If you’ve ever scrolled Instagram for more than five minutes, then you’ve seen the abundance of information being shared about collagen products. Influencers promoting collagen powders, customers reviewing collagen tablets, and business owners hounding the benefits as they blend their powders into their morning smoothies. And even though we may not understand the full picture we wonder whether the product would work for us as stated in said video. Without doubting the huge amounts of research that have been done into collagen and its benefits, the ads and product promoters don’t always dig deep and talk about things from an educational point of view, but rather focus on the outcome(s) that they are noticing, which in fact, can be different for every single person.
So let’s start from the start…
Collagen – or the scaffolding of the body – is the most abundant protein in mammals and makes up 25-35% of the body’s protein content. It is the main structural protein of things like skin, muscles, connective tissue, tendons and ligaments. It is the elasticity in your skin and the support structure of your body, and although the body makes its own collagen this process slows down once you reach your mid 20s leading to the signs of aging that we see like wrinkles, saggy skin, joint and muscle pain, and brittle nails and hair.
There are three types of collagen – type 1, 2 and 3 which all constitute the building blocks of different parts of the body, according to research.
Type 1 – This is the one that assists with bone structure and contributes to wound healing.
Type 2 – Makes up 50% of protein in cartilage.
Type 3 – Known for assisting with skin firmness and elasticity, nail and hair health.
There are animal, marine and vegetarian collagen powders available to suit the lifestyles of many, however vegan collagen powder is not available (yet).
What are collagen products made from?
Collagen products are made from amino acids - the organic compounds that make up protein – specifically glycine, proline and hydroxyproline according to research. Collagen peptides (short chains of amino acids) are usually sourced from Bovine – connective tissue in cattle – or fish.
What are the benefits of consuming collagen products?
Although there are many stated health benefits of collagen it is important to realise that some of the research behind the health benefits is inconclusive, meaning that some people may show signs of improvement, however others may not and there isn’t enough research to claim absolutely. According to Healthline, the benefits include:
- Can improve skin health
- Helps relieve joint pain
- Could prevent bone loss
- Could boost muscle mass
- Promotes heart health
- Other benefits: Strengthened hair and nails, improved gut and brain health & weight loss.
Putting anything into your body should be met with caution and discussed with a health professional who knows you and your medical history, that can talk you through the way it is processed by the body, and any potential side effects.
Here’s to good health!
Team TBM xx