Does collagen supplementation help strengthen nails? Maybe yes and maybe no!
We can’t say with a hundred percent certainty that you’ll transform your nails from being brittle, weak, and broken into a heavy-duty back scratcher if you drink animal bone broth or consume collagen supplements daily. Although many people have already enjoyed such benefit, you have to remember that everybody is different.
To say that everybody will have stronger nails just by taking collagen supplements is irresponsible. It may even be illegal!
Still, thousands of people stand by collagen supplements. So, what does research say about the effects of collagen protein on our nails?
Naysayers say that the health benefits of collagen supplementation aren’t proven yet because studies haven’t conducted enough double-blind, placebo-controlled, and randomised clinical trials. However, if you look at the main barrier that’s stopping researchers from getting a random clinical trial, it’s actually funding. An RCT is incredibly expensive to run. It’s also highly doubtful that large pharmaceutical companies would fund studies on collagen when they have more pressing concerns to allocate funds to than anti-ageing or supplements that help nails!
That being said, we strongly believe that there’s more than enough studies and research that support the efficacy of collagen supplementation.
Collagen for Stronger, Healthier Nails
Several diseases are linked to collagen deficiency. Collagen and keratin are the main types of protein found on your nails. One reason why the consumption of collagen supplements has brought about a positive impact on the nails of collagen takers is because they are rich in arginine, an amino acid. Collagen peptides contain almost 20 kinds of amino acids and arginine is just one of them. Arginine is a crucial amino acid for nail growth as it helps immune function, reducing the brittleness of nails from diseases in the process.
How the Protein Builds Stronger Nails
A Cosmetic Dermatology Journal study that was recently published contains the following:
“Twenty-five participants were instructed to take 2.5 grams of a particular collagen supplement and the subjects supplemented with collagen peptide for 24 weeks with one supplement a day. After the 24-week mark, test subjects were made to abstain from the supplement for an entire 4-week period. After 4 weeks, the nail growth rate of the participants was assessed, as well as the frequency of chipped or cracked nails.
The Results: Collagen peptide supplementation promoted a 12% increase in the nail growth rate of participants and a 42% decrease in broken nail frequency. Moreover, two-thirds of them reported better nail appearance and feel. Almost 90% of the subjects showed improvement in their nails even after 4 weeks of abstaining from collagen peptides. Eighty percent of the participants agreed that collagen peptide supplementation improved the health and appearance of their nails and they were completely satisfied with the treatment’s performance.”
Of course, there are sceptical participants. They argued that not enough were able to participate in this research. But again, a large randomised clinical trial would be expensive to run. If you’re willing to let the fact slide and give collagen peptides a try, then it’s likely that you will see great results yourself.
According to the report of the researchers, when bioactive collagen peptides are administered orally, they are absorbed as free amino acids and minute collagen peptides. The free amino acids offer the building blocks for extracellular matrix protein development as well as support for the epidermal structure. As for the small collagen peptides, they act as the bioactive messengers that activate different signalling pathways as well as stimulate epidermal and dermal metabolism.
What we can get out of the research is that specific collagen peptides have an effect on our dermal and epidermal metabolism which is directly correlated to the appearance and health of our nails. There’s definitely a science behind the use of collagen supplements to boost nail growth and health. But, supplementation is NOT the only way for you to remedy nail brittleness. Apart from collagen intake, you should also follow a balanced diet.
Your diet will play a huge role in the functions of the entire body. In order for you to attain strong, healthy nails as soon as possible, try adding more protein into your body as nails are made of protein. Eat lean poultry, pork, beef, spinach, as well as vegetables that are rich in protein.