The fibrillar protein that forms the basis of the body's connective tissue is called collagen. Most of it is located in the joints and it is he who affects their health. Collagen is also the basis of the skin. But after 25 years of life, this substance is almost not produced in the human body, so the joints begin to work worse and the skin is aging. However, collagen exists in the form of solutions and nutritional supplements. But not everything is so simple with the intake of this substance, scientists argue that it may be useless or even dangerous for the body.
Collagen for oral administration
Fibrillar protein is a part of not only the joints and bones of humans, but also animals. Such a popular dish of Russian cuisine as homemade jellied meat is 80% collagen. But marketers have already taught all people, including Russians, that for general health promotion and skin rejuvenation, vitamins and nutritional supplements with collagen need to be consumed. In Japan and South Korea, collagen bottles are sold even in street vending machines. Meanwhile, scientists are skeptical about such drugs. Dr. Whitney Bowe, a dermatologist from New York University, states in his writings that the effect of collagen, when taken orally, in the human body is very limited. Getting into the aggressive acid-alkaline environment of the stomach, this substance is partially destroyed and does not fully penetrate into skin cells and joints. But even worse, the synthesized collagen can be harmful. In food supplements, it is not only of animal origin, but also created from seafood. Its structured compound gets into human cells much more efficiently, but it can cause side effects.
In Germany, the Freiburg Ethics Commission (FEKI) conducted a clinical study of the effects of collagen on 114 healthy women aged 45 to 65 years. They used collagens from pigs, collagens from seaweed, shellfish and fish skin, and a placebo powder. The groups of volunteers did not know who and what exactly was taking the drugs that they had been using for 8 weeks. Test sites were wrinkle areas around the eyes and forearm. Measurement of wrinkles and callus biopsy were used for the analysis. Already after 2 weeks of intake, 17% of the volunteers who took collagen from pigs and 39% of women who consumed collagen from seafood were found to have allergic reactions. 6 of them were even forced to terminate their participation in testing due to the fact that they needed medical help! In addition to edema, including Quincke's reaction, 2 women were found to have serious irregularities in heart rhythms. Well, the result of the study was very insignificant changes (just over 2%) in the condition of the skin around the eyes and calluses of the forearms compared with the data of women taking placebo.
Collagen for subcutaneous injection
There are not many studies of reactions to collagen in solutions that are injected inside and under the skin, and they are all commercial, ordered by cosmetic companies. Such injections are considered harmless, but have a short-term cosmetic effect - no more than 3 months. Among the side effects, experts call small swelling and bruising. However, doctors from the University Ophthalmology Clinic in Macburg, Germany, in their annual reports indicate that among their patients, about 10% are those who were admitted to the clinic just after the "beauty injections." The diagnosis in such patients is always associated with an infection brought under the skin, which ultimately affected the eyelids and the eyes themselves. Moreover, the treatment and subsequent restoration of vision in patients took years, which were often paid not by insurance companies, but by personal funds.
More recently, the American magazine LiveScience published an article in which Los Angeles-based ophthalmologist Michelle Karl and her colleagues from the Retina Vitrus Associated network of medical clinics talked about cases of vision loss in several women and one man after their visits to beauty salons. All of them underwent injections of bovine collagen biogel into the forehead area. After that, they were forced to turn to ophthalmologists. Each of the patients experienced an acute disturbance of the blood supply to the fundus of one or even both eyes. After an injection of collagen near the hairline, a man was later diagnosed with a violation of the patency of blood vessels, which led to a partial cessation of the blood supply to the retina of the left eye. American ophthalmologists failed to fully restore vision in their patients.