Collagen supplements – how do they differ and why do these differences matter?
You might have heard about collagen, or seen it mentioned on the ingredient list on a product in the vitamin aisle. But what does collagen do? And how is marine collagen different to the others?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. Bones, muscles, blood vessels, skin and even tendons consist of collagen. Collagen is what grants your skin the elasticity and strength that we often associate with youth. To put it simply – collagen is like the glue that keeps everything together.
Are there different kinds of collagen in the human body?
Yes. There are three major types of collagen.
Type 1 & Type 3
Collagen Types 1 & 3 are responsible for maintaining the skin, hair, muscles, bones and nails. In fact more than 90% of collagen in the human body is of Type 1 & 3.
The two types in total are comprised of 19 different amino acids or proteins, each has a crucial role to play in the aforementioned maintenance. They are produced by the cells that make up your bones and connective tissues.
Some of the major proteins that make up Type 1 & 3 collagen are as follows:
- Glycine - This is the most abundant amino acid found in collagen. Studies have shown that the body doesn’t produce enough glycine on its own.
- Alanine – This is an amino acid that is used in protein biosynthesis.
- Proline – This is a non-essential (meaning the body can create its own) amino acid that is created from glycine and plays an important part in keeping joints and tendons healthy.
- Hydroxyproline – This is an amino acid that is crucial for maintaining collagen stability.
Type 2 collagen forms about half of the total cartilage protein, which is why it is essential to maintain joint health. It is created by a liquid inside the cartilage called chondrocytes. Basically, as long as we have the recommended collagen levels in our body, we’re good to go.
Do I need collagen supplements if the body produces it naturally?
As we age, the levels of collagen in our body begin to decline. The regeneration process in the body becomes less efficient, causing skin aging, which none of us are very fond of.
Research suggests that by the time you are 40 years old, your collagen levels drop by 25%. By the time you get to 60, these levels have dropped more than 50%!
What are the benefits of collagen supplementation?
Supplementing with Collagen Types 1 & 3 offers a whole host of benefits.
- Reduced occurrence of wrinkles and lines
- Makes skin more elastic
- Curbs hair loss and adds volume
- Improves blood circulation
- Increased glycine production helps build lean muscle and aids fat loss
Collagen Type 2 supplementation comes with its own suite of helpful effects
- Reduces the occurrence of ‘popping’ in knees and other joints
- Makes your jaw and back more healthy
Collagen supplements are available in several different forms – tablets, powder, capsules and chewables. So, you can take your pick from a large range of products and manufacturers.
How do I choose which supplement to buy?
As is true for any other supplement, not all products are created equal.
There are several different sources collagen supplements are created from. Let us delve into the science of these supplements a little, because we need to know what we’re putting into our bodies.
Here we go.
- Bovine (cow) collagen supplements
These are cheap, and therefore comprise a large percentage of the collagen supplements out there. As you might expect, they aren’t the most effective at raising collagen levels in the body.
- Porcine (pig) collagen supplements
Like their bovine counterparts, these are cheaper to manufacture and are very popular in the collagen industry. However, these too aren’t the most effective tools to raise collagen levels.
- Fowl (chicken) collagen supplements
A large number of type II collagen supplements are made from chicken collagen peptides, because they have been shown to be effective for cartilage support. However, as an overall tool for raising collagen levels in the body, these aren’t very effective.
- Marine (fish) collagen supplements
Marine collagen peptides have been shown to be the most bioavailable and fast-absorbing. As a result, high quality marine collagen, like the one used in our Skin Support product is medically regarded as the best collagen source.
Marine collagen, as found in our Skin-Support and Zupafood supplements, has a low molecular size and weight, making it easier for the body to absorb it into the bloodstream through the intestinal barrier. In addition, we’ve made sure that our collagen is hydrolyzed, making it even more bioavailable for the body to absorb.
The result – increased collagen synthesis in bones, skin, joints, tissues and several other essential systems in the body.
Make sure you’ve done your due diligence even if the label says the collagen is derived from marine sources. Ideally, the collagen should be extracted from the fish skin, and not the scales, because extracting collagen from the scales requires the use of chemicals, making the resulting product sub-par.
I know what you’re thinking “That was quite a handful!”
Don’t worry. This is part of the process. Make this a habit – before you purchase any supplement or nutritional product, you must have enough data to make an informed decision. It only takes 10-15 minutes of research for a lifetime of benefits!
Regardless of how old you are, you can still choose to feel youthful and energetic. We’ve carefully formulated Skin Support and Zupafood For Skin to produce the best results for people like me and you.
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