Some are saying it's the new superfood. Collagen, which comes from animal bones, cartilage, and skin can be a good source of protein but are the anti-aging claims really true?
Medical aesthetician Kim Chang from Baylor College of Medicine said she can see benefits with her clients.
“It has definitely rang true in my experience so far with those that have been drinking collagen that it definitely works!” she said.
You can supposedly buy collagen protein powder, collagen creamer or eat bone broth to get the effects. Chang's clients say they use the powder in the morning and sip the bone broth later in the day. One woman said it helped her skin, nails, hair and joints!
While studies of patients with arthritis confirm it can help with joint pain, Dr. John Share from Share Wellness isn't convinced drinking it will improve your skin since other parts of your body absorb it first. Instead, he recommends applying it topically.
“You might get faster results and more effective results for the skin itself by, for instance, having micro-needling with collagen applied on top or using products that have collagen-supporting ingredients,” he said.
There are no big studies looking at the benefits of collagen and aging skin and none looking at the collagen powders instead of supplements.
However, Chang said she's not waiting for the research to catch up before she recommends this.
“This is not a new thing. The new thing is this powder form, but bone broth has been… used in many of the dishes in the Asian cultures to help, they always say ‘with the collagen,’” Chang said.
Here is one client’s regimen:
“In the morning, I use 1 scoop (equivalent to 10g collagen peptides) of Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides unflavored mixed with a squirt of flavored water enhancer in a half a cup of water. Takes a little getting used to but not bad,” the client said. “In the late afternoon, I sip a hot, comforting cup (equivalent to approx. 10g collagen peptides) of Bonafide Provisions Organic Chicken Bone Broth. This has replaced my late afternoon cup of coffee, which I believe, has improved my quality of sleep at night. So, along with a combined 20g of collagen peptides, these collagen supplements together provide an extra 20g of protein with no extra fat or carbs.”
The products are available at stores like Whole Foods, HEB in the vitamin aisle and bone broth can be found in the soup or freezer aisles.