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The Benefits and Risks of Taking Collagen Powder in 2023

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    Collagen powder has gained popularity in recent years, and 2023 is no exception. The market is flooded with various collagen powder products as we continue to discover its potential benefits for our skin, joints, and hair. So, are you ready to dive into the world of collagen powder and learn how it can improve your overall health and well-being? Let’s explore the benefits and risks, top products to consider this year, and tips on choosing and using collagen products.

     

    Key Takeaways

     

    • Collagen powder is a health supplement that can help reduce the effects of ageing with sources ranging from animal-based to plant-based.
    • Pure Marine Collagen, Pure Bovine Collagen and MultiCollagen Instant Collagen Broth are recommended as top collagen powders in 2023.
    • Consultation with a healthcare professional before taking collagen is advised due to potential drug interactions and side effects such as allergic reactions or gastrointestinal disturbances.

     

    Understanding Collagen Powder

     

    portrait of a middle-aged woman smiling at the camera emphasising the benefits of adding collagen to your diet for healthier skin, hair, and nails.

     

    Collagen, the most abundant protein in the human body, is crucial in strengthening connective tissue, skin, and bone, improving digestive health and providing structural support to other tissues. Our natural collagen production decreases as we age, leading to a lack of skin hydration and elasticity, weakened bones, and joint pain. To counteract these degenerative effects of ageing, many individuals turn to adding collagen supplements to their daily diet, which can support:

     

    • Healthy skin
    • Tissue repair
    • Strong nails
    • Shiny hair
    • Flexible joints
    • Bone health
    • Digestive health
    • Healthy cartilage

     

    Understanding Plant-Based Alternatives to Animal-Derived Collagen Supplements

     

    Plant-based collagen doesn’t exist because plants do not produce collagen, which is a protein found only in animals. Collagen is a complex protein of specific amino acids primarily sourced from animal tissues like skin, bones, and cartilage. However, plant-based products are marketed as “collagen builders” or “collagen boosters.”

    These products typically contain a blend of plant-based ingredients such as vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that are necessary for the body to produce its own collagen. Ingredients might include vitamin C, proline, lysine, and other nutrients contributing to the body’s natural collagen synthesis process.

    While these plant-based alternatives do not contain collagen, they aim to provide the body with the building blocks or co-factors needed for collagen production. These could suit vegetarians and vegans who wish to support their body’s collagen-producing capabilities without consuming animal-derived products.

     

     

    Animal vs. Plant-Based Collagen Boosters

     

    Collagen supplements come from animal sources. Some common ingredients include:

     

    • Fish scales and skin
    • Chicken cartilage
    • Beef hide
    • Egg whites

    Animal-based collagen products are more effective than plant-based collagen boosters because of their higher concentration of bioavailable collagen peptides and essential amino acids.

    On the other hand, plant-based collagen boosters are manufactured using modified yeast and bacteria and provide a range of advantages, such as amino acids, antioxidants and vitamins. The collagen type and its source should factor into your decision when choosing a collagen supplement.

     

     

    Forms of Collagen Supplements

     

    Collagen supplements are available in various formats to suit individual needs and preferences. Beyond the commonly used collagen powder, here are some alternative types of collagen supplements:

     

    1. Marine Collagen: Sourced from fish skin and scales, marine collagen is rich in Type I collagen, which is beneficial for skin, hair, and nails. It’s also an excellent option for those who follow a pescatarian diet.
    2. Bovine Collagen: Derived from cow hides, bovine collagen is a good source of Types I and III collagen. It is particularly effective for supporting joint health, skin elasticity, and the digestive system.
    3. Hydrolyzed Collagen: Also known as collagen peptides, hydrolyzed collagen undergoes a process that breaks it down into smaller, more easily absorbed molecules. This increases its bioavailability, making it easier for the body to absorb and utilise. It also has a higher collagen concentration per serving than other forms.
    4. Collagen-Infused Food Products: These are everyday food items like protein bars, beverages, and gummies that have been fortified with collagen. While convenient, they may contain lower collagen concentrations than more direct supplement forms.
    5. Multi-Ingredient Collagen Capsules: These capsules contain collagen and other beneficial ingredients like vitamins, minerals, or botanical extracts to provide a more diverse health supplement.

    Your choice of collagen supplement may depend on various factors, including dietary restrictions, desired health benefits, and personal preferences for consuming the supplement. For instance, some people prefer adding collagen powder to their morning coffee, while others may opt for a collagen-infused snack during the day.

     

    It’s important to highlight that hydrolyzed collagen or collagen peptides, is a particularly popular choice due to its enhanced bioavailability and higher collagen concentration per serving compared to other supplement forms. This makes it a highly efficient option for those looking to maximise the results they receive from their collagen supplement.

     

    Top Collagen Powders to Consider in 2023

     

    A woman holding a jar of collagen powder with a smile on her face

     

    Given the vast array of collagen products in the South African market, choosing the right one is key to achieving maximum results. In 2023, some of the most recommended collagen powders include:

    • Marine Collagen
    • Bovine Collagen
    • MojoMe Award-Winning MultiCollagen Instant Collagen Broths

    Assisting you in making the best choice for your needs, we present three top selections: a premium choice, a cost-effective alternative, and a speciality pick.

     

     

    Premium Choice: Marine Collagen Supplements

     

    Our premium choice for collagen powder is:

     

    • Pure Marine Collagen. This premium hydrolysed collagen supplement is sustainably sourced from wild-caught marine fish and offers an exclusive bioavailable form of type I collagen peptides to support:
    • Healthy skin elasticity and skin hydration
    • Joint support
    • Promote bone mineral density to combat osteoporosis
    • Healthier hair growth and nail strength

    With its excellent quality and effectiveness, Marine Collagen from MojoMe is a worthy investment for those seeking a top-tier collagen product in 2023.

     

     

    Budget-Friendly Option: Bovine Collagen Supplements

     

    For cost-conscious consumers, Bovine Collagen is an economical option that doesn’t compromise on quality. This budget-friendly hydrolysed collagen is sourced from grass-fed, pasture-raised bovine and offers a potent blend of bioavailable type I collagen peptides to support enhanced skin health, joint health (connective tissue, ligaments, tendons), bone strength and hair and nail growth and type III collagen peptides to support digestive health.

    By choosing bovine collagen, you can enjoy the advantages of collagen without breaking the bank.

     

     

    Speciality Pick: MultiCollagen Instant Collagen Broth

     

    If you’re looking for a speciality collagen tailored to specific needs, MojoMe Instant Collagen Bone Broth Powder is an excellent choice. This product offers a multi-collagen blend of collagen peptides types I and III from grass-fed bovine and collagen peptides type II from chicken sternum.

    MojoMe Instant Collagen Protein is also tested for quality and safety by third-party laboratories, ensuring peace of mind for consumers. With its versatility and targeted approach, MojoMe Instant Collagen Protein is a top speciality pick in 2023.

     

     

    Health Benefits of Collagen Powder

     

    A woman with healthy skin and a jar of collagen powder

     

    Collagen powder, rich in essential amino acids and proteins, supports various cellular processes in the body. Incorporating it into your daily routine can lead to healthier-looking skin, enhanced bone strength, and accelerated wound healing.

    In addition to restoring youthful radiance and optimal well-being, regular use of collagen has been shown to decrease joint discomfort and increase joint mobility. Athletes, in particular, may experience improved post-workout recovery when supplementing with collagen powder. These potential advantages make collagen powder a valuable addition to a balanced diet and a regular exercise regimen.

     

     

    Skin Health

     

    Collagen is a vital component of our skin, providing it with structure and elasticity and playing a crucial role in tissue repair. Collagen production naturally declines as we age, leading to wrinkles and sagging skin.

    Collagen powder supplementation can help combat skin aging by improving skin elasticity and reducing the appearance of wrinkles. Studies have shown that hydrolyzed collagen supplementation may provide bioactive peptides to the skin and connective tissues, potentially improving skin health and minimising the visibility of ageing skin.

     

     

    Joint and Bone Support

     

    Collagen plays a significant role in the health of our joints and bones. Studies have demonstrated that collagen supplementation can help:

    • Lessen the impairment of cartilage in joints
    • Improve joint health, mobility and comfort
    • Relieve joint inflammation
    • Increase bone mineral density
    • Offer relief from joint pain, arthritis pain and discomfort

    Moreover, collagen powder supplementation may aid in post-workout recovery and may be associated with decreased discomfort and increased strength for those who participate in resistance training.

     

     

    Hair and Nail Growth

     

    Collagen provides essential amino acids necessary for the production of keratin, a protein that is a component of hair and nails.

     

    A 2022 study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences indicates that collagen products may be effective for individuals looking to improve hair regrowth, prevent hair loss, or attain healthier hair. This research underscores the potential of collagen as a valuable resource for these outcomes. Nonetheless, additional studies involving human subjects are required to confirm this relationship.

     

     

    Potential Risks and Side Effects of Collagen Powder

     

    A woman with healthy hair and a jar of collagen powder

     

    While collagen offers significant health advantages, including support for various cellular processes, it’s essential to be aware of potential risks and side effects associated with its use. For some individuals, excessive consumption may lead to mild to moderate gastrointestinal issues, such as bloating, gas, and constipation.

    Moreover, allergic reactions to collagen powder are also possible, particularly for those sensitivities to specific animal sources from which the collagen is derived. It is also advised to consult with a physician before taking collagen powder, as it may interact with certain medications, including blood thinners, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory drugs.

     

     

    Allergic Reactions

     

    Potential allergic reactions to collagen powder may occur when the body’s immune system mistakenly perceives collagen powder as a foreign substance. Signs of an allergic reaction may include:

    • Hives, itching, or eczema
    • Tingling or itching in the mouth
    • Swelling of the lips, face, tongue, throat, or other parts of the body
    • Difficulty breathing (in severe cases)

    If you suspect an allergic reaction, seeking immediate medical attention and discontinuing using collagen is crucial.

     

     

    Gastrointestinal Disturbances

     

    Gastrointestinal disturbances from collagen powder may include diarrhoea, bloating, constipation, and stomach upset. These issues may be due to an allergic reaction to the collagen powder, an intolerance to the ingredients in the collagen powder, or an imbalance of the gut microbiome.

    To reduce the risk of gastrointestinal disturbances, it is recommended to take the recommended dosage, start with a small amount, gradually increase, and avoid consuming collagen powder on an empty stomach.

     

     

    Interactions with Medications

     

    It is essential to consult with a doctor before taking collagen powder if taking any medications or other supplements, as collagen powder could interact with other supplements, such as vitamin C, iron, and calcium.

    Additionally, avoiding blood thinners, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory drugs when taking collagen powder is recommended. Always consult a healthcare professional before adding collagen powder to your routine if you take medications.

     

     

    How to Choose and Use Collagen Powder

     

    A woman with healthy nails and a jar of collagen powder

     

    Choosing a premium collagen powder is key to optimising your results. When choosing a collagen product, it is important to look for:

     

    • Third-party laboratory testing
    • Adherence to food safety (FSA) and good manufacturing practices (GMP certification)
    • Absence of unwanted fillers or added sugar

    Furthermore, considering the source of collagen and its form (animal or plant-based) is essential to ensure you get a product that aligns with your preferences and dietary restrictions.

    Once you have chosen a collagen powder, make sure to follow the dosage instructions on the product label. Collagen powder can be blended with water, juice, smoothies, tea and coffee, or other beverages and can even be incorporated into food items such as oatmeal, yoghurt, or soups. It is also recommended to begin with a low dose and gradually increase it over time, ensuring proper hydration to aid digestion.

     

     

    Quality and Third-Party Testing

     

    Ensuring the safety and efficacy of collagen powder products mandates using quality ingredients and third-party testing. Quality ingredients ensure that the product is free from contaminants, and third-party testing verifies that the product meets safety and quality standards.

    When choosing a collagen supplement, opt for reputable brands like MojoMe that have undergone independent laboratory testing to guarantee both safety and efficacy.

     

     

    Dosage Recommendations

     

    A woman with healthy joints and a jar of collagen powder

     

    The suggested dosage for collagen powder consumption is generally 10-20 grams per day. However, factors like age, gender, and health status should be considered when determining the appropriate dosage for your needs.

    To ensure you take collagen powder safely, start with a low dose and gradually increase it over time. Additionally, it is important to ensure adequate hydration when taking collagen powder to aid digestion.

     

     

    Mixing and Consumption Tips

     

    A woman with healthy bones and a jar of collagen powder

     

    Collagen powder is versatile and can be easily incorporated into your daily routine. You can mix collagen powder with water, juice, smoothies, or other beverages and add it to food items like oatmeal, yoghurt, or soups.

    Unflavoured collagen powder varieties are particularly versatile, allowing you to add collagen to your diet without altering the taste of your favourite foods and drinks. Experiment with different ways to incorporate collagen powder into your daily routine and find what works best for you.

     

     

    Collagen Powder vs. Other Collagen Supplements

     

    While collagen powder is a popular choice for collagen supplementation, other forms of collagen supplements are available, such as marine collagen, bovine collagen, and multi-ingredient collagen capsules. Collagen powder, specifically hydrolyzed collagen, offers increased bioavailability and a higher collagen concentration per serving than other supplement forms.

    Deciding between collagen powder and other collagen supplements hinges on individual preferences and needs, so weighing the pros and cons of each form is vital before making a decision.

     

     

    Vegan and Vegetarian Alternatives to Collagen Powder

     

    For vegans and vegetarians seeking collagen alternatives, plant-based protein sources like tempeh, tofu, and soy protein are available, as well as legumes like black beans and kidney beans. Additionally, mushroom powders like Chaga, lion’s mane, and reishi can be utilised as alternatives to animal-based collagen.

    Consuming foods rich in vitamins and minerals that support collagen production, such as quinoa, can also provide some of the health advantages associated with collagen supplementation. While these alternatives may not offer the same collagen concentration as animal-based sources, they can still provide valuable nutrients to support optimal health.

     

     

    Cost of Collagen Powder

     

    Factors like brand, container size, ingredient sourcing and quality influence the price of collagen powder. Thus, considering these factors is crucial while comparing collagen powder products to ensure the best value for your money.

    While more expensive collagen products may offer premium-quality ingredients and higher purity and absorption rates, more affordable options can still provide some of the essential benefits of collagen supplementation. Ultimately, the decision will depend on your budget, personal preferences and health goals.

     

    Summary

     

    In conclusion, collagen powder is a versatile and effective supplement with numerous health benefits, including improved skin hydration and elasticity, joint and bone support, and hair and nail growth. While there are potential risks and side effects to consider, such as allergic reactions and gastrointestinal disturbances, choosing a high-quality collagen powder and following proper usage guidelines can help mitigate these concerns. With a wide variety of products available, there’s a collagen powder option to suit every individual’s needs, preferences, and budget. So, why not try collagen powder and start reaping the rewards for a healthier, more radiant you in 2023?

     

     

    Frequently Asked Questions

     

    What does collagen powder do to you?

    Collagen powder has been scientifically linked to various health improvements, including improved skin hydration and elasticity, decreased wrinkles, muscle growth, joint pain relief, better wound healing, prevention of bone loss, and reduced risk of atherosclerosis [1]. It breaks down into amino acids in the digestive system, which are then used to form new proteins.

     

    Is it okay to drink collagen powder every day?

    Research has shown that adults can safely consume up to 15 grams of collagen powder daily, making it okay to drink it daily. Studies have linked daily collagen supplementation for 90 days with better skin hydration and elasticity and fewer wrinkles.

     

    Who should not take collagen powder?

    Individuals with allergies to fish, shellfish, or eggs and vegetarians and vegans should avoid taking collagen supplements.

     

    Does collagen help with belly fat?

    Collagen supplements derived from fish skin have been proven to reduce body fat mass and percentage in a 2019 study on 81 people [2]. Thus, collagen can indeed help with belly fat.

     

    What is the recommended daily dosage for collagen powder?

    The recommended daily dosage for collagen can vary depending on several factors, such as the brand, the type of collagen, and the reason for taking it. Generally, dosages range from 5 to 20 grams daily for optimum health benefits. Taking the recommended dosage of collagen can help improve skin elasticity, reduce wrinkles, and strengthen hair and nails. It can also help with joint pain and improve digestive health.

     

    References:

    1. A Review of the Effects of Collagen Treatment in Clinical Studies https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8620403/
    2. Effect of Oral Ingestion of Low-Molecular Collagen Peptides Derived from Skate (Raja Kenojei) Skin on Body Fat in Overweight Adults: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6471368/

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