What is Collagen?
Collagen hydrolysate is a bioactive product and protein source derived from pigs, sheep, cows, oxen, or chickens. It helps regenerate and synthesize the cartilage and protein in your body. The two major reasons people utilize collagen is because of the integumentary benefits or the musculoskeletal benefits.
Collagen is your most abundant protein, making up 25%–35% of the body’s total protein content and 70% of the protein in your connective tissues. (Murray, 2015)
Your tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and bone can start deteriorating over time if your nutrition, environment, and lifestyle does not support them. When these connective tissues start breaking down you start experiencing osteoarthritis, joint pain, longer recovery time from exercise, and overall discomfort. Ingesting collagen hydrolysate causes the synthesis of extracellular matrix macromolecules. In plain English, eating collagen can help relieve joint pain and rebuild your connective tissues. Giving your body the proper nutrients to thrive, heal, and function optimally allows you to move pain free.
Adding collagen to your food or beverages gives you a complete protein source. Protein helps build and maintain muscle mass. Collagen can help increase your metabolism and muscle development. When you consume food sources high in Vitamin C or a supplemental form, in addition to collagen, it increases the conversion and absorption of protein in your body. Beyond the musculoskeletal benefits, collagen can boost your metabolism and energy too! It regulates metabolism by giving you protein of low molecular weight and is quickly absorbed in your digestive tract.
It’s no secret that when you are dehydrated it effects your overall health. One of the easiest places to notice dehydration first is in your skin. Your skin is the largest organ and has numerous vital functions. Because of its importance, the integrity of your skin is extremely important. As you age your skin can lose elasticity, break down, and develop wrinkles or cellulite. This can happen due to a decrease in natural collagen production and a thinning of skin. Supplementing collagen can help your skin cells repair and regenerate properly. It also helps strengthen your nails, teeth, and bones as mentioned before. Who doesn’t want smooth, beautiful, healthy skin?
Collagen hydrolysate leads to improvement in facial skin conditions, including facial skin moisture, elasticity, wrinkles and roughness. (Inoue, Sugihara, & Wang, 2016)
What source of Collagen Hydrolysate is best?
Quality sources of food are not overrated. When you splurge on fresh, organic, unprocessed, in-season, and local foods you are giving your body the best quality of nutrition possible. Just as with any supplement out there…there are numerous options. Quality does matter. My preferred choice is Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen Hydrolysate!! This specific product is pure hydrolyzed collagen which means it is cold water soluble. This is beneficial when mixing with shakes, beverages, etc. It is unflavored and relatively tasteless. It is non-gmo, gluten free, and has no MSG. One tablespoon contains SIX GRAMS of protein! Below is the amino acid profile breakdown.
As you can see above this supplement is full of amino acids, which are the building blocks to protein. There are two types of amino acids (AA): essential and non-essential. Essential amino acids your body can not make on its own. Non-essential AA your body can synthesis itself. The essential amino acids that you need can be found in meat, seafood, and dairy sources. For those of you who do not eat meat or dairy, you would need to combine specific grains and beans to create a complete essential AA combination.
Essential Amino Acids
- It provides healthy tissue production, especially in the nervous system. It is a natural detoxifier. Histidine converts into histamine which is needed for sexual functioning to occur.
- This essential AA is one of the branch chain amino acids (BCAAs). It helps create energy during exercise and assists muscles to recover afterward. It helps stabilize blood glucose.
- This is the second BCAA. It too helps muscles create energy, recover, and prevents muscle loss. Of the three BCAAs this one converts glucose the quickest, which makes it very popular among athletes. Leucine also help with the healing process of bones, skin, and muscle.
- Lysine creates a strong immune system by helping produce antibodies. It is also used as an antiviral remedy.
- It helps the liver metabolize and eliminate fat as well as toxins from the body. Methionine has sulfur in its chemical composition which is essential for the production of glutathione. Glutathione is your body’s most abundant natural antioxidant.
- Your body needs this in order to synthesize the neurotransmitters: epinephrine, dopamine, and norepinephrine. It helps your central nervous system function properly. It also has been shown to help with chronic pain and depression.
- It is essential for proper cardiovascular, liver, central nervous, and immune system function. Threonine is needed to make two other AA, glycine and serine. It helps your connective tissues, bones, and teeth remain strong and rebuild from any stress. It also aides the liver in digesting fats.
- It helps your body make niacin and serotonin. In order to do that, your body needs to have enough iron, riboflavin, and B6 vitamins. This AA helps promote sleep and a positive mood. In adults it helps balance nitrogen levels in your body and babies need it for proper growth.
- This is the last of the BCAAs. It provides many of the same muscular and energy benefits as isoleucine and leucine. It too helps provide normal growth, tissue repair, regulates blood sugar, increases energy. Valine helps stimulate your central nervous system and promotes cognitive functioning.
All of these essential AA are found in Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen Hydrolysate .
Bello, A. E., & Oesser, S. (2006, November 22). Collagen hydrolysate for the treatment of osteoarthritis and other joint disorders: A review of the literature. Retrieved November 10, 2016, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17076983/
Boyera, N., Galey, I., & Bernard, B. A. (1998, June 20). Effect of vitamin C and its derivatives on collagen synthesis and cross-linking by normal human fibroblasts. Retrieved November 10, 2016, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18505499
Clark, K. L., Sebastianelli, W., Flechsenhar, K. R., Aukermann, D. F., Meza, F., Millard, R. L., . . . Albert, A. (2008, May 24). 24-Week study on the use of collagen hydrolysate as a dietary supplement in athletes with activity-related joint pain. Retrieved November 10, 2016, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18416885
Inoue, N., Sugihara, F., & Wang, X. (2016, September). Ingestion of bioactive collagen hydrolysates enhance facial skin moisture and elasticity and reduce facial ageing signs in a randomised double-blin… Retrieved November 10, 2016, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26840887
Murray, M. T. (2015, March). THE COLLAGEN CONNECTION. Retrieved November 10, 2016, from http://www.uiu.edu:2637/ehost/detail/detail?vid=8&sid=e67c6ad0-84f5-4b2b-9f4e-758a287c4e78@sessionmgr4010&hid=4202&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZSZzY29wZT1zaXRl
SCHAUCH, M., & Brechka, N. (2016). 3 Ways to Benefit from Collagen. Better Nutrition, 78(3), 30-32.