Collagen, diet, and lifestyleMahlebashieva/Shutterstock
It’s not enough just to pop a collagen supplement. According to Osinga, vitamin C and collagen must be consumed together, since if you have too little vitamin C in your body, not enough collagen can be produced. Cabbage, red fruits, and carrots all naturally boost collagen production. Along with the body’s natural collagen production declining with age, modern lifestyle factors like stress, poor diet, and gut health imbalances can all decrease the body’s ability to make it.
Types of collagenNina-Buday/Shutterstock
There are three types of collagen: type I collagen comprises 90 percent of skin, hair, nails, organs, bone, ligaments, making it the best for skin and beauty, type II collagen is associated with cartilage; while type III collagen applies to fibrous protein in bone, cartilage, dentin, tendon, and other connective tissues.
Sources of collagenreeskyline/Shutterstock
You can get collagen in many forms: Collagen pills contain up to one gram of collagen per pill and can combine various strains of collagen along with vitamin C, which helps your body produce more collagen. There is also collagen powder and liquid, which are great for individuals who don’t want to take pills or have trouble swallowing them. Limited research exits on these, however. If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, there are vegetarian- and vegan-friendly collagen supplements now available that can contain a mix of amino acids, wheat extracts, and vitamins instead of animal byproducts. You can also get dietary sources of collagen from fish, cow, pig, and chicken.