People are taking collagen to make their skin look tighter — but the $60 billion industry might be bogus

Business Insider | 5/21/2018 | Science Alert
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Collagen-infused snacks and drinks have become increasingly popular, reaching sales figures of $60 billion in the U.S. last year.

Certain research suggests that the addition of collagen to a diet can improve skin elasticity over time.

Collagen - Ingredient - Research - Consequences

However, it is wise to be wary of collagen as an ingredient as there is not enough research currently available concerning the long-term consequences of consuming it.

No longer satisfied with injecting it into tired-looking, wrinkled skin, an increasing number of people are buying collagen in a powdered form to chow down as the newest fad in superfoods.

While - Form - Diet - Meal - Bone

For a while it's been popular in the form of a 'paleo diet' meal, bone broth. But now we're starting to see desiccated connective tissue as an ingredient in snacks and drinks.

This isn't small beans either. There are roughly 300 products on the market advertising collagen additives, with sales estimated to have reached US$60 million over the past year.

What gives?

As with most health fashions, the truth can be hard to unpack, but here's what you need to know.

Collagen - Group - Proteins - Body - Tissues

Collagen is a group of fibrous structural proteins that help hold your body's tissues together, and it's found everywhere from your skin to your tendons to your bones.

As a protein, our body makes it by sticking amino acid units together into long strings.

Meat-eater - Plenty - Acids - Body - Collagen

If you're a meat-eater, you're probably eating plenty of these amino acids already. Your body breaks the collagen down in your gut and reuses its pieces to build more proteins of different shapes and varieties.

Plants don't make the protein, but they still provide the building blocks necessary to manufacture it.

Supplement - Nutrients - Hope - Benefits - Cars

As with any supplement, eating more nutrients in the hope of boosting benefits is like thinking you'll get more cars if you just dump more random engine parts onto the production line.

The question comes down to whether the problem — such as...
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