Collagen is simply protein which promotes elasticity in your skin. Also, you can find it in your nails and hair, making it one of the most common proteins in the body.
It is made up of few different amino acids, which are essentially protein building blocks that help to strengthen and create everything from bones to your skin. Your body makes its own collagen, but it is not always in amount that are abundant enough to fight wrinkles and other signs of aging.
This is where collagen supplements come into play.
1. Collagen’s Beauty Benefits are Sketchier
In terms of collagen supplements that are offering hair and skin benefits, Adam Friedman, MD, an associate professor of dermatology at George Washington University, stated, “No way.”
“Collagen is going to be digested in the GI tract because it is not made to survive the massive pH changes in your gut”, according to Adam Friedman.
There is a study to back him up on that. A study in 2002, reported your gut’s digestive acids and enzymes break down hydrolyzed collagen, which is the type present in most powders. But, this research also found type-II (UC-II) collagen may be able to go through your gut without losing its chemical structure.
Of course, we are still studying about the human gut. More research has associated some collagen peptides to healthier skin and reduced skin wrinkles, therefore, it is possible some new researc will explain the anecdotal evidence associating collagen powders to hair and nail benefits. But for now, there are many more questions than answers.
2. Collagen Supplements Can Help in Strengthening Your Gut
There is some evidence that certain amino acids present in collagen, in particular, one known as glycine, may aid digestion and reduce GI inflammation. But, the evidence is mixed. Most of it does not involve collagen powders or supplements, but, studied specific amino acids in a lab setting.
3. The Most-Complete Research Focuses on Joint Health
Studies have associated collagen supplementation with reduced symptoms of arthritis. In a study in 2009, the International Journal of Medical Sciences, four out of five osteoarthritis patients who took a daily 40 mg dose of undenatured type-II collagen (“UC-II”)saw their pain drop by an average of 26%. (Unlike the type-I collagen, mentioned above, type-II collagen is taken from chicken cartilage)
4. There are Many Types of Collagen
There are more than a dozen types of collagen, that is each composed of various amino acids or “peptides”. Different types form tendons and skin as opposed to cartilage.
Determining which may help your health has proved tricky. Also, supplements that contains collagen vary a ton.
In most cases, if you are purchasing collagen peptides powder, you are buying “hydrolyzed” type-I collagen that has been taken from animal bones or hides, or fish scales. Hydrolyzed means that the amino acid chains have been broken down into smaller units, and this is a process that allows it to dissolve in both cold and hot liquids.
This type of collagen is incredibly popular because you to add it to everything from soups to hot coffee, smoothies and cold brew. Also, it contains a protein punch, with a 2-scoop serving of most collagen peptides with approximately 18 grams.
5. The FDA Does Not Regulate These Supplements
The Food & Drug Administration U.S., does not monitor collagen powders for efficacy or safety unless a manufacturer claims its supplement can cure disease, or people get sick and something goes wrong, as in the case with any supplement. For this reason, it is critical to do a little study before stocking up.