Collagen is a major component of your body’s connective tissue and flesh, forming long chain amino acids that represent approximately 30 percent of the total protein in your body.
It’s a major player in the human body, and it’s essential for healthy:
Collagen gives these tissues elasticity, flexibility and strength they need to function optimally.
So far, 29 types of collagen have been identified in our bodies with over 90% of those representing types 1-5 collagen– the most abundant of these is found in our body as Type 1 collagen.
Environmental and lifestyle factors like pollution and poor nutrition can diminish your type 1-5 collagen production.
Additionally, as you age your collagen production starts to diminish starting as early as in your mid-20s. By the time you reach your 80s you have around four times less collagen than in your younger years!
When we consume collagen we can slow down our bodies aging process.
When consuming collagen we experience less breakdown and more regeneration so your skin can stay more youthful, your hair resists breakage, bones are resilient, joints resist wear and tear, and nails grow longer and stronger.
Collagen Peptides are created by an enzymatic hydrolysis (breakdown) of collagen. The benefit of collagen peptides are that they can pass through the intestinal wall and accumulate in the blood in just 15 minutes after consumption (1).
Good quality collagen underlies the strength and structure of our bodies.
Collagen peptides are special because they’re already completely broken down which means we absorb more of these beneficial amino acids as they pass through our digestive tract and into our bloodstream to stimulate regeneration.
Read on to learn 4 ways how collagen & collagen peptides can improve your overall health!
Collagen can be a key player in promoting gut health.
Collagen is a major constituent of the intestinal wall with a high content of the amino acid Glycine. Glycine improves intestinal cell function by increasing the size of the villi that digest and absorb your food (2).
Collagen also increases the thickness of the intestinal mucus layer which is a protective layer that keeps unwanted pathogens from attacking your intestinal wall and getting into your blood stream. When this happens, one can eventually experience problems with autoimmune disease. Building up the intestinal mucus layer is super important for gut health!
Whether or not you have challenges with your digestion, it would be wise to try adding in bone broth or a collagen peptide product into your daily diet routine. Aim for 1 cup of bone broth or 1 scoop of peptides about once or twice daily.
One in 4 women suffer from weak and fragile nails.
Weakened nails can be caused by diet, aging, frequent nail polish use, or long time exposure to wet conditions.
There are many studies done on the benefits of collagen & gelatin on nail health.
In one study, 25 participants took 2.5g of collagen peptides for 4 weeks. Participants had significantly improved nail growth rate, decreased frequency of broken nails, and a reduction in brittle nails (3).
If you’re on a quest for beautiful, long, and, strong nails then it could be of benefit to start including collagen peptides as part of your daily routine. Aim for about 1-2 scoops of high quality collagen peptide to boost your nail health.
Is your skin dull or radiant? Is it firm or are you noticing sagging? Do you have more wrinkles and age spots than others your age?
The largest organ in our body, our skin, contains a whopping 40% of our body’s collagen protein.
If you feel you’re aging more rapidly than you should, then collagen & collagen peptides would be a great addition to your routine.
When collagen levels are high, the skin is soft, smooth and firm. Maximizing collagen levels through diet can keep skin supple.
A study with 69 women aged 35-55 supplemented with hydrolyzed collagen 2.5-5g daily for 8 weeks had beneficial effects on both skin elasticity and skin moisture levels (4).
One understanding in how collagen consumption works is that circulating collagen peptides actually send a false signal that existing collagen is actively being destroyed. This, in turn, leads to an increase in the synthesis of brand new and stronger collagen protein matrixes in your skin.
In order to support bone health, we need to look beyond calcium and vitamin D supplements.
Bone loss is a natural process of aging. In women, we lose about 0.5% of bone per year after the age of 30 and accelerates to 2% per year after we hit menopause.
Osteoporosis and osteopenia are not only characterized by a signficant loss of bone minerals, but by a significant change in the architecture of the bone itself.
You may be surprised to learn that our bones are mostly made up of protein with 80% being type 1 collagen.
As estrogen levels decline as we age, we also see a decrease in the maturation rate and stability of collagen matrixes in our bone, putting post-menopausal women at highest risk for poor bone health.
A study in 2018 showed that women with osteopenia who consumed 5 grams daily Fortibone (an ingredient found in Designs for Health Whole Body Collagen) had in increase in bone mineral density after 12 months of use. These results demonstrated a clear bone building effect of collagen peptide supplementation (5).
Bone Broth or fish stock are an excellent sources of collagen but if you don’t have the time or know how, you can supplement with collagen peptide powder supplements.
I personally like Designs for Health Whole Body Collagen & Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides.
These flavorless products easily mix into any hot or cold food and beverage. They can be added to your favorite smoothies, coffees, teas, casseroles, hot cereals or other favorite dishes.
In addition to consuming collagen rich foods from bone broth, the connective tissue in animal products (think chicken wings) can also pack a lot of collagen.
All forms of collagen are good for your health, but keep in mind the absorption rate of hydrolyzed collagen is said to be over 90 percent compared to only 27 percent or less from food (6) (7).
Overall, it is best to take 2.5 grams of high quality collagen peptides daily, in addition to a maximum of 20 grams of collagen protein from high collagen animal foods.
If you’re prone to kidney stones, you’ll want to increase collagen very gradually and be sure you’re hydrating well.