There is a lot of buzz around collagen supplements at the moment, but do they actually work? Here at Clean, we recommend ongoing detox supporting habits, combined with periodic, ongoing cleansing, and targeted use of the right supplements. Devotees claim that ingestible collagen supplements do wonders for keeping skin wrinkle-free and youthful for longer, but let’s take a look, and separate the facts from hype.
Do Collagen Supplements Work?
Collagen is a protein (a long-chain amino acid) found in the connective tissue of the skin, and its building blocks are amino acids which are produced when the protein we eat from food, such as meat, fish, and eggs, are broken down in the digestive process. These proteins then aid in rebuilding wounded or broken down muscle tissue, skin fibers, and collagen.
What You Should Know
Collagen production lessens with age, however, which results in weaker skin tissue, and increasingly saggy and wrinkling skin. Lifestyle factors such as smoking, poor diet, compromised gut health, and stress also inhibit the body’s ability to produce collagen.
Since skin is made up of 75 percent collagen (our hair, nails, and internal organs are also made of it), the “inside out” approach of supplementing with ingestible collagen to affect positive change and healing makes sense; a recently conducted double-blind placebo study concluded that women who took collagen hydrolysate consistently for eight weeks saw a 20 percent reduction in wrinkles. That said, there are a few things to be aware of in order to maximize your results.
- Diet: Supplements are never an adequate replacement for a healthy, plant-centered diet. Be sure you are encouraging your body’s natural production of collagen by eating collagen building foods. Beautiful skin is a result of good nutrition and adequate detoxification; supplements are an adjunct to your diet and not a substitute for healthy foods.
- Detox: By supporting your body’s natural detoxification functions with periodic cleansing, you encourage better assimilation of nutrients while maximizing the strength and health of your gut. A healthy digestive process keeps the body’s detoxification modes functioning well, which in turn strengthens its overall health; all of which contributes to healthy and youthful skin.
- Stress: Stress has detrimental effects on your health, the quality of your sleep, your digestion, and your body’s ability to repair skin and produce collagen. Reduce stress in your life as much as possible, and where it can’t be avoided, learn to manage stress in healthy and life affirming ways. Meditation, deep breathing, yoga and exercise, and adequate sleep and nutrition, for instance, are important lifestyle factors that make us healthier and more stress resilient.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, and plays an important role in wound healing and the development of new tissue and blood vessels. It is also required to produce collagen, and since our bodies do not synthesize this nutrient on their own, we have to obtain it from our diets and through supplementation. Taking your collagen with adequate amounts of vitamin C will enhance your results.
In sum, while there is evidence that collagen supplementation is effective in healing broken down skin fibers, reducing wrinkles, and improving the skin’s appearance, we recommend supplementation in conjunction with periodic cleansing and daily proper nutrition to maximize your results and ensure your overall health.
Written by Carolyn De Lorenzo
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