- Author Chris Bates
- Published May 30, 2020
- Word count 787
Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins in our bodies. In fact, collagen protein makes up 30% of our total protein in our bodies, and 70% of our total protein in our skin. A vast majority of our skin, hair and nails and a significant portion of our joints are comprised of collagen. Unfortunately, as we age, collagen levels go down in our bodies. Collagen contains a mixture of amino acids like proline and glycine, which are in every connective tissue within our body, including vital organs.
While most beauty treatments (including shampoo and skin care products) tout the benefits of collagen being applied topically, the real benefits come from collagen being absorbed within our bodies.
Collagen has been found to assist with:
Bone and joint health
Increases in muscle mass
Promote skin elasticity
Strengthen our hair and nails
Promote gut health
Emerging studies suggest specific amino acids in collagen can also assist with our body’s natural
Hormone production and balance
Clearly, collagen can provide many benefits to our bodies as we age.
As we age, our collagen production from within our bodies declines. A number of lifestyle factors like stress, gut health imbalances, poor diet made up of processed foods instead of natural and organic foods can also impact our collagen production adversely. A quality supplement can assist with replacing this important protein back into our bodies. Unfortunately, most collagen supplements on the market are at very low concentration levels with a lot of fillers that will not assist you with replacement of collagen.
Collagen powder (the hydrolyzed form of gelatin) contains these proteins that are broken down into individual peptide chains. This form is typically easier to digest and has frequently been suggested to help with people with digestive problems. An advantage of this kind of collagen is it is easily mixed into warm liquids and when properly treated, can be tasteless.
Skin may benefit the most from collagen supplements
While collagen can be beneficial to the entire body, it is most noticeably beneficial to the skin. The reason for this is as we age, our skin epidermic (outer layer of our skin) thins and loses elasticity in a process known as elastosis. As this happens, a person will tend to show more wrinkles and show more signs of aging.
Two studies published by Skin Pharmacology and Physiology in 2014 found a daily regimen of collagen peptide supplements can improve elasticity and reduce wrinkles by up to 20 % when used for just 8 weeks. The studies was done on a sample group of over 200 women. The study also concluded a high level of ingestible collagen peptide was necessary for absorption at a level that could be absorbed during digestion so it can actual be absorbed on a cellular level into our skin. A new study published in January 2019 by the US National Library of Medicine that were the culmination of 11 different studies with 805 patients confirmed these prior studies, but highlighted the need both for high potency hydrolyzed collagen. Unfortunately, not all collagen supplements are high potency, and some even contain harmful fillers. It is important to carefully choose the proper supplement in both form (hydrolyzed collagen) and potency (measured in grams/day). Generally, the higher the potency the better the results.
Further evidence has found that the use of biotin (Vitamin B 7) can also assist with the promotion of healthy hair, skin and nails. A vitamin B 7 deficiency has been found to manifest itself in the form of thinning, splitting and brittle hair or dermatitis that results in dry irritated skin. In a study published by the National Institute of Health the Food and Nutrition Board at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine recommended a minimum RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) of at least 30 mcg per day of biotin for those over 19 years of age. Vitamin B 7 has also been linked to effectively delaying dementia or Alzheimers.
Keep in mind that not all supplements are created equal. To get the most benefit from biotin and collagen supplements look for a supplement that does not have harmful toxins or fillers and is made from made from real food sources. As always, learn to read labels of products that you consume. Just as with processed foods or skin care products that are full of synthetic chemicals that can be harmful for your health, Collagen and Biotin supplements need to be taken in sufficient dosage and not have harmful fillers in them to get your maximum desired results.Evidence:
Skin Pharmacology and Physiology 2014 study
January 2019 findings:
National Institute of Health recommended dosage of biotin:
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