There are literally hundreds of products on the market that contain collagen. Countless celebrities including Jennifer Anniston, Drew Barrymore, Lady Gaga and the Kardashian sisters swear by the anti-aging benefits of collagen and incorporate various collagen containing products to their diet.

What is collagen and what does it do?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies. Collagen is what keeps our skin elastic and is responsible for replacing dead skin cells. Collagen is also found in our bones, muscles, tendons, blood vessels and even our teeth. Collagen’s main function is to sustain tendons, skin and cartilage. It provides integrity, firmness and elasticity to these structures.

As we age, our bodies naturally produce less collagen. Elasticity and firmness of the skin declines. Signs of skin aging such as wrinkles form, hydration decreases and joint cartilages weaken. Contributing factors to skin aging include genes, hormones, exposure to sun, smoking and pollution.

How can collagen make us look younger?

There is an ever-growing body of scientific evidence showing benefits of collagen supplementation on skin, hair, nails, joints and digestive system. As an example, marine collagen produced by French manufacturer Weishardt available locally under The Beauty Shake brand has been evaluated for its anti-aging potential in several independent placebo-controlled studies.

The results showed that 2.5 – 10g of marine collagen taken daily for 8 – 12 weeks significantly improved skin hydration, firmness and elasticity, and reduced wrinkle appearance and fine line visibility. It also alleviated symptoms of knee osteoarthritis such as pain and improved physical function and thus demonstrated the role of marine collagen peptides as an ingredient in joint health applications.

How to choose the best collagen product on the market?

Achieving beauty through diet is the key focus of a new group of products called nutricosmetics. This area is not very tightly regulated so distinguishing between genuine good quality products and less effective alternatives requires a bit of research on our part. When it comes to collagen, it is the processing and purification process that is absolutely crucial to the bioavailability and efficacy of the collagen in question.

Therefore, collagen of the highest quality delivers very high degree of purity and well-defined molecular size to ensure excellent bioavailability. It is also easily water-soluble and has neutral taste, smell and colour. And lastly, high quality collagen supplement is able to back any claims it makes through conducting published (peer-reviewed) placebo-controlled clinical studies and human trials.