Collagen supplements in the form of liquid, powder and capsules once were taken by bodybuilders for extra protein but now are used for cosmetic purposes. Liquid collagen is an increasingly popular anti-aging treatment.
The Collagen Protein
Considered the glue that holds the body together, collagen is a protein produced by the body to support and connect bodily tissues. Collagen is a fibrous substance made up of amino acids. It accounts for over 70 percent of the skin and is the primary determinant of the skin's appearance. It also is an important part of bones, membranes of the heart and lungs, ligaments, tendons, teeth, hair and nails.
As people age, the body's collagen production slows down and eventually stops. This has the most significant effect on the skin, since collagen is responsible for the skin's thickness, firmness, elasticity and suppleness. As the quality and amount of collagen declines, the skin weakens and thins, becoming increasingly prone to wrinkles, dryness and the discoloration of materialized sun damage.
Function of Liquid Collagen
Liquid collagen is taken to restore the body's amount of collagen protein and/or deliver proteins to the body that will stimulate its production of collagen.
Alleged Skin Benefits
Nutridirect.co.uk suggests that collagen supplements are not just beneficial but necessary to replace and regenerate natural protein in the body. Collagen supplements aim to diminish the signs of aging by allegedly firming and plumping the skin to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Enthusiasts claim that liquid collagen supplements reduce the appearance of cellulite, as well. Collagen supplements also allegedly improve the tone and texture of the skin as well as improve its elasticity, radiance and suppleness.
In addition to improving the strength and appearance of the skin, collagen supplements also are used for hair and nails, as it aims to stimulate faster, stronger growth.
Collagen supplements have been used in Europe for decades as an alternative treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. The protein of liquid collagen increases the mobility of joints, reducing inflammation and thereby reducing arthritic pain.
Additionally, collagen supplements aim to regenerate muscle mass, encouraging the rapid healing of injuries by rebuilding connective tissues between the muscles and joints.
Not everyone believes that liquid collagen delivers an effect on the body at all. California plastic surgeon Dr. Malcolm Paul was quoted in The Orange County Register as accusing collagen supplements of creating nothing more than "expensive urine," suggesting that there is no proof that these supplements offer any benefit. NaturalSkinHealth.com's article, "Collagen And Its Role In Great Skin Care," also alleges ineffectiveness, explaining that collagen protein's natural complexity makes its re-creation too difficult to achieve in a way that will yield any real benefits.