Collagen peptides are one of the hottest trending health and beauty supplements.
Interest in them has been growing for phenomenally over the last few years, and celebrities have been flocking to it.
People like Jennifer Aniston and the Kardashians are avid fans.
Collagen peptides – the Back story
One third of the total protein in your body is collagen.
It is in your skin, in your muscles, in your bones and in your cartilage. collagen forms a dense mesh which gives your skin structure and elasticity.
Simply, without collagen you will be mushy mess!
But as we age, like with everything else, things start to go downhill.
The collagen mesh renews itself more slowly and becomes more fragmented. The visible result of this is that the dermis layer of the skin becomes thinner and fine Lines is start to appear. The skin starts to look older.
If this wasn’t bad enough, the collagen in bone also starts to reduce, leading to more fragile and brittle bones which may break and fracture easily. This explains why older people are more prone to falls and fractures.
collagen also makes up the cartilage and tendons which play a crucial role in joint function, such as the knees and the hips. and as the college in it starts to reduce and fragments, conditions such as osteoarthritis another painful joint conditions can develop.
So some bright spark thought,
and this is where the trend of taking collagen orally started.
How do collagen peptides work?
The excitement around oral collagen intake is based on the idea that it can trigger production of pure collagen In the body.
And anything, which can trigger our bodies to produce collagen, especially in older age, should lead to a dramatic improvement in the appearance of the skin.
The logic is simple.
It’s a little bit like giving bees plenty of flowers, in the hope that they will assemble the nectar from these flowers to make honey
Does Research support collagen peptides?
Let me mention briefly, some of the positive studies about the benefits of oral intake of collagen for the skin.
A small study in 2014 demonstrated improvement in skin elasticity
, in women who took 2.5 grams of collagen peptides for 8 weeks.
A slightly longer study of 12 weeks showed orally taking collagen to improve skin moisture and the number for Lines.
53 Older Men who took 15 g of collagen every day showed good improvement in their muscle mass. it is worth mentioning that they also started to lift weights as well as taking oral collagen.
So this shows that taking collagen Orally, not only improves skin appearance, but he can also improve muscle mass. This is not a surprise because collagen peptides are essentially good quality proteins.
Also collagen is a precursor for an amino acids called glycine, which in turn helps the production of creatinine, which is an important fuel for muscle growth.
There is also some limited evidence that collagen peptides can benefit arthritis pain and sports related injuries.
one study showed a 40% reduction in osteoarthritis pain after 90 days of collagen peptide use. it is interesting to mention that in this study, the collagen came from chicken necks !
A French paper in 2015, showed improved is skin moisture and smoothness after oral supplementation of a fish based collagen called peptan.
There has been some speculation that collagen peptides can even help to reduce cellulite. a notoriously difficult to treat condition, and yet very Common, affecting up to 80 to 90% of all the women at some stage in their lives.
In one study, 105 women giving oral collagen peptides for 6 months showed significant improvement in their cellulite.
My analysis of the research on collagen peptides
A significant number of the research on collagen peptides is a sponsored by the cosmetics companies. So there is an obvious conflict of interest. because you have the people who make the products, I.E collagen peptides, funding the research which is looking into its effectiveness.
This is not to say that the process is corrupt, but nevertheless, we would prefer if the research and the companies were totally independent of each other.
There has been some concern about the possibility of stomach acids breaking down the collagen that people take orally.
Off course if this happens then none of the collagen will reach the skin. but judging by some of the research that I have come across this is not a big concern.
We have designed many drugs and supplements which have successfully negotiated the problem of stomach acid; so I don’t think this is a big issue because the expertise to overcome it is already available.
Safety is a huge concern. collagen, especially the collagen in bones and cartilage, can sometimes be a dumping ground for all the body’s toxins; such as heavy metals.
So if you extract your collagen from these contaminated bones and cartilage there is a potentially serious health concern for the user.
There is evidence that some companies produce their collagen peptides using ground up hooves and other less desirable parts of the animal’s body. particularly if those parts are cheaper to source.
And he even bigger concern is that some companies may be using collagen from risky parts of the body , such as brain, to make their supplements. This has the potential to spread diseases if the source animal is infected. This is especially a concern with collagen from bovine origin which may carrier risk of contamination with the infamous mad cow disease.
How to choose a brand
The biggest challenge the consumer faces is choosing a good brand.
you’ll have to pay attention to the origin of the collagen. whether it has come from bones or other parts of the animals body.
You also need to consider if the collagen has come from cows, pigs or marine animals. All three species carry different health risks, And perhaps different effectiveness.
some brands add extra bits to the collagen , such as vitamins and probiotics. I would personally stay away from those because we simply do not know how they will interact with the collagen peptides. This is the still an area of science in its infancy. so I would go four pure hydrolysed collagen peptides with nothing else added.
Some people might consider whether the animals and process used to extract the collagen are halal or kosher certified. This is a crucial Factor for some Muslim and Jewish people. So for these people they may conclude that collagen in from a marine source is the most suitable for them.
I hope you enjoyed the article and found it useful.
Have you tried collagen peptides? how did you find it?
Tell me in the comments section.
If you found this article useful, you may want to check out another excellent article i did on another anti-ageing product