What is Hydrolysed Collagen or Collagen Peptide? Which Collagen Peptide Supplement is best?
What is collagen
Collagen is an insoluble protein that is found in all parts of the body in the connective tissues that hold muscles and organs in place. It can be found in the skin, joints and even in the eye. In the skin, collagen supports the outermost layer of the skin, lending it its durability. The skin is also made up of elastin which is a similar protein that helps keep the skin flexible. Elastin is what makes the skin fall back into place when it is stretched.
As we grow older, the properties and strength of collagen and elastin fade which results in losing youthful skin texture. When the collagen and elastin fibres are young and intact, the skin is elastic and devoid of wrinkles. As collagen degenerates and breaks down, the skin becomes thin and disorganised, and the skin begins to wrinkle and sag. Because of this, products or procedures designed to treat wrinkles need to replace or improve the collagen in the skin.
What are the types of collagen
Different forms of collagen occur in the body but only 4 types account for over 90%.
Type 1 collagen is the most abundant and for a very long time, it was the only type that was known. Type 2 collagen is mainly found in cartilage and Type 3 collagen, which accompanies Type 1 collagen in different ratios is found in almost all tissues.
For example, in the skin, 6 different types have been detected (Type 1 through Type 6). Mostly more young people, Type 1 collagen makes up about 80% of the total dermal collagen, whereas Type 3 collagen makes up about 15%
What is Hydrolysed Collagen or Collagen Peptide
Before getting into it, it is important to get the basics.
Proteins are chains of amino acids linked together by what is known as peptide bonds. Each individual type of protein consists of a specific group of amino acids in a special chemical arrangement. Peptides that consist of very many linked amino acids are called polypeptides. Amino acids are described as the chemical units or building blocks that make up proteins. Proteins are important as they form the structure for all living things. Every living organism, from the largest animal to the tiniest microbe, is made up of protein.
Hydrolysis, on the other hand, is a chemical process in which molecules are broken down in simpler units using water.
Now back to collagen!
Collagen mostly occurs as a large molecule consisting of about one thousand amino acid residues. It mostly consists of only two amino acids; glycine and hydroxyproline. The collagen molecule has a unique configuration with three inter-twined polypeptide chains.
Hydrolysed collagen or collagen peptides is simply collagen that has been broken down into shorter chains of proteins. Hydrolysed collagen or collagen peptides contain the same set of amino acids and nutrients as normal collagen. Because normal collagen molecules are large, it becomes almost impossible for it to be easily absorbed by the body when ingested and as a result never reaching the parts of the body that requires it.
Collagen peptides, however, are relatively small molecules with a molecular weight of less than 10,000 g/mol. The peptides comprise at least two and at most 100 amino acids. They are characterized by excellent cold-water solubility and, even in highly concentrated solutions, they do not form a gel.
Hydrolysed collagen has a higher bioavailability and can be easily absorbed into the bloodstream reaching the parts of the body that requires it. Because of the molecular size and weight of hydrolysed collagen, it dissolves better in liquids and it also digests better in the stomach.
Which Hydrolysed Collagen or Collagen Peptide Supplement is best?
It is always ideal to get your collagen from food sources. Foods high in Vitamin C are great sources for collagen as Vitamin C supports the production of collagen in the body. High strength collagen supplements are a great way of filling any collagen gaps you may have. Because of the important physiological functions and the positive impact on health collagen has on the body, it is critical the body has an adequate supply of it. In the UK for example, there are lots of collagen products on the market and it may be confusing to identify which ones offer better value. Below are some things to keep in mind when buying collagen supplements;
- Look out for the manufacturing process – Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) is a system for ensuring that products are consistently produced and controlled according to quality standards. It is designed to minimize the risks involved in any pharmaceutical production that cannot be eliminated through testing the final product. Aside GMP, there are some ISO standards that ensure that manufacturers deliver high-quality products
- Hydrolysed Collagen Supplement – As indicated above, hydrolysed collagen supplements have higher bioavailability and are easier absorbed into the bloodstream than those that have not been hydrolysed
- Collagen Supplement with different types – It is worth considering opting for collagen supplements that offer more than one type of collagen (for example Type 1 and 3 Collagen supplement). This ensures that you get more value for your money
- Collagen powder, liquid or capsules – It is worth considering the form in which the collagen supplements are offered. Collagen powder is popular because it can easily be applied to smoothies, drinks, juices, or hot beverages, however, they usually come in 200g-400g containers which may not be very ideal to carry around. On the other hand, collagen capsules tend to be less bulky and can be carried around easily.
As functional foods, collagen peptides or hydrolysed collagen are widely accepted to have physiological functions with a positive impact on health. Numerous studies have shown an improvement in skin elasticity, the recovery of lost cartilage tissue as well as helping to reduce joint-related pain. Taking collagen supplements is an ideal way of ensuring that the body is receiving adequate amounts of collagen for it to function properly.
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