The Essential Guide to Collagen
What is collagen?
Collagen is made up of 18 amino acids and is the most abundant protein in our body, making up around 30% of total human protein content. It is essential as it helps build strong fibres and connective tissue in our bodies. For this reason, collagen is commonly referred to as the ‘glue’ holding the body together as it ensures the integrity, elasticity and regeneration of our connective tissues. Collagen plays a key role in maintaining our bones, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, blood cells and vessels, skin tissue, hair and nails.
Where does collagen come from?
Humans and animals produce collagen naturally, and it can be found in skin, bones, gut lining, joints, nails and even our hair. There are over 20 types of collagen found in the human body alone. They vary slightly in their structure, however the most common forms marketed are Types I, II and III. Type I and III are predominantly found in the dermal layer of the skin, bone, tendon, muscle and connective tissue. Type II collagen comes from cartilage.
When collagen is extracted from an animal, the source material is heated and undergoes processing that begins to unravel the triple helix chains of molecules. The liquid is separated and dried and forms gelatin. The protein chains in gelatin are much larger and it takes the body longer to breakdown and digest.
What is hydrolysed collagen?
Collagen undergoes an additional process in manufacturing whereby specific enzymes are added to breakdown the protein chains into small collagen peptides. These peptides make collagen more bioavailable in comparison to gelatin as it can be absorbed into the bloodstream very rapidly. Once the enzymes have finished cleaving the protein chains down, the liquid solution is then sprayed and dried, and is then referred to as collagen hydrolysate powder.
Hydrolysed collagen powder contains a unique profile of amino acids, including eight of the nine essential amino acids. Glycine, hydroxyproline, proline and arginine account for over half of the amino acid content of collagen hydrolysate.
What is the difference between bovine and marine collagen?
The main difference between bovine and marine collagen is the source. Nutraviva’s grass fed and finished bovine collagen hydrolysate is sourced from pasture-raised cattle in Brazil. Our marine collagen is sourced from wild-caught, organic, non-GMO verified cod skin from the North Atlantic Ocean. Nutraviva Marine Collagen is tasteless, odourless and is highly regarded in the beauty industry as a premium collagen source due its slightly smaller peptide size.
Why is collagen good for you?
By our mid-twenties, our body starts losing its natural ability to produce collagen and starts to breakdown collagen at a rate of 1 to 2% per year. When we reach our 30s we begin to lose collagen faster than the body can make it. Collagen supplementation may assist with ‘kick starting’ the body into the re-synthesis of amino acids and to begin producing collagen again.
The key benefits of collagen are:
- Improving joint functioning, pain reduction and supporting healthy bones
- Promoting lean muscle retention & anti-inflammatory
- Powerful antioxidant
- Improving joint mobility
- Helping to balance hormones
- Promoting more restful sleep
- Helping with arthritis & osteoarthritis
Natural Beauty and Skin Care
- Increasing the collagen structure & density of the skin’s dermis layer
- Promoting skin elasticity, enhancing the hydration & moisture content of skin cells
- Helping reduce stretch-marks severity & repair day-to-day damage to the surface layer of the skin
- Promotes healthy hair, reduces shedding & promotes thicker, stronger and fuller hair
- Arginine helps generate strong nails & prevents brittle nails
- Reducing fine lines & keeping the skin plump for longer
Weight Loss and Management
- Greater satiating effect compared to other forms of protein, thus reducing appetite and cravings
- Reduction of overall food intake through the release of satiating hormones into the bloodstream
- Promotion of muscle mass retention and recovery to support movement & mobility whilst exercising
- Assists muscular contractions by synthesizing creatine resulting in strength gains and muscle hypertrophy
- Muscle restoration through the promoting the recovery & repair of muscle tissue from strenuous exercise
- Helps stimulate the release of growth hormones from the pituitary gland
- Strengthens connective tissue and thus helping prevent injuries
- Regenerates cartilage and reduces joint pain and inflammation
- Speeds up recovery from injury, trauma or surgery
Joint and Bone Health
- Stimulates osteoblasts that help build and strengthen bones
- Supports joints and bones in remaining healthy and flexible
- Promotion of cartilage renewal
- Reduction of inflammation and pain
- Maintaining healthy bone mass density to help prevent fractures
- Improving gut health and the complications eg. Leaky Gut Syndrome
- Boosting immunity
- Reduces gut inflammation caused by poor dietary choices
How to take collagen effectively?
Taking between 10 to 20g of pure collagen a day is ideal. Also, check the suggested serving size and the amount of collagen contained in each serving. Tablets and capsules often have additive or binders and may not provide a sufficient dose of collagen, as well as being inherently more expensive per dosage. We recommend taking collagen hydrolysate twice daily ten to twelve hours apart to maintain a steady supply of amino acids throughout the day.
There is little evidence to suggest any adverse side effects from consuming collagen or gelatin, or in consuming larger quantities than suggested. If any underlying health conditions exist or if pregnant, please consult with your doctor as a normal precautionary measure.
Can I give collagen supplements to my pets?
Supplementing our pet’s diet with collagen may support your pets in living a full, pain-free life. Our three Nutraviva Pet Formulas are a safe and effective joint and bone supplement for all dog and cat breeds of any age or size. When taken as part of a healthy diet, Nutraviva's Collagen Plus range may assist in improving the health and mobility of your beloved pet.
At Nutraviva, we’re all about transparency. We’re happy to tell you where our high-quality products come from and what goes into them. Browse our FAQs for more information about our supplements, or get in touch to ask us any questions.
Written by Liz Golsby, Digital Marketing Manager, Nutraviva Ba MTeach DipHSc.