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Do Collagen Supplements Actually Work? We Investigate

Do Collagen Supplements Actually Work? We Investigate


It’s clear that collagen supplements are everywhere right now but as to whether they actually work, is still a little inconclusive. While they sound great in theory, can taking a bit of powder each morning really result in collagen enhancement that gives an improved complexion? Below, we consult NEE-V’s founder Eryn Behan on whether collagen supplements actually work (for all the things they say it does).


In simple terms, collagen is a thing that is already in our bodies – it makes up a big part of our skin and is also a crucial component of the human body’s joints, bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, hair and nails. Collagen is actually the most abundant protein in the human body, making up about 30% of our body protein. If we look at it in more detail, it’s a fibre-like structure that is used to make connective tissue. What’s more, it’s also in our blood vessels, intervertebral discs, the blood-brain barrier, the cornea, dentin and the intestinal wall – it really is a vital component of our whole body.


In short – as we age, our bodies start producing less collagen (life can be cruel can’t it?!). This unfortunate truth starts happening usually once we reach the 25 - 30 years of age mark. At this age, the body starts slowing down collagen production over time and the older we get, the less collagen our bodies produce. The result of this collagen production slow down tends to leave us with thinner and less elastic skin (hello fine lines and wrinkles). Internally, that lack of collagen in our bodies can leave us with stiff joints and gut issues. The good news? Collagen supplements can work towards replenishing this loss of collagen and in turn support the affected areas in our bodies.


Despite often conflicting information online, they do actually work (but not always). The reason we say not always is that it really just depends on the brand that you’re using (not all collagen supplements are made equal). For example, some “collagen” supplements don’t actually contain collagen, and may contain plant based nutrients instead. While this sounds great in theory, sometimes brands are great at marketing tactics and clever jargon, instead of actually producing a desired result. When choosing a collagen supplement, look for one that has been clinically proven, such as NEE-V collagen Powder. NEE-V Collagen Powder targets skin, hair and nails, but also supports the gut, digestion and joint health because it is made from bovine collagen. Both fish and bovine (beef collagen) have skin benefits so if you were just after improvements in the skin, you could take either collagen. However, to support joint health and the gut, bovine collagen is considered a superior collagen type. NEE-V Collagen Powder is also made from hydrolysed collagen which is a form of collagen that is broken down into smaller protein fragments called amino acids. Collagen peptides are the building blocks of collagen, and they're found in the hydrolysed form. When collagen peptides are broken down into smaller pieces, they become available for use by our body to help with our skin, hair and nail health. Some research shows that our bodies may absorb hydrolysed collagen more efficiently.


Without getting too scientific, collagen supplements essentially work at replacing what we’ve lost. Just like a vegetarian might take an iron supplement to replace any lack of iron in their diet, so too can a person take a collagen supplement to replace any collagen loss. While they’re not the same thing nor do they work in the same way, essentially a collagen supplement is working to contribute to collagen reserves in our bodies (replenishing some of that collagen loss). Collagen is a protein, not a vitamin. And in that sense, it's more like eating well and getting enough sleep than popping an extra vitamin. While there aren't any studies comparing collagen peptide supplements with other types of anti-ageing foods or supplements, we can say that this ingredient has research backing up its effectiveness at addressing some issues related to ageing skin and hair.


When it comes to our skin, research suggests collagen supplements can assist with slowing down the skin ageing process and can restore skin hydration, elasticity, and density. Specifically, collagen plays an excellent role in strengthening skin, as well as in improving elasticity and hydration. What’s more, research shows regular consumption of collagen has the ability to repair and prevent gut inflammation and associated symptoms. Ingestible collagen has been clinically proven to support gut health by improving the intestinal barrier and preventing leaky gut. Research also found that collagen has two key amino acids, glycine and proline, and these amino acids can help heal the stomach lining and the intestinal wall. Additionally, collagen can regulate gastric juice secretion and prevent the excess of those juices. The benefits of collagen doesn’t just stop there because collagen can make for a great digestive aid as well. Supplementing collagen can prevent and/or provide relief a variety of gut complications, including ulcers and inflammation of the gut wall. Collagen also supports bone, joint health, including efficacy in addressing osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.

Yet the important thing to know is that collagen supplements can form just one part of the puzzle when it comes to a healthy diet and lifestyle. There are no ‘miracle cures’ available on the market so things like nutrition and water intake can also affect your skin and other internal organs. Ensure that you’re getting enough of the other nutrients your body needs: protein (which collagen helps build), B vitamins (which help your cells process amino acids) and iron (a co-factor in building proteins). A multi-vitamin is also helpful - not because they pack any more vitamins than you need but because they give you an easy way to get all the nutrients your body needs at once without having to remember which ones are good for skin health or bone density or whatever else catches your fancy.


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