Studies have suggested that all of us have collagen in our body (25% to 35% of protein content), which is mainly in the connective tissues that maintain tissues like skin, tendons, ligaments and blood vessels. As you age, the amount of collagen naturally decreases, making your skin look dry and saggy. Collagen is believed to be one of the few nutrients that may slow the ageing process. But will a supplement really help?
Check out the best collagen supplements in the UK.
Studies have not determined the best dosage. So we need to start by deciphering what amount of collagen is the right dosage. Collagen has two forms, Type I and Type II. Type I collagen is the most abundant, but also the least potent, so it makes up the most of the available collagen. It can be found in various connective tissue proteins, and is produced in the body.
Collagen types I and II have very different effects on the body. The weaker Type I type appears to be anti-inflammatory. It has proven effectiveness in wound healing, and in reducing stiffness in joints. On the other hand, Type II is more potent. It is believed to reduce the risk of diseases like cancer, coronary artery disease, osteoporosis, Type 2 diabetes and colon cancer, as well as improve muscle function, smooth skin, and keep skin looking youthful. Collagen Type II also has anti-ageing properties, but the way in which it does it differs between different people.
The theory behind Collagen supplements
A study published in the journal Experimental Gerontology showed that taking 100mg/kg/day for five months reversed some ageing effects in mice. These animals were given collagen supplement for five months. At the end of the period, they had reduced signs of skin wrinkling, among other effects.
Another study published in a journal showed that a collagen supplement in humans showed positive effects on skin cells and collagen synthesis. The supplement also reduced levels of a protein that appears to be associated with skin elasticity. These results seem to support the use of a collagen supplement to maintain skin elasticity and look youthful.
“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.” – Sophia Loren
But remember, if collagen is the trick for wrinkle prevention, then what’s the catch? The formulation and ingredients need to be precisely chosen. What’s good for one person may not be good for another. First, talk to your doctor, and only then consult an expert.
A good way to make sure your collagen supplement is beneficial is to speak to a sports nutritionist, or a dietitian. A good quality of collagen requires high quality proteins. So before reaching for a high-priced capsule, it’s important to focus on choosing a reliable supplement with the right balance of proteins, carbs, omega-3s and fat.
Read More: Best Menopause Supplements UK
As you age, your skin loses its ability to produce new collagen. So it’s important that you take the right mix of nutrients to maintain the structural integrity of your skin, and to get the desired anti-ageing effect.
Katie Adam is a nutritionist and fitness expert.