Collagen: Why The Hell Am I Having This?
Collagen seems to be the new “thing”. Everyone is taking supplements, making bone broths, and talking about its effectiveness doing this, that, and the other. But what is it, and why the hell are you having it every day?
Collagen is a major structural component in your body. It is used to make muscles, skin, bones, cartilage, ligaments, tendons, organs, blood vessels, hair, nails, and eyes. So, basically everything. There are 28 different types of collagen that have been identified, but about 80-90% of collagen in the body is Type 1, 2, and 3.
Types of Collagen
Type 1 collagen is far and away the most abundant type. It makes up most connective tissues including bone, skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels.
Type 2 collagen is the main component of cartilage. It gives tissues strength and increased integrity.
Type 3 collagen is commonly found with Type 1 collagen; however, it is significantly less abundant. It makes up about 10% of collagen components in cartilage (Type 1 being 85-90%), however, it is found in much more abundance on the linings of organs.
Collagen is formed by proteins being formed and then those proteins combining in a spiral to form a functional unit. This spiral is what will be used to form connective tissues such as skin, tendons, bones, and muscles. Collagen can be formed in and outside of the cell.
The best supplementation for collagen would be Bovine Collagen. It is highly concentrated with Type 1 and 3 and has significant amount of Type 2. Other forms of supplementation that are effective are Marine collagen which is similar in concentrations of Bovine; the only difference being it is sourced from fish scales as opposed to cow. The effectiveness of one compared to the other has yet to be demonstrated, however, most studies are done using Bovine Collagen which is why we use Grass-Fed Bovine collagen in LIVsmart.
Vitamin C is crucial in the formation of collagen because it increase the rate of proliferation of cells that make collagen. Vitamin C is a major antioxidant which creates a better environment for collagen to be formed. This means that collagen supplementation will be drastically enhanced when taken with vitamin C. Without vitamin C, taking a collagen supplement would be just this side of useless. LIVsmart has the perfect amount of Vitamin C to get the job done.
There has been significant research done of collagen supplementation as it pertains to skin elasticity, however, much of the research focuses on tendon formation. The research has been extremely positive. It works! It has been repeated multiple times with a number of different methods (in vitro and in vivo) that collagen supplementation is effective and worth doing (Again, when taken with vitamin C). The amount of collagen and vitamin C effect the benefits you will see supplementing collagen in your diet. More=better when it comes to collagen. Studies show an almost doubling effect when comparing taking 2-5g and 15-20g of collagen. However, if less amount of collagen are taken with more vitamin C, then a better result will occur. So, in most studies there is about 50mg of vitamin C supplemented with 2-5g and 15-20g. BUT, if you supplemented 200mg of vitamin C with 2-5g you will see similar results as you would wit 10-15g of collagen supplementation with 50mg of vitamin C.
Collagen is something we all make in our bodies, but as we age and in certain environments, your collagen formation is slowed. Things like stress and poor eating can affect your body’s ability to form new collagen. Taking a collagen supplement with a vitamin C supplement is crucial to keep your body’s integrity.
Collagen supplementation is just that, a supplement to your regular diet. We don’t always get all the collagen or amino acids we need in our normal diet, so taking a collagen supplement can prove helpful especially as we start to age. Vitamin C supplementation is paramount because our bodies cannot product vitamin C on it’s own, so it is kore of a necessity than a supplement. I would highly recommend someone who is vegan or vegetarian to start taking vitamin C if you don’t already. All collagen supplements are not vegan/vegetarian meaning that creating that optimal collagen formation environment with vitamin C is even more important.
If you feel I should add anything or if you have any questions please contact me here.
Oh, and thank you Sarah Pflung for the photo!