How do Collagen Supplements Work & What Are the Benefits?
What is collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. It is a structural protein, forming the various tissues called connective tissues, which include skin, bones, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels and muscles. There is a constant turnover of collagen in the body, meaning it is continually being broken down and replaced by new collagen. If this balance is disturbed for any reason, for example by stress or a lack of nutrients, the result is net collagen loss.
Benefits of Collagen for Health & Beauty
As we age, collagen production naturally slows down, leading to the typical signs of skin ageing such as sagging, loss of elasticity and wrinkles. Collagen supplementation stimulates collagen production in the skin, improving skin condition and reducing wrinkles. For example, in one study, collagen supplementation was shown to result in a 20% reduction of eye wrinkle deepness after just 8 weeks. Other health benefits include reducing the appearance of cellulite, improving joint health, improving bone strength and maintaining muscle mass.
How Collagen Supplements Work
Research has shown that taking collagen orally enhances its effects compared with applying it in a cream. The positive effects of oral collagen are also longer lasting than those of a face creams. When we take collagen internally, it is absorbed via the digestive system, in exactly the same way as nutrients from food. From here, it is naturally attracted towards the collagen-producing fibroblast cells, where it has its effects. The job of fibroblasts is to secrete collagen, along with other important components of the skin and connective tissues. The supplement works by stimulating the fibroblast cells to produce more of your body’s own natural collagen.
The collagen in Beauty & Go is in the form of bioactive collagen peptides (BCPs), which means shorter fragments or pieces of collagen. These peptides have been shown in tests to be more easily absorbed by the body than larger, whole collagen molecules. Scientific studies have shown collagen peptides to be highly bio-available, meaning readily absorbed and able to exert a beneficial effect.
BCPs are absorbed quickly into the bloodstream, taking about 12 hours to arrive at the tissues. They are believed to work by sending a false signal to the body indicating that collagen destruction has occurred, thus stimulating more collagen fibres to be synthesised by the fibroblasts to replace it.
At the same time, the formation of other important components of skin are stimulated, including elastin, which gives skin elasticity and hyaluronic acid, which helps keep skin hydrated.
Taking collagen in a liquid form will help the body to absorb it even more quickly and easily. Supplements taken in pill or capsule form have to first be broken down by the body before they can be absorbed and used. This results in a slower delivery to the tissues and less of the active ingredients actually reaching those tissues to exert their beneficial effects.
Collagen Source and Amount
Beauty & Go uses bovine sourced collagen, which is biologically closer to human collagen than other forms. It is rich in the same types of collagen (collagen Types I and III), as those found in the human body, and in the skin in particular. This makes bovine collagen an extremely effective form of collagen supplement.
Its effectiveness is backed by gold standard research studies, making it the most popular collagen source. For example, a 2016 study using bovine sourced collagen found a 20% reduction in eye wrinkle volume after just 4 weeks. These effects also persisted 4 weeks after the subjects stopped taking the collagen.
Schunck M, Zague V, Oesser S, Proksch E. Dietary Supplementation with specific collagen peptides has a body mass index-dependent beneficial effect on cellulite morphology. 2016. J of Med Food. Epub.
Benito-Ruiz P1, Camacho-Zambrano MM, Carrillo-Arcentales JN, Mestanza-Peralta MA, Vallejo-Flores CA, Vargas-López SV, Villacís-Tamayo RA, Zurita-Gavilanes LA. A randomized controlled trial on the efficacy and safety of a food ingredient, collagen hydrolysate, for improving joint comfort. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2009;60 Suppl 2:99-113.
Proksch E, Segger D, Degwert J, Schunck M, Zague V, Oesser S. Oral supplementation of specific collagen peptides has beneficial effects on human skin physiology: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study.Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2014;27(1):47-55.
Moskowitz RW1. Role of collagen hydrolysate in bone and joint disease. Semin Arthritis Rheum. 2000 Oct;30(2):87-99.