HomeSenior News LineConsuming Collagen Is Not Proven to Reduce Wrinkles

Consuming Collagen Is Not Proven to Reduce Wrinkles

By Dr. Keith Roach DEAR DR. ROACH: Several months ago, I started adding 25 grams of whey protein to an afternoon smoothie each day. I was worried about muscle loss after reading an article. I have seen the sagging muscles and skin in my arms and thighs. I am a 71-year-old woman, who plays tennis twice a week and goes to the gym about once a week. I have friends my age who have started adding collagen powders to their smoothies to improve their skin and prevent further facial wrinkles. After researching collagen supplements, I learned that they contain collagen peptides and protein. The dosage and ingredients vary by vendor. What is the correct collagen dosage and ingredients I should be looking for? Is the protein in collagen the same as the protein in whey? — R.K. ANSWER: All proteins, such as whey and collagen, are long strands of amino acids. A “peptide” is two or more amino acids connected, while a “polypeptide” is 20 or more amino acids.A protein is a polypeptide that has a function in the organism. Proteins are broken down by acid and enzymes in your stomach, back into their component amino acids, to be used anyplace the body has need for them. Part of the reason that skin wrinkles is loss of collagen, but it is not at all clear that consuming more collagen, or any protein, will increase the collagen in the skin and therefore reduce wrinkles. You can save a great deal of money by consuming collagen, if you decide you want to, from time-honored sources like chicken broth. Some collagen supplements are made from parts of animal carcasses that contain heavy metals and other toxins, so I would be wary of supplements. Medicated creams like vitamin A derivatives (such as retinol or tretinoin) work by increasing collagen production in the skin. Vitamin C creams help prevent the breakdown of the existing collagen in the skin. Vitamin C breaks down quickly, so these creams need to be handled sparingly. Moisturizing the skin makes it appear fuller and helps prevent further damage, especially when a daily sunscreen is included.



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