Collagen ranks as the most abundant protein produced in the human body. As our Wilsonville skin care specialists tell patients, collagen acts as the structure that keeps skin looking and feeling supple and that supports the cartilage working to help protect the joints.
The older an individual, the less abundant collagen production becomes in the body. The impact of age-related collagen loss is fairly obvious. Skin becomes wrinkled, fine lines start to form, and elasticity begins to sag. Joints become more prone to injuries and arthritis, and break down more easily than ever before.
Our Wilsonville skin care specialists work with patients to help restore some of the lost collagen and regain a younger skin tone and healthier joints. Let’s take a look at what collagen supplements can do for the body and help you achieve the look you desire.
Collagen for the Skin
The body’s natural production of collagen works to keep our skin looking youthful and feeling plump. Is it possible for collagen that comes out of a bottle to provide our bodies with the same type of youthful appearance?
As researchers have continued to study the effect of collagen supplements, the data seems to suggest that it can improve skin health. Collagen stimulates cells in the skin known as fibroblasts that trigger the production of collagen, as well as elastin, a type of protein that makes skin more elastic.
In recent studies, participants who took collagen supplements for a few days did see some improvement in how dry and wrinkled their skin.
However, more data supporting the use of collagen supplements is needed before our Wilsonville skin specialists can call it a new fountain of youth. There are other types of treatments that boost collagen production in the body, such as laser resurfacing and Retin-A, that patients may also want to explore.
Collagen for the Joints
In addition to providing healthier skin, collagen also makes up the cartilage that allows our joints to move smoothly against each other. Patients who develop osteoarthritis experience a deterioration in their cartilage. This led researchers to test out the theory that collagen supplements could potentially help to strengthen the joints of arthritis patients.
Unfortunately, very little evidence suggests that collagen can help patients dealing with arthritis. Many of the studies that did offer a glimmer of hope had questionable designs that worked to undermine confidence in the data they provided. Other higher quality studies were unable to find any evidence that collagen supplements could help treat arthritis.
While researchers suggest that little harm can come from trying to use collagen supplements to help restore joint health, arthritis patients will probably enjoy better results from a combination of physical therapy and exercise.
Different Types of Collagen
Our bodies consist of 16 types of collagen. The majority of collagen in the body is type I, II, or III. Type I can be found in our bones, tendons, and skin. Type II is found in our cartilage while type III is in the muscles and skin.
Collagen supplements come in different forms, largely determined by how they’re created. These include hydrolyzed, gelatin, and denatured. The majority of research on what collagen supplements can do for the body have been focused on hydrolyzed collagen as that is the easiest type for the body to absorb.
Is it Safe to Use Collagen Supplements?
Collagen supplements are largely safe to use. Some minor side effects, such as diarrhea and nausea, have been reported by patients.
However, collagen supplements are not regulated by the FDA, so you need to make sure you use a respected brand. Fortunately, our Wilsonville skin care specialists can recommend which type of a supplement you should try during your next visit to Valley View Dermatology.