Ms. Zhang, 60 years old in China recently heard from a friend that collagen supplements should help keep the skin firm and elastic. So, in addition to eating pig’s feet to supplement collagen as her friend said, she also heard from neighbors that eating white mushrooms or okra also adds collagen.
The results are not clear whether the body can absorb collagen or not, but when she went to the hospital, she found that her cholesterol was too high. Ms. Zhang didn’t know where the problem was, so she was advised to visit a nutritionist clinic to adjust her diet.
Food-based collagen supplements may not work
Tu Xiulian, a nutritionist at Taoyuan Hospital under the Ministry of Health and Welfare of Taiwan, said many people actively eat foods that they believe help replenish collagen to help keep their skin plump and smooth. . However, expert Tu Xiulian said that if you want to eat foods with collagen to supplement collagen to beautify the skin, considering the mechanism of food digestion in the digestive tract, it is unlikely that it will be effective.
Supplementing collagen from food is not necessarily effective if we eat a nutritionally unbalanced diet. (Illustration)
Expert Tu Xiulian explained, collagen is like the protein in fish meat, under the action of proteases in the digestive tract, it will be broken down into peptides and amino acids before being absorbed by the body. Amino acids that are absorbed by the human body will become the raw materials for the synthesis of proteins in the body, not necessarily collagen.
Because the body will judge the arrangement of amino acids to serve what, if daily activities are not regular, nutrition is not absorbed enough, amino acids may be compensated for the parts. lack in advance and it will not reach the skin or other places. Therefore, of course, it will not be able to promote the beauty effect. Therefore, a balanced diet is required to have enough raw materials to produce collagen.
In addition, collagen is mainly found in the body, skin or bones of animals, if eaten regularly, it can simultaneously load too many calories into the body, causing a burden on the body.
Don’t be fooled, plant-based foods have no collagen
Expert Tu Xiulian also reminded, collagen is the main protein that makes up the connective tissue of animals, used to support, connect and separate different tissues, such as muscle tissue so that muscles can stretch, thanks to which the animal’s body is easy to move freely and the skin is supple. However, plants do not have a connective tissue structure, so any plant-based food contains no collagen and no so-called plant collagen.
Plant-based foods do not provide collagen. (Illustration)
Tu Xiulian thinks it may be because many plants have a gelatinous or viscous feel, causing people to mistake it for collagen. In fact, these key ingredients are water-soluble fiber. Water-soluble fiber can prevent the reabsorption of bile in the intestine, thereby promoting cholesterol metabolism. Fiber itself can also slow the rate of digestion and absorption, thereby slowing short-term spikes in blood sugar.
Moreover, after eating, fiber can occupy a significant volume in the digestive tract, increasing the feeling of fullness, indirectly controlling weight, and at the same time making bowel movements smooth. Expert Tu Xiulian reminds that although eating a lot of fruits and vegetables can’t supplement collagen, it is still very useful for human health.
In order to absorb collagen well, vitamin C is definitely indispensable
Although collagen is actually produced in our bodies, what is most useful for collagen production is vitamin C. That means if you want to increase collagen production, it is more effective to take vitamin C instead of taking collagen. However, that does not mean that the more absorbed, the better.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the recommended daily amount of vitamin C for most people is 75-90mg. Normally, the small intestine can absorb up to 100mg of vitamin C per day. Once saturated with vitamin C, the small intestine can no longer absorb it. If it exceeds 100 mg, it will be eliminated from the body naturally and the absorption rate will be reduced to less than half. When intake exceeds saturation, vitamin C beyond the absorption range is excreted in the urine, so there is no benefit in taking too much vitamin C.
It is recommended that people get vitamin C from food as much as possible, such as eating green vegetables and fruits… A balanced diet is the healthiest way.