We’re all hearing more and more about the benefits of collagen, and how collagen can help support and promote improved skin hydration, skin elasticity, reduce wrinkles and fine lines, improve skin structure and texture, promote firmer skin, and help dry and/or dull skin.
We’re also hearing how collagen helps support and promote thicker, healthier hair, how it can help to reduce grey hair, hair breakage and hair loss, as well as many hair and skin issues for post-partum mums with hair loss or stretchmarks and loose skin.
Lastly, we’re also all hearing and reading how collagen can help promote stronger nails, joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons.
So... Does Taking Collagen Work?
The more we deep dive into the question “Does taking collagen work?” - the more information AND misinformation there is in the market with more and more products entering the market - leaving us uncertain on the accuracy, results and the actual facts. We found this when we were developing our collagen tea range and so let us help debunk the myths of collagen, and answer the question “Does taking collagen work?”
Collagen Loss and Ageing
From our mid to late twenties, our collagenous connective tissue begins to recede and store less moisture… in fact, we all start to lose between 1% and 2% of our natural collagen production per year from our mid 20’s. This equals the ageing process and the start of collagen loss - and for many of us, this can progress faster or slower depending upon so many factors like sugar and alcohol intake, diet, smoking, UV exposure, pollution exposure, lack of sleep, exercise, and our DNA.
Collagen loss in our thirties may start to show our first wrinkles appearing on the forehead or around the eyes or between our eyes ( scowl lines). As we continue to age into our forties, collagen loss becomes slightly more extreme as these wrinkles get deeper and stronger, such as the nasolabial fold becomes more and more evident, our forehead has deeper lines, bags appear under our eyes beginning with shadows and then lines or grooves, and we start to see slight smile lines forming.
By our early fifties, the collagen loss that we’re experiencing results in our facial contours beginning to change – our faces become elongated slightly or sagging skin makes us appear longer, we can lose facial clarity, we can start to see droopy eyelids, or jowls forming, or our cheeks start sink in more, and the hollows under our eyes become less ‘padded’ as our skin becomes thinner and softer – especially in the area of chin, neck and cleavage – perhaps seeing more dull or dry skin and for some, even starting to wrinkle on areas that we don’t expect to see wrinkles like our necks and decolletage.
So now you understand the basic signs of ageing and collagen loss…. So what about the facts about how collagen works, and to answer the question “does taking collagen work?” so you are educated and prepared for what to expect with results and the timelines and method of how collagen works to benefit your skin, hair, nails, joints and overall body from the inside.
Collagen is the major structural protein of our bodies, and is the main component of skin, comprising about 90% of our human body.
There are 28 known types of collagen, with type I and III collagen accounting for 90% of the collagen in the human body. Collagen is composed mainly of the amino acids glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline – and these amino acids form three strands, which make up the triple-helix structure characteristic of collagen.
Does taking collagen work for all skin types? Yes….. as skin properties are known to be affected by biology ( DNA) and environmental factors including ageing, ultraviolet radiation, hormones and diet, and collagen can help stimulate skin metabolism and counteract the loss of collagenous extracellular matrix ( the large network of proteins and other molecules that surround, support, and give structure to cells and soft tissues in the body) from the inside for all skin types as well as muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons.
If we start to ingest natural bioactive Collagen Peptides consistently, we can start to experience noticeably firmer and smoother skin with fewer wrinkles, with positive effect from collagen showing an improved skin surface structure, reducing cellulite and an improved radiance. When ingested, collagen peptides systematically effects the collagen metabolism in the dermis rather than just reaching the outer layers of the skin like creams and other topical products do.
How does collagen work?
The body of a typical adult consists of 60-70% water. Proteins are the second most important components at 20%. Of these, 35% are collagen, which are the most important building block of connective tissue. Collagen is therefore an indispensable ingredient for healthy nutrition.
Collagen peptides offer physiological benefits; they stimulate natural body functions. They pass through the intestinal wall and accumulate in the blood after only 15 minutes to be distributed to the connective tissues of the body. The reason for this is the short chain length of the peptides and their low average molecular weight, helping collagen to deliver essential amino acids, which cannot be synthesized by the body.
Lastly, collagen peptides are recognised by the fibroblast cells in the dermal layer of the skin as collagen fragments and help to stimulate their collagen metabolism to counter-balance the collagen degradation in the dermis, which results in a higher production of dermal collagen and overall extracellular matrix, helping to replace what is lost through ageing and environmental factors.
How do collagen peptides get to the right place?
Collagen peptides have progressively gained a reputation for their ability to positively influence our collagen metabolism. But how does taking collagen work, and how can do we identify their effect when we ingest a bit of collagen each day and they ‘magically’ or brilliantly land in the right place? It is not as simple as that. Here is a very simplified explanation for you on how taking collagen works……
So, in principle, our body is busy all day and night performing restoration, repair and renovation work keeping itself young by breaking down old tissue, while at the same time building new tissue to replace the old tissue… As we age, this process slows down, but it never ceases, but our collagen loss does mean that this process isn’t as efficient as when we are younger in our early twenties.
When our body breaks down collagen, these long chains are disassembled, by enzymes, into small “snippets” for removal, which sends a signal to the body – calling out “Attention! Attention!!! We need help here! There’s bits of degraded collagen floating around here and we have to start rebuilding!”
Now, a young and healthy body reacts promptly to build the required quantity of collagen to help repair that part of the body.
But, as we age, and as our metabolism slows down as we age - these signals become sluggish and are no longer as sufficient for the body. When we consume collagen peptides as a supplement, like in collagen tea or collagen chai, we ingest just these collagen snippets – but in larger amounts. Our bodies are rapidly digesting and absorbing collagen, mainly in form of the smallest units – single amino acids, but also partially in intact form as collagen peptides ( or collagen snippets). These collagen snippets reach the blood stream and distribute throughout the body, where the cells in our body, which are responsible for connective tissue and collagen metabolism, notice that there is an imbalance. It is like an alarm, “Watch out! There are loads of collagen particles swimming about here – now we really have to get to work and make even more collagen!” As the collagen supplements provide the amino acids - like the building blocks for collagen synthesis at the same time, they support the body twofold. Clever right? But this is how taking collagen works…
Collagen Synthesis and Benefits For You.
Collagen helps significant improvement of skin health and helps influence the skin’s collagen metabolism directly from the inside. It increases the skin moisture and delays the formation of wrinkles. Several scientific experiments investigated the potential collagen peptides, giving scientifically proven results of improvement of the skin structure based on the consistent ingestion of collagen peptides.
Collagen helps Improve Skin Elasticity:
A first study with 69 women aged between 35 and 55 years revealed that collagen peptides lead to significantly higher skin elasticity – up to 15% improvement when compared to a placebo treatment. This effect could be measured after just 4 weeks of treatment and persisted after 8 weeks of ingesting collagen peptides of a certain quality and brand.
Collagen Helps Reduce Wrinkles:
Another study with more than 100 women aged between 45 and 65 years shows that the oral ingestion of collagen daily and consistently helped to significantly reduce the appearance of wrinkles after 4 weeks and lead to a significantly improved skin structure with the appearance of firmer, smoother skin and dermal texture.
Collage Helps Improve Skin Surface Structure & the Decrease of Cellulite
About 85 % of the global female adult population is affected by cellulite (the orange peel appearance of our skin). Cellulite is a beauty aspect, not a disease, but many women want to remove or reduce their cellulite and it becomes harder and harder to reduce as we get older as our skin structure changes and our collagen synthesis becomes more sluggish. Cellulite is mainly caused by dermal matrix disturbances, in combination with excess of subcutaneous fat, bulging into the dermis as well as excess fluid. Collagen can help provide beneficial effects on the dermal extracellular matrix of the skin and therefore help to decrease the appearance of cellulite as collagen helps directly stimulate the extracellular matrix formation in skin from within.
Collagen for Stronger Nails and Stronger Hair
By ingesting natural bioactive collagen peptides we can start to experience noticeably faster nail growth with reportedly less chipping of fingernails and nail breakage.
The same can be said of results of stronger, thicker, healthier hair growth, with less hair breakage and hair loss. As we ingest more collagen, the collagen formation in the body is stimulated, hair and nails grow faster and stronger - even though they do not themselves consist of collagen - the blood vessels around them do, and they are responsible for supplying the hair roots and follicles, as well as the nail-forming cells with nutrients. If this microcirculation is supported, the supply of blood and nutrients to the hair and nails improves, as does their vitality and appearance. If the essential building blocks are missing, nails take longer to grow, longitudinal ridges or Beau’s lines form, or the nails
tend to crack and split more easily, with more nail breakage. The same can be said of hair growth, with less grey hair, hair breakage or split hairs and hair loss. Collagen peptides support nail and hair growth in the same way they support the skin and connective tissue.
When Should I Start Taking Collagen Supplements?
So, now you know the answer to whether taking collagen works – and there’s much evidence that it’s highly beneficial to our body, our skin, hair, nails, joints and muscles where collagen helps restore the basic building blocks of our body.
However, it must be noted that since every body is different with differing circumstances and genetics and diets and so forth, there is no right or wrong time to start taking collagen supplements. But what we can advise is if your skin has already started to lose some of it’s elasticity, and wrinkles have begun to appear, it is certainly not too late to start. As a rule, think “slowing down the ageing process is always easier than reversing it.” And we like to think that maybe from your mid 20’s you should start to consider including collagen supplements in your daily beauty and wellbeing routine to prevent the signs of ageing.
To find the best collagen tea for you to start your own collagen journey – check out our delicious loose leaf collagen tea options – offering black tea, green tea, herbal tea and even a sleep tea – all infused with Type 1 and Type 3 bioavailable hydrolyzed collagen peptides so you can confidently start supplementing, preventing and managing your own ageing process with a trusted functional collagen beauty tea that is easy to make, easy to take and also packed with antioxidants and polyphenols that your body will love.
You can shop the range here to choose a blend that’s right for you.
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