March 27, 2019 6 min read

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    Are you #teamtopical or #teamsupplements? Don’t worry, you don’t have to pick a side just yet… There are a few things consider before deciding if you should drink collagen or start buying collagen-infused creams. Or both! First, it’s important to get the facts straight on collagen because it seems to be on the tip of everyone’s tongue these days. With the market being flooded with an abundance of collagen products, including both cosmeceuticals and nutritional supplements, it’s no wonder we find ourselves torn between two stands: To supplement or to serum? How you use collagen can indeed make a difference to how effective it is.

    Choosing a form of collagen that is right for you extends far beyond the price realm, although we can all agree that no one would necessarily be thrilled about wasting their money on any product that doesn’t fulfill its promises. Today we’re delving into the science behind both dietary and topical collagens to see which form will give you the beauty and health results you’re seeking.

    But First, WHY Collagen?

    Out of all the proteins present in our body, collagen is of paramount importance since it’s found in the structure of our bodies, namely in tissues such as ligaments, tendons, connective tissues, teeth, and skin, a study on skin health demonstrates. Being an abundant structural protein in the body, collagen is the foundation of stability and strength. So, despite its popularity as one of 2019’s top Instagram trends, collagen is indeed a building block of the body, whose natural production decreases as we age, calling for supplementation to make sure we have an adequate amount in our bodies.

    When it comes to maintaining a healthy and mobile body as we get older, supplementing with collagen can be an excellent choice. When it comes to joint pain for example, collagen seems to be extremely efficient helping to manage healthy joints and bones. According to a clinical trial by David C. Crowley and colleagues, the severity of symptoms of osteoarthritis in patients decreased by an impressive 33% after supplementing with a dietary collagen. In addition, a study on collagen in inflammatory bowel disease found that a lower level of collagen may be one of the triggers of this condition, linking collagen to digestive health. When it comes to muscle health, collagen has been shown to improve body composition and increase muscle mass, especially when combined with resistance training. Orally administered collagen supplementation may also aid in the process of weight loss,given that protein increases satiety and is therefore highly recommended in high protein, low carb diets, like Keto, Paleo, and Whole30.

    Collagen for Beauty: A Must-Have.

    Collagen for Beauty

    As we’re approaching the summer months, every single beauty magazine will have you thinking about the texture and tone of your skin - and the common enemy for many women will of course be, cellulite. While these magazines will usually present various quick-fixes and magical tricks, when dealing with an issue as stubborn and complex as cellulite, we must take a more serious approach. As a study on dietary supplementation with collagen peptides suggests, oral supplementation with collagen “led to a clear improvement of the skin appearance” over a period of 6 months. When it comes to managing cellulite, collagen might be at the top of your shopping list.

    The fact that collagen may greatly affect the skin’s morphology shouldn’t come as a surprise. Collagen is one of the predominant components in the structure of the skin. A study on the effects of collagen peptides on the skin’s physiology found that oral collagen supplementation had a positive effect on skin elasticity, which was visible after only 4 weeks of taking collagen daily. Furthermore, promising results were noted when it comes to skin moisture and evaporation.

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    As our skin ages, the formation of fine lines, wrinkles, and scarring in some cases, is pretty much inevitable. These undesirable and inevitable side effects of aging seem to have piqued the interest of the beauty industry for decades. We’re constantly hearing about products promoted as anti-aging or even reverse aging promising to be the fountain of youth and stop time altogether.

    While it is clear that some beauty claims are often embellished for marketing purposes, it should be noted that certain products are scientifically-backed when it comes to their skin-regenerating properties. According to a study conducted by Proksch E. et al., oral consumption of all-natural Collagen Peptides helps to reduce wrinkles on the skin, and promotes the overall dermal matrix synthesis. Collagen is also recognized for its regenerative power when it comes to skin deformations, such as scars and wounds.

    The Final Face-Off: Topical vs. Oral Collagen

    Wild-Caught Marine Collagen

    So, are you going to swap your expensive beauty creams for a Wild-Caught Marine Collagen Peptides supplement or visa versa? So far we’ve examined the benefits of oral collagen supplementation, , but what does science have to say about the alternative? A study on the role of topical and nutritional supplements to modify the oxidative stress found that these compounds function well together when it comes to reducing oxidative stress - one of the predominant causes of wrinkling and similar signs of aging.

    However, it all comes down to how much of the collagen is actually absorbed into the skin and of course into the body. The bioavailability of collagen is key to its effectiveness. According to Nutritional Outlook, for major changes to occur in the quality of our skin, we must increase the body’s natural collagen production, which is only possible with oral collagen supplementation, such as Fish Collagen Peptides from wild-caught cod. This implies that topical products aren’t nearly as effective, given that collagen molecules are too big to penetrate the skin, and therefore CANNOT stimulate collagen production on a cellular level in the way that oral supplements can.

    However, even within oral collagen supplements, the source of collagen and quality of ingredients matter. Collagen from marine or fish sources is one of the top choices for anti-aging skin health and rejuvenation. First and foremost, fish collagen provides the highest bioavailability level out of all collagen types, thanks to its low molecular weight and size, a study by R. Sripriya et al. suggests. Moreover, marine collagen has a high concentration of the amino acids glycine, hydroxyproline, and proline, which stimulate cells in the skin, Dr. Axe states. Finally, fish collagen is one of the more eco-friendly choices for consumers because it is made from parts of the fish that are usually thrown away such as skin, bones, and scales. If you’re looking for a sustainably-sourced beauty product, then a non-GMO marine collagen powder from wild-caught fish will be your best bet.

    From our research and findings, the answers are quite clear. Choosing an oral collagen supplement is likely to deliver the health and beauty benefits you’re looking for more effectively than topical collagen products. However, if you’re able to, it can’t hurt to use both. As they say, beauty starts from the inside, so we recommend starting your journey with collagen by adding 1 scoop a day to your diet. Visit our online store for more all-natural, non-GMO collagen supplements today!

    Article References: 

    1. Vollmer, D. L., West, V. A., & 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. doi:10.3390/ijms19103059
    2. Crowley, D. C., Lau, F. C., Sharma, P., Evans, M., Guthrie, N., Bagchi, M., Bagchi, D., Dey, D. K., … Raychaudhuri, S. P. (2009). Safety and efficacy of undenatured type II collagen in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee: a clinical trial. International journal of medical sciences, 6(6), 312-21.
    3. Koutroubakis, I. (2003). Serum laminin and collagen IV in inflammatory bowel disease. Journal Of Clinical Pathology, 56(11), 817-820. doi: 10.1136/jcp.56.11.817
    4. Zdzieblik, D., Oesser, S., Baumstark, M. W., Gollhofer, A., & König, D. (2015). Collagen peptide supplementation in combination with resistance training improves body composition and increases muscle strength in elderly sarcopenic men: a randomised controlled trial. The British journal of nutrition, 114(8), 1237-45.
    5. Rubio, I., Castro, G., Zanini, A., & Medeiros-Neto, G. (2008). Oral ingestion of a hydrolyzed gelatin meal in subjects with normal weight and in obese patients: Postprandial effect on circulating gut peptides, glucose and insulin. Eating And Weight Disorders - Studies On Anorexia, Bulimia And Obesity, 13(1), 48-53. doi: 10.1007/bf03327784
    6. Schunck, M., Zague, V., Oesser, S., & Proksch, E. (2015). Dietary Supplementation with Specific Collagen Peptides Has a Body Mass Index-Dependent Beneficial Effect on Cellulite Morphology. Journal of medicinal food, 18(12), 1340-8.
    7. Proksch, E., Segger, D., Degwert, J., Schunck, M., Zague, V., & Oesser, S. (2014). Oral Supplementation of Specific Collagen Peptides Has Beneficial Effects on Human Skin Physiology: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study. Skin Pharmacology And Physiology, 27(1), 47-55. doi: 10.1159/000351376
    8. A Review of Collagen and Collagen-based Wound Dressings. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.woundsresearch.com/content/a-review-collagen-and-collagen-based-wound-dressings
    9. Morganti, P., Bruno, C., Guarneri, F., Cardillo, A., Del Ciotto, P., & Valenzano, F. (2002). Role of topical and nutritional supplement to modify the oxidative stress*. International Journal Of Cosmetic Science, 24(6), 331-339. doi: 10.1046/j.1467-2494.2002.00159.x
    10. (2019). Retrieved from http://www.nutritionaloutlook.com/delivery-systems/are-collagen-nutricosmetics-more-effective-topical-collagen
    11. Sripriya, R. and Kumar, R. (2015) A Novel Enzymatic Method for Preparation and Characterization of Collagen Film from Swim Bladder of Fish Rohu (Labeo rohita). Food and Nutrition Sciences, 6, 1468-1478. doi: 10.4236/fns.2015.615151.
    12. Fish Collagen: The Best Anti-Aging Protein You Need to Know About. (2019). Retrieved from https://draxe.com/fish-collagen/
    13. Silvipriya, K., Kumar, K., Bhat, A., Kumar, B., John, A., & Lakshmanan, P. (2015). Collagen: Animal Sources and Biomedical Application. Journal Of Applied Pharmaceutical Science, 123-127. doi: 10.7324/japs.2015.50322



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