Everyone is talking about collagen supplements RN: here’s why, plus 9 celeb-backed products

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  • As Khloe Kardashian launches her own range and Jennifer Aniston joins Vital Proteins as their chief creative officer.

    Fun fact: Khloe Kardashian’s range of collagen supplements has just landed in the UK at the same time Jen An has joined Vital Proteins as their chief creative officer.

    Collagen seems to be everywhere at the moment – even Gemma Collins has her own range of products. 

    “My go-to collagen routine is adding Vital Proteins’ Collagen Peptides to my morning cup of coffee or smoothie – it’s so easy to use,” Aniston shares. 

    But, question. What actually is collagen, what does it do, and why is it so talked about at the moment? We’ve asked two medical experts for their take on collagen supplements and included all the latest for you to *add to basket*, if you decide it’s for you.

    Your guide to collagen supplements (plus whether you need one) 

    So, what is collagen?

    According to doctor Omar Tillo, plastic surgeon at Rejuv Lab London, collagen is one of the main proteins providing strength and structure for human tissue. “When we talk about ageing and skin, the term collagen always comes into play. It glues together skin, bones, tendons, and ligaments, and makes up about 25% of your total bodily protein content,” he explains.

    So, what is collagen responsible for, other than, ahem, glueing together human tissue? Well, primarily, skin strength and elasticity. “We often call it the scaffolding of our skin and body,” shares Tillo. “As you start ageing, your breakdown of natural collagen will surpass the rate of production in your tissues, leading to wrinkles, loss of skin volume, and dry skin,” he shares.

    Collagen supplements: A product shot of Khloe Kardashian's collagen supplement, Dose & Co

    How is collagen made in the human body? 

    We’ll let the doctors answer this one. “Collagen is made by the process of collagenesis, which happens via the natural building blocks of nutrients in our system,” shares doctor Ross Perry, medical director of Cosmedics skin clinics.

    He goes on to explain that there are various types of collagen, too. It’s a whole world that would take more words than we have in this article to explain, but there are 28 known supplements to date.

    And what is a collagen supplement? 

    So you know what collagen is and why it’s important. But do you know what a collagen supplement is, what form it comes in, or why you might consider taking one?

    In short, collagen supplements come in both powder and pill form, and the majority are one of five types:

    • Type I collagen: the one you have most frequently in your body.
    • Type II collagen: the one you’ll find most frequently in supplement form.
    • Type III collagen: the one you’ll find most frequently in your muscle structure.
    • Type IV and type V: the ones you’ll find most frequently in the layers of your skin.

    “Collagen supplements may be available in several different forms, but their purpose is the same: to support our natural collagen production,” Perry explains.

    Some studies suggest that taking capsule or powdered collagen supplements can increase muscle mass and bone strength, and result in thicker hair, stronger nails and better skin, the expert adds. However, he points out that the studies do currently vary and are relatively small.

    Collagen supplements: actress Jennifer Aniston on a run

    What’s the difference between a collagen pill and a collagen powder?

    The only real difference, according to our doctors? The delivery method – it’s really as simple as that. With a pill, you’ll take it once a day. Powder tends to be used in morning coffees or smoothies.

    What are the pros of taking a collagen supplement?

    • Improvement in skin’s elasticity
    • Healthier, thicker hair
    • Stronger nails
    • Clearer skin
    • Better muscle mass
    • Less joint pain.

    Do note here: Tillo points out that consuming collagen supplements seems to be a more effective option than using topical collagen products. “This is because the collagen exists in deep dermal layers of our skin – just make sure you look for a trusted manufacture to ensure the quality of the product and the source of the ingredients and its formula,” he advises.

    And what are the cons of taking a collagen supplement? 

    • Could be a placebo affect.
    • Not enough research done into guaranteeing results.
    • Not suitable for those pregnant or breastfeeding.

    So, should I be taking one?

    Short answer – it’s up to you. Doctor Tillo reckons maybe, although he shares that other treatments could be more immediately effective. “Treatments that use radio-frequency energy enable skin tightening by reactivating collagen production in your skin layers. Thermage FLX, an FDA approved treatment, contracts and tightens for a healthier, more contour skin with just one session,” he shares.

    Doctor Petty, on the other hand, doesn’t believe so. “The overall feeling is taking collagen in either form isn’t really going to work, as it’s difficult to digest,” he shares. “It just isn’t built to survive in the gut. You can’t deny its an ever growing trend – just be careful with what you see promoted online, and make sure you double check any health claims against scientific evidence,” he warns.

    9 celeb-backed collagen supplements: 

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