Medically Reviewed By Elizabeth A. Swick, MS, RDN
The Surprising Science Behind How Your Collagen Smoothie Can Help You Achieve Your Healthy Skin Goals
During medical school, I was taught that there was no connection between nutrition and the health of your skin. Remarkably, this was the standard and accepted ideology of the time!
I knew I had to dig deeper and challenge this theory because it did NOT reflect what I was experiencing with my own skin, and it did not reflect what my patients were experiencing! Yes, I became a Science Rebel! I share my journey and over a decade of my work (including 100 citations all grounded in science) in my book, but, I didn’t stop there.
Enter ingestible collagen . . .
When I first heard about the concept of ingesting collagen for the sake of your skin, to be honest, I was skeptical. Like my colleagues, I questioned – how could a huge, complicated protein chain like collagen survive our harsh gastric juices, be absorbed intact through the tiny openings in our gut lining, and miraculously arrive in that wrinkle on your skin to somehow plump it up? It didn’t seem scientifically plausible!
However, I was very intrigued by the potential here. Collagen keeps our skin plump, elastic and smooth. Studies show that starting in our mid-twenties, we lose one percent of our collagen per year and then, during the first five years of menopause, our skin loses up to 30 percent of its collagen! After those five years, the decline in collagen is approximately 2 percent each year for the next twenty years. To me, this was a subject worth investigating.
I was inspired, so, I did what I love to do – I took a deep dive into the science and studies behind ingestible collagen. I reached out to the leading basic science investigators in Asia (a powerhouse for collagen research), and I slowly started to piece together the puzzle. Finally, the story started to make sense and I became very excited about what I was seeing! The more I learned about ingestible collagen and the more I discovered about the most cutting edge collagen available, the more passionate I became about the subject, which is what led me to Body Kitchen, the supplement I honestly take myself and recommend to my patients.
I am sharing a series of blog posts to help share this incredible information with you to keep you on the pulse of the most recent developments in ingestible beauty and skin health.
This is the perfect starting point- so let’s start our journey together here:
How DOES a collagen powder or supplement really work?
First, you sip on your collagen smoothie or you eat your collagen rich bone broth. The collagen you eat and drink goes into your stomach, where an enzyme called pepsin breaks it down into fragments. These fragments consist of strands of 2 or 3 amino acids and are called dipeptides and tripeptides. They are then absorbed through your gastrointestinal lining where they are released into your bloodstream.
Once in your bloodstream, the fragments are able to travel to different parts of your body, including your skin, your hair follicles, your bones, and your cartilage.
When these fragments arrive, they act like stress signals, notifying your body that “damage has been done!” They basically “trick” your body into thinking there’s been a wound of some sort, so they tell your body to go into “repair mode.”
In the skin, these distress signals translate into your skin cells pumping out more collagen and hyaluronic acid, plumping and firming up your skin!
In your joint, these distress signals translate into new, healthy bone and cartilage being deposited to strengthen and cushion your joint.
So, in a nutshell, drinking your delicious collagen smoothie is actually helping you to achieve your healthy, smooth, youthful looking skin goals!
I can’t wait to share more on this incredible subject with you guys!!