Collagen... it’s creating a bit of a buzz at the moment, with claims that it can transform skin, promote hair regrowth, repair the gut, support healthy bones, joints and muscles and improve immunity… We’re here to break down the science to help pick the right product for you.
It’s known that beautiful skin comes from within. We can put all the lotions and potions on the skin (and spend a fortune in the process!) so would we be better putting our money where our mouth is and going in to get glowing skin?
The answer is a most definite yes, but there’s differences in the types of collagen out there, and also the accompanying ingredients in products, which can boost up effectiveness.
At Therapy Organics we’ve stocked Collagen for a good few years. We’re strict on the products we stock and have always ensured any collagen product comes from a reliable source, insisting where possible on grass fed and organic (if from animal source), clean seas (if marine source) and favouring products which support the body to make it’s own collagen, as after all our body will continually make new collagen and break down old collagen.
As the scaffold of the body, poor collagen production results in slow wound healing, bleeding gums, premature wrinkling, poor skin appearance, hair thinning and weak brittle nails. Collagen production naturally reduces as we age so supporting our own collagen production can help keep us looking and feeling younger, but…
The first question would be to decide if you want to support your own collagen, or take it from another animal (ie. Meat or fish). Let’s first understand what collagen is, then we can look at which form suits you.
Collagen is one of the building blocks of connective tissue. Connective tissue holds our body parts together. It’s role is to provide support, shape and stability in many tissues, such as skin, blood vessels, tendons and fascia.
The word ‘collagen’ is derived from the classical Greek word for glue ‘kola’ and is made up of proteins bundled together in a variety of fibers. These fibers twist around each other to form collagen fiber, which gives strength to the tissue it forms. Our body continually produces it’s own collagen, and continually breaks it down. This is a natural process which means we need and rely on adequate nutrition to enable this process to work effectively.
Collagen exists in different forms, depending on its location and function in the body. At least 16 different types of collagen have been identified, but some 80 to 90 percent of all the collagen in the body is either type I, II, or III.
Type I Collagen - The vast majority of all the collagen we contain is type I, because it’s found in skin, hair, nails, muscles, joints and organs. Most anti ageing collagen powder supplements for the skin will contain type I.
Type II Collagen - This type of collagen is present in movable joints and cartilage (the connective tissue that protects your bones). You’ll also find it in spinal disks and eyes. In supplements, type II is predominantly used for joint health.
Type III Collagen - After type I, this is the second most abundant collagen in human tissue because it’s found in places such as your intestines, muscles, blood vessels and the uterus. As a supplement, type III collagen is most commonly used for gut health.
Traditionally we would have eaten organ meats and bone broths which naturally contain high levels of collagen in the meat, the gelatine and the broths. As modern diets have moved away from boiling up bones and eating every part of an animal, we may be missing out on this collagen, which our bodies would use for repair.
Marine collagen is taken from fish. The reason we love marine collagen is that it has a near-identical chemical make-up to skin itself. It tastes neutral and mixes easily with drinks. It can be added to food and isn't destroyed by heat. It's a great starting point as most people don't really notice when it's added to their food or drink.
Animal source collagen quality can vary according to the health and lifestyle of the animal. We insist on organic and grass fed, raised naturally without hormones, antibiotics, chemicals or GMO. You can either take the pure collagen, or a variation with other ingredients added to support the collagen. These are for specific health support, for either skin, inflammation and joint health, digestive health or bone health. Remember collagen alone supports all of these, however the synergy of the additional ingredients may make the product more effective for you.
Vegan collagen doesn't strictly exist, as collagen is a product of fish or animals, however fermented amino acids have been shown to help the body form it's own collagen, alongside other ingredients such a vitamin C. The products below are suitable for vegans as they support the ability of the body to make it's own collagen. We love these advanced formulas which are perfect for those on vegan and vegetarian diets, or for anyone wanting to boost nutritional intake.
Bone Broths are excellent sources of collagen, and as a bonus they also contain high levels of hyalauronic acid, which works with collagen to hydrate cells in the body. Think of this as natures natural cell plumper. (It’s completely natural despite the non natural sounding name). They are also packed with health boosting minerals, and can easily be made into a pleasant tasting, broth type drink.
It's really easy to add collagen to your daily diet without even noticing! Yes you'll pay more for your drink, but the growing range of functional drinks combine great tasting ingredients for all sorts of health boosting benefits with your daily shot of collagen. Simple!
If you’ve any questions or would like any advice just get in touch.
Kylie Williams is a Co-Director of Therapy Organics, and also a Bowen Technique Therapist. She is passionate about natural medicine to optimise health.See more Articles by Kylie
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