Colla-what? A Closer Look at Collagen Peptides


If you follow me on #instagram, you may have seen my latest InstaStory regarding collagen peptides. If you didn’t, you need to get to following me (@amandarigbyRD) because you’re missing out! Anyway… “Colla-what???” was >75% of your responses as seen in my poll where I asked if you had any idea what I was talking about.

You may have noticed this newer health product marketed to promote healthy skin. But this time, it does not come in a cream or serum as you’d expect- but rather, a powder to consume orally.

Whether in smoothies or added to coffee, I’ve personally seen the use of it rise among some of my colleagues and had it on my list of things to look deeper into. And like that, two canisters arrived on my doorstep from Primal Kitchen, a brand I do enjoy promoting.

As I looked at these canisters, I figured it was time to really dig in and assess not only the validity of the statements regarding benefits to skin health and collagen production (I’ll explain what collagen is in a minute, hang tight), but taste and see if it was something I’d add to my repertoire.

First, what is collagen?

Collagen makes up the structure and integrity of our skin, bone, cartilage, and muscle. Must of us know it as the stuff that helps us look younger, which is true. The main job of collagen is to help tissues be more elastic and able to stretch. As we age, we produce less collagen. Hence the lovely fine lines and wrinkles we work to cover up.

Our body makes collagen but as I mentioned, the production slows down with age. Taking an oral collagen supplement is said to support the body’s production of collagen. So maybe we don’t have to age??

What does the science say?

Studies show good evidence that oral collagen supplementation does indeed improve skin health. There have been human clinical trials showing improved skin hydration and elasticity, reduction in lines/wrinkles, increased collagen content in the skin dermis. (1)

Studies show collagen is absorbed in the GI tract and begins to circulate in the blood, accumulating in the skin. (2) The fact that it is absorbed and goes to work is a win.

Studies also show the superiority of oral supplementation vs. creams or serums, as it is shown to be absorbed and delivered to the body to increase production of collagen. Instead of covering lines or wrinkles, getting to the root of the production of the protein in the body provides an actual solution. You know I love digging deeper 😉

Collagen for Athletes?

Another study has shown a connection with collagen supplementation combined with resistance training, resulting in improved muscle strength, increase in muscle mass, and decrease in fat mass. Could be worth taking a deeper look. (3)

So should you add an oral collagen supplement to your regimen?

Come on…it’s me. You know I can’t let you do so without assessing how we can boost your skin health with foods! Let’ start here.

antioxidants, vitamin c, functional foods, citrus

+ vit c – major key for formation of collagen in body.
Where to find it: citrus fruits, berries, mangoes, Brussels sprouts, bell peppers, broccol

+ antioxidants – these protect collagen.
Where to find: colorful fruits and vegs, dark chocolate, and many herbs and spices such as cloves, cinnamon, oregano, turmeric.

functional foods, collagen, functional medicine

+ sulfur rich foods – helps with collagen synthesis.
Where to find: cruciferous vegs (broccoli, cauliflower, arugula, Brussels sprouts, kale and more), nuts, legumes, eggs, beef, fish

+ bone broth – contains skin and gut loving nutrients, including collagen. Can make your own at home by cooking down the bones and marrow of animal products.

omega 3, salmon, functional foods, collagen

+ omega 3s – dry, flaky skin can be sign of omega 3 deficiency
Where to find: walnuts, salmon, eggs, flax seeds, mackerel

Other things to consider when talking about your skin’s health:

  • Avoiding sun damage
  • Reducing inflammation by:
    • reducing sugar intake
    • not smoking
    • reducing/managing stress
    • getting adequate sleep

Your Skin is a Reflection of Your Diet- Ask Yourself:

Does your diet provide adequate amounts of these foods?

What are your goals?

How important is skin health to you?

Does your diet reflect these goals?

If you feel you could use a boost or want to take further, proactive measures towards slowing down the aging process, oral collagen may be a good thing to add to your regimen alongside a diet rich in the foods mentioned above. #FoodFirst

The Primal Kitchen brand is the one I have experience with. It is sourced from grass-fed animals, contains little ingredients, no fillers, or artificial anything. It is sugar free, dairy free, gluten free, and soy free. Use the code HEALTHYSELF to save yourself some $$ on your order.



Disclosure: HealThy Self Nutrition, Inc. will receive compensation from the companies whose products we review and provide high marks to only the very best at no additional cost to you. We are independently owned and opinions expressed here are our own.