Added to your bag

Should I take collagen for the menopause?

This is something I feel strongly about. Most people just associate collagen with their face and anti-ageing. In fact, collagen impacts much more of our bodies than just our skin. Tendons, muscles, bones, hair and nails all need collagen. And perhaps more importantly, we need collagen to maintain the walls of our blood vessels, digestive tract and internal organs. There isn’t a surface or structure of the body, either on the outside or the inside, that doesn’t contain some collagen. For those that like figures, roughly 25-35% of the entire protein content of your body is made up of collagen.

By the time we finish menopause, the amount of collagen we produce has declined by up to 60 or 70%. That means we are trying to maintain the structure of our bodies with only one third of the collagen we originally had. And even though we’re focussing on the menopause, it’s not just about women. Men also suffer the same loss of collagen production, which is why they find it harder to maintain muscle strength and skin tone through their 50s and 60s.

All this starts to explain why I feel strongly that a good collagen supplement is essential before, during and after menopause. It’s not just about trying to look younger; it’s actually about protecting your body and maintaining your strength as you age.

Collagen and menopause

Joint support

There’s a reason why menopausal women are the key demographic for tendon injuries - Achilles heel tears, rotator cuff and tennis elbow can all be debilitating problems for ladies in their 50s as the falling oestrogen levels impact the amount of collagen taken up by the tendons, causing weakness. At an age when women should be embracing consistent exercise as a way to ensure strength and flexibility, frequent tendon and ligament injuries can prevent and dissuade them from training. However, taking a good collagen supplement can support the tendons and mean you'll feel more confident exercising with less chance of injury.

Skin health

When collagen and vitamin C are taken as supplements, they trigger the body’s own production of collagen and hyaluronic acid. The essential amino acid peptides in the collagen itself can also be reconstituted by the body to form collagen fibrils, enhancing the effect on collagen levels. 

Gut health & weight gain

The fall of collagen during menopause along with the decrease in oestrogen can have a double whammy on the gut as the lining of the gut is weakened alongside the colony of microorganisms in the gut known as the microbiome. Evidence suggests that the diversity of these beneficial bacteria starts to fall as we age; meaning we find it harder to digest foods and extract nutrients and become more susceptible to food intolerances as the gut wall weakens. Collagen supplementation can help support both the gut lining and mitigate the effects of declining oestrogen. It may even help with decreasing the amount of weight put on during menopause because it reduces the oestrogen deficiency driven weight gain.

Collagen is responsible for a lot more than just looking more youthful. But that’s also an added benefit. There’s nothing better you can do for the fine lines, wrinkles and visible signs of ageing that may appear as you transition through menopause. But when you take collagen consistently and start to notice the effects on your face and skin, you will be glad to know that it’s working just as hard on the inside of the body.

References

1. Tendon healing: Can it be optimised?

2. Efficacy of vitamin C supplementation on collagen synthesis and oxidative stress after musculoskeletal injuries

3. Amelioration of estrogen deficiency-induced obesity by collagen hydrolysate

Search