In the 2023 academic report on research for collagen supplementation, researchers concluded, “periodic intake of hydrolysed collagen could help a better performance because it improves the conditions of muscles and joints.” (Effects of the hydrolyzed collagen supplement … , University of Alicant, Spain. January 2023).
For older women exploring the benefits for skin, hair, and general health, collagen supplements have grown in popularity. Collagen, a protein abundant in the human body, plays a crucial role in maintaining the structure and elasticity of various tissues, such as skin, tendons, ligaments, and bones. As we age, our body’s natural collagen production declines, leading to wrinkles, sagging skin, joint stiffness, and weaker bones. This is especially true for older women, as menopause further accelerates collagen loss. To counteract these effects, many people turn to collagen supplements, available in oral and topical forms. Looking for the best collagen supplements Canada has to offer is a challenge.
What is Collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, comprising around 30% of the body’s total protein content. It is the primary structural component of connective tissues, including tendons, ligaments, skin, muscles, and even bones. There are at least 28 different types of collagen, but four types are most common:
Type I: The most abundant type, found in all connective tissues.
Type II: Present in joints and intervertebral discs.
Type III: The main component of reticular fibers, found in skin and blood vessels.
Type IV: A component of kidneys, inner ear, and eye lens.
Collagen Supplements: Types and Forms
Collagen supplements are derived from animal sources such as bones, cartilage, and skin. These supplements are available in various forms, including powders, capsules, and liquids. Most collagen supplements contain hydrolyzed collagen, meaning the collagen has been broken down into smaller peptides for easier absorption and utilization by the body.
The best collagen tends to be marine collagen powder though, those with fish allergies may not find it suitable. Canadian marine collagen sourced from the Atlantic Ocean tends to be the best of all sourcing locations.
Potential Benefits of Collagen Supplements for Older Women
While research on collagen supplements is still in its early stages, several studies indicate potential benefits for skin, hair, and general health in older women.
One of the primary reasons people take collagen supplements is to improve skin health and appearance. Several studies suggest that collagen supplements may help reduce the signs of aging, such as wrinkles and dryness.
Improved Skin Elasticity and Hydration
A study published in the Journal of Medical Nutrition and Nutraceuticals found that women who consumed a drink containing collagen peptides, vitamins, minerals, and hyaluronic acid experienced significant improvements in skin elasticity and hydration compared to a control group. Another study in the journal Skin Pharmacology and Physiology reported similar findings, with women taking collagen supplements showing increased skin hydration and elasticity after eight weeks.
Reduced Wrinkles and Fine Lines
In addition to improved elasticity and hydration, collagen supplements may also help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. A study published in Nutrients involving 64 women found that taking collagen peptides for 12 weeks significantly improved skin wrinkling, hydration, and elasticity compared to a placebo group.
Overall, while more research is needed, these findings suggest that collagen supplements may help promote healthier, more youthful-looking skin in older women.
Joint Health and Bone Density
As joint cartilage and bone density decline with age, older women may benefit from collagen supplements to support joint function and prevent bone loss. Several studies indicate that collagen supplements may help reduce joint pain and improve bone density in older women.
Reduced Joint Pain and Stiffness
A review published in 2019 found that taking collagen supplements helped reduce joint stiffness and overall osteoarthritis symptoms in people with the condition. Additionally, a study published in Nutrients found that postmenopausal women taking collagen supplements experienced significant improvements in joint stiffness and overall osteoarthritis symptoms. Even chiropractors in North Vancouver, Canada believe a healthy diet is beneficial to bone health.
Potential Side Effects and Safety Concerns
Collagen supplements are generally considered safe for most people. However, some individuals may experience mild side effects, such as diarrhea, bloating, or a feeling of heaviness in the stomach. Additionally, collagen supplements may be derived from common allergens, such as fish or shellfish. If you have food allergies, be sure to choose a supplement that does not contain your allergens.
Always consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking medications.