Collagen supplements for skin- hoax or worth the hype?

We lay a lot of emphasis on wellness and self care these days. The changes we have made to our diets and lifestyle have been phenomenal in the past decade or so. It is all about being healthier. With the amount of information available on leading a healthier lifestyle, all of us have tried everything from switching to consuming organic food to including superfoods in our diets. We want not just our heart to beat better, but also want our skin and hair to glow from within.

The new trend we keep hearing about are collagen supplements. With so much stress on taking supplements these days, one can’t help but wonder, are they really worth the hype?

To understand this trend, we should first understand the importance of collagen. Collagen is the most abundant protein in our body (and we all know how vital proteins are). Collagen is also a major component for your skin as it plays a huge role in strengthening skin, as well as elasticity and hydration, leading to suppler, softer skin. As we age, our body reduces production of collagen leading to dry skin and alas, the formation of wrinkles.

Several foods like bone broth, chicken skin and fish, naturally increase one’s collagen intake and digestive enzymes break down the collagen in food into individual amino acids and peptides which when paired with foods rich in Vitamin C, like citrus fruits, broccoli and bell peppers, for perfect collagen synthesis are basically amazing for one’s skin and hair health, gut health, heart health and relieve joint pains. Sounds too good to be true, right? But that is exactly how awesome collagen actually is.

Unfortunately, the way absorption from food in the body works, eating collagen rich foods may not be as efficient as taking supplements. Though digestive enzymes in our gut break down collagen in food into individual amino acids and peptides, collagen supplements have already been broken down or hydrolyzed making it way easier to be absorbed efficiently viz a viz collagen from food. Several studies have shown that collagen peptides or supplements containing collagen help to the slow the aging of skin by reducing wrinkles and dryness.

Taking collagen supplements will increase the strength of your nails by preventing brittleness and help your hair grow longer. These supplements will improve gut health, they can promote weight loss and faster metabolism and have been known to improve mood and anxiety symptoms!

So really, there is no reason for one not to immediately start taking these supplements. that are primarily available in powder form, but some brands sell capsules too. However, collagen turnover is a slow process and it takes upto 8 weeks for one to experience noticeable results on one’s skin health, joint pain relief and improving metabolism, so don’t expect a miracle after taking only one single dose. Considered generally safe to use, collagen supplements are worth trying to reach one’s health goals.

With inputs from Sargam Dhawan Bhayana, Director at Glow by Tressmart.

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