Collagen supplements are the new “it” products in the health and beauty world.
They’re meant to help boost Collagen, which we naturally lose as we age.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body and is in everything from skin, to bones, to organs, to hair and nails.
But Ana Escobar-Knight, owner of Ana Belen Skincare, says we lose Collagen naturally as we age.
“You begin losing Collagen after age 25, so by the age of 50 you’ve lost about half of your collagen,” Escobar-Knight explains.
Escobar-Knight says Collagen is what keeps us looking young because it keeps our skin and bodies firm.
“Where it was tight now it’s more fragmented and you lose your tightness and elasticity. So it doesn’t look as firm as someone in their 20s. So that’s what people were trying to combat, the aging process, with Collagen,” says Escobar-Knight.
Beth Funk, who owns Life Moves Yoga in Killeen, started taking Collagen supplements three months ago after her daughter introduced her to the products.
“There’s less Collagen as we age, so that’s of interest to me because I want to stay as vibrant as possible for as long as possible,” Funk says.
In her line of work, Funk says she’s always on the go and needs to have energy and flexibility. So far, the Collagen supplements seem to be helping in those ways and others, too.
“The first thing I noticed was my skin. It feels a little bit softer, a little bit smoother. Nails, hair, hair growth. Also just the benefits to the overall health of the body, the joints, the tendons and the ligaments,” explains Funk.
Funk and many people in her family are now taking Collagen in a powder form. They put it in their coffee every morning.
Even Funk’s husband, Fort Hood’s LTG Paul Funk who’s currently deployed overseas is taking it, “we got him some and now he’s dumping it in his coffee and he thinks it helps with his joints,” Funk says.
Brittany Parker is a hair stylist who started taking Collagen after her last birthday.
“I turned 30 so I decided it was time to start taking better care of my skin,” Parker explained.
So far, that’s where Parker has seen the biggest changes, but she’s also noticed her hair growing stronger.
“It just feels all around better,” Parker said.
For Stacie Wood, Collagen was a way to recover after tough workouts.
She started taking supplements five years ago and also mixes it in with her coffee because she says it’s easy to remember.
The busy mom of two teen boys believes it has boosted her energy levels, but she’s also noticed big changes in her appearance.
“We’re outdoors with kids sports and track and all that and your skin gets dried out so easily and I definitely notice a difference. My skin is so much better,” Wood says.
But she admits, some of these changes bring their own set of hassles.
“It’s great but I have to get my hair colored twice as often, and my nails at the gym…I have to constantly cut them to keep them out of the way because they grow so fast,” she laughs.
Science backs up what all these women are noticing.
In a 2009 study, participants took type 2 Collagen from chicken necks for 90 days.
Afterwards, they showed a 40 percent decrease in osteoarthritis symptoms and a 33 percent drop in pain.
A 2014 study of older women showed those who took a Collagen supplement saw improved skin elasticity within four weeks compared to the placebo group.
And a 2015 study of older men proved Collagen along with resistance training increased fat loss and muscle strength.
But in the end, these women say Collagen isn’t the *magic solution* to wellness. Instead, it’s a tool they’re using to feel and look their best.
“When you’re 42, busy and working out, you have to give yourself every advantage to recover from that and keep up with your life. And, I think Collagen and a healthy diet helps with that,” Wood says.
So what foods can you add to your diet to boost Collagen?
Research suggests eating pineapple, berries, salmon and leafy greens.
Wood also has her own suggestion: “bone broth. I use it every time I cook. A lot of times if I make it myself and its seasoned I will have it for breakfast in the morning with chicken. People think its gross, but I love it!”
So, what should you absolutely not do, if you’re worried about your Collagen?
Doctors say the three things that will speed up Collagen loss are not eating a healthy diet, smoking and getting too much sun.