March 31, 2021 — Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human entire body. It is really part of the scaffolding that keeps skin supple and supports the cartilage that acts like a shock absorber in the joints.

As you get older, this fibrous protein is considerably fewer plentiful. “With time, there is certainly a breakdown of collagen,” suggests Nazanin Saedi, MD, associate professor and director of the Jefferson Laser Surgical procedures and Cosmetic Dermatology Heart in Philadelphia. “We have fewer than we did as young children.”

The effects of age-associated collagen loss are clear. Skin sags and gets to be etched with good lines and wrinkles. Joints wear down and turn out to be extra vulnerable to arthritis and injuries.

Our efforts to restore missing collagen and regain a extra youthful skin tone and more healthy joints have turned collagen health supplements into a multibillion-dollar-a-year market. Are these health supplements a fountain of youth in a bottle, or are they very little extra than advertising hoopla?

Collagen for Skin

Our possess pure collagen keeps our skin plump and youthful-seeking. Could the sort that comes in a bottle do the similar matter? “If you’d requested this concern 3 or 4 a long time ago, folks would have reported ‘This is absurd,'” Saedi suggests. “As extra knowledge are coming out and collagen health supplements turn out to be more and more popular, scientists are seeing that there is an improvement in skin quality.”

Collagen activates cells referred to as fibroblasts in the skin, which cause the creation of collagen, as properly as elastin, a protein that helps make skin extra stretchy. In reports, folks who took collagen for a several months did see some advancements in wrinkles and skin dryness.

But Saedi cautions that “the knowledge are seriously weak.” She suggests other dermatologic solutions have considerably extra evidence to help that they improve collagen creation, such as Retin-A and laser resurfacing.

Collagen for Joints

Collagen helps make up articular cartilage, the tissue that handles the ends of bones at the joints and makes it possible for them to go effortlessly towards just one yet another. “For the reason that cartilage deteriorates in osteoarthritis, it is really been thought that if you could give a health supplement like collagen, it would assistance you regrow cartilage,” suggests Nancy E. Lane, MD, a distinguished professor of medicine, rheumatology, and getting older at the University of California, Davis. “It does not.”

There is extremely minor evidence to show that collagen allows with arthritis. Several of the reports that have been carried out weren’t properly-made. And the much better-made reports failed to validate that these health supplements minimized cartilage loss or eased suffering from arthritis.

Collagen health supplements will not hurt if you want to test them. “If it allows, good,” Lane suggests. “But it is really not going to reduce the joint from deteriorating.” You may well get extra gain from physical therapy and exercise routines like strolling and swimming to reinforce the muscle mass all around the joint, as properly as topical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicine (NSAIDs) to minimize suffering and inflammation.

Styles of Collagen

Our bodies are created up of sixteen types of collagen. Most of it is variety I, II, or III. Variety I is in the skin, tendons, and bones. Variety II is in cartilage. Variety III is in the skin and muscle mass.

Collagen health supplements occur in distinct sorts, based on how they’re geared up. These involve gelatin, hydrolyzed, and denatured.

Gelatin is mainly cooked — heat-handled to split the much larger proteins into lesser parts. Hydrolyzed collagen is damaged down even extra, into lesser chains of amino acids — the setting up blocks of protein. Undenatured collagen isn’t really damaged down.

“Most of the analysis has been carried out with hydrolyzed collagen,” Saedi suggests. “It can be absorbed by the entire body extra quickly.”

The collagen used in health supplements comes from animals, these as cows, pigs, and maritime lifestyle like jellyfish, sponges, sharks, and other fish. Vegan collagen is also available, but Saedi isn’t going to advocate it. “I explain to clients not to get the plant-based collagen solutions, for the reason that some of them do not comprise serious collagen.” Furthermore, the majority of the analysis which is been carried out has used collagen from animals.

Is It Risk-free?

Collagen health supplements are frequently harmless, Saedi suggests. Most of the aspect effects described from their use are moderate, such as abdomen upset and diarrhea.

The issue is that collagen, like other health supplements, isn’t really controlled by the Food and drug administration. That indicates there can be big discrepancies in quality and components from bottle to bottle.

Really should You Try Collagen?

If you might be interested in seeking collagen for your skin or joints, there is certainly possibly no damage in performing so. Just do not make the acquire anticipating to see extraordinary effects. Likelihood are that any advancements you do see will be refined, at finest.

Any one with arthritis ought to check out with their rheumatologist ahead of seeking collagen “to deal with their expectations,”Code Lane suggests.

If you do choose to invest in collagen health supplements, do not squander your income on the most pricey brand, Saedi suggests. Any product which is labeled “hydrolyzed” will do.


WebMD Health and fitness Information


American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, OrthoInfo: “Articular Cartilage Restoration.”

Arthritis Foundation: “Are Collagen Supplements Useful for Arthritis?”

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Grandview Study: “Collagen Market place Advancement & Traits.”

Harvard Clinical Faculty: “Do retinoids seriously reduce wrinkles?”

Molecular Cell Biology: “Collagen: The Fibrous Proteins of the Matrix.”

Nancy E. Lane, MD, distinguished professor of medicine, rheumatology, and getting older, University of California, Davis.

Nazanin Saedi, MD, associate professor director, Jefferson Laser Surgical procedures and Cosmetic Dermatology Heart.

Vitamins and minerals: “A Collagen Dietary supplement Improves Skin Hydration, Elasticity, Roughness, and Density: Effects of a Randomized, Placebo-Managed, Blind Research.”

Penn Medication: “4 Head-to-Toe Strategies That Collagen Can Enhance Your Health and fitness.”

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Versus Arthritis: “Collagen.”

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