6 Ways Collagen Helps You During & After Menopause
Jamie Sukroo - 8 Dec 2020
There are many wonderful aspects about being female but going through menopause I am sure isn’t at the top of the list.
One interesting supplement shown to have benefits in menopause is Collagen or more specifically – hydrolysed collagen peptides. In this blog we will discuss why collagen is considered an ally of both menopausal and postmenopausal women when it comes to overall health and skincare.
When it comes to different types of collagen, the largest amount in the body belongs to Type I collagen. Type 1 Collagen is found in your skin, tendons, bones, and internal organs. We recently tested our Ultra Clean Collagen Powder, and the results were as follows (per 100g of Collagen Powder) – Type 1 (81%), Type 2 (3%), Type 3 (4%).
As far as your own collagen production is concerned, you do produce collagen naturally within your body provided you supply it with dietary protein which is then broken down into amino acids. However, natural collagen manufacturing declines as you age, and drastically so for a woman after menopause (see below).
Research into supplementing with collagen for menopausal and post-menopausal women has provided us with these 6 potential benefits:
May improve your skin health and act as an Anti-Aging supplement. A study on skin aging and menopause suggests in the first 5 years, postmenopausal women lose approximately 30% of skin collagen, and the decline continues at a gradual rate of 2.1% per postmenopausal year, over the following 20 years! In particular, Type I collagen has been shown to stimulate natural collagen production. As far as photoaging is concerned, supplementing with collagen appears to limit the UVB-induced reduction of type I collagen in the skin. An 8-week-long placebo-controlled study including 114 women aged 45-65 years examined the effect of 2.5 g of collagen hydrolysate or placebo on the state of the skin. The results undoubtedly speak in favor of collagen supplementation, since there was a visible difference in eye wrinkle volume in comparison to the placebo group. Furthermore, an increase in the content of both procollagen type I (65%) and elastin (18%) was noted in the collagen group, as opposed to the placebo. What’s more, the positive outcome persisted even 4 weeks after quitting the supplementation, and the explanation for this long-lasting improvement lies in the promoted biosynthesis of the natural collagen in the skin. According to a study by M. Borumand et al., the skin-improving activity of collagen is twofold. First and foremost, it boosts the existing collagen in the dermis, enhancing the fibral network and the integrity of the skin. Secondly, it stimulates the fibroblasts to manufacture more collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid.
May improve thigh cellulite. Collagen appears to decrease the degree of cellulite and help to reduce skin waviness in the thigh area. A study by L. Bolke and colleagues concluded that an age-influenced decrease in collagen synthesis can be reversed with adequate highly bioavailable collagen supplementation.
A boost in muscle strength and mass (when combined with resistance training). As we age and especially after menopause, we naturally lose muscle mass via a process called Sarcopenia. Post-Menopausal women also run a greater risk of developing Osteoporosis. This randomized controlled trial by D. Zdzieblik found that post exercise (resistance training) supplementation with collagen peptides vs a placebo improved fat-free mass, fat mass (lower fat), bone mass and isokinetic quadriceps strength. Another study conducted by D. König and colleagues recognized the immense potential of Collagen Peptides powder supplementation in the management of osteoporosis. Here is another study that found similar results.
May improve the health and composition of your arteries. Type 3 collagen is found in your arteries and their suppleness relies in part on it. This study found that supplementation with collagen improved cholesterol counts, reduced Toxic Advanced Glycation End products (TAGE), and reduced the Cardio-Ankle Vascular Index (CAVI). The study concluded that Collagen peptide supplementation may contribute to the prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis (a build-up of fats, cholesterol, and other substances in and on your artery walls i.e. plaque) in healthy humans.
May improve the quality of your nails. This study by D. Hexsel found that “…Bioactive collagen peptides treatment promoted an increase of 12% nail growth rate and a decrease of 42% in the frequency of broken nails. Additionally, 64% of participants achieved a global clinical improvement in brittle nails, and 88% of participants experienced an improvement 4 weeks post-treatment. The majority of participants (80%) agreed that the use of BCP improved their nails’ appearance, and were completely satisfied with the performance of the treatment…”
May aid with weight loss. Collagen has been found to promote the feeling of satiety and act as a natural appetite suppressant, hence its importance in the process of weight loss that gets harder as we age and particularly so during and after menopause. This study conducted by T. I. Chiang and colleagues used ovariectomized (OVX) rats to mimic menopausal women and found that “…Collagen hydrolysate supplementation is beneficial in ameliorating oestrogen deficiency-induced [from menopause] obesity and its associated risk factors…”