Over the past year we have received a plethora of collagen replacement supplements for review. I’m writing this review based on research, anecdotal feedback from others and my own personal experience. And interestingly, my experience has been consistent with others when it comes to one thing.
So, what’s all the fuss?
But before I share that one thing with you, this is what you need to know about collagen. Collagen is one of the main supportive, structural proteins found naturally in your body. In your bones, muscles, blood vessels, digestive system and tendons it works as a “glue” that holds your body together. In your skin, it provides strength and elasticity. It makes up about 80% of our skin when we’re young. From the age of 25, we lose it at an estimated rate of 1% per year.
Back to the question…
Can we really replace collagen by using certain cosmetic products, having procedures or taking food or drink supplements?
While you may be able to slow your body’s loss of collagen by steering clear of harmful lifestyle habits, we can find no scientific evidence that you can replenish the lost collagen in your body by means of collagen replacement products. There’s also no proof that collagen supplements reduce wrinkles in the long term. This comes as no surprise, as most collagen supplements contain bulking agents where your body breaks down and excretes – along with the collagen. Some supplements also contain improperly identified ingredients.
For example, the connective tissue found in animals or fish has been boiled into a substance called gelatine. This has been renamed “collagen” and put it in drinks, pills and powders. They may also contain added sugar. Capsules may contain flow or anti-caking agents, although the sugar content would be minimal. Powders that need to be mixed may contain a sweetener – typically a non-nutritive sweetener. If you’re taking this kind of supplement, make sure you know what’s in it.
What is that one thing?
I’ve just finished an entire month on a collagen supplement. And yes, it made my skin appear brighter. It also made my skin blemish-free – no breakouts at all – while I was taking it. However, the one side-effect I experienced over this time – like many others – was some weight gain. This may be due to the sugar content and bulking agents found in many products, as well as some ingredients that stimulate the appetite.
These products tend to be expensive, and we are not sold on them as cost-effective wrinkle solutions. They may have value as a general health supplement, but we would caution you to read the labels of your supplements very carefully to understand what’s in them.