Ro Huntriss - EXALT Clinical Lead Dietitian - Feb 2021
Health Benefits of Collagen
Collagen benefits your skin, and joint health, and may support weight management. Our expert guide walks you through what collagen is, how it may help you, and essential sources which can help your body maximise the benefits of collagen.
Table of Contents:
- What is Collagen?
- Health Benefits of Collagen
- Get Your Glow with Collagen Juice from EXALT
- 5 Sources of Collagen
What is Collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body. Collagen is found in the skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments as well as the blood vessels. It makes up about a third of all bodily protein, and is the main component in connective tissues. Involved in providing structure to the skin, as well as helping blood to clot, there are many ways collagen benefits the body.
Your body makes collagen when you consume a diet containing the amino acids needed to make it. Amino acids are the building blocks which make up protein, such as protein powders.
Collagen is found in animal products such chicken, pork skin, as well as bone broth. Other nutrients such as vitamin C also aid in the production of collagen within the body. Whereas, lifestyle factors such as smoking and excessive exposure to the sun can lead to increased collagen breakdown.
Health Benefits of Collagen
Recently, there has been an increased interest in collagen supplements, thanks to the protein’s role in skin health. Supplements of this protein can be found in protein powder form. These can easily be incorporated into sweet or savoury meals or drinks. Supplements of collagen can have shorter chains of amino acids, which make it easier for it to be absorbed into our bloodstream. The benefits of collagen include:
1. Collagen for Skin Health
The first benefit of collagen is the way it supports the skin. There have been several studies showing that collagen can improve skin elasticity, skin firmness and reduce the signs of ageing (1-4). In a review by Vollmer et. Al (2018) (5), it was stated that there was enough evidence to support the beneficial effects of collagen hydrolysates supplementation and skin health (5).
Additionally, a review in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology by Choi et al. (2019) stated that the preliminary evidence shows promising results for the use of collagen supplements for wound healing, skin ageing, skin elasticity and hydration (6).
2. Collagen for Joint Health
The potential relationship between supplemental collagen and joint health has been acknowledged for some time. A review published in 2006 concluded that there was a growing body of evidence providing rational for the use of collagen supplements for patients with osteoarthritis (7), and a more recent systematic review published in 2016 concluded that collagen supplementation has a positive therapeutic effect on osteoarthritis and osteoporosis, can protect articular cartilage and provide symptomatic pain relief (8).
In addition to providing benefits with those who have existing diagnosed joint conditions, a clinical trial also demonstrated improvement in joint pain of athletes following collagen supplementation suggesting that the supplementation could reduce the risk of joint degeneration in a high risk group (9). Therefore, another key benefit of collagen is its impact on your joints.
3. Collagen for Weight Management
There have been suggestions that a benefit of collagen could be help with weight management. However, there is insufficient evidence to support this claim when comparing the benefits of collagen against other proteins. It is hypothesised that this is due to the protein within collagen supporting satiety and weight management, as opposed to a specific component of collagen offering these advantages.
The evidence which supports the benefits of taking collagen for health are growing. Whilst some claimed collagen health benefits may not be sufficiently supported by evidence, the effect of collagen on skin and joint health show good promise. Future research outputs should include randomised, large-scale, long-term trials which will help us to further substantiate these claims.
Get Your Glow with Collagen Juice from EXALT
At EXALT, we pioneered the first and only fresh green juice with collagen peptides. This cold pressed juice contains 10 grams of collagen, so you can reap the benefits of collagen in a delicious sip. Kale and spinach is cold-pressed, and blended with apple, mango, kiwi, mint, and invigorating ginger. Naturally high in vitamin C, this juice can encourage normal formation of collagen in the skin, and as a source of manganese it can support the cells with antioxidant properties.
With at least a seven day shelf-life, you can enjoy this delicious boost at home, or on the go, for a convenient way to experience the benefits of collagen. As collagen isn’t vegan, neither is this drink. You can choose from our vegan smoothies for delicious healthy options if you follow a plant-based diet.
5 Sources of Collagen
- EXALT Nip & Tuck juice
- Animal bone broth
- Protein-rich foods, such as fish, chicken, egg whites
- Citrus fruits, berries, leafy greens
- Serums and creams containing collagen
There are ways to source this important protein in order to see the benefits of collagen. Some sources include:
Why Choose EXALT?
At EXALT, we specialise in great-tasting drinks which care for your health, combined with sustainability. We use recycled packaging and a zero emissions delivery service in London. Choose from pre-workout supplements to prepare for the gym in the best way, to fresh protein smoothies to help recovery.
1. Naoki, I., Fumihito, S., and Xuemin ,W.(2016). Ingestion of Bioactive Collagen Hydrolysates Enhance Facial Skin Moisture and Elasticity and Reduce Facial Ageing Signs in a Randomised Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Clinical Study. Journal of Food and Agriculture, 96, pp.4077-4081.
2. Asserin, J., Lati, E., Shioya, T., and Prawitt, J. (2015). The effect of oral collagen peptide supplementation on skin moisture and the dermal collagen network: evidence from an ex vivo model and randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 14(4), pp. 291-301.
3. Bolke, L., Schlippe, G., Gerß, J., and Voss, W. (2019). A Collagen Supplement Improves Skin Hydration, Elasticity, Roughness, and Density: Results of a Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Blind Study. Nutrients, 11(10), pp. 2494.
4. Addor, F., Cotta Vieira, J., and Abreu Melo, C. S. (2018). Improvement of dermal parameters in aged skin after oral use of a nutrient supplement. Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, 11, pp. 195–201.
5. Vollmer, D. L., West, V. A., and Lephart, E. D. (2018). Enhancing Skin Health: By Oral Administration of Natural Compounds and Minerals with Implications to the Dermal Microbiome. International journal of molecular sciences, 19(10), 3059.
6. Choi, F.D., Sung, C.T., Juhasz, M.L., Mesinkovsk, N.A. (2019). Oral Collagen Supplementation: A Systematic Review of Dermatological Applications. Journal of Drugs in Dermatology. 18(1), pp. 9-16.
7. Bello, A.E. and Oesser, S. (2006). Collagen hydrolysate for the treatment of osteoarthritis and other joint disorders: a review of the literature. Current Medical Research and Opinion.22(11), pp. 2221-2232.
8. Porfírio, E. and Fanaro, G.B. (2016). Collagen supplementation as a complementary therapy for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis: a systematic review. Revista Brasileira de Geriatria e Gerontologia, 19(1), pp. 153-164.
9. Clark, K.L., Sebastianelli, W., Flechsenhar, K.R., Aukermann, D.F., Meza, F/. Millard, R.L., Deitch, J.R., Sherbondy, P.S. and Albert, A. (2008). 24-Week study on the use of collagen hydrolysate as a dietary supplement in athletes with activity-related joint pain. Current Medical Research and Opinion. 24(5), pp. 1485-1496.