This article has been researched and written by Arelang Naturals® in-house writers.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies and is found in many parts of our body, including skin, bones, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage. A.K.A the "glue" that holds our body together. It gives our skin strength and elasticity and helps keep our joints, tendons, and ligaments healthy, repairs and heals wounds and just remains integral to cell health and growth.
With age, our bodies produce less collagen, making the skin thinner, drier, and less elastic, leading to wrinkle formation and reduction in new hair growth, and brittle nails. Collagen supplements are said to combat these issues by boosting collagen production in the body. While these supplements claim to reverse the signs of aging, improve skin elasticity, and promote healthy hair and nails, do they really work?
What are Collagen Supplements?
Collagen is a protein that is only found in animal cells and the supplements are sourced from animal sources like bovines, chicken, and fish - therefore collagen is not vegetarian. Collagen supplements include powders, pills, and drinks and may provide the body with additional collagen, which is broken down into amino acids and used to create new collagen.
Studies have shown collagen supplements can help improve skin hydration and elasticity, reduce wrinkles and fine lines, and increase nail strength. One study found that taking collagen supplements for 8 weeks led to improvements in skin elasticity and hydration compared to the placebo group.
But did you know that your body is supposed to make its own collagen, through cells called fibroblasts? These cells are the most active and are able to therefore produce an abundance of collagen, especially during the growth stages of our life - say about the age of 25 years. As we grow older, our bodies undergo various changes, including a decline in the number and activity of fibroblast cells. Some of these cells become dormant when not in use and are called fibrocytes. The active fibroblast cells now produce enough collagen that gives your body structural support, repairs cells, and tissues, and gives your body the ability to heal wounds etc. The basic stuff. This decline in collagen synthesis is one of the hallmark features of the aging process, and it can result in a range of age-related changes in the body.
For instance, reduced collagen production in the skin can lead to wrinkles, sagging, and thinning of the skin, reduced hair and nail growth, more brittle nails, poorer and nail health. Reduced collagen synthesis in bones can contribute to osteoporosis and an increased risk of fractures. Similarly, decreased collagen production in tendons and ligaments can lead to a reduction in strength and flexibility.
Not only does the quantity of collagen decrease the quality of collagen produced by fibroblasts also decreases with age. Collagen fiber's become less organized and more cross-linked, causing lesser elasticity and increased stiffness. While the decline in fibroblast function and collagen production is a natural part of aging, certain lifestyle factors can further accelerate this decline. For example, smoking, excessive sun exposure, and poor nutrition can all contribute to the ageing of fibroblast cells and further reduce collagen synthesis.
Should You Take Collagen Supplements?
The decision to take collagen supplements ultimately comes down to personal preferences and goals. If you're looking to support and promote your body's natural collagen production and improve your skin, hair, and nail health, natural, plant-based collagen supplements are definitely worth trying. This improves nutrition and therefore, overall health in the body so it can function the way it should. Quality, targeted nutrition ensures fibroblast cells do not forget their role in the body and do not get dependent on external sources for collagen.
While a "collagen party" complete with collagen face masks, collagen-infused drinks sound fun, and they possibly are, they cannot be a replacement to a healthy diet and lifestyle. Collagen supplements may be safe to consume but they could have potential risks and side effects from allergic reactions to digestive issues, and there may be contraindications or interactions with medications that people should be aware of. It's always a good idea to consult a healthcare professional before taking new supplements. If you're not comfortable taking collagen supplements or would like to try other ways to support collagen production in your body, there are alternatives. Eating collagen-rich foods like bone broth, organ meats, and fish can provide your body with the amino acids required to produce collagen. Along with that, Vitamin C is also important for collagen synthesis, so taking Vitamin C through supplements or foods high in vitamin C like citrus fruits, berries, and leafy greens can help as well.
Other natural plant-based supplements like Replenish With Greens by Caim by årelang, green gummies made of the most potent extracts from green plants and veggies, that are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that help stimulate your fibrocytes and kickstart natural collagen production to ensure better hair, skin, nails, and joint health.
There is no better way to boost collagen production than to do it with natural plant-based supplements that help your body function the way it should. Go ahead, give Replenish With Greens a try. Your skin and hair will love you for it and at 5kCal a gummy, so will your body!