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Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and is what gives our skin and joints structure and keeps them strong and flexible. It’s especially concentrated in the middle layer of our skin and plays a key role in keeping skin moisturized and supple, though as we age collagen levels naturally decline — which can start happening as young as 25. Research has shown that taking collagen regularly can help reinforce the skin’s natural moisture barrier, support elasticity, and help reduce the appearance of wrinkles.*
Aging of the skin is a natural process and is caused by a combination of extrinsic and intrinsic factors. Chronic sunlight exposure is a form of extrinsic aging. Wrinkles, dryness, loss of elasticity and pigmentation are all characteristics of photoaged skin. As the body’s ability to naturally replenish collagen declines with age, collagen stores decrease. This is important because collagen constitutes over 70% of the skin’s dermis. The dermis provides structure and support for the epidermis, as well as for the skin such as hair and nails. As a result, the structural integrity of the dermis is vital for the normal function and youthful appearance of the skin.
In addition to its structural component, the benefits of ingested collagen on skin health is well-documented. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 64 healthy female adult volunteers, researchers evaluated the benefits of 1 gram collagen peptides on photoaged skin over 12 weeks and found that individuals who consumed collagen peptides had significant improvement in skin hydration, appearance of wrinkles and elasticity compared to placebo (1).
Researchers studied the benefits of collagen peptide supplementation specifically on eye wrinkle appearance and found that women who ingested 2.5 g of collagen peptides over 8 weeks had a 20% reduction in eye wrinkle volume compared to placebo. A significant reduction of 7.2% was found in as little as four weeks. The maximum reduction in eye wrinkle volume at 8 weeks was found to be almost 50% (2).
Asserin et al. conducted a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical pilot trial studying the beauty from within effects of an oral collagen peptide supplement and found that women who consumed 10g of collagen peptides significantly increased skin moisture by up to 28% at 8 weeks, while there was no increase in placebo. Additionally, a second trial was conducted to determine structural improvement. It was demonstrated that women who consumed 10g collagen peptides for 10 weeks had an 8% increase in collagen density in the dermal layer, no increase was found in the placebo group (3).
- Oral intake of low-molecular weight collagen peptide improves hydration, elasticity, and wrinkling in human skin: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.Nutrients.,2018
- Oral intake of specific bioactive collagen peptides reduces skin wrinkles and increases dermal matrix synthesis.Skin Pharmacol Physiol.,2014
- The effect of oral collagen peptide supplementation on skin moisture and the dermal collagen network: evidence from an ex vivo model and randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials.Cosmetic Dermatology,2015
Nail strength and growth
While ingestion of collagen peptides and improvement in skin health has been extensively studied, there are fewer human studies examining the relationship between collagen peptides and nail health. However, mechanistically it has been established that collagen peptides stimulate the dermal cellular metabolism thereby improving the biosynthesis of extracellular matrix proteins and therefore, restore the dermal structure. Nails are a modified type of skin. The skin below the nail is called the matrix.
Results from a clinical trial of women ingesting 2.5 g of collagen peptides for 6 months found that nail growth increased by 12%, nail breakage decreased by 42%. 64% of women showed overall improvement in their nail health at 24 weeks (1).
- Oral supplementation with specific bioactive collagen peptides improves nail growth and reduces symptoms of brittle nails.J. Cosmetic Dermatology,2017
Numerous studies have shown that caffeine is known to exert positive effects on cognitive performance such as reaction time, alertness and sustained attention. Researchers conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled cross-over study on 84 healthy, low habitual caffeine consuming adults and found that 60 mg of caffeine enhanced sustained attention and alertness, decreased feelings of mental fatigue and reduced reaction time compared with placebo (2). Another double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study concluded that 75 mg of caffeine improved performance on attention tasks and increased overall mood ratings. Furthermore, caffeine led to a significant reduction in oxygenated hemoglobin in the pre-frontal cortex early on in the absorption period and during task performance activities (1).
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), an agency of the European Union that provides independent scientific and food safety advice, concluded that a cause and effect relationship has been established between the consumption of caffeine and increased alertness (3).
- A double-blind, placebo-controlled study evaluating the effects of caffeine and L-theanine both alone and in combination on cerebral blood flow, cognition and mood.Psychopharmacology,2015
- Effects of a single, oral 60 mg caffeine dose on attention in healthy adult subjects.Journal of Pscyhopharmacology,2017
- Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to caffeine and increased fat oxidation leading to a reduction in body fat mass (ID 735, 1484), increased energy expenditure leading to a reduction in body weight (ID 1487), increased alertness (ID 736, 1101, 1187, 1485, 1491, 2063, 2103) and increased attention (ID 736, 1485, 1491, 2375) pursuant to Article 13(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006.EFSA Journal,2011