(Excerpt) Though there have been some promising studies on the efficacy of collagen as a skin-plumping tool, critics say the sample sizes are far too small and the research is often funded by companies who manufacture the products. “There’s very little evidence-based medicine to show that collagen is effective as an anti-aging treatment,” says Dr. Lisa Kellett, a Toronto dermatologist. It’s unclear whether the collagen you eat can actually find its way to your pesky crow’s feet and frown lines. “When you eat protein, your body breaks it down into amino acids and then decides what to do with those amino acids,” says Vanessa Perrone, a registered dietitian in Montreal who has been getting lots of questions about collagen from her patients, as well as her friends. She thinks the jury’s still out on its effectiveness. “If you eat a healthy, well-balanced diet, your body should be producing collagen — and appropriate levels of it,” says Angela Wallace, a registered dietitian based in the Greater Toronto Area who agrees that the data on collagen supplements is fuzzy. Both she and Perrone advocate for a food-first approach. A diet rich in vitamin C (such as citrus fruits, peppers and strawberries), zinc (including seafood, meats, beans and legumes) and copper (like lamb, oysters and almonds), as well as plenty of protein, helps support collagen production.
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