Saturday, August 3, 2013

Neocell Beauty Bursts: Can a Collagen Supplement Help Your Skin?

I originally received a sample of Neocell's Beauty Burst collagen supplements when I purchased drugstore.com's Earth Day sample bag gift with purchase.  I'm going to have to remember to do this again next year, as I've discovered several products I really like! 
A month or so after getting the sample bag, drugstore.com sent me an email saying I could purchase any of the items in the bag at half off, so I decided to get the Neocell Beauty Bursts, as I was intrigued with the idea of a supplement that could potentially help my aging skin. 
These individually wrapped fruit flavored chews contain Hydrolyzed Collagen 1 & 3, Hyaluronic Acid, and Vitamin C.  Collagen 1 & 3 supposed benefits (not evaluated by the FDA, of course) are:
"Provides specific amino acids necessary to replenishing the body’s collagen supply. Helps minimize fine lines & wrinkles, and improves elasticity in the skin.  Builds and supports bone matrix.  Corrects weak, broken, split and damaged nail beds. Thickens fine hair, adds body and slows down hair loss.  Repairs connective tissues for improved elasticity; improves circulation; promotes wound healing. Glycine builds lean muscle to help burn fat while you sleep."  (Source: Neocell)
The question, of course, is does taking collagen orally lead to these results?  Honestly, I had no idea, so I did a literature search in PubMed.  There are a fair amount of animal studies looking at oral collagen supplementation, but few human studies.  The human studies I did find were small and conducted by the parent companies of the supplements.  While that doesn't negate their findings, it does mean there is the potential for bias, and the smallness of the study subject numbers means the results are probably non-significant.  Hmm. 
In general, I can say that my very cursory review showed animal studies looking at collagen supplementation for diabetic wound healing, joint health, and bone density.  Neocell had no supporting scientific literature on their site, although the Beauty Bursts did win 2013 "Best of Natural Beauty" award from the Better Nutrition magazine.  So, I did a more general Google search and found this:
"When we consume collagen, usually in the form of food, the long chain proteins are broken down during digestion to their original amino acids. Only then can they be absorbed. Once absorbed, these amino acids are available as building blocks to support collagen synthesis throughout the body. So from a dietary perspective, your body doesn’t care (and can’t tell) if you ate a collagen supplement, cheese, quinoa, beef, or chick peas — they’re all sources of protein, and indistinguishable by the time they hit the bloodstream. The body doesn’t treat amino acids derived from collagen any differently than any other protein source. For this reason, the idea that collagen supplementation can be an effective treatment for joint pain, osteoarthritis, or any other condition, is highly implausible, if not impossible in principle." (Source:  Science-based Medicine)
Not sounding too promising, is it?  I can say that these Beauty Bursts taste good and make for a nice treat after I eat, when I'm generally craving something sweet. I haven't been able to tell any difference in my skin since eating them (2 each day), and I'm almost through with the bag.  A bag of 60 chews, which would last a month, runs about $20.  Since I got mine for about $10,  I guess 33 cents a day wasn't too high of a gamble :-)

Disclaimer:  I purchased these.


  1. As long as it taste good then I'm all for it :p

    1. They remind me of Starburst candies :-)

  2. this article is nice and it is good to know about the collagen supplement and iam also interested in using neocell products

  3. This is such a great blog post! Very good information! Appreciating the hard work you put into your site and detailed information you present. It’s awesome blog. I wish to use Collagen Products.

  4. Up until the skin reaches its peak strength, typically around age 35 for healthy adults, collagen actively repairs and regenerates itself, replacing old cells with newer, healthier ones.

    Collagen Supplements