Learn the Facts

WHAT IS COLLAGEN

Collagen has been popularly known as the "glue that holds the body together". It's the most abundant protein in the body, found in our connective tissue, bones, tendons, ligaments, hair, skin, and even nails! Collagen is found in every inch of our body and we owe a whole lot to this protein. There are many different types of collagen, but our body is made up of types I, II and III. Being the strongest and firmest, Collagen I is the most abundant collagen in our body and it can be found in almost every tissue. Collagen II is found in our cartilage and it's the one responsible for presenting joint pain and arthritis symptoms. Type III is found in the reticular fiber, which provides structure to the liver, marrow, and spleen. 

WHAT IS HYDROLYZED COLLAGEN 

Hydrolyzed collagen is collagen that has been broken down into its simplest form of amino acids, making it easily absorbed for the body. Unlike gelatin collagen (which has been cooked), hydrolyzed protein is easier to digest, allowing it to flow smoothly into your bloodstream. 

COLLAGEN IN THE HUMAN BODY

Approximately 30% of our body's protein content is composed of collagen. Since collagen is found everywhere throughout our body, its' production is key in ensuring we optimize its benefits. To help our body produce collagen, we may consume nutrients like Vitamin C, Proline, Glycine, and Copper, as well as high protein foods such as meat, seafood, and tofu. 

In addition to aging, there are various factors that affect collagen production:

  • Sun Exposure: Repeated exposure to UV lights can affect and weaken collagen fibers. Although the effect will vary depending on skin color and degree of exposure, it's important to wear sunscreen and protect your skin - at - all - cost!
  • Sugar and Refined Carbs: Ever heard of glycation? Glycation is caused when excess sugar binds to a protein, causing wrinkles and even a change of skin color. Although we can't avoid glycation, we can definitely slow it down and help our skin in the process.
  • Smoking: Smoking, aside from accelerating the aging process, also affects collagen synthesis. Slower collagen synthesis means slower rate at which strong skin develops. 
  • Vitamin C Deficiency: Vitamin C plays a key role in collagen production since, without it, we cannot synthesize or store collagen. Our bodies cannot produce Vitamin C on its own; we must obtain it through a proper, balanced diet. Vitamin C deficiency can cause a condition known as scurvy. With scurvy, the body falls apart because collagen is not being produced or replaced. Healthy levels of Vitamin C are essential for collagen production, as well as for other numerous health-related conditions. 

BENEFITS OF COLLAGEN 

Collagen has numerous benefits for the human body, ranging from improved mobility to your skin's overall appearance. We've divided the benefits into three main areas being exercise, cosmetics, and health. As an overview, these benefits are also mentioned below:

  • Joint Pain: As we age and our body starts to wear out, our joints become stiff and achy, causing joint pain. Additionally, joint pain can be caused by exercise, sports injury, or any health condition that affects the joints. When we add and increase collagen consumption, we are strengthening our cartilage and are enabling our body to continue to produce collagen. When we have adequate amounts of collagen we are able to move more easily, resulting in reduced joint pain.
  • Arthritis/Osteoarthritis: While joint pain and arthritis go hand in hand, the root cause of arthritis is inflammation. Inflammation accelerates the rate of collagen breakdown, which results in pain, aches, stiffness, and reduced mobility. Adding collagen can help alleviate these symptoms and provide temporary relief.
  • Skin Health: Collagen can help keep our skin hydrated, elastic, and strong, helping us beat fine lines, skin dryness, and wrinkles. Since collagen is a major component of our skin and it's lost as we age, consuming collagen supplements can help fight this phenomenon and allow our skin to feel young and fresh. 
  • Leaky Gut Syndrome: Leaky Gut Syndrome occurs when toxins and bacteria pass through our intestinal walls and into our bloodstream. This results in inflammation, which can greatly impact digestive health. Collagen can be used to seal the gut and to support intestinal healing. 
  • Recovery: Exercise can lead to inflammation to our muscles. Collagen can help reduce inflammation by repairing the connective tissue that was damaged during the exercise, allowing for quicker recovery. 
  • Stronger Muscles: Collagen contains glycine and arginine, both of which are essential in the production of creatine. Creatine helps build muscle strength and improve athletic performance.  
  • Broken Nails: Collagen can help strengthen our nails and reduce the frequency of broken and brittle nails. Arginine, an amino acid found in collagen, helps the nail's inmune function, reducing nail damage caused from diseases. 

DO I NEED MORE COLLAGEN?

Since collagen decreases as we age, it's important to start taking collagen supplements as early as possible to decrease the effects of collagen reduction. However, there are some signs that indicate that your body is running low on collagen. For starters, hair and nails start getting weak and losing their strength, your face starts getting dry and wrinkly, teeth get loose and bones start to hurt. Additionally, if you are continuously exposed to smoke and sunshine, you may require further collagen supplementation given the rate at which your collagen levels may decrease. Those who lack Vitamin C or have any other medical condition may also need to add more collagen to their diet to support overall wellbeing.