Collagen is the protein responsible for skin elasticity. It also plays a role in joint and bone health. As we get older, we break collagen down faster than we can produce it, which may result in sagging skin, wrinkles or articular cartilage wear. The ingredient is popping up in powders and drinks in the market, touted as a way to improve the look and feel of your skin. Do collagen supplements actually do anything?
So, what is collagen? Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins in the body. Protein is made up of many individual amino acids, with linking up to form long chains, which bundle together to form thicker strands. These stands then twist and coil around each other to form triple helices. Finally, those helices connect end to end and stack on top of each other to form clusters called fibrils. It must be first broken down by enzymes into a shorter, more usable form, which is amino acid, to make it absorbable.
Nowadays, collagen supplements have already gone through the enzymatic process of hydrolysis into shorter amino acid chains, which can increase the absorption rate of collagen, that might help improve the elasticity of your skin. However, even with the possible help of collagen, the more important elements to prevent loss of collagen are to use sun protection, avoid smoking and high glucose blood etc.
In addition, it is proven that vitamin C plays an antioxidant role and important element of producing collagen. Eat more vegetables and fruits could also reinforce the efficacy of collagen by supplementing vitamin C.