With our generational differences, it’s no wonder that my mother’s Instagram stream and mine are so dissimilar. However, there is one exception: we are both constantly bombarded with posts about collagen supplements. The advantages of this “fountain of youth” replacement include glowing skin, sturdy nails, and amazing hair, but are there any side effects that customers should be mindful of? We consulted with two insiders to get the inside scoop.
What Are the Negative Consequences of Collagen Supplementation?
While there are 28 distinct forms of collagen, only two are commercially available: hydrolyzed collagen and gelatin, which are quite close. Jordan Wagner, MD, a board-certified emergency-room physician, demonstrated to POPSUGAR that gelatin is “basically fried collagen.” According to Dr. Wagner, although collagen supplements come in a variety of varieties, including collagen powder to collagen gummies, the adverse effects are essentially the same.
Collagen supplements have been linked to three adverse effects, two of which are caused by toxins in the supplement rather than the collagen itself. While these side effects are deemed unusual, they have been documented often enough for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to recall a variety of prominent collagen supplements. Impurities in these products have been linked to mad cow disease, elevated calcium levels, and arsenic toxicity.
Mad cow disease is the most common of all, and it may be contracted by using gelatin-based collagen supplements since “gelatin is derived from animal hooves and hides,” according to Dr. Wagner. Bovine spongiform encephalopathy, also known as mad cow disease, is an infection spread by infected nerve tissue and bones, according to Whitney English, MS, RD. Gelatin was removed from the FDA’s prohibition on the usage of certain cow parts in order to discourage the transmission of the disease.
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today released a final rule that consolidates three recently issued provisional final rules aimed at reducing the incidence of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also known as “crazy cow disease,” in human food.
In order to address the possible danger of BSE, the final rule describes banned cattle products and forbids their usage in human food, nutritional supplements, and cosmetics.
Milk and milk goods, hides and hide-derived products, tallow with upwards of 0.15 percent non-soluble contaminants, and tallow variants are therefore not forbidden cattle materials, according to the law.
In addition, the FDA concluded the procedure for designating a nation as being excluded from BSE-related prohibitions on FDA-regulated human food and cosmetics.
Finally, the law defines gelatin and specifies that gelatin is not deemed a forbidden cattle substance if it is produced using the prescribed customary industry processes. While gelatin has never been considered a forbidden cattle substance, the FDA had never specified gelatin in previous IFRs.
This measure is being taken by the FDA in order to reduce human sensitivity to some livestock products that could involve the BSE agent. It’s worth noting that the United States has long established safeguards in place to discourage the implementation and dissemination of BSE, including the ones outlined in this rule. As a consequence, human sensitivity to the BSE agent from FDA-regulated consumer food and health and beauty products is highly doubtful.
This regulation completes the enforcement of three provisional guidelines released in 2004, 2005, and 2008.
As a result, all experts advise thoroughly investigating the ingredients in your vitamin brand and noting if the collagen is derived from bovine or marine sources. A shellfish allergy can be aggravated by marine-sourced collagen supplements, and they can even place you at risk for high calcium levels. Both of these conditions may contribute to more severe health problems such as arrhythmia and joint pain.
However, there is one contaminant that is difficult to resist in any kind of collagen substitute, even vegan nongelatin collagen. Heavy metals, mainly lead and arsenic, are the contaminants of concern. “The bulk of the 134 supplements examined were polluted with one or more heavy metals, according to a new report,” English told POPSUGAR. If you do want to buy collagen products, she suggests making sure they’ve been third-party checked and confirmed for integrity.
Is it Worth the Risk to Take Collagen Supplements?
Regardless of the possible side effects, neither Dr. Wagner nor English recommend collagen supplements, mostly because they are potentially unnecessary. Dr. Wagner explained, “Collagen is the most plentiful protein in our body, responsible for roughly a quarter to a third of the protein composition.” “It’s for a reason that they’re classified as supplements. They are meant to be used in conjunction with other items. “
English cautioned that it might not be worth the danger, particularly if you’re preparing to take collagen to help gut health. “Mild to severe gastrointestinal symptoms have been identified in several reports,” she said. Symptoms such as heartburn may be among them. It’s not the safest indicator that you’re developing a new problem when trying to solve an existing one.
“It’s difficult to avoid seeing collagen creams, snacks, and potions on Instagram,” Dr. Wagner admitted. However, although these supplements are common among our favorite influencers, the medical ramifications should not be underestimated, particularly since the side effects are much more severe than a passing headache. In the end, this is a choice that can be taken between you and the psychiatrist, not between you and the Twitter influencers you admire.