Collagen supplements – how do they differ and why do these differences matter?
March 2017, Xtend-Life Expert
Collagen. Most of us have, at some point or another, read an article about it, seen it mentioned on the ingredient list on a supplement or heard someone talk about it on our favorite morning show.
We’ve got a lot of things on our minds. As we step gracefully into the later years of our lives, we have a lot of things to draw strength from. We’re older yes, but we’re also more experienced. We’ve been through the confusion of finding our passion and life purpose.
We know what we like. We know the people, places and experiences that make us happy and feel loved. We are more confident in our own identities than we’ve ever been.
The days of 30, 40 and even 50-year olds being “over the hill” are long gone. We are creating more change and responsible for more progress than ever before.
It’s only natural that we would think about looking as youthful as we feel. And one of the major components of looking and feeling more rejuvenated is…
It’s something we all think about, especially as we navigate the physical realities of being older.
Most of us have, at some point or another, read an article about it, seen it mentioned on the ingredient list on a supplement or heard someone talk about it on our favorite morning show.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. Bones, muscles, blood vessels, skin and even tendons consist of collagen.
Collagen is what grants your skin the elasticity and strength that we often associate with youth. To put it simply – collagen is like the glue that keeps everything together.
Are there different kinds of collagen in the human body?
Yes. There are three major types of collagen.
- Type 1 & Type 3
Collagen Types 1 & 3 are responsible for maintaining the skin, hair, muscles, bones and nails.
More than 90% of collagen in the human body is of Type 1 & 3.
The two types in total are comprised of 19 different amino acids or proteins, each of which has a crucial role to play in the aforementioned maintenance. They are produced by the cells that make up your bones and connective tissues.
Some of the major proteins that make up Type 1 & 3 collagen are as follows:
- Glycine – This is the most abundant amino acid found in collagen. Studies have shown that the body doesn’t produce enough glycine on its own.
Research shows that even when combined with the glycine levels that most of us usually get from our diet (1.5-3 g daily), the total glycine present is not enough to achieve ideal collagen synthesis. As a result, researchers recommended the use of glycine supplementation.
- Alanine – This is an amino acid that is used in protein biosynthesis.
- Proline – This is a non-essential (meaning the body can create its own) amino acid that is created from glycine and plays an important part in keeping joints and tendons healthy.
- Hydroxyproline – This is an amino acid that is crucial for maintaining collagen stability.
- Type 2
Type 2 collagen forms about half of the total cartilage protein, which is why it is essential to maintain joint health. It is created by a liquid inside the cartilage called chondrocytes.
Basically, as long as we have the recommended collagen levels in our body, we’re good to go.
Why do I need collagen supplements if the body produces it naturally?
As we age, the levels of collagen in our body begin to decline. The regeneration process in the body becomes less efficient, causing skin aging, which none of us are very fond of.
Research suggests that by the time you are 40 years old, your collagen levels drop by 25%. By the time you get to 60, these levels have dropped more than 50%!
What are the benefits of collagen supplementation?
Supplementing with Collagen Types 1 & 3 offers a whole host of benefits.
- Reduced occurrence of wrinkles and lines
- Makes skin more elastic
- Curbs hair loss and adds volume
- Improves blood circulation
- Increased glycine production helps build lean muscle and aids fat loss
Collagen Type 2 supplementation comes with its own suite of helpful effects
- Reduces the occurrence of ‘popping’ in knees and other joints
- Makes your jaw and back more healthy
Collagen supplements are available in several different forms – tablets, powder, capsules and chewables. So, you can take your pick from a large range of products and manufacturers.
How do I choose which supplement to buy?
As is true for any other supplement, not all products are created equal.
There are several different sources collagen supplements are created from. Let us delve into the science of these supplements a little. Because hey, we need to know what we’re putting into our bodies. Right?
Here we go.
- Bovine (cow) collagen supplements
These are cheap, and therefore comprise a large percentage of the collagen supplements out there. As you might expect, they aren’t the most effective at raising collagen levels in the body.
- Porcine (pig) collagen supplements
Like their bovine counterparts, these are cheaper to manufacture and are very popular in the collagen industry. However, these too aren’t the most effective tools to raise collagen levels.
- Fowl (chicken) collagen supplements
A large number of type II collagen supplements are made from chicken collagen peptides, because they have been shown to be effective for cartilage support. However, as an overall tool for raising collagen levels in the body, these aren’t very effective.
- Marine (fish) collagen supplements
Marine collagen peptides have been shown to be the most bioavailable and fast-absorbing. As a result, high quality marine collagen, like the one used in our Skin Support product is medically regarded as the best collagen source.
Marine collagen, as found in our Skin-Support and Zupafood supplements, has a low molecular size and weight, making it easier for the body to absorb it into the bloodstream through the intestinal barrier. In addition, we’ve made sure that our collagen is hydrolyzed, making it even more bioavailable for the body to absorb.
The result – increased collagen synthesis in bones, skin, joints, tissues and several other essential systems in the body.
Make sure you’ve done your due diligence even if the label says the collagen is derived from marine sources. Ideally, the collagen should be extracted from the fish skin, and not the scales, as most cheap fish collagen supplements might do. Extracting collagen from the scales requires the use of chemicals, making the resulting product sub-par.
I know what you’re thinking “That was quite a handful!”
Don’t worry. This is part of the process. Make this a habit – before you purchase any supplement or nutritional product, you must have enough data to make an informed decision. It only takes 10-15 minutes of research for a lifetime of benefits!
Regardless of how old you are, you can still choose to feel youthful and energetic. We’ve carefully formulated our Skin Support product to produce the best results for people like me and you.
The world needs our perspective. It needs our vigor, our health and our passion. We deserve to be happier, healthier and stronger.
Here’s to you.Julie