Think of collagen like glue for the body. Collagen is the substance that holds everything from our bones, skin, muscles, ligaments, and tendons together.
Collagen is naturally found in our skin’s dermis, which is our thickest layer of the skin made up of fibrous and elastic tissue. Collagen provides a scaffold for cells of hair, skin and nails.
As we age, the body produces less collagen which leads to your skin becoming dry, and fine lines and wrinkles starting to show. Therefore, it is important to ensure we keep our collagen levels topped up!
Yes, our bodies can produce collagen itself. When we are young, collagen is one of the proteins we are most abundant in.
However, when we reach around 25 years old, the rate of collagen we produce and the amount, starts to slow down. For women, collagen production deteriorates at a quicker rate when they go through the menopause.
Lifestyle factors can also restrict the body’s ability to produce collagen such as smoking, eating too much sugar and excessive exposure to UV rays, all of which can cause the skin to wrinkle and sag.
Taking a collagen supplement can help provide your body with the building blocks to form new collagen.
Marine collagen is classed as type 1 collagen which is the most abundant of all collagen types in the human body and in your skin.
As the name suggests, marine collagen comes from animals found in the sea, such as fish and jellyfish.
Collagen is extracted from fish after the flesh has been removed for food and the remains have been cleaned. Once extracted, it goes through the hydrolysis process, which breaks down the collagen into collagen peptides, which are small units of protein.
Collagen peptides are easier for the body to digest compared to non-hydrolysed collagen.
Compared with other sources, marine collagen has a higher level of collagen content. As it prevents fish visceral from being wasted, it is also considered an eco-friendlier option.
What’s more marine collagen is predominately type I collagen, which is the most abundant of all collagen types and the main one found in our skin.
Collagen creamers are ideal for those who prefer creamy coffee. Collagen creamer transforms plain old coffee into a rich and creamy treat so your day can get off to a delicious start!
Depending on the format, collagen can be added to many different things. For example, collagen creamers, liquids, sachets and powders can be added to drinks such as water, your morning coffee etc. If you feel like experimenting, you can also blend it into smoothies, yoghurt, ice cream, and other recipes easily. The options are endless.
On the other hand, if you opt for a collagen oil, these can be added to your beauty products such as creams, lotions, and moisturisers.
Collagen is a generally safe and nontoxic daily supplement, with most people not experiencing adverse side effects.
However, there are potential side effects (like with any supplement) and more so with gelatine supplements. Side effects such as a lingering unpleasant taste and sensations of heaviness and heartburn. Also, if you are allergic to the source of the supplement, you could have an allergic reaction. Also, some people have reported minor gastrointestinal discomfort, such as mild diarrhoea, a feeling of heaviness in the stomach or rashes while taking collagen.
Currently health authorities haven’t provided official guidelines for how much collagen is safe to take a day. The current advice amount how much collagen all depends on the form you are taking and the reasons why.
When buying supplements always check out the recommended dosage, which will be present somewhere on the packaging.
Most collagen powders will come with a handy little scoop so that you can make sure you are getting the right dose.
Powders can be added to almost everything – the only limitation is your imagination. Experiment and add them to hot and cold beverages, smoothies, foods, snacks etc. To avoid lumps, make sure you’re stirring or shaking it long enough for the powder to dissolve.
Yes, there are many topical collagen supplements that come in many different forms such as creams, masks, oils, moisturisers and more.
When it comes to topical or drinking collagen and which is better, this depends on why you are taking collagen and your individual needs.
There are many topical collagen supplements which can be applied to your skin and face and can be easily become part of your daily skincare routine.
On the other hand, there are many collagen supplements that can be taken orally, and with unflavoured options that won’t affect the overall taste.
There are around 16 types of collagen, with the four main types being type I, II, III, and IV. Type I is found in all skin, bones, tendons, fibrous cartilage, connective tissue, and teeth. Type II in your joints, type III in your muscles, organs, and arteries. Type IV is also found in the layers of your skin.
Your body makes procollagen by combing two amino acids, glycine, and proline. All collagen starts off as procollagen. You may be able to help your body produce this protein by making sure you get the following nutrients: vitamin C, proline and glycine.
The difference between collagen powders and pills has less to do with the collagen and more to do with how you get it. Powder is loose and can be added to foods and drinks. Capsules, on the other hand, are typically filled with collagen powder and need to be swallowed like any other pill. Some people prefer capsules to powder, but you may have to take a whole lot of capsules for the equivalent dose.
Some people worry that when adding collagen to coffee that the temperatures with affect the quality of the supplement. Generally, when exposed to high temperatures, proteins become denatured, changing their structure slightly.
One study which exposed collagen proteins to temperatures of 150 to 420 degrees observed that their initial degradation occurred at around 150 degrees. That said, coffee is typically brewed at around 90 to 96 degrees, a much lower temperature.
As long as your coffee is below 150 degrees, when you add your collagen supplement, the quality of the powder is unlikely to be affected.
Some scientists say that they’re able to genetically modify things like yeast and bacteria to create animal-free vegan collagen. Others are working on ways to bioengineer it. But more research is needed on whether it delivers the same type of results as animal-based collagen products.
If you’re vegan, there are things you can eat to boost your body’s ability to naturally produce more collagen such as beans, oranges, red and green peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, whole grains and nuts. Your also needs foods high in nutrients like vitamin C to boost collagen production.
Does the size of collagen molecules affect the absorption?
There is a myth that the size of collagen molecules affects the absorption, and science has disproved this.
Recent studies into molecule size have shown that regardless of molecular weight, collagen molecules are broken down by enzymes in the body.
Hyaluronic acid forms part of the skin’s natural framework, it’s a large sugar molecule that is found in the deeper layer of our dermis.
Hyaluronic acid and collagen complement and support one another, as hyaluronic acid enhances the body’s ability to produce and use collagen.
Collagen drinks combats collagen loss by sending the protein, in the form of peptides, straight to the stomach. The idea is that drinking collagen will give you a glow from the inside and help bring out your inner beauty.
Collagen powders are not designed to be used on their own as a meal replacement. The idea with collagen powders is that they can be added to smoothies, baked goods and other food and drinks.