Can collagen supplements slow down skin aging?

Lately, I’ve been hearing a lot about oral collagen supplements and how they can slow down skin aging by increasing your skin’s production of collagen.

Collagen is the most important protein for keeping your skin looking young because it gives your skin strength, structure, and resilience.

Without collagen, your skin will start to wrinkle and sag.

Collagen levels start to decline by the time we reach our thirties, and it is estimated that we lose about 1.5% of our collagen per year after that.

So, can taking collagen supplements actually slow down this decline by helping your body produce more?  And can eating collagen actually plump up the skin from within?

In 2014, a large study tested the effects of oral collagen supplements by giving women 2.5 grams of a collagen supplement once a day for eight weeks.

After eight weeks, the researchers measured an impressive 20% reduction in the participants’ the overall wrinkle depth.  By the end of the study, participants also had elevated levels of procollagen (the precursor to collagen).

These results are very exciting, but what is more exciting is that you don’t need to go any further than your kitchen to get younger-looking skin.

The all-time best source of collagen is actually good old fashioned bone broth, which is much more easily digested and absorbed by the body than oral collagen supplements.

Researchers believe that our rapid decline of collagen after the age of thirty may be caused by our preference for boneless, skinless chicken breasts, which has created a collagen deficit in our diet.

Our ancestors used to get plenty of collagen in their diet because they used bone broth in their cooking.

When you boil a whole chicken or cook down bones, the jellylike substance that rises to the top is collagen.  And, the easiest way to get more collagen in your diet is to trade in your usual chicken and beef stocks for bone broth.

Bone broth is much more expensive than stock, but think of it as a worthy investment in your skin.  Bone broth also has a deeper, richer flavor and is loaded with nutrients.

The difference between beef or chicken stock and bone broth is the amount of time the bones are cooked.  Your typical stock is simmered for a short time (45 minutes to 2 hours), while bone broth is simmered for a long period of time (often in excess of 24 hours).

The longer cooking time for bone broth helps to remove as many minerals and nutrients as possible from the bones.  The longer cooking time also breaks down the collagen in the bones so that it becomes more easily digestible, providing the amino acids needed for collagen production.

If you consume enough bone broth, you will supply your body with much-needed collagen to help prevent wrinkling and slow down skin aging.

If you are feeling ambitious, here is a simple recipe for making your own bone broth.  Or if you are lazy like me, here is a link to a high-quality bone broth that you can purchase online.

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