Collagen Supplements .. Miracle or Myth ??

Collagen Supplements .. Miracle or Myth ??

If you are a midlife woman who has experienced changes in your skin, hair, joints, and bones as you age, you may have already found collagen supplements. If you just starting to ask questions about taking it, read on. 

It seems that everywhere we turn there is an advert for collagen, extolling the immense benefits in taking it. Add it to your smoothie, sprinkle in your coffee or stir it into your oats.


What is Collagen and do we actually need to supplement our nutrition with it? 

Collagen is an important complex protein in the body that provides structural integrity to key areas such as the skin, hair, nails, bones, joints, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, teeth, gums and blood vessels and accounts for 30% of the body's protein.

The challenge we face in midlife, especially as we head towards menopause is that we make less of it and existing collagen breaks down at a faster rate. The collagen we do produce is also lower in quality than when we were younger. The truth is that women experience a significant reduction in collagen production after menopause.

How Collagen can help during peri/menopause

Healthy skin – improves skin’s elasticity making it look brighter and fresher. Studies show that supplementing with peptide collagen (collagen peptides = broken down collagen that’s easier for the body to absorb) can increase hydration levels in the skin and reduce wrinkle depth. 30% of dermal (the inner layer of the two main layers of the skin) collagen – type I and type III can be lost in the first five years after menopause.

Beyond the impact less collagen has on the exterior stuff, a decrease in collagen production will also affect bones and joints. Which is why the collagen in your face cream won’t do anything to ease aching joints which is where supplementation can be effective.

Ease joint pain – One study found that taken collagen led to a reduction in osteoarthritic joint pain.

Strengthen bones – A study in over 100 postmenopausal women found that supplementing with collagen peptides improved bone mineral density in the hips and spine.

So while collagen supplementation won’t do anything for your hormones, it may combat some of the symptoms associated with a drop in oestrogen like aching joints and dry skin.

What are the types of collagen?

There are 28 types of collagen that have been identified. Their main differences are in how the molecules are assembled, the cell components that are added and where the collagen is used in your body.

The main five types of collagen and what they do are:

Type I. This type makes up 90% of your body’s collagen, it is densely packed and used to provide structure to your skin, bones, tendons, ligaments connective tissue and teeth. Most supplements will contain this type of collagen.

Type II. This type is mostly found in elastic cartilage, and cushions joints, supporting movement and function.

Supplements containing this type of collagen support the skeletal system to combat the wear and tear of ageing.

Type III. This type is found in organs and supports the structure of muscles and arteries and is usually found alongside Type I.

Type IV. This type is found in the layers of your skin. 

Type V. This type is found in the cornea of your eyes, some layers of skin, hair and tissue of the placenta.

As we age collagen production in the body declines. It helps to maintain healthy skin, hair and nails which is why the beauty industry loves talking about this wonder product as an anti ageing solution to wrinkles, weak nails and dull hair. 


What can we do to help ourselves?

Eating a diet rich in whole foods and high-quality proteins, exercising, sleeping well, and managing stress can help us maintain collagen production. The things that speed up the reduction of collagen include sun exposure, smoking, and pollution.

Food is always best for providing nutrients when possible. The best and most bioavailable collagen is in the form of a high-quality grass-fed or pasture-raised bone broth. Make your own or pick up a jar from your local health food shop, or supermarket. If you can't stomach that then a good quality collagen supplement is worth considering.

Will eating collagen-rich foods increase the levels of collagen in my body?

Food does not contain collagen in a form that the body can directly absorb. Your body makes its own collagen and needs a range of different amino acids to do this. The best place to get these amino acids is from protein-rich foods, such as lean meat, fish, nuts, seeds, soya products like tofu, beans, and legumes. Vitamin C is also used by the body in the process of creating collagen.

Many foods that provide the raw ingredients that support collagen production can be eaten as part of a healthy diet. These foods contain the amino acids proline and glycine. Vitamin C, zinc and copper are also needed for the process.

Foods that contain these amino acids, vitamins and minerals include:

Vitamin C : found in oranges, strawberries, bell peppers, broccoli, brussels sprouts and potatoes.
Proline : found in mushrooms, cabbage, asparagus, peanuts, wheat, fish, egg whites and meat.
Glycine : found in red meats, turkey, chicken and pork skin, peanuts and granola.
Copper : found in liver, lobster, oysters, shiitake mushrooms, nuts and seeds, leafy greens, tofu and dark chocolate.
Zinc : found in oysters, red meat, poultry, pork, beans, chickpeas, nuts, broccoli, green leafy vegetables, whole grains and milk products.

What about vegans?

Vegan collagen supplements do exist but as they do not come from animal sources, they are not considered ‘true’ collagen. However, some of these products have been manufactured to stimulate the body’s own collagen production.

What are collagen peptides?

Collagen peptides are small pieces of animal collagen. Collagen can’t be absorbed in a whole form. It has to be broken down into smaller peptides or amino acids. Oral collagen supplements come in the form of pills and powders. They usually contain two or three amino acids. They are sold as collagen peptides or hydrolyzed collagen. Collagen peptides are absorbed through your gastrointestinal tract.

The time to take a collagen supplement is if you feel you need to increase the nutrition in your diet. We know that coupled with a healthy lifestyle, collagen supplements may help mitigate the effects of aging by improving skin, hair, joint, and bone health.


Important collagen supplement considerations:

The best way to ensure the quality of your supplement is to look for one certified by a third-party company. Avoid products that include strange ingredients like natural flavours, sugars, gums, or artificial sweeteners.

Products awarded a certificate of analysis (COA) by a third-party company ensures the product has been tested and verified.

Collagen supplement dosages vary. Follow the instructions on the product label.

What is the best type of collagen to take as a supplement?

The best supplement for you is the one you will take, and finding a good source is key. When making your choice consider the following :

- the source (marine or bovine)
- the type (hydrolysed, dipeptide, or tripeptide),
- the dosage,
- the consistency (capsule or liquid).

The most important thing is ensuring you're getting it daily knowing the products you have chosen are high quality and responsibly sourced. Opt for supplements containing type II to help with aching joints and choose marine collagen for skincare and bone support.

Introducing my favourite Collagen Supplement ..

It's the one I take every night before bed .. two convenient little capsules.


When I discovered this synergistic combination of marine collagen, as well as a vitamin, mineral, herbal and nutrient complex that is designed to work from within to help protect the body on a cellular level against ageing and oxidative stress, I knew it was one for my shop!

I sell this product every week and the clients that take it rave about the impact on their skin, hair and nails .. its from a trusted source, good quality and ticks the boxes for me. 

A wonderful result on my nails which had been breaking but after 2 courses of these supplements are now greatly improved! - Marie G 


The key ingredients help to keep skin elastic, radiant and supple. Their actions are backed by science, with a number of EFSA-approved health claims, offering targeted nutritional supplementation to support both health and beauty.


Marine collagen: Collagen is the primary ingredient in this supplement and it is obtained from marine sources - widely regarded as the highest quality, and most bioavailable source of collagen. This is then complemented by the inclusion of hand-picked vitamin, mineral, herbal and other nutrient allies.

Head over to the Meno Support range on my shop and pick some up.

Let me know how you get on !!

Colette X



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