Collagen exploded in the marketplace in 2018. Promises of healthy skin and hair, muscle repair and new sources of protein hit the shelves. I'm sure you know someone who is taking collagen, but is it worth the hype? There are many brands out there to choose from, so how do you choose and what type is best for you?
As I grow older, tissue repair has become very important to me. There are a few reasons why I take collagen on the regular:
- repairing muscle tissue from working out
- gut repair
- hair and nails: (I want to slow down my greying process as much as possible!! )
So how can it be beneficial to you? And what exactly is it?
What is Collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein that is found in your skin and connective tissues, like joints, muscle, bone and and tendons. During your mid- to late-twenties, your production of collagen starts to diminish, so getting it from an outside source is essential. Naturally, you can get collagen from animal bone broths including fish, beef, chicken and pork. You can also take a supplement powder which you can add to beverages and other foods.
Collagen is not a complete protein, meaning it is lacking some essential building blocks that the body needs for blood and muscle building and energy production. The parts that it does contain specifically support tissue, so it can be beneficial for repair and support, but not truly a great source of protein.
Types of Collagen
When figuring out what Collagen is best for you, there are 5 different forms you will see listed. Here's a quick breakdown for you:
Type I - The Beauty Queen
Being the most common type of collagen, this is the source you want for your skin, hair and nails. Mainly from marine sources, and is also the most accessible for the body to absorb. If you're looking for your new beauty booster, this is it!
Type II - The Repairman
It's no wonder that they say chicken soup is good for a cold, chicken is the most abundant source of Type II collagen. It helps to build cartilage, repair gut lining and boosts your immune system.
Type III - The Heart
Found alongside Type I, but in smaller amounts, Type III collagen is an important part of strengthening arterial walls for good cardiovascular health.
Type V/X - Sidekicks
While not commonly found, both V and X type collagen are still vitally important. V helps form cell membranes and placenta walls in women and is most commonly found in egg shell membrane. X is useful in bone formation and is found in chicken and bovine collagen.
Tips for taking collagen:
- Vitamin C supports collagen synthesis, so ensure that you are getting a good source of it when taking collagen. Some formulas may include Vitamin C with it.
- Many formulas will state the collagen is hydrolyzed, which only means that it has been broken down into smaller bits, or "peptides" to make it more absorbable
- Hylauronic Acid, which is found in the body is known to promote the generation of collagen in the body