Collagen is a protein, made up of long chains of linked amino acids. It plays a key role in the connective tissue throughout our entire body, contributing to the function of skin, blood vessels, muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, and the digestive system.
Human bodies create collagen naturally. Over time, however, the production of this protein slows down. Starting in our 20’s our bodies produce less collagen, causing our skin to sag and wrinkle, our bones and joints to weaken and stiffen, and our hair to become thinner.
Collagen and collagen peptides are produced from collagen-rich ingredients, mostly from skin and bones from pigs and cattle, and partly also from fish. There are numerous brands available on the market today, but be aware that quality really matters. The health and diet of the animal is extremely important. The best form of hydrolysed collagen supplement comes from grass-fed, pasture-raised cows.
Collagen peptides can be so well absorbed by the body because they are water-soluble, and – unlike other proteins – have a very simple peptide structure, that is very easy for the body to work with. They are “broken down”, with an enzymatic treatment, and can therefore be absorbed more quickly and extensively than undenatured collagen.
Some of the potential health benefits of collagen supplements include:
Aging is often first noticed in the wrinkles of the skin, and this has everything to do with collagen production or lack thereof. Collagen consumption can help to increase skin elasticity and help your body’s skin repair process, thus encouraging your body to form new collagen.
Collagen benefits also include reducing cellulite and stretch marks. When skin loses its elasticity as a result of decreased collagen, there’s another side effect: more visible cellulite. Because your skin is now thinner, cellulite becomes more evident. Collagen helps skin elasticity and helps reduce potential dimpling.
Joint problems are extremely common. The principal cause is wear and tear of the joint cartilage brought about by age, excess activity and stressed joints. With its gel-like, smooth structure that covers and holds our bones together, collagen allows us to glide and move without pain. Collagen supplements have been shown to reduce inflammation and stimulate collagen synthesis in the body. This may help improve symptoms of osteoarthritis, improve joint function and reduce joint pain overall.
Collagen in the bones is essential for bone flexibility and elasticity. That elastic quality is what keeps your bones from breaking. Collagen is like a shock absorber. As you age, your bones can become more brittle and break easily. This is because your collagen stores progressively decrease as you age. Collagen peptides may help with bone formation and reduce the rate of bone degradation. It is especially important for those with osteoporosis or osteopenia.
The biggest digestive benefit of consuming more collagen is that it helps form connective tissue and therefore “seals and heals” the protective lining of the gastrointestinal tract.
Increased intestinal permeability (leaky gut), is a digestive condition in which the lining of the intestines becomes damaged, causing undigested food particles, toxic waste, and bacteria to essentially seep through the intestinal wall and enter the bloodstream.
The unique structural components of collagen and the combination of amino acids help to reduce gut inflammation, help heal stomach ulcers, aid in digestion, and regulate stomach acid and secretion.
There are a several different types and quality of collagen powders on the market in Australia. At Synergy Compounding we have sourced one of the best nutrient-dense collagen supplements available - Whole Body Collagen from Designs for Health. This contains Verisol which stimulates skin metabolism and counteracts the loss of collagen from the inside. Fortigel supports the regeneration of joint cartilage and Fortibone improves bone mass density, helps with bone stability and flexibility and has bone building effects.
This Collagen powder is tasteless and easily mixes into water or a smoothie. As a protein source alone, this collagen powder packs more protein per calorie than other sources with no added sugar or extra unnecessary unpronounceable ingredients.
Collagen can provide remarkable health, healing, and strengthening with long term supplementation. However, how long it takes for collagen to work depends on the benefits you are looking for. A minimum of 2 – 4 months of daily supplementation is usually required to start noticing improvements.
BERRY COLLAGEN SMOOTHIE
1 cup coconut milk
½ cup frozen berries
2 scoops Whole Body Collagen powder
1 dsp MCT oil (optional)
Blend together until well mixed, thick and creamy