It's safe to say that collagen protein is the new kid on the block. For years the majority of protein available to the public in supplement form was various types of whey protein made from milk. In the last few years we have also seen a growing popularity in the use of vegan type proteins too. Right now though everyone is talking about the benefits of collagen protein.
So what is collagen protein or as the title states collagen peptides?
Collagen is a structural protein that acts as a building block for your bones, teeth, muscles, skin, joints and connective tissues. Think of it as the glue that holds your body together. The most abundant protein in the body, collagen makes up more than one-third of your total protein. It’s rich in glycine, proline and hydroxyproline — the amino acids that help your body make new collagen.
The terms “collagen peptides,” “hydrolysed collagen,” and “collagen powder” are simply different names for the same thing. Specifically, the term “collagen peptides” refers to collagen that has undergone a process called hydrolysis. This process breaks down the amino acids in collagen into smaller molecules, making it easier for your body to absorb.
There are at least 28 different types of collagen, but types I, II and III form the bulk of between 80 and 90 percent of the collagen in your body. Types I and III provide structure to the skin, muscles and ligaments, while type II is found in cartilage and the eye.
Different cells in our body are responsible for the production of collagen. The skin contains around 70% collagen which maintains its elasticity and structure. Our tendons are strong fibrous connective tissues that connect muscles to bones. These contain 85% of type 1 collagen. Our joint cartilage contains 70% collagen which is responsible for its structure and strength, and our bones contain a massive 90% collagen upon which calcium and other minerals are anchored.
So as you can see collagen is a vital element in our bodies. In our adult years, our bodies begin to produce less collagen. This process begins when we are in our late 20’s and accelerates into our 40s – leading to the inevitable visual and noticeable signs of ageing. Collagen loss is a natural process, but other factors such as exposure to UV, pollution, and lifestyle choices can lead to early or more intense signs of ageing.
This affects us in the following ways.
Collagen provides firmness and structure to our skin. As collagen breakdown dominates over its production with age, our skin becomes dehydrated and thinner. Signs of ageing start to appear such as fine lines and wrinkles.
As collagen levels and the content of minerals decrease, our bones get weaker. Gradually, this causes them to become more fragile and breakable.
Ageing causes wear and tear on the joint cartilage, reducing their function and ability. The reduction in collagen results in joint discomfort such as conditions like tendonitis, making it harder for us to stay active as we age.
The loss of collagen through ageing means a gradual decrease in the strength of the connective tissues that bundles muscle fibres into a strong and functioning muscles. Ageing is linked to decreased muscle strength and function, which ultimately affects our balance, gait, and overall mobility.
So what are the benefits of supplementing with collagen peptides.
As collagen is a major component of your skin it plays a role in its strength plus it benefits elasticity and hydration. Several studies have shown that collagen peptides may help slow the ageing of your skin by reducing wrinkles and dryness.
In one study, women who took a supplement containing 2.5–5 grams of collagen for eight weeks experienced less skin dryness and a significant increase in skin elasticity compared to those who did not take the supplement. Another study found that women who drank a beverage mixed with a collagen supplement daily for 12 weeks experienced increased skin hydration and a significant reduction in wrinkle depth compared to a control group.
The wrinkle-reducing effects of collagen supplements have been attributed to their ability to stimulate your body to produce collagen on its own.
Additionally, taking collagen supplements may promote the production of other proteins that help structure your skin, including elastin and fibrillin.
Studies have shown that taking collagen supplements may have certain effects in the body that help inhibit the bone breakdown that leads to osteoporosis. A study of 66 women who took 5 grams of collagen daily for 12 months had an increase of up to 7% in their bone mineral density (BMD), compared to women who did not consume collagen. BMD is a measure of the amount of minerals, such as calcium, in your bones. Low BMD is associated with weak bones and the development of osteoporosis
Collagen peptides strengthen your joints, making them more resilient. Research shows that taking collagen peptides may reduce joint pain after exercise and boost the density of your cartilage, making joints more flexible.
Protein loss occurs in muscles during and after long periods of exercise due to oxidation, inflammatory reactions, and muscle micro-lesions. Research shows that protein synthesis decreases during exercise, then immediately increases after exercise for an extended period of time. A high protein diet post-exercise enables the replacement of lost proteins, restoring the protein content of muscles by increasing muscle anabolism. The high amino acid content of collagen protein makes collagen ideal for muscle repair and recovery. Supplementing with collagen may help muscle repair, making it essential post-workout nutrition.
So to summarise the benefits are as follows
- Collagen protein may help repair and restore skin elasticity
- Collagen protein may help speed up recovery time from injuries
- Collagen protein may help strengthen joints and ligaments to prevent further injuries
- Collagen protein may reduce exercise related joint pain
- Collagen protein is an ideal post workout nutrition as it contains a high amino acid profile.
- Collagen protein is ideal if you are lactose intolerant.
Here at PEAK DNA we have developed two products which both contain collagen peptides in the form of hydrolysed bovine and marine peptides. One serving of our collagen keto protein provides 14.7 grams of collagen peptides per 25 gram serving. This is enough for your daily needs of collagen supplementation and may provide all the benefits listed above.