Loved by beauty editors and A-listers alike, collagen is a huge beauty buzzword right now. Whether it’s injected, consumed or used topically, the clean-eating crowd swear by it as the ingredient for improving gut health while giving us a Jennifer Aniston-esque glow (she swears by collagen powders, or so she says).
Yet with so much varying information on the internet, there are a number of myths that keep popping up time and time again. MOJEH speaks to Sabina Bozic, brand ambassador of Gaia Naturelle, to dig a little deeper…
The myth: There is no need to take supplements as the human body produces collagen naturally.
The truth: Collagen is a type of protein in your body that gives skin its structure, suppleness, and stretch. There are many types, but our body mainly consists of type 1, 2, and 3. Yes, the human body produces collagen naturally, however as we age, we produce less in our skin every year hence the tendency toward wrinkles and thinning skin we see the older we get. It begins to deplete from age 25 leading to creaky joints and saggy skin, so supplements are a great way to introduce more.
The myth: Collagen Shots are only for women.
The truth: As collagen is often associated with glowing skin or getting a youthful complexion, it’s typically women who use products more than men. However, aside from being a big phenomenon in the beauty world, collagen has a host of health benefits for your body particularly in areas like muscles, joints and even digestion.
It can be a useful ally in muscle recovery and fighting off anti-aging signs such as hair thinning, achy joints, and low energy. Naturally, as you age, collagen levels begin to drop, and therefore by supplementing collagen into your diet, you can boost your levels and reap the benefits.
Here are some reasons why everyone, especially men, should increase their collagen intake:
– Promotes gut health
– Supports joint health and reduce joint pain
– Strengthens hair, skin, nails and teeth
– Boosts muscle recovery
– Increases energy levels and mood
– Protects the heart
– Improves metabolism and muscle mass
The myth: All types of collagen are the same, with same effect on a body.
The truth: There are at least 16 types found throughout our bodies, providing structure and support. The four main types are type I, II, III, and IV.
– Type I: This type accounts for 90 per cent of your body’s collagen and is made of densely packed fibres. It provides structure to skin, bones, tendons, fibrous cartilage, connective tissue, and teeth.
– Type II: This type is made of more loosely packed fibres and found in elastic cartilage, which cushions your joints.
– Type III: This type supports the structure of muscles, organs, and arteries.
– Type IV: This type helps with filtration and is found in the layers of your skin.
As you age, your body produces less and lower quality collagen, and one of the visible signs of this is in your skin, which becomes less firm and supple. Cartilage also weakens with age.
The myth: Collagen tablets and powders are equal to collagen shots
The truth: Sadly not. Liquid collagen is digested and absorbed into the bloodstream more quickly and efficiently than solid supplements (which your body has to work harder to extract nutrients from). We absorb 90 per cent of the liquid collagen vs. 30-35 per cent of powder/tablets. The benefit of most liquid collagens is that they are hydrolysed, which means that its large proteins have already been broken down, saving our bodies a step and making them easier to absorb. Liquid collagen supplements generally have the convenience of being ready-to-drink, with one major drawback: they usually have to be refrigerated.
The myth: Eating or drinking just collagen will help you increase your levels.
The truth: False! If you ingest collagen, whether via tablets, powders, shots or drinks, it will still be digested and excreted, and it certainly doesn’t circulate the body making more. The body in essence breaks it down, as it does with all the protein you consume orally. That’s why taking a supplement that contains pre-cursors and potent ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and vitamin C is the optimal way to encourage the body to produce collagen naturally. Shots contains additional ‘stimulators’ (potent ingredients) to increase the body’s natural collagen production.