Main image courtesy of Fit in 5.
The world of collagen is full of myths. Does it really help your skin? Is it healthy? What about negative side effects? Do not worry, we are here to debunk these collagen myths and share the truth behind it all.
Here are some myths we are going to uncover the truth of in this article:
- Myths regarding types of collagen
- Myths about collagen and skin
- Myths about collagen and daily life
Before we get into the myths though, let’s discuss what collagen is.
We have more collagen in our bodies than any other protein. And due to the mass amounts of collagen we have, it makes sense that it helps so many different parts of our body! Some areas collagen can be found in include:
- Blood vessels
There are several different types of collagen, but type I, II, and III make up 80-90% of the collagen within our bodies.
Collagen has been likened to glue, since it helps hold our bodies together by being such an active part in so many important places within us. This also is because it has origins in the Greek word for glue, “kólla”.
Now that we know a little more about what collagen is and where to find it, let’s dive into the myths surrounding this important substance!
Myths Regarding Types of Collagen
Type II collagen is the best for bones and joints
Type II collagen is a protein that is part of our cartilage, bone, and tissue. So it is fair to assume that it would benefit those areas best. However, that is not true.
Collagen sourced from cartilage does not make it better to treat joint health than skin health. When researching collagen, type II is often procured from chickens.
The reason this is not true is because collagen peptides are recognized by their amino acid composition as opposed to their “type”.
Collagen is all the same, it is just called different things
This is again, not true. Collagen is sourced from several different places such as cattle, pigs, chicken and fish.
Collagen sourced from land animals have a greater risk for impurities than collagen sourced from fish, also known as marine collagen. Marine collagen also is easier to absorb than other types of collagen.
Collagen helps you sleep better
The reason people believe this is because of the amino acid called glycine. Collagen contains a good deal of glycine which plays a role in our sleep. That being said, there have been no studies done that prove collagen that contains glycine helps people sleep.
Myths About Collagen and Skin
Collagen can help treat skin conditions like eczema and acne
There is no proof to support this claim. Eczema and acne are medical skin conditions and you should consult your doctor about how to treat them.
Collagen can help the skin with its elasticity and dryness. Through keeping the skin supple and moist, wrinkles are less likely.
Topical creams work just as well as supplements
There is no evidence that supports topical creams boosting collagen production. Ingesting collagen, either through supplements, a healthy diet, or both will give you the best results.
Collagen is produced when dietary protein is broken down into amino acids. These amino acids then build proteins like collagen.
There are other additions to your diet and supplement regime that can help increase collagen production. Retinol, vitamin C, and certain peptides will all help your body produce collagen.
Myths About Collagen and Daily Life
Collagen only benefits the skin
We already debunked this myth while sharing some collagen facts at the beginning.
Collagen is important to so many parts of our body, but at the moment, the skin aspect of it is really big.
While collagen does help skin stay elastic and moist, there are so many purposes to this protein. Hair and nail health and growth are also benefited by collagen as well as joint, bone, and general health.
Collagen benefits gut health
This myth is due to the collagen found in bone broth, which has been found to be beneficial to gut health. However, the only studies done regarding collagen and gut health have been animal studies, and therefore this has no impact on our knowledge on what works in humans.
You don’t have to worry about collagen when you’re young
Collagen production can begin to decline as young as your mid twenties. Your lifestyle can also affect this. Too much sun exposure and smoking will decrease your body’s ability to produce collagen as well as it once did. Pollution can also affect collagen production.
Collagen research is always ongoing and new things are constantly being discovered. Maybe one day there will be studies that show collagen and whether or not it benefits gut health, but for now this is what we know.
There are many ways to incorporate collagen into our lives. A high protein diet is helpful but there are also supplement options. Many people use collagen powder in their coffee, smoothie, or tea. This is a great option because it allows you to get your daily dose of collagen without changing the taste of the food or drink you love so much.
Dr. Emil has a great option for collagen powder for your skin, hair, and joints.