Collagen supplements are extremely popular because collagen supports the skin and is essential to our bodies’ natural range of movements. Collagen is vital for the underlying structure of muscles, tendons, cartilage, ligaments, and bones. Sagging skin and wrinkles develop through the loss of collagen. For some great natural recipes you can make at home and use along with collagen supplements to keep your skin looking vibrant, I recommend you check out the incredibly popular Naturally Skinsational. The recipes in this book are a perfect complement to the right supplement.
Many people with arthritis or bone-related pain report increased function and decreased pain when using collagen supplements. If you are considering orthopedic surgery or are in pain, strongly consider a collagen supplement program to see if you can improve your functionality, endurance and reduce pain levels.
Many people also use collagen topically and via supplementation for improving the appearance of hair, skin and nails. Currently many lip plumpers, skin products and other collagen supplements increase collagen upon application and tout this because collagen is thought to create a more youthful appearance. Collagen injections, cream and other facial collagen products are becoming increasingly popular and available.
If you are considering beginning a regimen of collagen supplements, there are a few things you should consider first.
- Determine your need. If you are taking collagen for arthritic changes, bone pain or to repair an injury, you will want to consider Glucosamine combinations - like glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM - which are frequently available. If you are interested in collagen supplements for aesthetic skin purposes, you'll be more interested in non-Glucosamine supplements. Note that there are three types of collagen: Collagen I, II and III. Collagen II is mainly used for arthritis-related needs.
- Determine accompanying supplements. Vitamin C's prime function is to make collagen, and Lysine aids in collagen formation. If you cannot tolerate Vitamin C supplements due to gout or other medications, consider the C Ester form of Vitamin C that is known as Ascorbyl Palmatate; it is readily available and is less acidic so the body tolerates it better. You can buy vitamin C supplements online. If you cannot take Vitamin C as a supplement, look to increase your Vitamin C food intake, as collagen must have Vitamin C to work.
Alpha Lipoic Acid, while not needed to make collagen supplementation work in and of itself, will serve to "recycle" the Vitamin C nutrients already in your body, thus boosting the effectiveness of the Vitamin C that is already working to form and sustain collagen. Alpha Lipoic Acid is also a great all-purpose antioxidant to reduce the swelling associated with bone pain or injury. It will remove toxins and improve functionality of the fluid in the joint that is causing pain, and is great for the appearance of your skin as well.
Glucosamine works in tandem with Collagen supplements for arthritis and other bone pain issues, but does not directly impact collagen production or maintenance. If your intention is to keep the collagen you have for aesthetic concerns, such as to ward off wrinkles, Vitamin C is a required supplement. Other typical "beauty" related reasons for taking collagen include weak fingernails and brittle hair.
If your goal is to buy joint supplements for pain management, look for a combination supplement intended for this use, such as glucosamine tablets. Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements are relatively cheap and can be effective. So it's typically used for bone health reasons.
- Determine the appropriate dosage. Dosages are determined by your reason for taking Collagen. There does not appear to be an overdose risk since collagen is water-soluble and is quickly eliminated from the body. However this means that it needs to be replenished regularly.
The FDA considers Collagen supplements to be a food substance. If you are taking collagen for beauty-related reasons or general bone support that is not related to rheumatoid arthritis, about 5-6 grams is adequate. A great option is "Super Collagen + C, Type I and III" by Neocell Laboratories. This set of 250 pills sells for about $20 at Amazon.
If you are looking to address arthritis pain, specifically rheumatoid arthritis, dosages of Collagen II need to be more specific and can range anywhere from 5 to 10 grams per day. The use of Collagen type II reduces joint swelling, inflammation and pain, so it can be an effective solution. Yale Orthopedic surgeons have been recommending Glucosamine and collagen supplements to try to avoid invasive surgery whenever possible. Brands such as Schiff Joint Free Plus with Glucosamine Chondroitin MSM&Collagen Powder Dry Mix contain adequate dosages for this purpose.
- Select a price range. Glucosamine and collagen combinations are more expensive but generally considered worth it since they are often highly effective in reducing pain and medication use while increasing function. You will generally know within three months if they've helped your arthritis pain. Many variations are available such as the Schiff brand name "Move Free". Your doctor or pharmacist can likely recommend a brand that they think is particularly helpful; friends with arthritic conditions often have good suggestions for effective supplements as well.
Select a brand that you can reasonably afford to purchase for daily use, without skimping on cost. A good all-purpose, non-Glucosamine collagen supplement is called "Super Collagen + C, Type I and III" by Neocell Laboratories.
- Assess allergy, medication and lifestyle conflicts. Some supplement capsules contain sugar, wheat, yeast, gluten, soy, salt, or shellfish, so you should review the vitamin bottle labels for any potential allergens. Shellfish, especially, is a risk with a Glucosamine supplement and and may conflict with some high blood pressure medications.
Also assess if your collagen is chicken- or bovine-based if you have concerns over mad cow disease or beef products. Vegetarians and vegans will also want to carefully assess the source of the collagen in all of their supplements. Glucosamine is generally not available as a product for vegans or vegetarians. An alternate form of collagen supplementation is simply taking higher dosages of vitamins that naturally produce collagen, such as Vitamin C. Vitamin supplements are available in many forms, such as liquid vitamin C which is a very popular nutritional supplement. Some vegetarians have also considered products such as "Multi-Scorb" by Progressive Labs, which contains all the supplements to help maintain and build your own collagen with no known animal products.