Collagen Peptides: The Answer to Anti-Aging?

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Strategically place the words “anti-aging” on a skin-care product and you’ll likely hear any adult woman say, “yes, shut up and take my money!” Myself included 😂. What is it about hanging on to that youthful look? Why is it a $40 billion a year industry? I personally don’t think it should be referred to as “anti-aging” cause logically, that doesn’t make sense. We all gonna age.. it’s just the way it is. However, I 100% believe in taking care of your skin from an early age and using preventative measures in a healthy way to help maintain that youthful appearance.

Undoubtedly we now know that our lifestyle habits have a direct impact on how quickly age catches up to us in a physical sense. We know that smoking will expedite the appearance of wrinkles, that the sun may cause dark spots and that consuming sugar and dairy may cause immflamuation and breakouts in certain people (🙋🏼). Deep set forehead wrinkles, thin skin, crows feet, age spots etc etc. Although these things are certain to occur naturally with time, there are ways that you can delay it (to a certain extent) with lifestyle habits and a healthy maintenance plan.

And just a quick side note: I have nothing against botox. I think if it’s used properly and administered by a medical professional, it’s totally ok. You do you! I think we all have that image of Cher or [enter other celebrity who can’t move their facial muscles] in our minds when we think about botox. But it has come a long way and doesn’t necessarily give you those over the top results. I’d say just do your research before getting it done. I’ve never gotten it done before, but I’m def not against it.

Other than creating and maintaining a skin care routine based on your needs, wearing sunscreen EVERYDAY and drinking lots of water, there’s something else that you can introduce into your daily routine today and it’s 🥁🥁… COLLAGEN.


WHAT IS COLLAGEN?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies and it’s found in muscles, bones, skin, blood vessels, digestive system and tendons. It’s what helps give our skin strength and elasticity, along with replacing dead skin cells. When it comes to our joints and tendons, in simplest terms, it’s the “glue” that helps hold the body together.

Legit. “Collagen” literally comes from the Greek word kólla, meaning glue #funfact.

Unfortunately, we naturally start to lose collagen as we age. We can also lose collagen due to hormonal changes, drugs, alcohol, processed foods, white sugar, hydrogenated oils, overwork, radiation, fluoridated water, excess sun, nutritional deficits, dehydration, stress and trauma.

But fear not, this is far from a Greek tragedy. There are several ways you can implement and supplement more collagen into your daily routine. So…how can we get more of this magic kólla?!

Hydrolyzed Collagen (Collagen Peptides)

Chances are if you follow health or wellness bloggers on Insta, you’ve heard of Collagen Peptides. It comes in powdered form and is available for purchase in tubs much like protein powder, in pill-form or in individual on-the-go packets. It’s basically a collagen supplement, but there are different forms and brands of collagen and not all are created equal.


Bovine Collagen

Where does bovine collagen come from?
Bovine collagen is also known as bovine cartilage or beef collagen. It’s a naturally occurring protein found in the cartilage, bones and hides of cows. This type of collagen is very similar to what we have in our bodies and provides a healthy dose of types I and III collagen. These types are the major components of skin, hair, nails, muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, gums, teeth, eyes and blood vessels. Together, types I and III collagen make up more than 90 percent of the collagen in our bodies.

Hydrolyzed beef collagen was produced as a food supplement after scientists learned to break the long chain triple helix protein into shorter pieces and then separate the three helices from each other 👩🏼‍🔬. The resulting short individual peptides make up hydrolyzed collagen (1). #science


Fish Collagen

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Fish collagen peptides are known to have the best absorption and bioavailability due to their smaller particle sizes compared to other animal collagens (including the bovine variety), making them antioxidant powerhouses. Bioavailability is very important since it largely determines the efficacy of any nutrient you eat. Since it enters the bloodstream more quickly, it’s considered the best collagen source for medicinal purposes (2). It’s a type 1 collagen, which is best known for providing the foundation of beautiful skin, strong connective tissues and sturdy bones.

Where does fish collagen come from?
The scales, skin, bones and fins of fresh or saltwater fish are used for the creation of fish collagen supplements. Since these parts are considered waste products during fish processing, using them to create other products helps reduce environmental pollution. (3)


Note: This can sometimes be referred to as marine collagen - but may not be the same thing as fish collagen, specifically. Marine collagen can be sourced from shellfish or jellyfish, which isn’t recommended.


TOP FOUR BENEFITS OF COLLAGEN PEPTIDES


1. Improves Skin Quality

When taken internally, collagen can really improve the overall health of your skin, making for an excellent natural skin care product. It helps form elastin and other compounds within skin that are responsible for maintaining skin’s youthful tone, texture and appearance. Collagen is accredited with helping reduce the visible signs of wrinkles, decreasing puffiness and fighting various other signs of aging.

Many people report a decrease in cellulite when consuming foods and supplements containing collagen, since cellulite forms due to a lack of connective tissue, allowing skin to lose its firm tone.

2. Bone Healing and Regeneration

Fish collagen has recently shown its ability to increase the body’s own natural collagen production. In the past, studies have demonstrated that collagen peptides from fish skin might have a positive effect on bone health by increasing bone mineral density and exerting anti-inflammatory activity on osteoarthritis.

3. Improves Gut Health

Collagen has an impressive amino acid profile. It contains vital amino acids, which have been shown to be beneficial to the your entire gastrointestinal system (including the stomach and intestines). Studies show that one of these amino acids, glycine, actually improves digestion by increasing gastric or stomach acid. This acid is an essential digestive liquid produced in the stomach.

Through the use of collagen to increase low stomach acid levels, you’re able to better digest your food, which can prevent and help heartburn. It can also help leaky gut syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease, which also tend to involve low stomach acid.

4. Builds Muscle and Repairs Tissue

Hydrolyzed Collagen contains type I and III collagen, which are the best types to consume when it comes to workout and muscle recovery. By consuming collagen pre- and post-workout, you can help your body to recover better and faster. Sign me up!

By consuming fish collagen, you don’t just get collagen — you get everything that collagen contains. Fish collagen is over 97% protein with no fat, sugars or carbohydrates, making it one of the absolute best protein foods on the planet. Making it a no-brainer to swop out for your traditional protein powders that leave that weird aftertaste.

As mentioned, collagen has a very distinctive and impressive amino acid profile. Amino acids are organic compounds that combine to form proteins. They, along with proteins, are the building blocks of our bodies. By increasing your protein intake through consuming collagen, you can improve your workouts, avoid muscle loss and have a better recovery post-workout. Done and done.


WHERE TO BUY?

You can supplement collagen three different ways: real foods like bone broths, gelatin and hydrolyzed collagen supplements. All forms of collagen are good for your health, but the absorption rate of hydrolyzed collagen is said to be over 90 percent compared to only 27 percent or less in food. (4) Thus, why this post is geared towards the hydrolyzed stuff.

It’s recommend that you buy bovine hydrolyzed collagen in powdered form. This powder is a light yellow to off-white color and is tasteless. It’s easy to add the collagen to smoothies and other drinks, as well as soups, stews and baked goods. I like Vital Proteins.

You can find a fish collagen supplement at your local health store or online. It’s available as a pill, liquid or powder and most brands are tasteless, odorless or have a neutral, non-fishy taste. You should choose one that comes from a reputable company and is non-GMO and gluten-free. Also, makes sure it has no fillers, sugar, artificial flavors or artificial preservatives. You can easily mix powdered collagen with smoothies, coffee, tea or a cup of hot water. You can even add it to soups or sauces.


SOURCES:

  1. Hydrolyzed Collagen, The Doctor Within, https://thedoctorwithin.com/collagen

  2. A Novel Enzymatic Method for Preparation and Characterization of Collagen Film from Swim Bladder of Fish Rohu, Food and Nutrition Sciences http://file.scirp.org/Html/13-2701752_61421.htm

  3. Collagen: Animal Sources and Biomedical Application, Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Science http://www.japsonline.com/admin/php/uploads/1466_pdf.pdf

  4. Collagen peptides are the latest “it” supplement… “It reduces wrinkles.” “It relieves joint pain.” One thing is for sure, it’s the rage with health-conscious consumers, Collagen Complete, https://collagencomplete.com/collagen-peptides-antiaging-hype/

  5. Dr.axe.com