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Collagen 101

What is collagen?

The most abundant protein throughout the human body, collagen offers support and strength to everything from our bones to our fingernails. Collagen not only anchors cells to each other, but it also forms sturdy fibril strands that work as supporting structures for the skin, bones, connective tissues, and more.

There are 28 types of collagen in the body. Type I Collagen is the most abundant in our body and stronger than steel by weight.

Collagen Fiber

Each collagen molecule is a unique building block consisting of 19-28 different types of amino acids connected like a chain that is stronger than steel. It provides strength, rigidity and structural support for our skin. Collagen functions much like the frame of a house. Without the frame, your house will tumble down. 

Type II Collagen makes up movable joints and Type III (the so-called ‘baby collagen’) is the second most abundant collagen in human tissue.

Our dermis is made up of more than 80% Type I Collagen and 15% Type III Collagen, fibroblasts, elastin and hyaluronic acid. Together they are the key components for the extracellular matrix which gives our skin its structure, elasticity and firmness. No wonder we describe collagen as the key foundational protein for healthy, youthful-looking skin.

What is Collagen

While we’re born with an abundance of collagen in our skin, the body's production of collagen slows in our mid-to-late 20's and continues to slow down after age 30. From there, the collagen levels in our skin begin to drop by 1-2% each year. When collagen starts to decline with age, or with exposure to things like UV rays or cigarette smoke, our skin’s structural integrity is compromised. 

This strong as steel yet flexible protein is responsible for a lot in the human body, so what happens when it starts to deteriorate? It’s like the frame of the house or the cushion under the mattress, they start to crumble down. This is why aging skin begins to lose elasticity and firmness, as well as losing the radiance and fullness we associate with youthful skin.

Taking the right collagen supplements can help.

 

Why Is Hydrolyzed Collagen Used for Anti-Aging Nutrition and Supplements?

 

Once the collagen molecule has been broken down into pieces that can be easily absorbed into the bloodstream, this essential protein can be used in supplements to help replenish collagen in the body. The right Collagen supplements for skin can increase the appearance of skin’s elasticity, firmness, and hydration, while reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Your skin will look younger and healthier, and you’ll be able to recover your skin’s natural glow.

 

Does Collagen Provide Other Health Benefits?

In addition to the visible benefits of using collagen for skin, studies show taking collagen supplements could offer other health benefits. Some studies have shown that collagen supplements may help treat osteoarthritis. Because these supplements allow collagen to accumulate in the cartilage, researchers believe this can help decrease the painful symptoms of osteoarthritis and can improve joint function.

Collagen can also help your gut function more effectively, reducing leaky gut and potentially helping your body naturally repair the lining of your gastrointestinal tract so it works properly. Finally, if you’ve noticed that your nails and hair have started to weaken and break easily, consuming more collagen can support your body’s production of this structural protein, reinforcing hair and nail strength.

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Your Skin and Collagen

Covering the basis of why collagen is important for your skin (Infographic)

Collagen and Skin
How Collagen Peptides Work
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How Is Collagen Made

What is hydrolyzed collagen peptides, amino acids and how they are made.

How Collagen Is Manufactured

 

What are hydrolyzed collagen and amino acids and how they are made?

Creating effective collagen supplements for the skin is more complex than one might think.  Collagen molecules in their native state are too large to penetrate the surface of the skin, or be absorbed into the bloodstream when ingested, making it difficult for topical applications or collagen drinks and powders to replenish collagen in the skin.  While moisturizers, serums, and collagen creams can support the body’s natural production of collagen, they can’t replace the collagen in your skin.

Fortunately, several years ago researchers in Japan figured out a solution, inventing and patenting the technology to break down the collagen ‘super molecule’ into tiny collagen pieces (known as Collagen Peptides or Hydrolyzed Collagen) through a process known as "Hydrolysis". 

Hydrolyzed collagen is therefore able to efficiently deliver small, usable collagen peptides into our body.  Researchers also discovered “hydrolyzed collagen" or collagen peptides are small enough for our digestive enzymes to completely break down, allowing this hydrolyzed collagen to be absorbed into the bloodstream at a high rate.

Clinical studies show these collagen peptides get absorbed into the bloodstream, penetrate and remain in the dermis, and trigger collagen production in the skin.

 

Source of Collagen To Make Collagen Peptides

 

If you’ve researched collagen information, you’ve probably discovered that Type I and Type III Collagen are derived from the skin and scales of fish, while Type II Collagen is made from the bones and cartilage of cows, pigs, and chickens.

The majority of fish collagen is Type I collagen, which makes up 85% of our own collagen and is the building block of our skin’s structure – which explains why Type I Collagen is most desirable and beneficial for skin care.  The majority of other animal collagen derived from bovine, chicken, or pork is Type II collagen, which can be beneficial for joints, but does not help your skin.

 

Why & How

Everything You Need to Know

About Collagen Peptides. How and Why It Works. 

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