What is collagen?

 

Collagen has been somewhat of a buzzword over the last couple years. Seeming to appear out of nowhere to take over the healthcare industry. Understandably, this could lead to a bit of skepticism. But there have actually been a large variety of studies undertaken that highlight the healthcare benefits collagen has to offer. Although there is a lot of information out there, it can be a little unclear or confusing.

So we thought we’d put together a breakdown of what collagen actually is, where it comes from and how it can be beneficial to your health.

 

What exactly is collagen?

Collagen is the main structural protein found in skin, bones muscles, tendons and other connective tissues. But what does that actually mean? Essentially, we can view collagen as the glue that holds the body together.

Collagen is made from an array of different proteins and helps fuel the body from the inside. Did you know that aside from water, collagen is the most plentiful substance in our bodies? Crazy isn’t it.

In the skin, collagen is a part of the connective tissue that helps in firmness, suppleness and constant renewal of skin cells. Collagen also aids in protecting the skin from outside sources, by preventing absorption and spreading of pathogenic substances, environmental toxins, micro-organisms and cancerous cells.

Types of collagen

Collagen isn’t as simple as we might believe. When we hear the word collagen, we might think that it is all the same throughout the body and different supplements. However there have been 28 different types of collagen identified and described. These types range in variety and relate to what part of the body they are found in as well as the role they play.

Out of all the different types there are two that stand out, these are Type 1 and Type 3, they contain 19 amino acids and essential for maintenance and repair within skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones. Together they make up over 90% of collagen in the human body and are considered the most beneficial to supplement with.

When used as supplements, these two types of collagen are taken exclusively from animals and are sourced from the skin, connective tissue, bones, tendons and ligaments. Most collagen supplements are extracted from cows (Bovine) and fish (Marine).

Bovine

Bovine collagen is abundant in Type 1 and Type 3 collagen. Bovine collagen is one of the preferred sources of collagen due to the fact it is a rich source of essential amino acids and is similar to the collagen we naturally produce in our bodies. Bovine collagen is also highly regarded for its muscle growth and repair capabilities. This is primarily due to it containing glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline. These three amino acids are crucial building blocks of collagen, tendons, and ligaments. 

Bovine collagen is a concentrated source of the amino acid glycine, which helps your body produce creatine. Creatine has been shown to help increase muscle mass and improve exercise performance. Glycine has also been found to promote deeper sleep.

Marine

Marine collagen is rich in Type 1 collagen, proline, and glycine. The benefits of marine collagen come from the fact their collagen peptides are smaller, which are more easily digested, absorbed and distributed by the human body. This means marine collagen enters the bloodstream faster than other types of collagen, making it the best option to replenish your body’s natural collagen reserves. Marine collagen has also been found to be more beneficial for improving skin tone and complexion than bovine.

Known for its beauty benefits, marine collagen nourishes the skin and improves its complexion. This is done by controlling the rate of skin renewal, helping your skin cells to keep renewing and repairing naturally. Clinical trials have shown patients who supplement with marine collagen experience a decrease in wrinkles with improved skin hydration and firmness.

However, a combination of both Bovine and Marine Collagen is recommended to get the well-rounded benefits that collagen supplementation has to offer.

What is Hydrolysed collagen?

You may have seen this buzzword floating around, so what exactly is Hydrolysed collagen? For collagen to be effective as a supplement it needs to undertake a hydrolysing process. This is when the collagen is reduced to small peptides to be given a smaller molecular weight, in comparison to typical collagen.

Hydrolysed collagen is essentially a more refined form of collagen. The more broken down the protein is, the easier it is for your body to digest and use. Having Hydrolysed collagen allows your body to utilise the molecules more efficiently, meaning you will see greater benefits.

Hydrolysed collagen is also easier to digest than other popular proteins, like whey or casein, making it a smart addition to your workout supplement list.

Why do you need to supplement collagen?

There are a wide variety of reasons to start adding collagen into your supplement regime.

Collagen helps to maintain healthy and clear skin and improve skin elasticity. As we age, the natural collagen in our body decreases leading to the emergence of fine lines and wrinkles which results in dull, lifeless skin. Exposure to the sun, UV light and smoking can also affect the bodies ability to produce collagen. By supplementing collagen, you help fill your bodies natural reserves, which can counteract these signs of aging. Collagen has also been found to help remove skin blemishes and acne.

Collagen has been shown to increase bone and joint strength, during the aging process collagen levels throughout the body deplete leading to brittle bones and sore joints. Bovine collagen has been found to improve muscle recovery and repair, which can be very beneficial alongside a regular workout routine. This means your muscles recover faster and stronger which is important in keeping muscles healthy as we age.

There haven’t been any side effects discovered from supplementing collagen. However, if you are on any medication it is always advised to consult with your doctor before starting.

Our range of products contain high quality marine and bovine collagen to help counteract signs of aging, improve bone and joint strength as well as help to improve muscle tone. For a full list of our products visit, https://qtforyou.com/collections/all-products

Further reading

If you want to delve deeper into the clinical benefits of collagen feel free to check out some of these studies.

http://www.jmnn.org/article.asp?aulast=Borumand;epage=53;issn=2278-1870;issue=1;spage=47;volume=4;year=2015

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4206255/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5707681/

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1185/030079908x291967

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1185/030079906X148373

 

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