As a medical spa based in Singapore, we offer proven collagen-stimulating treatments like radiofrequency energy devices and chemical peels. In addition, many of our clients ask us about the effectiveness of oral collagen supplements and how to naturally increase collagen production.
Common questions include:
‘’Can collagen supplements improve my skin quality?’’
‘’Is marine collagen a good option for me?’’
‘’What are some foods that naturally contain collagen?’’
‘’What’s the difference between collagen supplements and protein powders?’’
‘’As a vegan, what alternatives are there to taking collagen?’’
We understand that the abundance of information and marketing claims surrounding collagen supplements can be overwhelming and confusing. With the increasing popularity of these supplements, we want to provide you with essential information to help you maximize their benefits for your skin and overall health.
Collagen is the most bountiful protein in the body and constitutes 80% of our skin. Collagen is an essential scaffold protein that gives smoothness and elasticity to the skin and strong and healthy muscles, bones, and joints. Our bodies produce collagen naturally, but we also get collagen from food and supplements.
Collagen production declines with age. From our early 20s, we lose 1% collagen every year.
After age 50, we lose 30% more collagen. This leads to dry and sagging skin, dull hair, weaker muscles, slower healing ability, and increased signs of ageing in our skin and joints.
Several lifestyle habits can accelerate the loss of collagen in our bodies. We commonly refer to these habits as the ‘5 S’s’: Sugar, Stress, Smoke, Sleep, and Sunlight.
Studies have demonstrated that collagen supplements can reduce joint pain and enhance skin elasticity. Who wouldn’t want to rejuvenate ageing skin, improve worn-out joints, and achieve a healthier and more beautiful appearance? That’s why we aim to counteract the natural loss of collagen due to ageing and unhealthy lifestyle habits by incorporating more collagen-rich foods and supplements into our diet.
The recommended daily dose for collagen peptide supplements is between 2.5g to 15g. These supplements should contain glycine and proline, which are the amino acids responsible for synthesising new collagen.
There are two main sources: food and supplements.
Foods that are high in collagen include bone broth (top of the list), meat, and fish, but plant-based sources do not contain collagen.
The most effective collagen supplements are peptides, also known as hydrolyzed collagen, which are derived from cows (bovine), pigs (porcine), or fish (marine). These supplements are water-soluble, easily absorbed into the bloodstream, and can be taken at any time on an empty stomach.
Tip: When shopping for collagen supplements, it’s important to choose high-quality collagen peptides from reputable sources. Look for collagen supplements with vitamin C, which is essential for collagen synthesis. Amazon and iHerb offer a wide range of collagen supplements from various brands.
A practical solution is to focus on increasing protein intake, as collagen is derived from amino acids. Vegan protein powders are widely available on the market and can be a useful source of protein. However, it’s important to note that increasing protein intake may not provide the same direct benefits as consuming animal-derived collagen or collagen supplements.
Note: For vegetarians, vegans, or those with multiple food allergies (e.g., dairy) who are unable to consume protein powders, we offer a liquid form of six essential amino acids in a precise composition of Glycine, L-Alanine, L-Proline, L-Valine, L-Leucine, L-Lysine HCl. This liquid drink generates collagen and elastin, resulting in better hydrated and firmer skin, as well as improved quality of nails and hair, according to studies.
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Most studies indicate that they are generally safe, with no reported side effects. However, most studies have only followed participants for up to six months. In some cases, mild gastrointestinal side effects such as bloating and loose stools may occur. Since supplements are not regulated, it is recommended to consult a doctor for advice if you experience any adverse reactions to your collagen supplement.
The main difference is that collagen is not a complete protein, whereas a protein powder is. A collagen supplement usually has a higher profile of glycine and proline.
Choose which one to take based on your health goals. For example, if your goal is to improve your skin, hair, nails, and joints, then take a collagen supplement. But if your goal is to strengthen and build muscle, take protein powder which contains leucine, isoleucine, and valine.
It’s worth noting that while collagen is not a complete protein, it does contain several essential amino acids, including glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline, that are crucial for building and maintaining various tissues in the body, including skin, bones, and muscles.
It’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking any medications.
Our conclusion is that collagen supplements are not a magic potion for slowing ageing. However, a good quality collagen supplement can be of value, especially when paired with healthy lifestyle habits.
In summary, focus on healthy lifestyle habits as your game-changer to the fountain of youth.
The seven habits that make the most difference to naturally increasing collagen production:
1. Eat a nutritious diet (containing good sources of collagen and gelatin), and cut down on sugar and alcohol.
2. Ensure that you get enough vitamin C, zinc and copper in your diet or through supplementation.
3. Drink adequate water to stay hydrated and promote skin elasticity. Aim for at least 8 – 10 glasses of water per day.
4. Get quality deep sleep to support tissue repair and collagen synthesis. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night.
5. Do resistance training exercises to build muscle and stimulate collagen production. Incorporate strength training exercises into your workout routine at least 2-3 times per week.
6. Protect your skin from the sun by wearing sunscreen or protective clothing to prevent UV damage that can accelerate collagen loss.
7. Manage stress by finding healthy coping mechanisms such as meditation, exercise, or therapy, as chronic stress can contribute to collagen degradation.
Lastly, be patient, as collagen synthesis takes time. It may take several weeks or even months of consistent healthy habits to see a noticeable improvement in your skin, hair, and joint health.