There is no denying that collagen is HOT right now. Instagram is loaded with bloggers and influencers promoting it as this miracle powder that can basically stop the aging process, reduce wrinkles and give you goddess level locks and the dewiest skin. Okay, that might be a little bit of a hyperbole, but you get the idea. I’ve gotten a lot of questions from my clients about taking collagen: What is it? Should I be taking it? Do you take it? What if I want to take it?

So, let’s dive right in, shall we?

Collagen Supplement picture

What is collagen?

Collagen is a protein that binds tissues together. The older we get, the quicker it breaks down and the less of it our bodies produce. A lot of people relate it to wrinkles and losing skin elasticity, like what happens with getting older. About 1/3 of the body’s protein is collagen.

Should I be taking collagen?

As of now, there is no clear answer. The number of studies done on collagen are pretty limited. Some have actually shown increased elasticity of those taking collagen VS a placebo. But, it’s important to note that some of the studies on collagen have been funded by industry (i.e. makers of collagen supplements) and a lot of claims are anecdotal. As of now, there is not a large enough body of convincing evidence for me, personally, to suggest anyone needs to be taking a collagen supplement. Instead, I’d focus on consuming an adequate amount of high quality protein, since your body can make collagen from the amino acids found in protein. Also, being sure you’re getting enough variety in your diet to provide the vitamins and minerals your body needs to actually make that collagen.

Do you take collagen?

Nope. Like I said, as of now there is not enough evidence for me to spend my money on a collagen supplement. I’d like to stay youthful as much as the next gal, but I am also a pretty frugal person. I will say though, I do use a whey protein powder pretty often to help with my overall protein intake. I’m also a big sunscreen addict and supporter of very large hats. Yup. I’m THAT girl at the beach. Now, could my stance change in the future? Sure. The world of science is always changing.

But what if I you want to take it? 

If you want to give collagen a go and it fits within your budget, that’s totally fine. Do your research and make sure you’re going with a trusted and verified product. I’d also suggest evaluating how you feel about it after taking it for a while. Do you see a difference? Is the supplement worth buying to you? Don’t waste your money on something just because it is trendy!

Have any other nutrition topics you want address or questions you’re dying to have answered? Leave them in the comments and let me know!

Happy eating,

-Colleen

A dietitian's thoughts on collagen