Collagen for menopause: Everything you need to know
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body. It's the 'glue' that holds us together, providing scaffolding for skin, joints, bones, and organs.
From 25, however, collagen production starts declining by 1 per cent every year. Perimenopause can accelerate this loss, leading to visible signs of ageing and low bone mineral density.
Unfortunately, you can’t stop the clock. But you can eat in a way that supports collagen production as you transition through menopause.
What happens to collagen during menopause?
First, let’s take a look at what happens to collagen during menopause. Women can lose up to 30% of collagen in the first five years after menopause and an additional 2 per cent each year after (1).
This, coupled with the decline in oestrogen – which is also involved in looking after your complexion – can leave skin thinner, nails brittle, and bones and joints creakier.
What type of collagen is best for menopause?
There are two main types of collagen that are most relevant to women transitioning through the menopause. These are outlined below.
Type 1 collagen is prevalent in skin, hair, nails, muscles, tendons, ligaments, gums, teeth, eyes, blood vessels and bones. Since it’s a main structural component of skin, it’s often associated with skin health.
Type 2 collagen is found in the connective tissue between bones and joints known as cartilage. It is important to maintaining joint health and mobility.
Skin and joint health are often concerns during the menopause, so both types of collagen are important.
What foods support collagen production?
To support collagen production naturally, try to eat a range of protein-dense animal and plant foods, which supply the amino acids involved in collagen synthesis, as well as mineral-rich fruits and vegetables, which provide vitamin C, zinc, and copper – nutrients that also play a role in collagen production.
Chicken is a great source of collagen. But don’t go for boneless! Choosing cuts with bones and skin will contain the most collagen. Making broth from chicken bones is one of the best ways to maximise collagen intake.
Fish bones and ligaments are made up of collagen, making them another excellent choice. However, the scales, head, and eyeballs often contain the most collagen, parts of the fish we don't generally eat. That’s why sardines provide more collagen, as you tend to eat the whole fish, including its scaly skin, bones, and tissues.
Although eggs don’t have connective tissues like other animal products, they have generous amounts of the amino acid proline, which is known to support collagen production (2).
It’s no secret that eating greens is good for our health. Kale, spinach, and Swiss chard contain chlorophyll, an antioxidant that serves as a precursor to collagen formation.
Citrus fruits, like lemons, limes, grapefruit, and oranges, are excellent sources of vitamin C, which plays a vital role in collagen production.
High in protein, beans contain amino acids that support collagen synthesis. Many varieties are also packed with copper, which further aids collagen production.
Found in purple-skinned berries, like blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries, flavonoids are packed with health properties.
Most recently, anthocyanidins, a division of the flavonoid family, have been identified as supporting and repairing collagen-rich structures (3). These highly active compounds may protect collagen by blocking free radicals and destructive enzymes called collagenases, which are known to weaken collagen with age.
Colladeen® Visage contains an impressive level of anthocyanidins in a convenient, reliable source.
Bioactive collagen peptides
Aside from increasing your intake of collagen-rich foods, you may also want to consider collagen supplements for more targeted support. Collagen supplements can’t reverse the ageing process, but they may help preserve and protect the collagen you still have.
Collagen Beauty is derived from porcine collagen and provides bioactive collagen peptides – along with biotin, vitamin C, and silica – in capsule form. We’ve specifically optimised our formula to stimulate skin metabolism and counteract the loss of collagen, making it a great addition throughout menopause and beyond.
It’s also worth mentioning that Colladeen® Visage is a great vegan alternative for those who don’t consume animal-derived products.
Get advice from an expert
If you’re looking to learn more about supporting collagen production or menopausal health, please get in touch with our team of expert Nutrition Advisors, who are on hand to provide free, confidential advice via email, phone, and Live Chat. You can also head over to our dedicated Menopause Hub.
1) Brincat M. et al., Sex hormones and skin collagen content in postmenopausal women. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed). 1983;287(6402):1337-8.
2) Hida A. et al., Stimulatory Effects of egg white protein supplementation on muscle strength and serum free amino acid concentrations. Nutrients. 2012;19;4(10):1504-17.
3) Bae JY. et al., Stimulatory Bog blueberry anthocyanins alleviate photoaging in ultraviolet-B irradiation-induced human dermal fibroblasts. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2009;53(6):726-38.
Disclaimer: The information presented by Nature's Best is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications.
Olivia Salter has always been an avid health nut. After graduating from the University of Bristol, she began working for a nutritional consultancy where she discovered her passion for all things wellness-related. There, she executed much of the company’s content marketing strategy and found her niche in health writing, publishing articles in Women’s Health, Mind Body Green, Thrive and Psychologies.