Updated: Dec 17, 2019
What is Collagen?
Collagen is found throughout the body in the connective tissues, including skin, bone, tendons, cornea, blood vessels, ligaments and the discs between our vertebrae. There are at least 28 different forms of collagen in our body with the main types being I (dermis, tendons, ligaments, bone), II (cartilage, vitreous body, nucleus, III (skin, vessel wall, reticular fibers) and V (lung, cornea, hair, fetal membranes, bones).
What is the Primary Medical Nutrition Therapy Use?
Evidence supports the use of collagen for the following conditions:
· Cellulite (edematous fibrosclerotic panniculopathy)
· Wrinkling of skin
· Rheumatoid arthritis
· Type II diabetes
· Brittle nail syndrome
· Pressure ulcers
Note that the dosages in the rheumatoid group were much lower than for the other groups. This group was typically allowed to stay on their medications while the collagen was being administered so the collagen did not take the place of medication but was used with it.
Are There Adverse Effects Associated with Collagen Use?
Collagen is one of the safest supplements on the market. Feelings of fullness or an unpleasant taste may be associated with its use, but these are hardly unsafe. A note of caution with regards to allergies. Since collagen is made from various protein sources such as eggs, pork, fish if you are allergic to any of the sources used to manufacture the collagen you should avoid that source and choose another source.
How to Choose a Collagen Supplement
Collagen is made up of several incomplete amino acids which all have individual effects on bioactivity and absorption. There are a few things to consider when shopping for a collagen supplement:
· Collagen protein powder should just be collagen protein isolate, a.k.a. collagen hydrolysate, hydrolyzed collagen, or collagen peptides.
· Avoid flavored versions which can add unnecessary sugar and flavor it yourself at home.
· Look for seals of safety such as NSF, UL or GMP to assure quality and freshness.
While the studies on benefits of collagen supplementation are controversial and as always, more evidence is needed, people swear by its application and frequently get their collagen in the form of bone broth mixtures, a popular recipe used for hundreds of years for health and beauty