This Latest Health Fad Just Sounds Revolting

There’s a real lack of hard evidence to prop up its all-natural, anti-aging skin-tightening benefits. sruilk/Shutterstock

There’s a trendy new health and beauty fad for you to try once you’ve spent all your money on goji berries and "penis facials”.  

As per a report in The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), more and more health-conscious consumers are looking to chow down on collagen smoothies – as in, that stuff you always see on face cream bottles. Recent years have seen a meteoric rise in popularity of pricey health foods laced with collagen powders, from collagen-infused smoothies to pills, “beauty milk”, vanilla-flavored protein bars, and matcha tea lattes.

Granted, it is not quite as mad (or dangerous) as other recent alternative health fads, but scientists have raised concern there’s a real lack of hard evidence to prop up its all-natural, anti-aging skin-tightening benefits. In short, the jury is still out. 

Collagen is one of the main structural proteins that help to connect your body’s tissues together. You can find it in skin, tendon, organs, bone, and hair. As we age, collagen production declines, which leads to a drop in skin elasticity and the dreaded wrinkles. So, if you eat collagen, you’ll have higher levels of the protein and therefore healthier skin, hair, and nails, right? Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.

The main problem with this theory is that the digestive system will simply break down the protein into amino acids, just like it would with any proteins. The body will then use these amino-acid building blocks for whatever they’re needed for, not necessarily to maintain your skin's youthful smoothness.

Speaking with WSJ, Mary Sheu, a dermatologist at Johns Hopkins University, put it best: “Dermal collagen is like a complex woven sweater. You can’t just throw a ball of yarn at it and expect it to get incorporated.”

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