Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors
"Do collagen drinks work?"
I'm a woman, age 31, and have heard from an acquaintance that collagen drinks are actually a really effective way to get rid of wrinkles, but I can't figure out if there's any evidence behind this? Is there?
Collagen drinks are becoming more popular in the ever-growing arsenal of anti-aging therapies. Wrinkles are the biggest part of the aging process that often troubles women. Dermatologists, or skin specialists, are often the best at determining what (if anything) is available to treat or prevent the aging process in the skin. I would recommend seeing a dermatologist before trying new or experimental treatments. Collagen is a structural molecular that provides "scaffolding" for many tissues. It is located in the the skin and thereby gives the skin some structure. It is true that collagen slowly "degrades" as we age and this is part of the process that results in wrinkles. However, there has never been any evidence that we can replace collagen and improve wrinkles. In medicine, we look for randomized trials that objectively show the benefit. This has not been proven so it is difficult to recommend. Does it make sense that collagen would help? Somewhat. We would think that collagen in in the skin would improve wrinkles. However, collagen that one would eat would likely be destroyed by the stomach acid and digestive system--so I doubt this really stays intact and gets in the skin. Talk to a dermatologist. While there is no definite evidence, I would doubt there is a true benefit.
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