You’ve probably heard about collagen for healthy skin, hair, nails, joints and bone health. But what is it exactly? Do we really need to supplement our diet with it? And can one collagen product give us all these benefits?
What is Collagen?
Collagen is a protein which is found in large amounts in our bodies. It is an essential nutrient which is one of the building blocks of our body tissues. More specifically, its role is to provide structural support to our body and is found in our bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, organs, blood vessels, intestines, tissue and skin.
Why our bodies need extra collagen
Our bodies produce collagen naturally. As this protein plays such a significant role in our health and development it is vital that it is in plentiful supply. However, as we age, our bodies begin to produce less collagen. Added to this is the fact that a poor diet (lacking in plentiful fresh fruit and vegetables while including processed foods, alcohol and, possibly, smoking) can further lower the levels of collagen in our bodies. This depletion can lead to problems and concerns around poor bone health, wrinkling of the skin, weaker muscles, tighter ligaments and tendons, pains in our joints and issues with our gut health.
Brittle bones and poor joint function are issues which affect a great many people as they age. It can lead to conditions such as osteoporosis. For athletes, the problems are increased as they rely on their bones and joints for a greater amount of physical support.
Where does collagen come from?
Collagen is a protein that can be found in meat and fish. Supplements are mostly made from a bovine source (from cows) or a marine source (fish). Bovine-sourced collagen is usually preferred for bone health benefits while marine collagen is more commonly associated with skin, hair and nail health. Any plant ‘collagen’ products you see have been significantly synthesized to suit people who are vegetarian or vegan because collagen is a protein by definition.
If our bodies lack collagen, it makes sense to take a good quality supplement to boost our levels. The majority of collagen supplements undergo a process known as ‘hydrolyzation’. In short, this means that the manufacturing process has used water to break down the collagen into smaller pieces known as ‘peptides’ which are easier for our bodies to absorb and use to boost our natural collagen levels.
IMPORTANT! Different collagens bring different benefits
It’s important to know that different types of collagen peptides reach different parts of our body and play different roles in developing and maintaining our health. It can help to think of collagen peptides as keys which unlock specific benefits in different areas of our bodies. So, the collagen key for skin will unlock and reach skin tissue but not improve the bones.
Collagen for bone health
To improve your bone health specifically, you need the ‘bone collagen key’ – such as the specific Bioactive Collagen Peptides® found in bonebalance™ – to:
- Stimulate collagen metabolism in the bones
- Stimulate the bone building cells, ‘osteoblasts’
- Reduce bone breakdown cells, ‘osteoclasts’
- Improve the Bone Matrix and bone mineral density
What is bone matrix?
Bone matrix gives our bones their strength and flexibility, allowing them to resist stress and impact, alongside increasing bone density. When bone is broken down more than it’s replaced – as occurs in osteopenia and osteoporosis – the vital Bone Matrix is lost. The bones become weaker and the risk of suffering fractures doubles for each 10% of bone loss.
bonebalance™ is optimally absorbed into bone tissue to increase the Bone Matrix. It addresses osteoblasts to counterbalance the breakdown of collagen in the Bone Matrix. It also slows the degeneration of our bones by reducing the osteoclast activity. In clinical trials*, bone density has shown to increase by up to 5.5% in vertebrae and 7.7% in the hips. These results compare favourably to prescription treatments with the added benefit that bonebalance is available without prescription.
Can I take more than one collagen supplement?
Yes, you can. Collagen is a natural substance with no known side-effects or contraindications. If you’re taking a few different supplements – to help your skin, hair, nails and joints as well as bone – it’s advisable to take the different supplements at different times of the day and to drink plenty of water.
Now you’re clear on collagen, you can consider any supplementation with a more educated eye – and enjoy the health benefits you seek.