The truth about Collagen - Warts and all!
With so many Collagen products on the market, how do you know which to choose? Does collagen powder work? Is collagen the fountain of youth or a hoax? We’ve asked our resident expert Greg Haglund the important questions you’ve been asking!
Does it matter where collagen comes from?
Yes, it does matter where collagen comes from - bovine collagen and marine collagen are different! Whether it's coming from cartilage, ligaments, skin, hide, or bones - it all matters. But what matters most is whether it's Types I, II or III collagen and ideally you want a mix of all three collagen types.
There's actually 28 different types of collagen that the body uses but 95% of that collagen comes from Types I, II and III. As long as you get clean, high quality collagen peptides that provides those three types, you'll get exactly what your body needs.
What should I look for in collagen?
The most important things to look for are that you get a good, clean, quality collagen from multiple sources - ideally grass-fed bovine collagen, and wild-caught sustainable marine collagen.
In addition to that, make sure your collagen is in PEPTIDE form. Peptides are small di- and tri-peptides (chains of two or three amino acids in length) that the body will absorb. You also want to make sure it contains Types I, II and III of collagen so it covers off 95% of your collagen needs.
When your collagen supplement has Vitamin C added, it will absorb better. If it has digestive enzymes added, it will absorb better again.
And, make sure it has L-Tryptophan which is the missing amino acid in collagen.
With so many collagen choices on the market, if you make sure your collagen is complete, it will do what your body needs.
Are collagen peptides the fountain of youth?
No - they are not the fountain of youth. If you've lost your hair, it's not going to grow back overnight!
However, collagen studies do support the fact that collagen supplementation can help reduce fine lines, wrinkles and cellulite. Collagen studies show improvements to the strength and texture of your skin, nails, connective tissues and joints.
There's certainly an overwhelming amount of evidence supporting all these benefits. However, it is important that we take into consideration lifestyle factors. Smoking accelerates collagen degradation and loss, as does increased sugar intake, alcohol, stress, poor sleep and excessive exposure to sunlight.
If you can minimise some of these harmful lifestyle factors that cause collagen to break down and support collagen regeneration with a good collagen peptide supplement, you'll be well on your way to better health inside and out.
I've heard most of the collagen studies are funded by collagen companies. Is that true?
Yes, this is true! Similarly, most drug trials are funded by drug companies. But this is why a peer-reviewed system exists of trials. PubMed® publishes only studies that have been reviewed by experts in their field ("peers"), meaning they have looked at the methodologies (the way studies have been created and conducted) and they also take into consideration the funding behind them. Peer-reviewed studies are considered essential to ensure academic scientific quality.
However you choose to find your information, there's a great chance you're going to be able to find quality data around the research of collagen peptides.
Does collagen contain all the essential amino acids?
Collagen is missing L-Tryptophan which is one of the 9 essential amino acids. It's important that we get all 9 essential amino acids so our body can remodel and restructure all the tissue, hormones and enzymes. Having added L-Tryptophan into collagen is a huge advantage in a collagen supplement to help you see results.
Do you need Vitamin C to make collagen?
Yes! Vitamin C is absolutely essential for you to produce collagen naturally in your body from the peptides you consume in your collagen product. Getting enough Vitamin C will make a big difference. Smokers typically have reduced amounts of Vitamin C in their bodies (around 40% less), as compared with non-smokers. Smokers also have faster, more rapid collagen break down which results in more fine lines and wrinkles.
So make sure your collagen product has added Vitamin C to give you a huge advantage and bang for your buck.
Collagen supplementation is beneficial for your body, inside and out, as long as you ensure the ingredients stack up!