It’s hard to miss the necessities of collagen proteins these days. Whether it’s in the form of homemade bone broth or collagen powders, collagen-rich items are now the “go-to” product to help slow the effects of aging. Dietary collagen can be helpful for supporting the body’s collagen structures.
Did I Always Have That Wrinkle?
As crazy as that sounds, over the years, I’ve said that on numerous occasions staring at the person in the mirror!
Collagen breakdown begins as early as in your 20s. And the breakdown continues… Year after Year…….
And it gets worse. As we age the body produces less collagen as we age over time. So, it can’t “hold up” your skin as well as it used to. Some believe this is one of the reasons for aging skin, uneven skin tone, brittle nails, and other signs that give away your age.
Over time epithelial & dermal layers get thinner due to loss of collagen, elastin, proteoglycans and water binding capacity. This results in wrinkles, dryness, loss of tone & elasticity, cellulite, and “crepe-like” appearance.
Why would you want to support collagen and maintenance?
Well, collagen accounts for as much 40% of all the protein in the human body, especially connective tissue (skin), including blood vessels. Here’s how collagen supports us as a percentage of the protein in the following tissues:
Corneal tissue: 64%
Tooth dentin: 30% (That’s right; even your teeth have protein in them!)
Bone: 16% (bones are also have protein, Not just calcium!)
Compared to other proteins, collagen has a special amino acid combination thats crucial to your body. It’s the braid-like three protein strands woven together that lends collagen its strength as well as its flexibility, which we see in some of the tissues above.
Oh yes! We stretch, run, do yoga and Pilates while our blood vessels expand and contract thanks to the structural properties of collagen.
Here’s the science behind it all for the curious ones.
Collagen proteins are rich in something called hydroxyproline. This is the amino acid proline, modified by adding an additional component. Hydroxyproline accounts for around 12% of the amino acids in collagen.
Collagen also contains a high amount of the amino acid glycine (about 22%) which is found in the dietary protein which provides the building blocks for collagen, but ingesting pure collagen itself ensures a combination of these critical raw materials.
Many of us don’t consume enough daily protein. Even those with a higher protein intake, the richest sources of collagen—animal skins, bones, and tendons—are not typically part of the modern Western diet. (Tendon soups and stews are popular in East Asia.)
Fortunately, powdered collagen protein is now available, and it can be incorporated into shakes, smoothies, and other foods and beverages (including coffee). (You can use it to make homemade jello, gummies, puddings, and other gelatin desserts.)
Collagen powder is also an easy (and tasty) way to get higher doses of this kind of protein than you might be able to get from sipping broth or eating chicken skin.
Collagen proteins are helpful for a number of issues.
Because of its primary structural role in certain tissues, collagen has been shown to help increase bone mineral density, support healthy blood pressure, improve nail growth and the appearance of skin wrinkles, and reduce some of the symptoms associated with osteoarthritis.
Did you know collagen is a unique protein that…
Is the most abundant protein in the human body
Functions like support pillars for your skin to keep it nice and smooth
Supports the health of your hair, joints, and bones
Helps strengthen brittle fingernails
Unfortunately, over time, your body produces less and less of it
#1 SKIN: Collagen helps fight the signs of aging by supporting skin elasticity and hydration which helps maintain the skin’s youthful tone, texture, and appearance.
#2 HAIR: The amino acids in collagen support the structural proteins in hair that encourage existing hair growth, thickness, and strength.
#3 JOINTS: Collagen provides support to the body’s connective tissues and joints.
#4 BONES: Collagen can help strong and healthy bone structure.
#5 BRITTLE FINGERNAILS: Collagen supports fragile and brittle nails.
#6 COLLAGEN PRODUCTION: Collagen has sources of amino acids that help the body naturally produce more collagen.
#7 LEAN BODY MASS: Combined with resistance exercise, collagen supports lean muscle growth and muscle strength.
#8 LIVER HEALTH: The glycine in collagen may also help support the liver.
#9 ANTIOXIDANT FUNCTION: Collagen has antioxidant properties.
#10 RESTFUL SLEEP: Due to its glycine content, collagen supports the quality of sleep in those who have occasional difficulty sleeping.
My Collagen Choice
I personally use the Whole Body Collagen (see below) because it contains 3 unique Collagen Peptide Blends:
Fortigel Collagen : shown to improve collagen production in joints, resulting in improved cartilage structure (increased glycosaminoglycans content as evidenced by MRI and joint space by X-ray), reduced osteoarthritis symptoms (pain, stiffness), improved joint function, reduced post-exercise joint pain in young because the tendon is often the weakest link in the chain of transmitting mechanical force. Since the tendon is composed of 65-80% collagen, collagen peptide supplementation has potential to support improved tendon strength and elasticity.
Verisol Collagen: shown to upregulate synthesis of collagen, elastin and glycosaminoglycans in the dermal layer of facial skin, resulting in reduced wrinkles, improved skin elasticity and hydration. Verisol has also demonstrated the ability to improve cellulite appearance by increasing dermal thickness and elasticity. These benefits may also be useful in counteracting age-related skin thinning, manifested as a “crepe-like” appearance. Another study has shown that Verisol supplementation resulted in improved nail growth and reduced occurrence of brittle nails. Verisol has been shown to reduce inflammatory processes in the skin, with potential for alleviating various clinical inflammatory conditions manifested in epithelial tissues. Various collagen peptides have been shown to speed healing of bed sores in the elderly, support healing of stomach ulcerations and to have an anti-inflammatory effect in colitis.
Fortibone® Collagen: Clinical, pre-clinical and in vitro research is accumulating to support the benefits of collagen peptides for bone health.45 This is complementary to the classical approach of ensuring adequate status for bone-supportive nutrients, such as calcium, magnesium, silicon, and vitamins D, K1 and K2. In a study of menopausal women with osteopenia or osteoporosis, compared to placebo, supplementation with 5 g per day of Fortibone resulted in improvement in bone mineral density by 6.4% in the femoral neck and 5.5% in the spine, as well as increased markers of bone formation, with no change in markers of bone breakdown.