Essentials Nutrients for Skin 5 MIN READ 185 VIEWS September 10, 2022

Collagen vs Glutathione – Which is the Better Skin Care Supplement?

Written By HealthKart

Collagen vs Glutathione

Collagen and glutathione are the compounds that form the basics of healthy skin. Both are naturally produced in the body and contribute to skin quality, colour, and texture. But what will work for you will depend upon your skin’s concern. As every individual’s skin quality is different, choosing the right supplement for skin care is important. Read to learn about the benefits and functions of collagen vs glutathione. 

What is Collagen?

Collagen is the most abundantly present protein in the human body. It is found in tendons, ligaments, bone, cartilage, and all connective tissues of the body. It forms the building block of the skin and is responsible for its natural elasticity. It confers a plump and youthful look. Collagen also prevents the skin from sagging. 

Causes of Collagen Deficiency

As we age, collagen production in the body reduces. Furthermore, the existing collagen begins to break down at a faster rate. In addition to ageing, lifestyle habits also affect collagen levels. These include:

  1. Smoking
  2. Excessive intake of sugar and refined carbohydrates 
  3. Exposure to ultraviolet rays

Signs of Collagen Deficiency

The signs of collagen deficiency are visible to the naked eye. These include:

  1. Wrinkled skin
  2. Sagging skin
  3. Hallowing in and around the eyes 
  4. Shrinking and weakening of muscles
  5. Muscle aches due to stiffer, less flexible tendons and ligaments
  6. Osteoarthritis due to wearing of cartilages
  7. Reduced mobility due to joint stiffness

Collagen Supplements for Skin

Collagen is a protein that is revered as the building block for the skin, hair, bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The body starts losing its collagen levels as we reach our mid-20s. The effects become greatly visible as the skin loses its shine and sheen. A woman loses as much as 30% of her collagen in the first five years of menopause, resulting in skin sagging, wrinkles, and pigmentation. 

Interestingly, the use of glutathione with collagen helps resolve skin issues. The collagen supplements, available in the form of capsules, tablets and gels, help make up for the dropped levels of protein.  

Research findings suggest that collagen peptides, small pieces of animal collagen, help improve skin hydration and skin elasticity. Optimum levels of collagen in the body also help relieve pain and improve the functioning of bone joints in people with knee osteoarthritis.

Collagen supplements are widely popular in the fields of medicine and cosmetics. They are used as derma fillers to fill out shallow depressions in the skin. This reduces fine lines and wrinkles. Collagen is effective in wound healing as it binds new skin cells to the wound. Collagen supplements also find effective use in periodontics and vascular prosthetics.

Collagen Supplements – Health Risks and Dosage

There is no reported health risk associated with the consumption of collagen supplements. But collagen is typically an animal-based protein, so allergies linked to shellfish or eggs can be observed.

Most collagen powder is hydrolyzed. This allows better absorption of amino acids in the body. The recommended dose of collagen for an adult is between 2.5 and 15 gm per day. 

Collagen supplements can be used anytime in the day – morning or night. The efficacy and results will depend upon consistent use. Make sure you use pure and high-quality collagen.

What is Glutathione?

Glutathione is an antioxidant naturally produced in the body by the liver and nerve cells in the central nervous system. It is made up of three amino acids, namely, glycine, L-cysteine, and L-glutamate. 

Its primary role involves tissue building and repair. As a potent antioxidant, it works to fight free radicals and helps in the detoxification of skin cells. Glutathione plays a key role in the production of enzymes and hormones and is pivotal for immune health. Glutathione is marketed as a skin-lightening agent. The topical application of glutathione brightens skin tone when applied before exposure to light.

Causes of Glutathione Deficiency

The main reasons that lead to a drop in glutathione levels are:

  1. Ageing
  2. Poor diet
  3. Lack of exercise
  4. Chronic diseases
  5. Compromised immune system
  6. Infections
  7. Stress

Signs of Glutathione Deficiency

The most common signs of glutathione deficiency include: 

  1. Persistent fatigue
  2. Lack of energy
  3. Muscle aches and joint pain
  4. Brain fogging
  5. Low Immunity
  6. Poor sleep quality

Glutathione Supplements for Skin

Unlike collagen supplements that take care of skin aesthetics, glutathione supplements work deeper inside and work with the skin cells to promote good skin health. Glutathione, the master antioxidant of the body, fights free radicals. The damage caused to body cells by the presence of free radicals is primarily visible in the skin in the form of melasma, a condition marked by altered melanin production in the body. Melanin is the pigment in the body that confers skin its colour.

Women who suffer from glutathione deficiency generally have discoloured skin with brown or grey patches on the chin, forehead, and nose. Glutathione is used in cosmetic products as it helps convert eumelanin to pheomelanin, the two different colour skin pigments. Glutathione supplements, when used in the form of creams, gels, and tablets, help reduce skin discolouration, resulting in skin whitening.

Glutathione also detoxifies the body and boosts muscle strength. Glutathione supplements also inhibit the activity of tyrosinase, an enzyme responsible for controlling melanin production.

Like collagen, glutathione also helps improve skin elasticity. High skin elasticity, better hydration, and reduced melasma result in visibly radiant, plump, and youthful skin.

Glutathione Supplements – Health Risk and Dosage

Glutathione supplements are used for their antioxidant power and detoxification abilities. But long-term use of glutathione supplements may lead to zinc deficiency. Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers must avoid using glutathione supplements. 

The daily recommended dose of glutathione, when administered intravenously (through injection) or inhaled via nebulizer, is 600 mg per day. When used orally, the dose range varies between 50 mg and 600 mg per day.

Food Sources of Collagen and Glutathione 

Both glutathione and collagen are produced within the body. However, they can also be sourced through a nutrient-rich diet.

Foods naturally rich in collagen are:

  1. Egg white
  2. Fish
  3. Shellfish
  4. Chicken and bone broth
  5. Citrus fruits
  6. Berries
  7. Tropical fruits
  8. Bell peppers
  9. Garlic
  10. Green leafy vegetables
  11. Beans
  12. Cashew
  13. Tomato

Foods naturally rich in glutathione are:

  1. Sulphur-rich foods such as cruciferous vegetables 
  2. Vitamin C-rich foods
  3. Selenium-Rich Foods
  4. Spinach
  5. Avocados
  6. Whey protein
  7. Milk thistle
  8. Turmeric extract

Can We Use Glutathione with Collagen?

Glutathione and collagen supplements boost each other’s efficacy. Yes, one can take glutathione with collagen. Together the two supplements help boost skin quality with no reported side effects. They can be consumed at any time of the day.

Do Glutathione and Collagen Complement Each Other?

Yes, glutathione with collagen, when used together, complement each other greatly. While both have different roles to play, they supplement each other’s work and reverse the harmful effects of ageing on the skin. Glutathione supplements also improve gut health which is vital for collagen production.

Conclusion

Collagen vs glutathione – the debate about which is better can be inconclusive. While collagen plays a crucial role in providing structure, strength, and support to the skin, glutathione works to neutralise the effect of free radicals. However, using glutathione with collagen promises to enhance skin quality by reversing the effects of ageing. Best glutathione and collagen supplement will be the ones that are crafted out of pure, high-quality ingredients. 

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