Collagen products do not stop ageing process: Expert

Health education officer and nutritionist Siti Munawwarah Awang Tarif says for more radiant and wrinkle-free skin, people should adopt a healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet.

EATING collagen in the form of pills, collagen-enriched food products or directly from animal sources will not make people look younger, said an official from Health Promotion Centre (HPC).

Health education officer and nutritionist Siti Munawwarah Awang Tarif said there is no specific food that could make skin glow to make a person appear younger.

She told The Brunei Times that collagen-infused drinks with anti-ageing properties, which have made their way to the shelves of mini marts and even pharmacies, are gaining popularity in Brunei.

Collagen, the main structural protein found in the connective tissues of animals that is present in places such as the skin, tendon and bones, is believed to provide health benefits but has no proof of reversing the age process of the consumers, said health education officer from HPC.

The health officer said to get a more radiant and wrinkle-free skin, people should try adopt a healthy lifestyle by maintaining a balanced diet instead of relying on bogus health products claiming to provide beauty effects.

These products containing collagen are often confused by consumers to provide the same benefits as vegetables and fruits.

"People should just eat more vegetables and fruits and get ample sleep to help control stress levels," said the health education officer from HPC.

Siti Munawwarah went on to say that people who are looking for a blemish-free skin should engage in at least 150 minutes of physical activity on a weekly basis, adding that eliminating unhealthy habits such as smoking can aid in improving one's skin condition.

Siti Munawwarah added that these products claiming to contain collagen may lead to long-term health problems.

The health education officer said some studies associate fruits with beautifying effects, although this has yet to be supported by evidence-based results.

"There are no specific fruits that could help a woman look young and have a radiant skin. All fruits have similar beneficial effects," she said.

"We encourage public to eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables because fruits and vegetables have vitamins and antioxidants that could reduce risk of developing chronic diseases," she continued.

Asked if natural food contributes to beautification, the nutritionist said there is little evidence to support that.

"Myths that say chicken feet and fish can have beauty effects need to be supported by evidence-based studies. Sometimes it is just a misconception from the public or it could be linked with personal testimonials only," she said.

The health education officer cited an example, stating that some food may not have the same benefits on different people.

"A lady who is known to eat a lot of chicken feet looks beautiful and has a radiant look. We cannot conclude that just because she likes to eat chicken feet is the reason why she looks young than her age. We have to look at a holistic approach. Beauty comes from within. If your inner side is not able to cope with the outside pressure, you will not be able to provide a good outcome," she added.