Collagen Peptides: Younger Skin, Stronger Bones, Less Joint Pain, Stronger Muscles, and Better GI Health

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Collagen is a type of protein that is a major component of the body’s connective tissues, including skin, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage. It is one of the most abundant proteins in the human body, making up as much as 25 or 30% of the body’s total protein. This high abundance of collagen in the body reflects its important role in maintaining the structure and function of many different tissues, including skin, bones, cartilage, and connective tissues.

What is Collagen?

Collagen is a fibrous protein that provides structure and support to these tissues, helping to maintain their strength and elasticity. Collagen is also an important component of bones, teeth, and blood vessels. The body naturally produces collagen, but its production can decline with age, leading to a loss of skin elasticity and joint flexibility. Collagen supplements are available and are often marketed for their potential to improve skin health, joint health, and overall well-being.

What Are The Different Collagen Types?

Collagen is a type of protein that is found in various tissues and organs throughout the body. There are at least 28 different types of collagen, but types I through IV are the most common in the human body. Here’s a brief overview of each type:

  • Type I collagen: Type I collagen is the most abundant type of collagen in the human body, making up about 90% of the body’s collagen. It is found in skin, bones, tendons, and other connective tissues. Type I collagen provides structure and support to these tissues and is essential for healthy skin, bones, and joints.
  • Type II collagen: Type II collagen is primarily found in cartilage and is essential for its structure and function. It provides elasticity and shock absorption to the joints and is often used in joint health supplements.
  • Type III collagen: Type III collagen is found in skin, muscles, and blood vessels. It provides support and structure to these tissues and is often found in combination with type I collagen.
  • Type IV collagen: Type IV collagen is found primarily in basement membranes, which are thin sheets of connective tissue that line organs and blood vessels. It provides support and structure to these membranes and is essential for their function.

Each type of collagen has a unique structure and function in the body. Type I, II, and III collagen are the most commonly used types in supplements, as they are essential for healthy skin, bones, and joints.

What Are The Health Benefits of Collagen?

Collagen peptides, also known as hydrolyzed collagen, have been studied for their potential health benefits. Here are some health benefits of collagen peptides that have been supported by clinical research:

  • Skin health: Collagen peptides can improve skin elasticity, hydration, and texture, according to several studies. [PMC8824545] In one study, women who took collagen supplements daily for 12 weeks showed significant improvement in skin hydration and elasticity compared to a placebo group.
  • Joint health: Collagen peptides can help reduce joint pain and improve joint mobility, according to multiple studies.[PMC7695755] In one study, participants who took collagen supplements daily for 24 weeks experienced a significant reduction in joint pain and improved physical function compared to a placebo group. [PMID:18416885]
  • Bone health: Collagen peptides can help increase bone mineral density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis, according to some studies. In one study, postmenopausal women who took collagen supplements daily for 12 months showed a significant increase in bone mineral density compared to a placebo group. [PMC8441532]
  • Muscle mass and strength: Collagen peptides may help improve muscle mass and strength, particularly in older adults. In one study, men who took collagen supplements daily for 12 weeks showed a significant increase in muscle mass and strength compared to a placebo group. [PMC6566884]
  • Gut health: In a small 8 week study, researchers concluded that taking 20 g collagen peptide supplement may have resulted in a reduction in bloating and an improvement in bowel frequency in the absence of any other dietary or lifestyle intervention or advice. [PMID: 35639457]

Of course, more research is needed to fully understand the potential health benefits of collagen peptides, and the results may vary depending on the individual and the specific type and dose of collagen supplement used.

Is Collagen Safe?

There is some concern about the potential for contamination with heavy metals or other harmful substances. To minimize the risk of contamination, it is important to choose high-quality collagen supplements from reputable brands. Collagen is generally considered safe for most people when taken in appropriate amounts. Naturally, people with allergies to certain types of collagen, such as fish or beef (bovine) collagen, should avoid these types of supplements.

Does Collagen Interact with Any Medications or Supplements?

Collagen supplements are not known to interact with most medications or supplements. However, people taking medications that affect blood clotting or blood sugar levels should always be cautious with dietary changes. If there are concerns about this, it may be best to start out by adding collagen supplements slowly over time.

Collagen supplements may have a mild blood-thinning effect, and taking collagen supplements along with blood-thinning medications or supplements such as warfarin or omega-3 fatty acids may increase the risk of bleeding. Similarly, collagen supplements may have a mild effect on blood sugar levels.

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Collagen Peptides

  • Collagen: Helps support healthy hair, skin, nails, bones and joints**
  • Easy To Use: Dissolves in hot or cold liquids, including coffee and smoothies
  • Certified Kosher.

Suggested Use:
Collagen supplement is easily digested and soluble in hot or cold liquids, and 1-2 scoops a day is all you need!

Adding a scoop of Collagen Peptides to different foods (like desserts or dressings) or beverages (like smoothies or water) gives you the boost you need to support healthy hair, skin, nails and joints.

Amount Per 2 Scoop (20g) Serving
Calories … 70
Protein … 18g
CollagenPeptides … 20g (from bovine)


Collagen With NR

Nicotinamide Riboside is included in this collagen product by Thorne. You can read about this on our Anti-Aging post.

Collagen Fit by Thorne

Collagen Fit is an unflavored collagen powder designed with the toughest competitors in mind. With collagen peptides that promote joint health and the growth of lean muscle mass, plus nicotinamide riboside (NR) for cellular energy and cellular repair, Thorne’s newest collagen formula keeps you moving from morning to night. The unflavored formula mixes easily in a hot or cold beverage, allowing you to get your collagen your way – in your coffee, your smoothie, or your own beverage creation.  Suggested Use:
Mix 1 scoop with at least 8-12 ounces of water or preferred beverage daily or as recommended by your health-care practitioner.

Amount Per 1 Scoop Serving
Collagen Peptides (Bovine) … 15 g **
Nicotinamide Riboside Hydrogen Malate … 125 mg **
Betaine Anhydrous (Trimethylglycine) … 50 mg **


Marine Collagen

Vital Nutrients’ newest product, Marine Collagen, provides 9.4g of protein per serving and seven out of eight essential amino acids. Fish collagen differs from bovine or porcine sourced-collagen, because it contains higher amounts of the amino acids Glycine and Proline, and is absorbed into the body faster.*

Fish collagen peptides are comprised of two types of collagen, types I & III. Type I and Type III collagen benefits include promoting healthy hair and nail growth, improving skin elasticity and hydration, as well as supporting joint health and function, and bone strength.* Our hydrolyzed collagen powder, contains no odor or taste, is easy to digest, and readily dissolves in liquids or soft foods. Marine Collagen is Non-GMO, Hormone and Antibiotic Free, and Gluten Free, and contains no additives, preservatives or sulfites. 
2 rounded tablespoons daily mixed in 6-8 oz of water or juice, or as directed by your healthcare professional.

Serving Size: 2 Rounded Tablespoons (10 Grams)

Amount Per Serving
Calories … 38
Total Fat … 0g
Saturated Fat … 0g
Total Carbohydrates … 0g
Dietary Fiber … 0g
Total Sugar … 0g
Added Sugar … 0g
Hydrolyzed Collagen Peptides … 10g
Protein … 9.4g


What Are Food Sources of Collagen?

Studies suggest that the absorption rate of collagen from meat is lower than that of hydrolyzed collagen supplements, as the collagen in meat is in a larger and less easily digestible form. Many people have less than ideal ability to break down collagen due to low stomach acid or digestive enzyme production. Nonetheless, consuming meat is still a good dietary source of collagen and other important nutrients, and can be beneficial for overall health.

FoodServing sizeCaloriesGrams of collagen
Bone broth1 cup40-606-12 grams (most bioavailable)
Beef, Pork3 ounces1707 grams
Chicken3 ounces1403.6 grams
Fish (cod)3 ounces702.5 grams
Gelatin dessert1/2 cup802.5 grams
The values listed above are approximate and may vary.

Summary

Collagen is a protein that is abundant in the human body and plays an essential role in maintaining the structure and function of various tissues. Collagen peptides, or hydrolyzed collagen, have been found to have health benefits, including improving skin health, joint health, bone health, muscle mass and strength, and gut health. Collagen supplements are available and may be useful for those looking to improve their overall well-being.

Food First

Although the discussion of overall diet was beyond the scope of this article, it should be top of mind. Not only will your overall food intake provide nutrients, but it will also have a profound effect on your gut microbiome. The tiny bacteria in your intestine are the modulators of your immune system. They can create molecules that are capable of turning genes on or off. They synthesize neurotransmitters. To avoid toxins, choose organic foods and avoid plastic packaging (even BPA-free) whenever possible.

This Article is Not a Substitute for Medical Advice

The Supplement Sciences website seeks to provide comprehensive access to the most relevant supplement information along with convenient online ordering. We do not provide medical advice and cannot warrant that every product suggested is completely without risk. Since each person is unique in their health history and medication use, it is important to discuss supplements with your personal physician.

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