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Collagen is an abundant protein in the human body and its essentially what keeps everything together. When you’re young, you’re producing collagen at a high enough rate that your body heals faster and your skin stays young and firm. Vegan supplements which support collagen production can be a great way to ensure your body stays strong and you stay younger for longer.
If you’re over the age of 21, I have some bad news: the rate of collagen production is already declining by about 1-2% per year. One study showed that an 80-year old person will have a 68% decrease in type 1 procollagen when compared to 18-29-year olds – which is a marker of collagen synthesis .
One of the best anti-aging strategies is to prevent the degradation and damage of collagen. For example, wearing sunblock will help prevent UV rays from damaging collagen and causing wrinkles. Using vitamin C serums have also been shown to significantly enhance collagen production in the skin to more youthful levels.
The decline in collagen production with age is a complex process. Hormones such as IGF-1, Testosterone, Estrogen, and progesterone have a significant effect on collagen synthesis and these hormones tend to decline with age with a sharper decline of sex hormones for females around the time of menopause.
Fortunately, there are many supplements available which contain ingredients that are proven to boost collagen synthesis and even reverse some signs of skin aging! So the situation isn’t hopeless, we can fight this age-related decline.
Vegan supplements to support collagen production & buyer’s guide
Below are vegan supplements which may be used in combination or by themselves to help protect against collagen and elastin degradation while boosting collagen production.
#1. Garden of Life – My Kind Organic Plant Collagen Builder for Vegans
It contains 14 vitamins and minerals which are important in skin health, as well as a blend of polyphenols that have proven benefits in supporting collagen.
Main ingredients (certified beauty blend)
Green tea extract – Polyphenols found in green tea such as EGCG can enhance collagen and elastin synthesis while also protecting it from degradation by UV rays and other environmental insults.
Pomegranate extract – This has been shown in studies to decrease damage from UV rays, boost collagen synthesis and also increase hyaluronic acid production in the skin. It also has powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidant benefits, and blocks enzymes that break down collagen .
Citrus Bioflavonoids – Helps protects collagen and may enhance collagen production. Citrus bioflavonoids have also been found to be beneficial in preventing senile purpura, which affects 10% of people over the age of 50.
Rooibos tea extract – Helps quench free radicals from damaging collagen.
Organic bamboo extract – Helps to improve the strength of skin, hair, and nails by activating hydroxylating enzymes for improved collagen synthesis.
Turmeric – Contains a compound called curcumin which helps reduce the accumulation of AGEs and crosslinks which contribute to signs of skin aging.
What I like about this supplement
It contains a huge variety of different ingredients which are sourced from organic products that help boost vitamin and mineral intake. It also contains at least three ingredients (green tea, pomegranate, and organic bamboo extract) that have been shown scientifically to boost collagen production and protect it against damage.
What I don’t like about this supplement
It’s less targeted in its formulation that the previous collagen supplement and some of the vitamins included can already be covered by any decent multivitamin.
#2. Reserveage Vegan Collagen Builder
This supplement by Reserveage contains a mix of vitamins, amino acids, and polyphenols that have been shown scientifically to aid in the production of collagen and also prevent damage to collagen which can lead to signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles in the skin.
Reviews of this supplement are also overall quite positive with many seeing beneficial effects which include softer and smoother skin. Some people say they look younger after using it.
Vitamin C – No supplement that claims to support collagen should be without vitamin C as an ingredient. Its vital role in being a co-factor for proline and lysine hydroxylases helps to stabilize collagen.
White tea extract – Polyphenols and catechins from white tea act as powerful antioxidants which protect proteins in the skin from oxidative damage. In a study comparing 21 herbs, white tea was the most effective at preventing damage to collagen and elastin .
Amino acid blend – The primary amino acids of collagen are glycine, lysine, and proline. Some studies suggest that increasing the intake of these amino acids could boost collagen synthesis significantly.
Bamboo extract – Silica is derived from bamboo extract and has been shown in studies to improve the quality and strength of hair and nails, as well as improve signs of aging in the skin .
Ceramide Wheat Extract – Significantly improves skin hydration after just 3 months of supplementing. Great for people with aging and dry skin.
What I like about this supplement
The supplement is simple and takes a targeted approach with specific scientifically supported nutrients to help support collagen synthesis. It can also be used safely with vegan multivitamins.
What I don’t like about this supplement
While it contains a solid and short list of ingredients, I feel that they should have an increased dose of each ingredient.
#3. Life Extension – Super Absorbable Soy Isoflavones
Studies in postmenopausal women have shown that isoflavones derived from soy products can significantly increase skin thickness, collagen, elastin, and also increase blood vessel formation in the skin.
The benefits of soy isoflavones can be obtained from ingesting them and applying them to the skin in skin products. But doing both has an even more powerful effect on skin health.
Isoflavones have beneficial effects on collagen production, especially for aging women and should be considered one of the best supplements to support collagen production for women over 35.
Soy isoflavones also have many other benefits such as prevention of symptoms associated with menopause, protection against breast cancer, and protection against osteoporosis.
#4. Glucosamine Sulfate
Glucosamine is essential for the biosynthesis of many proteins and lipids in human tissue such as the skin. It’s primarily known for its ability to improve joint health and help heal from injuries, but recent studies have also shown that it can also improve skin aging.
One study from 2017 examined the effect of 250 mg (once a day) glucosamine sulfate on 8 women over the age of 50.
After just 8 weeks there was a significant increase in collagen types 1 and 3, as well as many other important markers involved in skin aging. 
It was concluded after taking biopsies of skin that glucosamine could be used for improving collagen production and signs of skin aging in the dermis and epidermis.
Frequently asked questions about Collagen-boosting supplements
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about a supplement that help protect and boost collagen in the body.
Why should you take collagen-boosting supplements?
As already mentioned, collagen is abundant in the body, it’s like the glue that holds everything together in the body and supports the regeneration of connective tissue in our body.
Aside from obvious benefits such as slowing down signs of aging like wrinkles, there are many other benefits from taking these supplements, these include the following:
- Help prevent bone loss associated with aging.
- Help combat joint pain that can significantly affect mobility in old age.
- Help heal old and new injuries caused by exercise or overuse of muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Our ability to heal from injuries in a short time becomes more difficult with age, so taking collagen-boosting supplement may shorten the time to recovery.
- May improve blood vessel health and lead to better cardiovascular health in general.
- Improve hair and nail health.
How long will it take collagen supplements to work?
Supplements don’t work overnight, but benefits can be observed in as little as 12 weeks. Many clinical studies involving collagen-boosting supplements run for a short period of time, so further improvements may be seen beyond this point.
Once you achieve the maximum benefit you can get from each of these supplements, they will then keep working to protect and maintain collagen synthesis as long as they are taken.
As always, the best results come from consistent use over a long period of time.
How can you make the supplements more effective?
As always, a healthy diet and exercise regimen will help support the body’s ability to maintain good health.
If you want to maximize the benefits of collagen-boosting supplements on your skin, make sure that you always protect your skin from the damaging UV Rays.
Using skin care products that can boost collagen such as vitamin C serums or retinoids would be a powerful combination.
Can you take all multiple collagen supplements together?
It depends on the supplements. The above supplements contain ingredients which may complement each other and are not contraindicated.