Health benefits of collagen

Tania Reuben wouldn't dream of skipping her morning smoothie packed with good-for-you staples, including kale, spinach and chia seeds.

But now, Reuben piles more than veggies and seeds into her breakfast drink.

"I also add two different supplements," she said. "One is a joint supplement that contains collagen." 

She counts on the collagen to help with achy joints and said she's getting a lot more compliments lately on her hair and skin.

There are several new collagen supplement options on the market from pills to powders to grab-and-go drinks.

They join a slew of already popular collagen beauty products, along with the current bone broth craze.

"It's very important to have a lot of collagen in our system because as we age, we have less collagen," said Dr. Debra Jaliman, a spokesperson for the American Academy of Dermatology. "Our collagen actually breaks down and that's why we start to sag. We get wrinkles. We get aches in our bones and our joints."

Dr. Jaliman points out you can get collagen from a high protein diet. As for the supplements, she said she was actually surprised to find that studies show they can help.

"What the studies found is if you take ingestible collagen, after 12 weeks they found that the moisture content of your skin would be better, fine lines would be improved, the texture of the skin would be better and overall, you would look a little bit younger," Jaliman said. 

A small study also found that collagen supplements helped the achy joints of athletes, although experts say more research is needed.

Taking too much could lead to constipation or bone pain, so Dr. Jaliman said it's important to follow the suggested doses. 

Tania said she feels the difference it makes to her.

"I know the collagen is working for me simply because my joint pain has gone away," Rueben said. 

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