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Collagen, Skin, Bones and much more
Collagen benefits and its relation to hormones & menopause
For centuries, Chinese women have kept a secret. It is called collagen, a protein that’s like glue, binding tissues in fish and animals. For Chinese women, collagen is considered to be the fountain of youth and is routinely consumed in foods like pig’s feet, shark fins, and donkey skin. It is believed to smooth the skin and preserve aging joints. In the 1980s, collagen became popular in the US as an expensive injectable filler to plump lips and soften wrinkles. In recent years, collagen powders, chews, vanilla-flavored-coffee creamers, and easy-to-swallow capsules have become popular ways to consume edible collagen.
Collagen in the US
According to the market research firm Nutrition Business Journal, it is estimated that in 2020, consumers are expected to spend $293 million on collagen supplements in the United States. That is a big jump from just $50 million in 2014.
Instagram endorsements by celebrities such as Kourtney Kardashian have brought more attention to using collagen. There is a growing body of evidence suggesting collagen can improve skin, arthritis symptoms and wound healing. It may also prevent muscle wasting and help prevent bone loss.
Collagen, Hormones, & Menopause
As your hormone levels drop during menopause you may notice an increase in your wrinkles. In addition to that, it is believed that women lose as much as 30% of their collagen during the first 5 years of onset of menopause.
The combination of these 2 factors may cause noticeable changes in the skin in post-menopausal women.
Injectable collagen used to be popular many years ago but has fallen out of favor because its effects don’t last as long as other fillers and it tends to cause allergic reactions. Collagen that is in skin creams doesn’t absorb well and not as useful as taken orally. Study after study has shown the benefits of oral collagen to help improve the appearance of skin.
In 2014 a study of 69 women ages 35 to 55 found that those who consumed 2.5 or 5 grams (1/2 to 1 teaspoon) of collagen daily for 8 weeks saw a lot of improvement in skin elasticity, compared with those who didn’t take it.
Other Benefits of Collagen
Collagen is an excellent source of protein and can help with:
- Bone density
- Bone mass and quality
- Improved skin elasticity, thickness, and hydration
- Nail health
- Reducing wrinkle formation & cellulite appearance
- Stimulating new blood vessel formation
- Arthritis pain and sports-related joint pain
- Muscle strength and gaining muscle mass
- Wound healing
Considering Product Safety
When choosing which collagen to take, you have to be careful about the safety of the product. Collagen is basically ground-up fish, chicken, pig, and cow parts which tend to act as sponges for contaminants and heavy metals. They can also carry diseases like mad cow disease.
Look for reputable companies that adhere to good manufacturing practices (GMP), use grass-fed cows, and non-GMO ingredients. And ask an expert if the company tests for contaminants and heavy metals.
Feel free to contact me or one of our knowledgeable pharmacists if you have any questions about taking collagen or any other supplement.
Sharzad Green, Pharm. D., is a hormone replacement specialist & pharmacist at Community Clinical Pharmacy, in Mesa, Arizona. She offers private Hormone Replacement Consultations to find a tailored solution that fits your needs. Sharzad has had the privilege of working with over 12,000 patients and providers in the Valley and around the world.
When in doubt, contact one of our knowledgeable pharmacists at Community Clinical Pharmacy. We are here to offer you solutions and assist you in making informed decisions about your health. Contact us with comments, questions, or pharmacy
related topics you’d like to know more about. And, as always, stay healthy!
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