Does collagen powder work

Do Collagen Supplements Really Make Skin Look Younger & More Radiant?

Photographed by Natalia Mantini
It sounds too good to be true: you swallow a few pills or swallow some powder and you'll have a glowing complexion in no time. Precisely this dream is promised by collagen agents that you can now get in all shapes and colors in almost every drugstore - such as the Doppelherz collagen capsules. But is there something to it or are they all empty promises?
In fact, the claims are not entirely out of thin air. There is scientific evidence that confirms some of the effects of the hyped health and beauty food supplement. (Accent on some.) So should you include collagen in your daily self-care routine or should you give up the trend? Below you'll find out everything we know about collagen supplements so far - and what the research has to say about it.

What is the effect of collagen?

In order to shed more light on this possibly one-sided presented data, a study in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology in 2019 was dedicated to precisely these potentially biased research results. Canadian dermatologist Dr. Sandy Skotnicki: “The study was really good. The doctors took a closer look at all the studies on collagen - and among them there are randomized controlled studies. To be honest, I am quite surprised by the positive results. "
The holistic nutritionist and author Joy McCarthy is also convinced of the effectiveness of the collagen supplements. "With regular use, the structure of your skin improves and wrinkles are smoothed. It makes your skin look younger. ”McCarthy is an ambassador for Genuine Health, a Canadian online store that sells both fish and beef collagen powder that you can mix with drinks and food. McCarthy likes to mix it in her Matcha Latte, smoothies and even biscuit balls, for example. You can have that too - in this country you can also get both marine and beef collagen powder.
And athletes could also benefit from taking collagen, according to a study, according to which athletes recovered faster from injuries caused by endurance or strength sports thanks to the protective and supportive tissue effect of collagen.

How do collagen supplements work?

Your whole body is full of collagen: your skin, bones, your tissues. With age, however, the body itself can produce less and less collagen - and it also loses more and more of it. From our twenties, we lose about one percent of our collagen every year. At some point that will be more than we produce. The consequence: drier, wrinkled, older-looking skin.
And this is exactly where the dietary supplements come in. Dr. Skotnicki explains the appeal of these products: “Studies suggest that taking collagen supplements helps restore the skin's collagen, which has been broken down by UV radiation. The supplements may also reduce the enzymes that break down skin collagen; these enzymes are called collagenases. "

What is the difference between fish and beef collagen?

First of all: Collagen is an animal protein and therefore not suitable for a vegetarian or vegan diet. You will certainly come across the term "vegan collagen" in your search for products, but strictly speaking, these are products that do not add collagen to the body, but stimulate its own collagen production - collagen boosters. Animal collagen, on the other hand, is mostly obtained from fish and cattle. Which one you ultimately decide on depends on what effect you expect it to have.
"Marine collagen is obtained from fish skin and scales, while bovine collagen is obtained from the skin of grazing cows," explains Natasha Geddes, founder of the Canadian wellness brand Good Goddess Daily. If you suffer from a fish or shellfish allergy, please avoid marine collagen.
There are three types of collagen: Types 1 and 3 are found in most products and, when combined, can improve the health of the skin, hair, nails and bones. Type 2 collagen is found in joint and cartilage fluids; it should be taken separately.
“Marine collagen mostly consists of type 1 collagen and is particularly good for the skin. Its molecules are smaller and are therefore more easily absorbed by the body, ”says Geddes. "Bovine collagen contains both types 1 and 3 and is great for the skin and joints."
But is the animal protein sustainable? It is, according to Leah Garrad-Cole, founder of the organic food brand Sproos. Because the collagen is obtained from animal by-products for which there is otherwise no use.

What is the Best Collagen Diet Supplement?

As already mentioned, there are not only different types, but also different product forms - for example bars, powders, pills or drinking ampoules. The most important thing in choosing is to look out for collagen hydrolyzate, advise Garrad-Cole and McCarthy. In its hydrolyzed form, i.e. split up by water, the collagen is best digestible and absorbable. Apart from that, you can choose which consistency and shape you prefer. Garrad-Cole prefers collagen powder or products that contain collagen, such as bars. She gives two reasons for this: Liquid collagen (for example in ampoule form) often contains unnecessary additives; you would also need to consume a fair amount of it to meet the recommended daily amount of collagen.
Most collagen powders can be easily dissolved in water. So you can easily absorb the daily amount with a glass of water.

How Much Collagen Should You Consume in a Day?

McCarthy, Garrad-Cole and Geddes agree: They recommend a daily dose of 10 grams, but Dr. Skotnicki is not so sure about that. “Nobody really knows,” she says. “It's like with CBD oil. Everyone is enthusiastic, but nobody knows the right dose; Nobody knows how long it will take for it to work, and so on. ”Skotnicki also notes that studies say 2.5 to 10 grams, which in her opinion is a lot of collagen in terms of volume alone.

Are nutritional supplements With Collagen safe?

In short: yes. According to the current state of research, the maximum side effects that you can expect are an excessive feeling of satiety and slight stomach problems. But as I said: If you have a fish or pangolin allergy, please do not use marine collagen - otherwise the side effects can of course be really dangerous.

How Long Should You Take Collagen?

Although there is still no definitive research on this question, according to McCarthy, Geddes, and Garrad-Cole, you should take collagen for at least four to five weeks to see an initial effect. “It won't work overnight. It gets better and better if you take it consistently, ”says Geddes.
“Some studies show strong benefits for up to five months of use. So I would say: at least five months, ”says McCarthy, who also advises you to pause any supplement intake for a month in between to allow the body to rest. (That's just a personal preference, though.)
"If you've been taking it for five months and you've noticed improvements in your skin and joints, it won't all automatically get worse when you stop taking it the next day," says McCarthy. "It takes a while for the collagen to break down again."