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What Are Collagen Tablets?

A diagram of younger and older skin showing the decrease in collagen in older skin. Collagen tablets are designed to replace this lost protein.
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  • Written By: Angela Farrer
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 20 September 2014
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Collagen tablets are supplements specifically intended to improve the skin's natural elasticity and reduce signs of aging. They can also help the body naturally maintain its ability to heal from wounds quickly and efficiently. Collagen is a special type of protein that decreases with the aging process, often leading to less joint flexibility, poorer blood vessel health, visible skin wrinkles, and diminished lean muscle. Oral collagen tablets can help counteract these problems when they are taken consistently, and they are often considered an easier alternative to injections that can sometimes be painful and costly over time.

Naturally-occurring collagen makes up about 30 percent of the protein in the average adult, and it can be found throughout the skin, tendons, and ligaments. These amounts of collagen start to gradually deplete after about the age of 25 in most people. Many people have less than half their original collagen concentration by the time they reach the age of 40. Most foods do not contain significant amounts of collagen, so supplements are often considered the most reasonable option for replacing this important protein component. Some types of collagen supplements are made from certain animal-based collagen products that can occasionally trigger allergic reactions, so people with histories of food allergies are often advised to first consult with a doctor prior to taking them.

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An advantage of taking collagen supplements orally is that they can be purchased over the counter usually at reasonable prices. Adding them to a supplement regimen also does not carry the inconvenience of trips to a doctor's office for collagen injections. Some brands of collagen tablets are also less expensive than collagen-infused lotions or creams. Many skin care experts report that collagen supplements can be taken on a daily basis, though most people need to regularly take them for at least a few weeks before the positive effects become noticeable.

The use of collagen tablets over time can often smooth the appearance of skin wrinkles and thus maintain a more youthful appearance for a longer amount of time. Many people also report that consistently taking these supplements can help reduce pain in their joints and maintain their existing flexibility. Most doctors report that the continuing ability to exercise the limbs is vital to preserving overall health during the aging process. Collagen tablets often have the additional benefits of improving the elasticity of blood vessels and making them better able to carry nutrients to vital organs.

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natcol101
Post 4

If you research collagen peptide bombs, you will find a lot of information about collagen supplements. Natural collagen derived from fish (first discovered back in 1985) especially, has been found to be bio compatible with humans and easily absorbed into the blood within a few minutes. These collagen supplements are great for people who are into sports, people who are training hard or working, pregnant women, people with acne and joint problems. I take them myself as I have a hip problem, and basically instantly, I had little to no pain, and my walking was near normal with so much more increased mobility.

turquoise
Post 3

@ysmina-- As far as I know, different types of collagen come from different sources. Animal collagen is very common I think because animal collagen is most similar to the collagen protein found in humans. The animal sources are generally chicken, pigs, cows and lambs.

There is also something called marine collagen that comes from marine animals. People with dietary restrictions tend to prefer this kind.

I don't know if all collagen tablets specify in the ingredients list what the source of the collagen is though. So it might be a bit tricky to find out unless you can contact the company that made it and ask them directly.

bear78
Post 2

@ysmina-- You should also read wiseGEEK's article "What is Collagen." It goes into more detail about what collagen is and the purpose it serves in our body. That article and this one have answered all of my questions about it.

I've learned that collagen is necessary for way more than just our skin, it's also really beneficial for bones, muscles and blood vessels. Many people take collagen tablets to help with joint paints and bone diseases for example.

Collagen tablets have become more widespread in the US in the last couple of years, but they've been very popular in Asia for many years. I have a Japanese friend who takes collagen tablets regularly for her skin and she said that she started taking it in Japan quite a few years ago.

ysmina
Post 1

Wow, I can't believe I knew so little about collagen! But I think many people are in the same spot. I've always thought that collagen is something that can only be added to collagen creams and used topically. I didn't even know that it is a protein, nor that we naturally carry it and can support it by taking supplements.

So what are collagen tablets mainly made from when they are not made from animal products? And what kind of animal products are we talking about? Is it anything that could be a problem for people with dietary restrictions like vegetarians or those with religious dietary restrictions like Jews or Muslims?

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