagen supplement probably won’t hurt you but the best way to boost your collagen might be to simply focus on eating a healthy diet that supplies adequate amounts of protein and by limiting unprotected sun exposure. 

For ideas and insight to help you achieve your best skin health, contact us today for a personalized consultation with one of our talented A360 clinical aestheticians.

Virtual Consultation Schedule a Consultation