Patient: I read about Collagen powder and its benefits for the skin and body and its even showed on Oprah show, is it really working or just a scam.”
Doctor: Collagen is a protein that is used in the formation of connective tissue for almost all structures in the body including the heart, lungs, arteries, cartilage, hair and joints. It is diffult to say whether the collagen powder really helps to improve collagen levels in the body as I have come across no such evidence. Two amino acid, hydroxylysine and hydroxyproline seem to be important for formation of all types of collagen. Unfortunately, there are no research studies to support the addition of high lysine or high proline foods as a way of promoting collagen formation. Nonetheless, it would seem logical for consumption of foods high in lysine and proline to be potentially helpful in collagen support. Animal foods are the primary source of both amino acids. With respect to proline, egg whites appear to be an especially good source of proline. Among plants, legumes are significant sources of lysine. Vitamin C is required to change proline into hydroxyproline (the collagen form) and lysine into hydroxylysine.