Regardless of age or current health status, collagen supplements may sound appealing to you. After all, collagen is the main structural protein that forms your connective tissues and skin. The muscles, bones, cartilage, skin, hair and connective tissue in your body all make use of collagen in one way or another, as it’s derived from the same amino acids that make up your unique physical build. And rather quickly, these amino acids are becoming a big business in the wellness industry: Whether it’s a collagen supplement or even bone broth, the amino acids that make up these proteins are what you’re ultimately ingesting, explains Mark Moyad, M.D., director of preventive and alternative medicine at Michigan Medicine.
Since your body’s natural collagen production declines as you age and you need adequate collagen for strong bones, joints and skin, adding more collagen into your diet via handy supplements sounds like a no-brainer. That’s why many supplement manufacturers have started selling collagen powders and pills, which Dr. Moyad says are made mostly from animal parts, like fish scales or cow bones and skin. (Vegans, take note.)
But do these supplements actually reverse declining levels of collagen all on their own? A panel of medical experts assembled by Good Housekeeping explores potential health benefits associated with leading collagen supplements, and what you need to know before adding them to any holistic wellness routine.
Excerpted from Good Housekeeping