Before making the decision to take supplemental collagen or not, let me take a few moments to tell you what collagen is and what role it plays in our body!
Collagen is a protein, made up primarily of the amino acids proline, glycine, alanine, and hydroxyproline. Our body makes collagen from the protein we eat with the help of several vitamins, including vitamin C, that act as co-enzymes. Collagen can be found in many parts of our bodies, such as skin, tendons, bones and corneal tissue.
Collagen supplements come from 4 main sources; cow (bovine), pig (porcine), chicken and fish(marine). There are also vegetarian sources of protein.
When we ingest collagen, our body breaks down this collagen into amino acids that the body MAY use to produce new collagen. So what are amino acids? Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. So, if you eat protein, it also will be broken down to amino acids that can form collagen. Most of the scientific studies reviewed were designed to “prove” that additional supplementation of a specific product would benefit skin, etc. These studies were poorly designed and did not compare the supplement tested to just increasing protein intake. Now, I’m not advocating massively increasing your protein intake, too much of a good thing can turn into something not so good.
So… to answer the question, will ingesting supplemental collagen help me make more collagen? The answer is a definite, MAYBE