There’s a lot of confusion over what collagen can and can’t do. We address the main myths about Collagen, so you can make your own mind up and find the perfect skin regime for the winter. Here we go.
1. It’s another lab-built product
Collagen is not a lab-built product and is one of the biggest building blocks in our body, used in the skin, bones, muscles and tendons. We produce collagen in our own bodies throughout our life, but as we age, the production slows down and naturally the amounts go down. Manufactured collagen is synthesized to be more easily absorbed into our bloodstream but you can get similar benefits from drinking bone broth on a daily basis.
To boost your collagen production naturally, eat fruit and vegetables that are rich in vitamin C and avoid refined carbohydrates that can damage it. If you are a vegetarian or vegan, opt for almonds, beans, olive oil and avocados in order to maximise your protein production. These foods also prevent muscle stiffness and inflammation.
2. It’s over-hyped
If anything, it’s the reverse. Collagen offers a host of physical benefits, with very few side effects. Scientists have so far found it to help:
In terms of side effects, people have reported heartburn or feeling full and occasionally a nasty taste in the mouth. However, that could be due to the manufacturing process rather than the protein and it’s worth experimenting to find the right one for you. Make sure it comes from a source you that is known to you, and always question the country of production – as with food, you should know what you eat and where it is coming from.
3. The supplements don’t work – they break down in the stomach
Your stomach acid is designed to break down foodstuffs. However, anything that’s already digestible spends very little time in that area of your body and moves straight on to the intestines where it can be absorbed by the bloodstream. Japanese nutritional researchers investigated this question and found a direct increase in peptide levels in the bloodstream an hour after drinking the supplement.
It’s worth noting that soups and smoothies have traditionally been favoured for their nutrient-boosting properties, precisely because they move so quickly into the bloodstream.
4. There are a lot of fake products on the shelves
This has occasionally cropped up in Asia and the USA, but in the EU all supplements are classed as food products and must comply with the EFSA guidelines. Simply purchase from a reputable manufacturer who prides themselves on their quality control. Ideally, the labelling will show the source of the collagen (usually animal or marine) and if it’s organic.
5. Collagen creams are better than supplements
This is a marketing ploy. Collagen peptides are simply too big to be absorbed by the skin and merely sit on the surface. You are better off with a simple skin cream and a good serum containing an active ingredient such as retinol, hyaluronic acid, alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) or vitamin C. Some beauty processes claim to stimulate collagen by massaging the skin but there’s no scientific research to back it up.