When we think of collagen, the first thing that comes to mind is impeccable-looking skin. However, there is much more to it. It is one of the primary proteins in your body that is made up of amino acid chains. It is an important part of connective tissues; skin, ligaments, blood vessels, and tendons. It helps with blood clotting, wound healing and protects the nervous system as well.
Certain foods such as fish, beef, chicken, eggs, dairy, and bone broth contain collagen or help your body produce it. Contrary to the popular belief, your body is capable of producing collagen and the right diet can work wonders. All of us don’t necessarily have to take collagen supplements to look and feel good.
As you age, your body begins to lose about 1% collagen every year as you hit 40. Apart from age, other factors like age, diet, lifestyle, alcohol, and sun exposure can also damage collagen. The loss is one of the primary reasons why your skin loses its vitality. It impacts your joints and bone strength as well. Some of the common uses are:
To date, 28 different types of collagen have been identified. The most common types are I, II, III, IV, and V. Each type serves a due purpose. As an example, Type I and III are found in skin and organs while type II is found in joints and cartilage. Different types are used in supplements and skincare products.
There are many different types of collagen supplements available in the market. The type alters the dosage. It is important to note that there are no vegan substitutes.
The most common types are:
It is derived from cattle, seafood, poultry, pigs, and other animal sources and broken down into smaller particles that can be easily absorbed by the body.
This type is derived from chicken cartilage.
It is cooked that is derived from animal sources.
Currently, there aren’t any official guidelines on how much a person can ingest per day. It depends on the type and purpose of taking it.
Taking 10–40 mg of undenatured collagen per day has proven to be very beneficial for joint health.
It is not commonly sold as a supplement. On the contrary, it is used as the prime ingredient in gelatinous desserts. There is very limited research to support specific dosages of gelatin.
The best way to figure out the exact dosage is by reading the instructions regarding the daily dose on the packaging of supplements.
Powdered supplement packaging often suggests taking 1–2 scoops (while a pill or gummy supplement may recommend 1–2 pieces on a daily basis. Make sure to check the packaging prior to using it.
Collagen is generally considered to be a safe and nontoxic supplement and there aren’t any adverse side effects. However, look out for these signs; unpleasant taste in the mouth, feeling of fullness, stomach troubles as they indicate you are ingesting too much collagen.
The best way to go about collagen supplements is having a consultation with your health care provider to ensure you are taking the right type of collagen in the right dosage.
If you are taking collagen supplements for health reasons, the best way to go about it would be via eating a healthy and balanced diet. Top it off with collagen supplements if needed. However, if you are taking supplements to improve the look of your skin, there are multiple ways to go about it.
There are plenty of great brands out there that offer collagen-based skincare products. Beware as there are both good and bad ones available in the market. You can go to a skin specialist and ask them to recommend you certain products that work well with your skin.
There are plenty of serums, masks, and moisturizers that will work wonders for you. Find products that contain vitamin C in high concentrations as it triggers collagen production.
One of the best ways to trigger collagen production in your skin is microneedling treatment. It is also known as collagen induction therapy. The process involves tiny needles that puncture the skin and stimulate the healing response of your body. It results in increased production which improves the appearance of the skin dramatically in a matter of one to two treatments.
Some of the major benefits are:
It minimizes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
While collagen is amazing for the health of your body and skin, too much of anything doesn’t bring about desired results. Always consult your doctor prior to consuming supplements and follow the instructions on the packaging. As far as microneedling treatment is concerned, you cannot go overboard with it as it is only performed by experts.