Soft and smooth as a baby's butt --- most of us would love to have that kind of skin again! And who doesn't wish we were as flexible as when we were kids. But, let's face it, we're all getting older, and our skin and joints take a lot of abuse from our diet (especially from excess sugar), environment, sun exposure, smoking, genetics, hormones - just to name a few. As our bodies age (beginning around age 40), we naturally start to lose collagen. Our skin becomes less firm and loses its elasticity, and our joints make more 'snap, crackle, and pop' sounds than the well-known cereal. If you've spent way too much money on creams and lotions that didn't give you relief, then it's time to work on the "inside" ... and that's where Collagen comes in.
What is Collagen?
In simple terms, collagen is the principal protein found in the skin, tendons, cartilage, bone, and connective tissue, and it makes up a large part of our hair and nails. Collagen is responsible for giving our skin its elasticity, hair its strength, and connective tissue its ability to hold everything in place.
A growing body of research suggests hydrolyzed collagen has powerful anti-aging properties for skin, bone, hair and joints. There were studies done by Skin Pharmacology and Physiology. The objective of their research was to study the effectiveness of collagen hydrolysate. Test subjects were given 2.5g - 5.0g of collagen hydrolysate once daily for 8 weeks. At the end of the study, skin elasticity in both collagen hydrolysate dosage groups showed a statistically significant improvement in comparison to the placebo group. Penn State University conducted a 24-week study on the use of collagen hydrolysate as a dietary supplement in athletes with activity-related joint pain. Their conclusion supported collagen hydrolysate for joint health and indicated it could possibly reduce the risk of joint deterioration.
Best Sources of Collagen
The best food source for collagen is homemade bone broth (bovine collagen). Bovine collagen is sourced from cows. But it's not always convenient to make homemade bone broth. Another source of collagen are supplements. Since collagen molecules are too large to be absorbed through the skin, creams and lotions may not work. However, collagen supplements in powder or capsule form are a great way to add collagen to your diet. Make sure you purchase a collagen supplement that is already hydrolyzed. This means that the collagen has already been broken down into more easily digestible and usable forms. Look for a supplement that contains hydrolyzed bovine collagen peptides as this is the most easily digestible and absorbable form of bovine collagen. When collagen is easily digested and absorbed, it may boost collagen in the skin's deeper layers, where it helps reduce the look of wrinkles by plumping and firming the skin.
Netrition carries several brands of Collagen supplements in both powder and capsule form.
Collagen powder dissolves quickly in water or any other hot or cold liquid. The powder is tasteless, mixes easily, and can be added to coffee, juice, smoothies, as well as ice cream or oatmeal. Try 1 - 2 tablespoons daily for a few months and see if you notice any improvement in your skin, hair, nails, and joints. We like the NuNaturals Collagen Peptides because 1 tablespoon provides 7g of Collagen hydrolysate B (bovine), has no taste, and mixes instantly.
Collagen capsules should be taken on an empty stomach, approximately 2 - 3 hours after eating, or at bed time so that your body has time to better absorb the collagen. We like NeoCell Super Collagen + C because it contains hydrolyzed bovine collagen along with added Vitamin C.
When taking any form of Collagen, you may want to add Vitamin C to your daily supplement regimen as Vitamin C aids in your body's production of collagen.
1. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Oral supplementation of specific collagen peptides has beneficial effects on human skin physiology: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study
2. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: 24-Week study on the use of collagen hydrolysate as a dietary supplement in athletes with activity-related joint pain
3. Medical News Today: What is collagen? What does collagen do?
4. Prevention: 4 Things That Happen When You Eat Collagen Every Day
5. LiveStrong: The Benefits of Collagen Capsules