What You Need to Know About Collagen Supplements
What You Need to Know About Collagen Supplements
One nutrients that has proven extremely popular in recent years is collagen. In my estimation, it has a lot to offer in terms of dense nutrition to help promote wellbeing.
Although the most commonly-touted benefits of collagen are for skin, hair and joints, it reportedly provides value elsewhere – particularly with regards to helping heal leaky gut, and also fortify the cardiovascular system.
In a recent newsletter, Dr Colbert, a prominent US medical doctor and best selling author, gave a resume of the different types of collagen and their uses. Below is an extract from his letter, which you may find interesting and informative.
‘There are almost 30 types of collagen that have been identified. And they are not all equal. Some are more important to human health than others. Among these, the different types have different functions. If you want the benefits of collagen powder, it’s important to know which type does what, and ensure that you are taking the right type of collagen for your goals.’
What is collagen powder?
Collagen powder is a nutritious food supplement that has been specially hydrolysed from bones, hooves, skin, ligaments, and tendons of animals.
While it isn’t the most appetising supplement, it has much to its credit, including the fact that it contains powerful and effective nutrients such as amino acids, many of which are absent in modern diets.
There are 3 ways you can benefit from collagen on a daily basis:
1. By drinking bone broth.
2. By ingesting tiny bones that are within seafood (you will eat some when having salmon, for instance).
3. By using a gelatin or collagen powder.
Of the aforementioned options, using a collagen powder might be the most convenient method.
How to use collagen powder
Although bone broth and nutrient-rich animal bones are highly beneficial for your health, they are not so easy to come by, or for that matter cost-effective. Bone broth in particular can be incredibly pricey.
Admittedly, collagen powder isn’t exactly cheap either. However, it is very convenient, appetising and nutritious. You can add collagen powder to hot drinks like coffee and tea, and also to smoothies and soups.
It only takes a small quantity – perhaps 2 tablespoons a day – to obtain the benefits cited in research. Providing you are taking the right type of collagen, of course!
There are several forms of collagen, and each can assist the body in unique ways. As mentioned, collagen powders typically derive from cow, chicken, fish, pig or egg sources.
Type 1 collagen: Benefits, uses, sources
Type I collagen makes up 90% of our hair, skin and nails. If you’re seeking to enhance your appearance, Type I is the one you should be looking at.
Believe it or not, Type I collagen can help to address the signs of skin aging, such as elasticity and wrinkles. More details are provided below.
1. Improved elasticity of skin and tissue
A 2014 study of 46 women, aged 35-55, indicate that eight weeks of collagen powder intake improved skin elasticity within a month.
When the elasticity of skin is improved, it can stretch and rebound better without sagging.
And the best part? Collagen is wholly natural. Skip the synthetic skincare and naturally nourish your glow.
2. Reduced wrinkles
Another 2014 study found that collagen take reduced wrinkles after just two months.
Moreover, a study which appeared in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology concluded that collagen not only improved skin moisture but also produced younger-looking, less-fragmented skin.
3. Improved skin and tissue structure
In a 2017 lab study, researchers found that 6 months of oral consumption of collagen increased the collagen content in the skin. It also improved skin structure and the density of different types of collagen (type I and type III), resulting in improved colour and lustre of skin and fur.
While it’s important to remember that this was a study on mice, it is promising for human skin and hair as well.
Type I collagen is most abundant in bovine and marine collagen. However, many people have an allergy to bovine collagen – and there are also concerns about disease in the cows transferring to humans. The best source, therefore, is from fish.
Check your sources and make sure they include fish.
Type 2 collagen: Benefits, uses, sources
Type II collagen in considered the most helpful during times of illness. There’s a reason why our grannies can’t offer a bowl of chicken soup or broth quick enough!
Type II collagen is deservedly famed for its powerful immune-boosting and joint-nurturing properties.
Type II collagen also aids digestion, no surprise given that it represents a major part of our gut lining, acting as a barrier between the substances we ingest and our bloodstream. This serves to assist both digestion and immune health.
Of course, type II collagen is a key building block of cartilage, which explains why it is so vital for the health of our joints. Studies show it is beneficial for osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and also post-surgery/post-injury joint pain.
Type 3 collagen: Benefits, uses, sources
Type III collagen is also important, with benefits particularly to cardiovascular health.
T3 helps form arterial walls and is often found alongside type I collagen in both human and animal bodies. When you get fibrillar type III, you are also often getting type I. In other words, both the cardiovascular system and skin benefit.
Studies show that type III collagen represents nearly 10% of the total collagen components in cartilage.
Type III collagen supplements are often made from bovine (cow) and other animal sources.
Other types of collagen
Although 80-90% of human collagen is types I, II and III, there are, to be sure, other types. The most important being types V and X.
These are crucial for cell membranes, placenta health during pregnancy, the formation of bones and more. When you consume chicken or bovine sourced collagen, you are typically getting at least a modest quantity of these types too.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies, and as such, it’s important to know about the different forms and what they can do for you.
Hopefully we have provided some food for thought (pardon the pun), and you now better appreciate the unique properties of collagen.
Adding one or two tablespoons of multi-collagen powder to hot drinks or smoothies each day is a great idea, and will ensure you benefit from a natural protein source that doesn’t provoke a blood sugar spike.
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