Collagen supplements are safe and effective for improving the overall health of skin, hair, nails, and joints. The best part is there are no reported serious side effects of collagen supplements. However, it is important to know that how long will it take to see visible improvements after taking the collagen supplement. The answer to this question greatly depends on multiple factors like what exactly your goal is, what dose you are taking, what is the source of collagen in your diet, your diet, physical fitness, and your activity level. In this factor, we will discuss all these factors and recommend the perfect formula for your achieving your desire goals and how quickly those goals can be achieved.
What are Collagen and its different types?
Collagen is a structural protein that your body makes naturally and it serves several functions in your body. It is present in your skin, hair, nails, joints, cartilage, bones, and teeth. Among the 16 types of collagen that are known, the four most important types are type I, II, III, and IV.
- Type I. It is made of densely packed fibers and accounts for 90% of collagen present in the human body. It is found in the skin, bones, fibrous cartilage, teeth, tendons, and connective tissue.
- Type II. It is made of more loosely packed fibers and found in elastic cartilage, which cushions your joints.
- Type III. is found in muscles, organs, and arteries.
- Type IV. It is found in the layers of skin and function is filtration.
What are the benefits of collagen?
Some of the proven health benefits of collagen supplements are shared below:
- Healthier glowing skin and quicker falling of scars and dark spots
- Prevents premature signs of aging like wrinkles, fine lines, and sagging of skin
- Helps in weight loss by facilitating burning out stubborn fat
- Resolves gastrointestinal tract related problems like IBS, constipation, diarrhea, gas/bloating, acid reflux
- Healthier hair and visible reduction in hair fall and breakage
- Encourages cartilage regeneration, relieves joint pain or arthritic pain
What are natural sources of Collagen?
Collagen is a macromolecule and hence the body doesn’t absorb collagen molecules in their whole form. Your body breaks down these macromolecules into their component amino acids, which it then uses to synthesize its own collagen and other proteins. This means using collagen sheet facemasks or topical creams will not do much good for your skin.
Theoretically, you can consume the amino acids necessary for collagen production from any protein source including fish, bone broth, cheese, chicken, egg white, beans, and quinoa.
Other than amino acids, vitamin C is a necessary cofactor in collagen synthesis. Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid, and it functions as an antioxidant preventing the degradation of existing collagen due to factors like sun exposure. Citrus fruit, peppers, strawberries, and tomatoes are considered good sources of vitamin C. Other important vitamins and minerals for collagen synthesis include zinc and sulfur. Broccoli, onions, and garlic are good sources of sulfur are commonly found in. Red meat, poultry, certain types of seafood, dairy products, nuts, beans, and whole grains are rich sources of zinc.
Other than consuming the right food, you can increase collagen production in your body by adopting an active and healthy lifestyle and avoiding harmful habits such as smoking and sun exposure that degenerate collagen.
Who should take Collagen supplements?
When collagen is readily available in food form, why should anyone spend on supplements? This is a very important question. When many people go on diets to lose weight, they cut down certain types of food from their dietary intake in order to cut down fats. Unfortunately, this often means they are following depriving themselves of necessary protein intake, especially the amino acids, proteins, and peptides their body needs to naturally make collagen.
As people enter their thirties, their body produces less and lower quality collagen. One of the visible results of lower production of collagen is on the skin, which becomes less firm and supple. Cartilage also weakens with age leading to pain in joints and bones. This means that after a certain age your body is unable to make collagen on its own and collagen supplements can at least delay or prevent some of these signs of aging.
Doctors often prescribe collagen supplements to individuals with bone and joint pain, especially elderly people who find it difficult to be physically active enough to burn out all the fat components of collagen-rich food, so they can meet their body’s collagen needs and relieve the joint pains.
Other than this it is observed that the pure collagen when taken in form of food is broken down into amino acids and reused to meet bodily needs. This means that collagen in your food will not necessarily translate into collagen in your body. Hence you need to take collagen supplements.
What are the sources of collagen in different supplements?
Supplements vary in their source and type:
- Bovine collagen supplements are sourced from cowhides, relatively inexpensive and the most common. They consist of collagen types I and III; these are popularly promoted for hair, skin, and nail health.
- Marine collagen supplements are sourced from fish skin and bones and are growing in popularity due to less impact on the environment. They contain primarily type I collagen.
- Chicken collagen supplements sourced from chicken, consist of collagen type II, which is found in cartilage and joints.
How long does it take for collagen supplements to work?
Collagen supplements are quickly absorbed into your bloodstream and within an hour your body will begin using them to regenerate collagen. Within a day the collagen will be sent out to the sights where it is needed most. However, the impact of these microscopic changes takes time to become significant enough for you to see and feel the results.
Healthy individuals in their thirties with no specific problems are recommended to take 5mg daily. For individuals with problems like dry and saggy skin, hair fall, dull hair, and nails and joint pain adding just 10gm-25gm of Collagen peptide in their daily diet can bring the best results. You must keep in mind the required goal and match the type of collagen you are consuming through supplements accordingly. Eating a healthy diet and adopting an active lifestyle can help collagen work better and faster.
As mentioned above you should not expect magical and immediate change, instead, you should wait for one or two months. Most individuals have seen a visible improvement after 3 to 6weeks of constantly taking the collagen supplements. It is best to record your journey of improvement either by taking photographs of your face, skin nails, each week, or writing in your journal about the intensity of your joint pains. It will be fun and you will be able to clearly see how well collagen supplements are working for you.
How quickly you will see results and benefits of collagen on your skin, hair, nails, joints, varies with each individual depending upon extrinsically; environmental factors that you can control and intrinsically; genetic actors that are beyond your control. These factors will dictate how long it will take collagen peptides to work on your body.
- Photodamage and environmental pollution can deplete the collagen
- Poor eating habits including a malnutrition diet or a fatty diet including junk food
- Unhealthy lifestyle including dehydration and sleep deprivation, smoking or alcohol consumption
- Lack of a proper skincare routine
- The rate at which collagen naturally breaks down in your body
- The current health of your skin and ability of your skin to maintain moisture
- The normal speed cellular regeneration in your skin and body
- Your natural healing ability
While the results from collagen supplements depend upon various factors you should generally wait for one to two months before deciding if the supplements have helped you in achieving the desired goal. Certain factors such as a healthy lifestyle can help you achieve your goals better and faster.