Drink your way to younger-looking skin with powdered collagen?

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Michelle Charlesworth has the details. (WABC)

A new study out of Germany suggests that we can drink our way to younger looking skin by ingesting powdered collagen.

But does it work? Eyewitness News reporter Michelle Charlesworth checked it out, and while it may seem preposterous to drink away the years, many who have tried it are excited about the results.

"Women who took it for eight weeks saw a 20 percent reduction in the depth of the wrinkles around the eyes, which is one of those danger spots for women," Reserveage science advisor Dr. Heather Hausenblas said. "But I think what's more interesting was the science found a dramatic increase in pro-collagen."

In fact, the study indicates that production of pro-collagen, a precursor to collagen, jumped 65 percent.

"(It) helps the skin look so much younger," she said. "It's almost like a natural facelift."

Prevention Magazine has written about the study, which executive editor Olessa Pindak says is more impressive than any other she can remember seeing, especially for something that costs only about 50 cents a day to take.

"This type of a study is really unusual," she said. "And to see these kinds of results and to see this kind of double-blind, placebo-controlled gold-standard study being done on supplementation for the skin was really exciting."

Over time, she says we have taken the collagen out of our diets.

"When your grandmother made chicken soup, it's that stuff that kind of rises to the top of the soup," she said. "It used to be something that we would traditionally just get. But now that we all love our boneless, skinless chicken breast, we're not really getting it in our diet so much."

Many labels make the collagen powders and pills, but what does the powder taste like? And what can you mix it with?

"Any type of yogurt, coffee, tea, any type of drink that you like," Dr. Hausenblas said. "It mixes great and is tasteless. It will not change the taste of the water."

Dr. Gary Goldenberg, from Mount Sinai Hospital, was skeptical.

"The science behind it doesn't make sense," he said. "The way collagen is produced in our skin is by...fiber blasts. Not by ingesting it and then bringing it into the skin."

Doctors want more research. Meantime, fans of the collagen powders say you see younger looking skin in a matter of weeks.
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