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Do Collagen Protein Supplements Work?

Updated: Jul 2, 2023

The Power of Collagen Peptides: Supporting Health and Wellness

Introduction:


In recent years, collagen peptides have gained popularity as a dietary supplement due to their potential benefits for the body. Collagen, a protein abundant in our bodies, plays a crucial role in maintaining healthy skin, hair, nails, joints, and more. In this blog post, we will explore how collagen peptides can positively impact the body and support overall health and wellness, despite many recent articles that have tried to debunk this science.

What are Collagen Peptides?


Collagen peptides, also known as hydrolysed collagen, are derived from collagen proteins, which are an animal derived product. Through a process called hydrolysis, collagen proteins are broken down into smaller peptide chains, making them easier for the body to absorb and utilize. This bioavailability makes collagen peptides an excellent supplement to incorporate into our daily routines.

Skin Health and Anti-Aging:


Collagen is a major component of the skin, providing it with strength, elasticity, and hydration. As we age, the natural production of collagen (and elastin) decreases, leading to the development of wrinkles, fine lines, and sagging skin. By supplementing with collagen peptides, we can potentially slow down the ageing process and improve the overall appearance of our skin. The main peptides in collagen are glycine, proline and hydroxy proline, and you need vitamin C is required for the activation of proline into hydroxy proline. Studies have suggested that collagen supplementation may increase skin elasticity, hydration, and reduce the visibility of wrinkles and skin roughness. [1][2].

Joint Health and Mobility:


Collagen peptides play a vital role in maintaining healthy joints and supporting mobility. Cartilage, the flexible tissue that cushions our joints, relies on collagen to maintain its structural integrity. Research suggests that collagen peptide supplementation can help reduce joint pain, improve joint function, and alleviate symptoms associated with osteoarthritis. [3][4]

Gut Health:


The gut lining, composed of epithelial cells, is responsible for nutrient absorption and acts as a barrier against harmful substances. Collagen peptides have been shown to support gut health by enhancing the integrity of the gut lining and reducing intestinal permeability. This can help alleviate digestive issues such as leaky gut syndrome and improve overall gut function. [5]

Hair and Nail Strength:


Collagen is an essential component of hair and nails, providing strength, thickness, and resilience. By supplementing with collagen peptides, individuals may experience improved hair and nail health. Research indicates that collagen supplementation can enhance hair thickness, promote hair growth, and improve nail strength and quality. [6][7]

Sports Performance and Recovery:


Collagen peptides have gained attention among athletes and fitness enthusiasts due to their potential benefits for sports performance and recovery. Collagen plays a crucial role in supporting the structure of tendons, ligaments, and muscles. Studies suggest that collagen peptide supplementation may enhance collagen synthesis, improve muscle strength, and promote faster recovery from exercise-induced injuries. [8][9]


Unraveling the Different Forms of Collagen


Choosing the Best Supplemental Options Introduction:


Collagen, a key structural protein in our bodies, is available in various forms when it comes to supplementation. Each form of collagen has unique characteristics and benefits. In this article, we will explore the different types of collagen commonly found in supplemental form and discuss which ones may be the most effective.

  1. Type I Collagen: Type I collagen is the most abundant collagen in our bodies and is primarily found in the skin, tendons, bones, and ligaments. It provides strength and support to these tissues. When it comes to supplementation, type I collagen is often derived from bovine (cow) or marine (fish) sources. Bovine collagen is rich in amino acids essential for collagen production, while marine collagen is known for its bioavailability and low molecular weight, which enhances absorption. Both forms have been shown to support skin health, hair strength, and joint function.

  2. Type II Collagen: Type II collagen is primarily present in cartilage, ligaments and vessels, providing cushioning and flexibility to our joints and vascular structures. It is commonly used in supplements targeting joint health and conditions such as osteoarthritis. Un-denatured type II collagen, obtained from chicken cartilage, is the most prevalent form in supplements. It helps modulate the immune response associated with joint inflammation and has been shown to alleviate joint pain and improve joint function.

  3. Type III Collagen: Type III collagen is often found alongside type I collagen in tissues like skin, muscles, and blood vessels. It provides elasticity and support. While less commonly available as a standalone supplement, it is often combined with type I collagen in multi-collagen formulas. The inclusion of type III collagen enhances the benefits associated with skin elasticity and tissue repair.

  4. Multi-Collagen Blend: Multi-collagen blends have gained popularity as comprehensive collagen supplements that offer a combination of various collagen types, typically type I, II, III, and sometimes type X collagen. These blends aim to provide a broad range of benefits targeting skin, hair, nails, joints, and overall tissue health. They offer the advantage of multiple collagen sources, allowing for a comprehensive collagen profile. The research is mostly performed on Marine vs Bovine collagen, and either will contain these important and effective peptides.

Choosing the Best Supplemental Form:


Determining the most suitable collagen supplement form depends on individual needs and desired benefits. Consider the following factors:

  1. Specific Health Goals: Identify your primary health objectives. For skin health, hair, and nail benefits, type I collagen, especially marine collagen, may be preferred. If joint support is the primary concern, opt for supplements containing type II collagen.

  2. Bioavailability: Look for collagen peptides or hydrolysed collagen in supplement labels. These forms have undergone a process that breaks down collagen into smaller peptides, making them more easily absorbed by the body.

  3. Source and Purity: Consider the source of collagen, such as bovine, marine, or chicken. Ensure the supplement is sourced from reputable manufacturers that prioritise quality, safety, and ethical practices.

  4. Combination Formulas: Multi-collagen blends offer a comprehensive approach, targeting multiple areas of health. They can be beneficial for overall wellness and convenience, as they provide a balanced collagen profile in one supplement.

Conclusion:


Collagen supplementation can offer numerous benefits for skin, joints, hair, and overall health. When choosing a collagen supplement, understanding the different forms of collagen and their specific advantages can help you make an informed decision. Whether it's type I collagen for skin rejuvenation, type II collagen for joint support, or multi-collagen blends for comprehensive benefits, finding the right form of collagen will assist you in achieving your health and wellness goals. As always, consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new dietary supplement regimen. Note: It's essential to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new dietary supplement, especially if you have specific health concerns, allergies, or are taking other medications.

Collagen peptides offer a range of potential benefits for the body, supporting various aspects of health and wellness. From promoting youthful skin and strong hair and nails to improving joint health and gut function, collagen peptides have become a popular dietary supplement for individuals seeking to enhance their overall well-being. While collagen peptides show promise, it is important to note that individual results may vary. It is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating collagen peptide supplements into your routine, particularly if you have specific health concerns or are taking other medications.

References:

  1. Proksch E, et al. Oral intake of specific bioactive collagen peptides reduces skin wrinkles and increases dermal matrix synthesis. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2014;27(3):113-119.

  2. Choi SY, et al. Effects of collagen tripeptide supplement on skin properties: A prospective, randomized, controlled study. J Cosmet Laser Ther. 2014;16(3):132-137.

  3. Lugo JP, et al. Efficacy and tolerability of an undenatured type II collagen supplement in modulating knee osteoarthritis symptoms: a multicenter randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Nutr J. 2016;15:14.

  4. Clark KL, et al. 24-Week study on the use of collagen hydrolysate as a dietary supplement in athletes with activity-related joint pain. Curr Med Res Opin. 2008;24(5):1485-1496.

  5. Jiang J, et al. The effect of hydrolysed collagen on intestinal barrier function and colitis in a rat model. Food Funct. 2018;9(3):1695-1709.

  6. Wickett RR, et al. Effect of oral intake of choline-stabilized orthosilicic acid on hair tensile strength and morphology in women with fine hair. Arch Dermatol Res. 2007;299(10):499-505.

  7. Hexsel D, et al. Oral supplementation with specific bioactive collagen peptides improves nail growth and reduces symptoms of brittle nails. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2017;16(4):520-526.

  8. Shaw G, et al. Vitamin C–enriched gelatin supplementation before intermittent activity augments collagen synthesis. Am J Clin Nutr. 2017;105(1):136-143.

  9. Zdzieblik D, et al. Collagen peptide supplementation in combination with resistance training improves body composition and increases muscle strength in elderly sarcopenic men: a randomised controlled trial. Br J Nutr. 2015;114(8):1237-1245.

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