The Biggest Myths About Collagen Supplements

By now you may have heard about Kourtney Kardashian’s new project, a lifestyle and e-commerce website called Poosh (not to be confused with Goop, Gwyneth Paltrow’s long-standing similar concept). One of the products Kourtney been pushing the most is her collagen supplement in collaboration with Vital Proteins, which comes in the palatable-seeming flavors “Blueberry & Lemon Collagen Vibes” and “Pink Moon Milk Collagen Latte.”  Clever, Kourt.  Add “Vibes” to the name of a product and hypnotize half of the country’s millennials into thinking they need it. If something is going to be called “Pink Moon Milk” it better have some sort of magical fairy dust that will clear my skin, earn me a degree, pay off all my debt, and turn my enemies into pumpkins. But according to Betches’ favorite dietician, Tracy Lockwood Beckerman, in the latest episode of our Diet Starts Tomorrow podcast, collagen supplements actually do none of these things and might be total BS. She’s an expert who debriefed us on why they’re a scam, citing actual research and, like, scientific facts. Here are the biggest myths Tracy told us about collagen supplements.

1. It’s Going To Improve Your Skin, Hair And Nails And Make You Look Younger

Collagen as a protein itself is very important for maintaining the glowing, youthful appearance everyone desires. It binds tissues together for health in hair, skin, and nails. Your body has the most of it when you’re young and then slows in producing it at age 25. As you get older, you have less and less collagen, causing your skin to lose elasticity and your hair and nails to weaken, hence the association of collagen with anti-aging. After observing the positive effects collagen treatments had on bones, scientists tried to determine whether the positive effects of collagen could be extended to an ingestible form of it. When they analyzed the outcomes, they determined that ingesting collagen doesn’t allow you to gain the benefits of it, because the pH levels in your stomach totally break it down, which doesn’t allow it to be absorbed by your body. So, wow, the Pink Moon Milk really does absolutely nothing for you except let you tell people you drank Pink Moon Milk. If they don’t ask you what Pink Moon Milk is, you can just let them assume it’s some crazy trippy drug you tried while ~finding yourself~ on your trip to Thailand that they’re too embarrassed to admit they didn’t know was a thing.

2. It’s Produced From Totally Trustworthy Sources

You may not realize that the powders you’re putting in your body may actually be sourced from poultry, cows, and even fish bones and gills. Ew. Creators of these products take collagen from a bunch of different animal parts and put them together in the hopes that they will have the same effect as real human collagen, but they don’t. It’s kind of creepy to actually think about where these seemingly harmless powders come from. We don’t often enough question the legitimacy of the ingredients that we’re putting into our bodies.

3. It Gives You Nutrients You Can’t Get From Food

The main components of collagen supplements that are supposed to support the body are the amino acids glycine and proline, which are good for bones and tendons. As we already know, none of the supplements’ nutrients can be absorbed by the body anyway, but collagen supplements aren’t the only way we can take in these amino acids.  They occur naturally in foods like fish, chicken, strawberries, and blueberries. So instead of blindly hopping on the “Collagen Vibes” bandwagon, remember you are probably better off literally eating normal food. You’re welcome.

4. It’s Good For You Just Because Influencers Are Telling You It Is

As we should have learned by now from the Khloé Kardashian Flat Tummy tea scandal, so many of the “healthy” products influencers advertise are scams. They are literally making money off of telling you to buy them, and there is nothing really in it for you to trust them wholeheartedly without doing your own research. Kourtney is telling you these supplements will change your life, but why should you believe her? She’s trying to sell them, after all. I know how tempting it is to be fooled by how she looks, but just remember all the money and professional attention behind her perfect skin and body. Or, to put it another way, you’re not ugly, you’re just poor, but buying shady supplements will only make you poorer.

5. It’s Worth The Money

Kourtney’s supplements cost $49 and, as we have now made it blatantly clear, they benefit you in literally no way. You are sacrificing $49 of your hard-earned money for fish bone powder that comes in a pink or purple bottle because Kourtney K told you to. I love the Kardashian/Jenners and acknowledge the fact that they somehow make me want to give them money for every single product they put out (do I really need another Kylie Cosmetics lip kit in a shade 0.1% different than the one I bought last month? Yes, because I know it will sell out and then I won’t be able to get it even if I want to—WAIT, no I don’t), so I understand the appeal.  But there are better uses of $49. Take a cool exercise class you’ve been dying to try. Go to the grocery store and buy real food that will actually nourish you. Buy a nice face cream that might actually have a real external effect on the appearance of your skin. But buying a collagen supplement won’t really help you.

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