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What are the Real Benefits of Hydrolyzed Collagen?

There's always some new fad in the world of supplements that's supposed to shrink your waistline, smooth your wrinkles, and fix every ailment, but most of them turn out to be as useful as snake oil. That's why it can be hard to tell the good stuff from the bad. Hydrolyzed collagen, collagen that's been broken down into easily processable particles, is one supplement that has been caught up in the same debate. However, whenever there's debate about the usefulness of a supplement, one should always turn to science. Scientific studies are showing that hydrolyzed collagen has real benefits. Here are just a few.

Healthier Skin

One of the main reasons people use hydrolyzed collagen is to promote healthier skin. After all, collagen is what our own bodies use to promote healthy skin. Sometimes referred to as the body's scaffolding, collagen makes up about 70% of the dry weight of our skin. It's what keeps our skin looking plump and free of wrinkles, but we lose it as we age, which is why our skin starts to wrinkle. But can ingesting collagen actually replace the collagen that we're losing in our skin? Some studies show promise. One study showed that women between the ages of 35-55 who took hydrolyzed collagen daily for eight weeks showed marked improvement in skin elasticity over those who did not.

Healthier Hair

When we get older, our hair thins out. This is partly due to the same loss in collagen that affects skin elasticity and strength. Because our bodies become less efficient at producing collagen, it may cause a reduced ability to maintain a full and healthy head of hair on our scalp. One study showed that a product that included collagen as one of its main ingredients produced noticeable improvement in the hair growth in a group of women who were participating in the study.

Faster Skin Healing

Our body heals wounds by producing red blood cells. These cells are responsible for creating collagen to reproduce a new layer of skin over the wound. Because collagen is the substance responsible for healing, some have wondered if taking hydrolyzed collagen as a supplement might help wounds heal even faster. One study of eighty-nine patients with ulcers showed that those who took daily collagen supplements healed twice as fast and another study found that eight patients with skin biopsies who took daily supplements healed as well as those with just sutures. The science is starting to show that hydrolyzed collagen is more than just a passing fad.