Walk or click into any grocery store these days, and you can’t miss seeing bone broth, Collagen Peptide powder, and collagen-infused coconut bites.
Fad or something you should try?
It’s the ingredient of the year for the wellness world. People are injecting it, drinking it, and applying it topically. But why?
Collagen is a structural protein found in connective tissues -- skin, hair, muscles, bones, blood vessels, about 30% of your body. It’s also the building block of proteins so of course, we’re all talking about it along with the keto and Whole30 trends. By our mid 20’s our bodies aren’t repairing themselves as fast as they used to and our collagen stores naturally decrease by about 1% per year after that. It’s because collagen makes up 75% of our skin keeping it supple, plump, fresh, and wrinkle-free that has us all curious if we can help restore some of that with supplements.
Three Points of Caution:
- Vegetarians beware, it’s made from animal proteins.
- Be sure you’re buying the powder or supplements from a credible source that is NSF certified to be sure it’s been checked for contaminants.
- It’s expensive, and many dieticians recommend eating a balanced diet rich in collagen (salmon, steak, chicken) and cutting back on smoking, alcohol, and sun exposure -- all of which affects your body’s natural collagen production -- and all of these are cheaper than supplements.
You could spend all day reading about it, the science is shaky but there are boundless stories of people feeling like their hair is shinier, nails stronger, and skin more luminous while there are not identifiable downsides to trying it for a month to see if it works for you.
Overall, it seems there are more questions than answers in this arena for now.
Here's What We Recommend:
We recommend collagen-rich treatments that have been scientifically tested, and topicals that we know stimulate collagen and are based on years of independent scientific research. Vitamin C and retinoids are the gold standards for this purpose. Consider investing in treatments that also stimulate collagen production such as micro-needling, chemical peels, and microdermabrasion.
Resouce References: GoodHousekeeping, Women's Health, Cleveland Clinic, George Washington University Sciences Center.