Collagen and coffee, the perfect combination
So, you may have heard of a recent study which suggests coffee inhibits collagen formation. Alarm bells ring and we consider throwing away the percolator in order to save our skin. However, does coffee really prevent collagen formation? And therefore, should we not be squeezing hydrolysed collagen into our morning cup?
Firstly, it is important to understand both the benefits of coffee and collagen.
Coffee beans were first brewed in the 11th-century and were pretty widespread in the Muslim community by the 13th-century. Coffee is loaded with antioxidants and polyphenols which help to slow down the ageing process. As well as this, it is said coffee protects against free-radical damage and boosts our liver function.
If you’re an Instagram-er, chances are you’ve seen the ‘But first coffee’ memes - and it’s true. Caffeine is a stimulant; coffee helps to stimulate blood flow to the brain and supports healthy cognitive function.
Additionally, the unique amino-acid profile of hydrolysed fish collagen stimulates the body’s natural collagen production. As we age, our natural collagen levels deplete which can age the skin, leading to fine lines and wrinkles.
Collagen is also responsible for repair - and supports nerve production in the brain - again supporting healthy cognitive function. So together collagen and coffee should be the perfect combination, right?
However, a study in 2014 claimed to be ‘the first ever report about caffeine-induced inhibition of collagen synthesis in human skin fibroblasts.’
his would suggest that coffee inhibits collagen formation in the human skin. However, it is really important to understand the facts.
There is an enzyme called ‘prolidase’ that plays a role in collagen synthesis and caffeine inhibits it, hence having an adverse effect on our collagen production. However, this is dose dependent.
The experiment in the study was not actually carried out on real humans. It was carried out in a petri-dish in a lab. The average coffee consumption in adults is between 4mgs - 15mgs. The study saw the incubation of cells in 5mM of coffee for 24 hours.
Bear in mind the average cup of coffee has just under 200mM which is consumed by the whole body - not just one single cell. It is therefore difficult to see how this would translate to social coffee consumption.
The ratio here would suggest you’d have to consume an inhumane amount of coffee in order to replicate this study!
So, if you have been adding your hydrolysed collagen to your morning coffee - fear not, you can continue! Hallelujah! Hydrolysed collagen is water soluble which means it will dissolve and be absorbed into coffee. Coffee also speeds up metabolism - thus speeding up the absorption of the collagen.
And coffee is actually used more and more in skincare. As a known antioxidant (even the study doesn’t argue with that!) is anti-ageing, and also anti-cellulite as it prevents excessive accumulation of fat cells. Coffee also increases micro-circulation in the blood.
But again, the benefits are dose dependent. Too much coffee can make you feel jittery, anxious and unable to concentrate, and can also disrupt hormone levels - so it’s important to limit your consumption to two cups a day.