What is collagen?
Dr. Susan Beck, SVP of science & research at GOOP explain to PEOPLE that collagen is often described as “the body’s scaffolding.” She explains, “It’s a type of protein that provides cushioning to different areas of the body, such as the skin. Collagen in the skin declines with age and environmental factors such as UV radiation and pollution, but there have been there have been studies in the last few years that show consuming collagen in the form of a dietary supplement has a positive effect on skin.”
Collagen isn’t anything new studies go as far back as 1992, when Eskelinin found in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial that women aged between 40-60 experienced epidermal and dermal thickening and increased skin elasticity after 90 days of using collagen supplements.
A more recent study in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology confirms that “oral collagen peptide supplementation significantly increased skin hydration after 8 weeks of intake.”
How does it work?
We spoke to the experts at Health Performance Collective to find out exactly how collagen works. “Collagen is a protein that forms connective tissue throughout your body, from your bones to your skin” explains sports dietitian, Chloe McLeod.
“Collagen fibres are very tightly packed together in young skin, so when the light hits our skin, it bounces back very quickly to give off that glow,” Dr Anita Patel, spokesperson for the Australasian College of Dermatologists, told Women’s Health. “As our collagen gets older it becomes more fragmented, so the light is absorbed into the skin and we have the perception that our skin looks duller.”
But the results go further than just skin deep, Chloe adds “there is a growing body of evidence which indicates gelatin supplementation may help promote collagen synthesis and strengthen musculoskeletal tissues.”
What are the health benefits?
Jessica Spendlove, Sports Dietitian for elite athletes and clubs like GWS Giants and the Giants Netball team explains that uses gelatin supplementation (i.e collagen) for her athletes, “particularly those with acute or chronic connective tissue injuries (ligaments, tendons etc).” Numerous bodies of research “suggests there is a place for gelatin, or collagen supplementation in the active and athlete population groups, in both a preventative capacity, ongoing management or acute rehabilitation of athletes at risk of, or those with certain musculoskeletal tissue injuries.”
Other benefits include:
- Reduction of inflammatory gut related conditions
- Improved bone health.
- Plumper skin
- Stronger hair and nails
Is it safe?
There is currently no evidence that states otherwise.
What are the dangers and side effects?
At this stage, no research suggests any dangers or side effects.
One thing to note is that true collagen and gelatin products are made from animal products, so they may not be suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
Although there are marine and vegan alternatives available, the amino acid profile isn’t the same as those coming from land animals so the benefits cannot be guaranteed.
13\ Vida Glow
Marie Claire’s Online Beauty Editor, Anna McClelland, recently put Vida Glow Marine Collagen supplements to the test. And whilst she found them “a little salty” she was willing to continue drinking Vida Glow after the 30-day trial.
One of the leaders in the market, Neocell offer a range of collagen supplements in a variety of different flavours. They are America’s number one collagen brand but are yet to have an official distribution line in Australia.
Australian brand, Proplenish’s collagen supplements have been available on the market since 2010. One of the pioneers in the field their range one of their most popular products is their individual grab and go sachets.
10\ Vital Protein’s
Vital Protein’s all-natural collagen focuses on beauty from the inside out. Their range of animal-based proteins is sourced from Brazil, Hawaii and New Zealand. They offer a variety of products including peptides, water and beauty glow.
9\ Nature’s Way Beauty Collagen Booster
In a convenient 60-pack, Nature’s Way Beauty Collagen Booster is a popular choice. The capsule form is a handy everyday option.
8\ Shoalhaven Health Co Marine Collagen
This marine-based collagen is formulated specifically to boost collagen production for healthy skin, hair and nails in blueberry and blue spirulina flavour. Shoalhaven Health Co’s Marine Collagen is sourced from sustainably caught deep sea fish.
7\ Beauty Tonic Beauty Collagen
Beauty Tonic sicks are a great option for those who live an on the go lifestyle. This blend of collagen contains no artificial hormones and is dairy and soy free.
6\ Beauty Boosters, Collagen-C
With an added dose of Vitamin C, Beauty Boosters Collagen-C is a vegan-friendly supplement. The Sydney-based brand has built a strong following, with their beauty range.
5\ The Beauty Chef, Collagen Beauty Boost
This liquid collagen is a cult-favourite by Australian beauty brand, The Beauty Chef. It’s an easy addition to smoothies and tastes delicious.
4\ Edible Beauty Native Plant-Based Collagen
A great vegan and vegetarian option, Edible Beauty’s Native Plant-Based Collagen is made from 100% plant-based natives and antioxidant-rich fruits to help support the gut and boost your skin's production of collagen.
3\ Collagen Pure Protein
Sign yourself up for a dose of pure collagen with Collagen Pure Protein no added nasties or anything at all for that matter.
2\ Nutra Organics Collagen Body
With added Fortibone bioactive collagen peptides, Nutra Organics Collagen Body is a great supplement for joint, gut and bone health.
1\ Nesproteins Collagen Hydrolysate
With collagen sourced from Bazil, NesProteins Grass Fed & Finished Collagen Hydrolysate all-natural product is great for muscle recovery and reduces inflammation.
Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. Vitamin supplements should not replace a balanced diet.