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Oral Collagen Supplementation: A Systematic Review of Dermatological Applications

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800 patients who took up to 10 grams of collagen per day, experienced improvement in skin elasticity, moisture retention, and increased density of collagen fibers in the skin.

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Improvements in skin health is a well-researched benefit of taking collagen – in fact, according to a January 2019 Journal of Drugs in Dermatology study, (recently featured in an Every Day Health article, ” 8 Potential Benefits of Collagen – and 1 Thing it Can’t Do”), 800 patients who took up to 10 grams of collagen per day, experienced improvement in skin elasticity, moisture retention, and increased density of collagen fibers in the skin.

Franchesca D. Choi BS RPh, Calvin T. Sung BS, Margit L.W. Juhasz MD, Natasha Atanaskova Mesinkovska MD PhD

Nutrition is thought to play an important role in skin homeostasis. The use of nutraceuticals or “functional foods” in skincare along with technological innovations within the food industry has been rising.

In 2016, the collagen market was valued at an estimated 3.71 billion USD and is projected to reach 6.63 billion USD by 2025. Collagen supplements, originating from various sources (eg, porcine, bovine, marine) and available in numerous formulations (eg, protein, gelatin, hydrolysate, peptides), are marketed as improving skin integrity and modulating skin aging.

However, even with this increase in patient interest and market share, the use of collagen supplementation in dermatology remains controversial due to the lack of regulation on quality and quantity of ingredients in over-the-counter collagen supplements, as well as minimal peer-reviewed literature on the subject. Fortunately, there are increasing numbers of clinical studies regarding potential effects of collagen-based dietary supplements on skin.

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