He collagen constitutes the main protein in the human body. It is very abundant in bone, skin and blood vessels. What collagen does in the skin is support the cells. Forks essential to provide firmness and volume to the skin.
As we age, the ability to regenerate collagen gradually decreases, reducing by approximately 1.5% each yearwhich affects the composition of the skin, which in its youth and health is mostly composed of this protein.
Hence, the importance of delaying the loss of collagen as much as possible, which is essential for our skin has a healthy appearance, adequate thickness and hydrated.
In the cosmetics market we find products with collagen that promise to rejuvenate our skin.
However, as explained to ‘Health Guides’ he Dr. Alberto Pérez Espadero, plastic and reconstructive surgeon, “something that science is asking more and more.” More studies are being done on the matter every day, “but there is still no good answer for this.”
“It seems that supplements with hydrolyzed collagen or whey protein can improve the appearance of the skin and discomfort related to joint cartilage. But still There is not much evidence to say this definitively.”, he indicates.
It is estimated that by the age of 50, around 30% of collagen has been lost.
“What is proven is that some aesthetic treatments or even some daily creams can improve the characteristics of the skin and, therefore, improve its appearance.”
Collagen: essential for good skin maintenance
Collagen loss usually begins around age 20 and the rate of decline increases over time.
It is estimated that by the age of 50, around 30% of collagen has been lost compared to youth, highlights the Dr. Mario Arques He is an aesthetic doctor and specialist in facial and body rejuvenation at the Arques Clinic.
This decrease “contributes to the loss of firmness and elasticity of the skin, as well as the formation of wrinkles.”
It is worth mentioning that these numbers are approximate and may vary depending on individual factors “such as genetics, lifestyle or Sun exposure”. This last factor, as well as smoking or some medications, contribute to the loss of twice as much collagen compared to those who are not affected by these conditions.
Therefore, a person who sunbathes or smokes can lose approximately 60% of their collagen by age 50. But, in addition to its importance for the skin, collagen plays a crucial role in the health of bones and joints.
In bones, collagen provides the necessary structure and strength. It helps maintain bone density and strengthens bones. In joints, collagen helps maintain the integrity of cartilage, which acts as a shock absorber and facilitates friction-free movement.
For the joints, it is essential to start taking it from the age of 35 as a preventive measure, but vitamin C is even more effective.
Collagen supplements, are they really useful?
Dr. Espadero emphasizes that “it has not yet been able to be demonstrated with consistent studies.”
But, for Dr. Arques they are effective, since “I see it in my patients.” “The person who supplements has the effects of the treatments that can be done last longer.”
For the joints “it is essential to start taking it from the age of 35 as a preventive measure, but even more effective is vitamin C”.
“On the skin, we would see its effects approximately after 21 days, which is the tissue regeneration cycle, you can already begin to see its effects.”
The consumption of collagen, the specialist emphasizes, is safe for most people. However, as with any supplement, “there may be contraindications for certain individuals.” Some considerations include allergies to collagen components, renal problems serious and specific medical conditions.
It is advisable to consult a health professional before starting any collagen supplementespecially if you have pre-existing medical conditions or are taking other medications, to make sure it is safe and appropriate for your individual situation.
But not just any product with collagen is worth it…
Collagen is not absorbed by the skin, so it can be a good moisturizer, but it will not penetrate, explains Dr. Espadero. “To absorb it, it would have to be taken orally and also hydrolyzed (it is the most assimilable form of collagen protein).”
Collagen can also be obtained by making bone broth, cooking as slowly as possible.
And Dr. Arques recommends:
“The consumption of collagen making bone broth, with cooking as slowly as possible. Vegetables can be added to the broth to give it more flavor. For cellular regeneration, fasting between 10 and 24 hours is recommended, consuming only the collagen broth.”
For his part, Dr. Espadero, member of the Spanish Society of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery (SECPRE), points out that “more than treatments with collagen, what we usually use a lot are substances that make the body generate that collagen and improve the characteristics of the skin”.
“We have calcium hydroxyapatite or some types of hyaluronic acid that, applied to the skin, increase collagen production.”