Should you add collagen to your daily supplement regimen?
The old adage that beauty comes from the inside out is certainly true in more ways than one. One of the more recent remedies claiming to heal and beautify us is not new to other parts of the world at all. I am talking about collagen. Asian women have proclaimed its benefits for many internal ailments, as well as external beauty, for centuries. Asian cooking incorporates it in many different ways and from numerous unusual sources, such as donkey skin, beef tendons, etc. Ick!
In the United States collagen was used in the 1980’s as an injectable filler to smooth wrinkles and plump skin, but with limited success as numerous women had allergic reactions to it. It has now resurfaced as a supplement, but not without criticism. Some are concerned about the purity of collagen supplements stating that they are contaminated with heavy metals and arsenic and can even potentially carry serious diseases, such as Mad Cow Disease, due to their origin from tainted animal products. To combat this reputation companies are working hard to source collagen from healthy sources. Collagen can be derived from chicken, fish, beef and even egg shells. Desirable sources include free-range, cage-free and antibiotic free animal sources. As far as benefits are concerned, the body of research is very promising. Collagen is said to improve digestive functions, ease joint pain and improve hair, skin and nails. It packs a good amount of protein and is available in powder form, so it can basically replace your protein powder. It has virtually no taste of its own and is a great addition to smoothies, soups, baked dishes, puddings or just mixed into water.
If you are ready to give it a try, make sure that your collagen powder is derived from a clean source. Read labels and, as always, do your own research.