Dr. Whitney’s Picks
Body Kitchen Collagen Supplements
The science surrounding nutrition and the skin is my passion. I am fascinated by the reality that we can heal our skin through something as accessible and simple as our diet! But, I am not going to recommend “fads” to my patients. Anything I recommend has to be the real deal, grounded in studies, and proven to be safe and effective.
I know how critical collagen is to our skin’s health, appearance and elasticity. Collagen is actually the most abundant, naturally occurring protein in our body. It’s essential to the health of our skin, bones, joints, cartilage, hair and nails!
A little science for my fellow science geeks out there!
Collagen is a triple helix, meaning it is comprised of 3 long chains of peptides that wrap around one another. These long, thick peptide ropes live in our dermal layer (the deeper layer of our skin) and keep our skin plump, elastic and smooth. Long chains of peptides like collagen create the scaffolding our skin requires to remain firm and healthy. When our collagen fibrils and other peptide chains start to break down faster than they can be replaced, as a result of age, sun exposure and other environmental triggers like stress, pollution and smoking, it shows up in our skin as wrinkles and loss of elasticity.
Specifically, beginning in our mid-twenties, we begin to lose approximately 1 percent of collagen per year. During menopause, our skin loses collagen very quickly. Studies show that our skin loses up to 30 percent of its collagen during the first five years of menopause, after which the decline in collagen is approximately 2 percent each year! So, the concept of supplementing our collagen, especially as we age and as our body’s natural collagen production declines, is incredibly appealing from a dermatological standpoint!
To be completely transparent, when I first considered the efficacy of ingestible collagen, I was a bit of a skeptic. I questioned how such a large collagen chain could first survive our harsh gastric juices, then be absorbed intact through tiny openings in our gut lining, and ultimately arrive into the skin to help smooth and plump our skin’s appearance. I was extremely intrigued by the delivery mechanism and wanted to better understand how this might work.
So, I took a deep dive into the studies and became more and more excited about what I was seeing.
How Does Ingestible Collagen Help to Smooth Your Skin?
Here’s the quick, quick version: the collagen you eat and drink goes into your stomach, where an enzyme called pepsin breaks it down into fragments. These fragments consist of strands of 2 or 3 amino acids and are called dipeptides and tripeptides. They are then absorbed through your gastrointestinal lining where they are released into your bloodstream. Once in your bloodstream, the fragments are able to travel to different parts of your body, including your skin, your hair follicles, your bones, and your cartilage. When these fragments arrive, they act like stress signals, notifying your body that “damage has been done”, which tells your body that it is time to go into “repair mode.”
Studies show that if you take collagen on a daily basis for between 4 and 12 weeks, it can improve skin elasticity, hydration, and even improve the appearance of wrinkles. Although these studies are considered small and somewhat preliminary, they are very promising, which helps to explain why the ingestible collagen market is exploding!
My Favorite Collagen Supplements
Not all collagen supplements are created equal!! I have tested and reviewed the studies behind many of the products that are on the market today. One product stood out to me and has become my personal favorite – and the brand that I recommend to my patients – Body Kitchen™ Peptide Fortified Collagen.
Based on my review of both published and unpublished literature, it is becoming clear that certain fragments, or di-peptides, are more effective or potent than others. That’s how certain collagen powders stand out! Body Kitchen™ collagen is fortified with HYP-Proline + HYP-Glycine, which also go by “PO” and “OG” — two di-peptides that have been shown to stimulate proliferation of skin fibroblasts AND boost hyaluronic acid production in the skin. The highly concentrated formula makes Body Kitchen’s supplements more potent and more effective than competitor products.
I am genuinely so impressed with the quality and science behind these products that I became BK’s Physician Ambassador. I’m so excited to share this cutting edge line of supplements with you!