Why Collagen is the Latest Buzz Word
Author: Lia Pellizzeri Date Posted:22 July 2019
Collagen plays so many roles in the body making it fabulous for general health and contributing to its growing popularity in the health world - targeting skin elasticity, bone and muscle structure, the protection of organs and joint and tendon integrity, it is also wonderful for gut health by helping to aid intestinal tissue repair.
As the most abundant protein found in the body, it is ultimately the ingredient of youth. The plump, smooth quality of young skin is due to the generous amount of collagen proteins the skin structure contains. This unfortunately diminishes as we age, when collagen production declines leading to tissue structure that is weaker and more prone to wear and tear.
So what is the answer? Well assuming the old adage you are what you eat (and absorb) is true, then simply adding collagen to your daily routine is an easy way of helping to replenish your collagen stores. In this article we are going to answer some of the frequently asked questions we receive here at Australian Natural Care to help you understand a bit more about this little gem of a substance!
What exactly is Collagen and how do you make it into a supplement form?
Simply, collagen is a protein that forms much of the connective tissue animals have in their bodies… including us. You won’t see much, if any, on an eye fillet. But get yourself a lamb shank or Osso Bucco – basically some flesh surrounding a bone, and you will detect the almost translucent sinewy bits that are holding the joint together. This is your basic collagen.
However, to make it into supplement form, otherwise known as Collagen hydrolysate or Collagen peptides, the collagen has been processed and thus broken down into much smaller units of protein that optimize absorption when it is consumed.
So is it the same as Gelatin?
Essentially gelatin is different from collagen, although they are also very similar. In a nutshell, highly nutritious gelatin can be derived from collagen when it is cooked for a very long time, forming the gelatinous nature of bone broth when bones have been simmered for hours.
They are also different chemically and are therefore used for different things, for instance whilst Collagen hydrolysate dissolves immediately into cold or hot water, gelatin will instead gel when it comes into contact with liquid. It is this characteristic that makes gelatin a widely used culinary staple, but is gaining popularity amongst healthy foodies for its nutrient and collagen-building amino acid profile.
Are there different types of Collagen and are any superior?
There most certainly are different types of collagen. They differ due to where they’ve been sourced, for example marine collagen comes from collagen peptides derived from fish. The most superior forms are marine collagen and from grass-fed cows, due to their super strong, triple-strand structure.
I’ve heard it’s good for Hair, Skin, and Nails. Is this true?
Collagen is actually the most abundant protein in the human body. It gives structure to our hair, skin and nails (as well as bones, tendons & ligaments). So it would make sense that including collagen in your diet would benefit these structures, right? Let’s check out the research!
A double-blind, placebo controlled study on 69 women was conducted. The women, aged 35-55 were given 2.5g of collagen hydrolysate once daily for 8 weeks. After 8 weeks, there was a significant improvement in skin elasticity and skin moisture compared to placebo!
I suffer with a lot of gut issues and have heard Collagen can help. Do you think it can?
There can be many reasons why you might have gut issues. It can be a little difficult to say whether collagen can be helpful for all gut issues, as there can be so many contributing factors and various symptoms. What we do know however, is that our intestinal wall is made up of tiny folds called villi – and these villi are made up of collagen.
Can’t I just get enough collagen from the food that I eat, like bone broths?
Foods like bone broth are a great way to increase your collagen intake. Bone broths not only contain collagen, but also a range of other nutrients from other ingredients added (like all the yummy herbs & veggies you might add for flavour).
Generally, collagen supplements tend to have a higher concentration of collagen compared to food products. They can also list the amount of collagen in the supplement. For example, our Precious Skin® product contains 5g of marine collagen per sachet. This may be helpful when trying to achieve a specific health goal or outcome.
Proksch, E., Segger, D., Degwert, J., Schnuck, M., Zague, V., Oesser, S. (2014), Oral supplementation of specific collagen peptides has beneficial effects on human skin physiology: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, DOI: 10.1159/000351376
|Written by Lia Pellizzeri|
Lia is a qualified Naturopath who believes in the power of nature to heal many of today’s acute and chronic conditions. She’s not only passionate about living a healthy lifestyle, but about educating people on nutrition and the amazing benefits of herbs and supplements in addressing symptoms and their underlying issues.
Lia loves to cook, bake and read… when she isn’t busy telling people to enjoy their egg yolks and other healthy fats, she can most likely be found on the lounge with a latte and a tattered copy of Lord of the Rings.