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Is collagen in coffee good for my skin?

Julie says…I don’t know if it’s available in the States, but in Malasia there’s is a coffee with collagen that supposedly has anti-aging effects. Is this product really good for my skin?

The Left Brain responds:

The product that Julie is referring to is the Nestlé’s “Nescafe Body 3-in-1 Coffee with Collagen.” According to what I read it is sold only in Singapore but Nestle has experimented previously with similar products in Japan. This is one of several new Nescafe products that promote “beauty from within.” But does it really work?

Collagen quandary

On one hand, there does appear to be some science behind this. According to at least one study (Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2009 Apr 23;73(4):930-2. Epub 2009 Apr 7.) daily ingestion of collagen peptide can help control UV-B induced skin damage and photoaging. In this particular study, subjects ingested 0.2 g of collagen peptide per kilogram of body mass per day. That’s approximately 11 grams of collagen per day for a 125 pound woman. On the other hand, coffee doesn’t appear to be an effective way to administer that much collagen. The Nescafe product contains about 200 mg (or .2 grams) per cup, so you’d need to drink about 55 cups of coffee every day to achieve the benefits that the collagen study identified. (You’d also need to drink 26 glasses of wine to calm down from all that caffeine!)

The Beauty Brains bottom line

Based on a quick review of a single study, there does appear to be a possibility that ingesting enough of the right kind of collagen may be beneficial for your skin. But don’t fall for the marketing hype of collagen coffee.

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