In this article, which is not sponsored, we will talk about collagen / collagen supplements (both terms can be used). We will talk about what they are, what they are for, if they really work, and if so, how to choose / use them and our choices to gain and experience!
1 – What is Collagen?
Collagen is a family of human proteins, fundamental in maintaining tissues, representing more than 30% of the total protein in the human body.
“Normal” collagen is a 20 amino acid chain. Hydrolyzed collagen is obtained by the fragmentation of this protein, that is, the collagen is “broken” in several parts. This type of collagen is widely used in supplements as it allows it to be easily dissolved in water and is absorbed more quickly by the body.
2 – What is collagen for?
There are several types of collagen and each of them is responsible for a certain role in a specific tissue: bones, arteries, tendons, skin, muscles, eyes, etc. In the case of the skin, nails and hair, the most important types of collagen are type I and type III.
As regards the skin, collagen plays a fundamental role at all levels (density, firmness, homogeneity, etc.).
The amount and quality of the collagen present in our skin begins to decline as we age, contributing greatly to the appearance of wrinkles, pigmentation problems, flaccidity, etc. – this happens especially after 30 years old. After that age, on average, we lose approximately 1% of collagen per year. In the case of women, hormonal changes due to menopause accelerate this loss even more.
3 – Do collagen supplements really work?
As we mentioned earlier, you need to be aware of the type of collagen needed to intervene in a particular area. Also note that your body, when it comes to collagen supplementation, will use it for the areas in which there is more need at the moment. For example, taking collagen supplement 1 and 2 does not mean that it will be immediately directed to the skin and that the effects on it will be permanent.
There are several studies on the efficacy of oral collagen supplementation with favorable results, especially if the daily dose is 10 grams in a minimum period of 12 weeks. These results include increased collagen in the skin (8-12% depending on the study), increased hydration, increased epidermal density, smoothing of wrinkles and increased elasticity. Consequently, taking collagen supplementation regularly seems to be a good option.
Another aspect to take into account is that you should not take collagen supplements if you have health conditions such as diabetes and kidney problems, among others. Also, you should not do this if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. If in doubt, always consult your doctor.
4 – How to choose and use collagen supplements?
• Collagen supplements are of animal origin (fish, beef, pork, etc.), ie not suitable for vegetarians and vegans; in these two cases, the reduction of collagen can be combated through adequate nutrition.
• For the skin, preferably choose type I collagen (as a rule, the reference “hydrolyzed” means that it is type I).
• To be properly absorbed, collagen needs certain key precursors, such as vitamins C / D / E, zinc and iron, among others – it may be a good choice to choose a collagen supplement that also contains some of these precursors.
• Collagen is sold in capsules, liquid or powder; Generally, to get to 10 grams daily, it is cheaper to buy collagen powder, there are versions of this in individual sachets to be transported with greater ease (when traveling, for example).
• The daily intake should be between 8 and 10 grams (the closer to this last value, the better).
• The best time to take collagen is in the morning, fasting, as it will be absorbed more quickly by the body.
• For effects to be noticed, you should do the supplementation for a minimum of 12 weeks, but for the results to be maintained it is necessary to do it regularly.
5 – Our picks: