There’s been a lot of hype around taking collagen for menopause (and perimenopause). But what symptoms can it help with? How should you take it? And how much do you need?
We’ll aim to answer all your questions (and a heap more) in this guide.
Are you in a hurry and want to cut straight to the chase? Here are the main points:
- Collagen is essential for your bones, gut, skin, nails and hair, but you make much less of it during the menopause.
- Adding more collagen to your diet could help with a range of menopause symptoms, from aching joints to dull skin.
- 2.5-15g of daily collagen is safe and effective.
- Bone broth is packed with collagen and other nutrients. One jar of Boosh Organic Beef Bone Broth gives you 6.7g of easy-to-digest collagen.
Got a bit longer? Make yourself a cuppa and dive in…
The benefits of collagen for menopause
First, let’s take a look at why you might need more collagen during the menopause and perimenopause.
We often think of collagen in terms of skincare, but there are actually five different types of collagen found in our body and together they play a role in so much more than just your skin. Basically, collagen is an essential building block throughout our bodies – strengthening and supporting everything from your skin, hair and nails, to your tendons, muscles, teeth, bones, cartilage and even your organs.
We’ll look at some of these benefits in a bit more detail later on.
What happens to collagen during the menopause?
Our bodies make collagen naturally, but levels take a nose dive during the menopause. In fact, a whopping 30% of dermal collagen can be lost in the first five years after menopause, and it continues to reduce by around 2% each year after that.
And it shows.
As your oestrogen and collagen levels drop, you’ll likely notice that your skin feels thinner and slacker. Your hair might lack volume. And your nails probably feel more brittle. But most important of all is the effect on your bones and joints. You might feel weaker, creakier and achier.
What’s the best collagen for menopause?
Lots of skincare brands add collagen to their products, but the molecules are usually too big to penetrate more than the first layer of skin. And collagen in skincare won’t do diddly squat for your joints.
You could take a collagen supplement, but you might prefer to look into foods that help with menopause naturally. We recommend drinking organic bone broth or using it as an ingredient in your cooking. You can read more about the link between bone broth and collagen here.
Why should I drink bone broth for menopause symptoms?
Not only is bone broth packed with collagen, it’s also rich in protein, amino acids and other nutrients. As a result, bone broth gives you a wide range of benefits, including boosting your gut health and improving your sleep. It’s also easy to digest. And it tastes great – adding flavour to soups, stews, curries, pasta dishes and even salad dressings. (Our Organic Chicken Bone Broth won a Great Taste Award.)
A word of caution… Not all bone broths are created equal. Some have far lower amounts of collagen. However, our Organic Beef Bone Broth has a whopping 70% more collagen that the market leader.
How collagen can help with menopausal symptoms
Good quality collagen may help with several common menopausal symptoms.
Collagen for healthier skin
At Boosh, we hate the term anti-ageing. But we do believe in ageing well. And collagen can play a part in that. A healthy diet, with plenty of plant fats and oils (like avocado) can make a big difference to your skin. And adding more collagen to your diet (eg through bone broth) should help to improve your skin’s elasticity and make it look brighter, plumper and fresher.
Collagen for fuller hair
Want stronger, fuller, glossier hair? Collagen is your friend. (You can read more about the benefits of collagen-rich bone broth for your hair here.)
Collagen for joint pain
Can’t get comfortable at night because your hips hurt? Collagen might help. Joint pain is a common menopausal symptom, but one study found that taking chicken collagen leads to a ‘significant reduction’ in osteoarthritic joint pain.
Collagen for stronger bones
As oestrogen levels drop off, our bones become weaker, which means we’re more likely to suffer from osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and breakages. Thankfully, several studies have shown that collagen can help to improve bone density.
If you’re worried about your bones, you may also want to take up a weight-bearing exercise, like running or tennis.
How much collagen should a menopausal woman take?
Scientists have yet to agree on the ideal amount of collagen to take. However, improvements have been shown with as little as 2.5g of collagen a day. 5g has been linked to greater benefits, such as improved bone density. Our bone broths have up to 6.7g of collagen in each and every jar.
You can use Boosh bone broth instead of stock in soups, stews and other dishes. Or just warm up a jar for a comforting hot drink.
Does taking collagen increase oestrogen levels?
While collagen shouldn’t increase your oestrogen levels, it can help to tackle some of the symptoms of low oestrogen, such as aching joints and skin problems. So it won’t help with hormonal imbalance, but it may still help you to transition through the menopause.
How should I use bone broth to boost collagen?
Bone broth is incredibly versatile. It tastes great on its own (just warm it up in a pan), or you can use it in risottos, soups and other dishes.
Natural help through the menopause
Whether or not you decide to take HRT, there are lots of ways you can ease menopausal symptoms naturally.
- Drink bone broth for extra collagen.
- Take up running or another weight-bearing exercise to keep your bones strong.
- Try cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) to ease anxiety.
- Buy an electric fan and switch to 100% cotton bed linen to help with night sweats.
- Use sunscreen everyday and add retinol to your daily skincare routine.