Collagen supplements are becoming increasingly popular. But do they really work? And which are the best collagen supplements? Keep reading to find out…
What Is Collagen?
Collagen is a type of protein that’s found in abundance in your body, making up about a third of all protein cells. It’s one of the major building blocks of bones, skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments as well as being found in smaller amounts in other body parts, including blood vessels, eyes and teeth.
Ever wondered how we’re not just a pile of bones, skin and muscles? Collagen is what holds us up, it gives us support and structure, a bit like scaffolding. It keeps everything in place, like keeping your heart in your chest and keeping your skin firm and tight.
There are 16 types of collagen in total, but the majority in the body is made of up type I, type II, type III and type IV.
- Type I makes up around 90% of your body’s collagen. It’s made of densely packed fibres and it provides structure to your skin, bones, tendons, fibrous cartilage and connective tissue.
- Type II is made of more loosely packed fibres. You’ll find this type in elastic cartilage around your joints.
- Type III supports the structure of your muscles, organs and arteries.
- Type IV is found in the layers of your skin and helps with filtration.
Why Collagen Matters
Think of collagen as the “glue” that holds your tissues together. It gives your skin its strength and structure. As you age, your body starts to produce less collagen. This is the main cause of those pesky fine lines and wrinkles that we work so hard to avoid.
Collagen levels actually start to decline fairly young – from around the age of 25 you’ll start to produce 1% less collagen each year. But it’s when menopause hits that the biggest reduction occurs with a drop of around 30% in total.
As your collagen levels decrease, your skin becomes less elastic and fails to hold its shape in the same way it did when you were young. The result is wrinkles, fine lines and eventually sagging.
Collagen supplements can help increase your collagen levels and help keep your skin smooth, supple and hydrated.
But it’s not just your skin that collagen can benefit. While it’s not yet been definitively studied, there are reports of the following benefits from collagen supplementation.
- Supports healthier skin
- Stronger hair and nails
- Reduces Cellulite
- Improves gut health
- Reduced joint pain and improving your overall joint health
- Good brain health
- Improved sleep
- Support muscle repair and development
How To Increase Your Collagen
Unfortunately, we are doomed to experience a decline in collagen as you grow older – but what can you do to fight it?
There are loads of non-surgical collagen-stimulating aesthetic treatments available now. Such as the HIFU Non-Surgical Facelift, Microneedling and Radio Frequency skin tightening that we offer here at The Body Clinic.
But what if you want to try to prevent collagen decline nutritionally? What about collagen supplements – do they really work?
There are some pretty exciting studies on the impact of collagen on skin health.
Studies have shown that collagen supplements may help slow down the ageing process, reducing wrinkles and the dryness that can come as you get older.
One study showed that women who took collagen supplements for 8 weeks had better-hydrated skin and a noticeable improvement in skin elasticity compared to a control group.
Another study found that women who drank a collagen supplement daily for 12 weeks noticed increased skin hydration and a significant reduction in wrinkle depth.
It’s thought that the wrinkle-reducing effects of collagen supplements are down to their ability to stimulate your body to produce more collagen on its own.
So the answer is yes, collagen supplements can help to prevent the signs of ageing and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and dry, dehydrated skin.
But as with most supplements – not all collagen supplements are created equal. So which are the best ones to take?
The Best Collagen Supplements
Here at The Body Clinic, we’ve tried and tested several collagen supplements and settled on Collagen Shots by Rejuvenated as our firm favourite.
Here’s why we love them…
10,000mg Marine Collagen Per Serving
When it comes to collagen supplements both quality and quantity matter. With Rejuvenated Collagen Shots you get a hefty dose of 10,000mg of collagen per drink – higher than most other options out there such as Absolute Collagen.
Sustainably Sourced From Wild North Atlantic Fish
Rejuvenated’s marine collagen is sourced from independently assessed wild fish stocks in the North Atlantic to ensure they’re only using sustainable fisheries. They batch-test their products with an independent laboratory to ensure the highest quality at all times.
More Than Just Collagen
With Rejuvenated Collagen Shots you’re not just getting 10,000mg of marine collagen – you’re getting other important skin nutrients too.
Each shot has been formulated with a unique combination of Hyaluronic Acid, Açaí berries (a potent antioxidant), Vitamins B3, B5 and C as well as minerals Zinc and Copper. Not only do these key ingredients enable your body to increase the absorption of the collagen, but they also support your skin health, energy production and immune system.
Unlike most collagen supplements, Collagen Shots don’t contain any fillers, binders, emulsifiers and IMPORTANTLY no sugar. Why is this important? Well because all of the above excipients will reduce your body’s ability to absorb the collagen. In fact, sugar breaks down collagen in a process called Glycation. Click here to read my blog about how sugar causes ageing.
Easy & Convenient
Collagen Shots are super easy to squeeze into your day. No more extra pills to add to your breakfast – just a fast, tasty and easy drink that boosts your collagen intake with minimal fuss.
You can buy Collagen Shots in powder form that you can add to your morning smoothie or just drink in juice or water, or you can buy it in pre-made sachets that you take instantly. The biggest plus is that Collagen shots taste really good. We’ve tried many other brands and they taste disgusting!
Comparison of Collagen Supplements
When you compare like for like with two other well-known collagen supplements, Absolute Collagen and Skinaid you can see the clear benefits and Collagen Shots and how cost-effective it is as a skin supplement.
Absolute Collagen –
Provides 8,000mg of marine collagen which is good.
However, this is not stated as “wild-caught fish” or sustainable which would lead me to suspect the collagen is produced from farmed fish. Farmed fish are fed an unnatural, processed diet of corn, soy and inflammatory seed oils. Due to the “farmed environment” the fish are often fighting diseases and parasites so antibiotics and chemicals are used during their lifecycle.
Absolute Collagen does include Vitamin C to boost absorption but there are no other vitamins or minerals to support your skin health.
Cost – £65.98 for 28 days or £53.98 if you subscribe
Skinade has been touted as the best collagen supplement and has definitely been targeted at the medical led aesthetics industry. It has won many awards and is definitely a great product.
It provides 7,000mg which is less than both Absolute Collagen and Collagen Shots.
But it does include additional vitamins and minerals to support your body including Vitamin C, Vitamin B Complex and MSN.
Disappointingly when you read the ingredient list, the second main ingredient is sugar, nicely disguised as “concentrated grape juice”! It also has the artificial sweetener sucralose. Sugars and artificial sweeteners spike insulin which promotes inflammation and is definitely not something that promotes healthy skin.
Seeing both these ingredients is a big turn off for me, and if you have been regularly reading my blogs you will understand why.
Cost – £115.50 for 30 days supply.
Collagen Shots has won many beauty awards and although it might be less well known than the two brands above, it’s our out and out favourite.
It has 10,000mg of wild, cold-water fish which have been sustainably sourced.
The supplement also includes Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamins C, B’s, zinc, copper and the antioxidant acai berry. It doesn’t contain any excipients such as fillers and it has natural flavourings and is naturally sweetened with stevia which doesn’t have any impact on insulin.
Cost – £43.95 for 30 days supply
So, it’s easy to see why we think Collagen Shots are one of the best collagen supplements out there, if you’d like to give them a try we’ll be happy to help.
We stock them in the clinic and you can order them by giving us a call on 01562 265 001 or just ask one of the team next time you’re in the clinic.
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