What age should I start taking collagen?
Dr. Courtney Clayson-Russell
Is there a certain time in your life to consider taking collagen daily?
Collagen, a pivotal protein in our body, supports various aspects of our health, including skin vitality, joint functionality, and muscular strength. Let's explore when to consider collagen supplementation and its myriad of benefits.
As a Naturopathic Doctor, I often engage with patients curious about what collagen supplementation entails, what the benefits are, and why it might be right for them. Ultimately the age you start is up to you, but knowing when collagen starts to decline in the body may help you choose when to start.
The Onset of Collagen Decline
Our body's collagen production typically begins to diminish in our mid-20s, accelerating around age 40, and significantly drops by our 60s. This natural reduction in collagen affects not only our physical appearance, such as decreased skin elasticity, but also the functional integrity of our joints and muscles.
Understanding Collagen Production Decline
Collagen’s reduction impacts the body's structural support, manifesting in changes in skin texture, joint discomfort, and a decrease in muscle mass. It's not just a cosmetic concern; it's a matter of maintaining bodily strength and mobility. Joint stiffness, reduced mobility, and an overall decrease in muscle strength, are common concerns as we age, and can impact our bodies ability to withstand injury. Research has shown that this decline is due to both intrinsic aging processes and environmental factors like UV exposure and pollution (Shuster et al., 2005).
Delving into the Science of Collagen Supplements
Research highlights the effectiveness of collagen supplements in addressing these age-related changes. For instance, a study published in 2019 demonstrated how collagen peptides improve skin hydration and elasticity (Bolke et al., 2019). This study highlighted that regular intake of collagen led to noticeable improvements in skin moisture and elasticity, suggesting its potential as a proactive measure against aging.
Another study in 2021 highlighted collagen's role in promoting muscle mass and reducing joint pain in individuals across a wide range of ages (Khatri et al., 2021). These findings are significant as they illustrate that hydrolyzed collagen, which is more readily absorbed by the body, can significantly replenish depleted collagen levels, improving many aspects of health, from skin appearance to joint and muscle function.
Naturopathic Recommendations on Collagen Intake
In my practice, I recommend considering collagen supplementation around the age of 25 to 30.
This proactive approach can support not only skin health but also joint functionality and muscle mass, contributing to overall well being. When advising patients, I consider their dietary patterns and overall health profile.
Products like Enhanced Collagen Original by Organika is often my go-to recommendation due to ease of incorporation into daily routines and being an excellent source of protein. For pescatarians, Marine Collagen Powder by Organika is a suitable alternative. These supplements can easily be added to morning smoothies, oatmeal, coffee and even water.
I recommend a holistic approach to health
As always, a holistic health strategy is paramount, and collagen supplements should be part of a balanced lifestyle inclusive of a nutritious diet and regular exercise. Consultation with a healthcare professional before beginning any new supplement regimen is essential to ensure it aligns with individual health needs and goals.
In conclusion, understanding the onset of collagen decline and its effects is crucial for maintaining overall health and wellbeing. With the right knowledge and approach, collagen supplementation can be an effective tool in managing the signs of aging and supporting the body's structural integrity.
Dr. Courtney Clayson-Russell