The human body consists of protein and other essential nutrients, which are vital for a number of functions. The muscles are made up of protein which helps bind the strands together. One such protein, collagen acts as the building block for the body. There are high levels of this specific fibrous protein which can be found in the bones, cartilage, muscles, skin and tendons.
Collagen plays a key role in maintaining the strength and firmness of the tissues in the body. It also helps keep the skin taut and supple. However, with the passage of time, the amount of collagen begins to deplete, which can be identified by observing the signs of aging.
People with reduced levels of collagen in the body may experience deteriorating bone strength and sagging skin. Hence to avoid this problem many individuals are opting for collagen supplements, which uses synthetic collagen that mimics the original one.
The supplement is introduced into the body orally, in the form of creams and also through hypodermic needles. It then functions as the natural collagen and reduces the problems caused due to this protein deficiency. However an overdose or mistreatment can result in collagen supplement side effects, which can lead to unwanted complications in the absence of a proper diagnosis and treatment.
Recommended Dosage of Collagen Supplements
Collagen supplements are recommended for those individuals who suffer from skin problems and those who have deformities like too thin lips, sagging cheeks, or wrinkles. Synthetic collagen is derived from a number of sources like chicken, cow and marine animals.
The appropriate dosage of these supplements is determined based on factors like the age and health condition of the person receiving the treatment. The doctor may also check if the person is suffering from any illness at the time of administration. Collagen supplements are sold in the form of capsules, pills, creams and can also be taken in the form of injections.
You can take 2 capsules of collagen with water on an empty stomach after a meal. In case you have had a heavy meal, then keep a gap of three to four hours before taking the capsule. This is because the collagen should not breakdown and get digested, which may render it ineffective. In case of injections, the doctor may inject one vial (approximately 100ml), twice in a week. Creams can be applied as recommended on the required area of the body.
Risks of Collagen Supplements
Though there are a number of benefits of collagen supplements, a few cases of allergic reactions have also been reported. The side effects may vary according to the collagen supplement treatment administered to the person. The main reason for the occurrence of these ill effects is that the body rejects the supplement or if in an overzealous manner, the individual takes more than the recommended dosage.
- One of the common side effects of collagen tablets and other supplements is an allergic reaction. In this case, individuals may exhibit symptoms like eruption of skin rashes, nausea induced vomiting, difficulty in breathing, a dip in the blood pressure and skin ulcers.
- Some individuals may also suffer from food sensitivity, especially if they are on oral collagen supplements. Since many of the collagen supplements are made out of chicken or cow products, individuals on the pill tend to develop sensitivity towards certain foods.
- Collagen tablets can also leave a feeling of bad taste in the mouth. Continuous usage of pills can result in the formation of a coating on the tongue which can alter the taste and leave a bad breath.
- Injecting collagen also has its share of risks. The site of the injection may get infected in case the syringe is not sterile. Bruising and skin pigmentation which may last for more than a week is also observed at the injection site. Permanent scarring may also occur in certain instances, if the bruising is not treated promptly.
- Another severe complication of collagen is the occurrence of skin necrosis. This is a serious condition where there is inadequate blood supply to the tissues, which results in lopsided look. The contours of the face and skin firmness may suffer. In extreme cases, the cells perish in the absence of the proper blood circulation.
- People suffering from autoimmune disorders should strictly avoid taking collagen supplements in any form. This is specially applicable for people suffering from herpes simplex. The body treats it as a foreign substance and tends to reject it, resulting in a allergic reaction observed as swelling of the face and extremities.
- Other complications of collagen supplements include abnormal rhythm of the heart, constipation, generalized body weakness, hypercalcemia, muscle aches and pain in the joints etc.
The medical practitioner determines the dosage of the collagen supplement based on the requirement of the individual. It is always better to consult a specialist when you are taking supplements for any deficiency or illness. Take care!