Collagen as an essential nutrient

31-05-2021
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Many think of collagen as some beauty product or a cosmetic substance or supplement, and not as a nutrient of vital importance.

Strictly speaking, collagen does not count as an essential nutrient, but it still has critical importance in our body. By now, it has almost completely disappeared from our nutrition thanks to modern diets.

Our ancestors and earlier generations consumed their catch “from snout to tail”, in other words they ate the skin, brain, bone marrow and various internal organs of the animal as well. By doing so, they not only ate a lot of vitamins and minerals, but a lot of collagen too. Back then, they were not aware of its importance; they acted instinctively, trying to get the most use out of what they’d caught.

By today, this has changed completely. Modern people’s diet has absolutely no marrowbone or soup cooked for hours, and we barely eat any jelly. With that, collagen protein has disappeared from our diet completely.

But what is collagen?

Collagen is the most common protein in the human body. Collagen-like proteins form the most parts of our veins, internal organs, digestive system, connective tissue and joints.

So far, we’ve managed to identify 28 collagen-like proteins, but 90% of the collagen found in the human body is of one sort, type I collagen.

The body itself does produce collagen, but after the age of 25, the amount of it gradually decreases and by the age of 50-60 it is minimal. As a result, the structure of collagen-containing tissue becomes weaker and loses elasticity. Wrinkles start to appear, veins become more rigid, joints get weaker, etc.

If, like most of the people, you don’t regularly eat food that’s rich in collagen, you should consider having collagen as a dietary supplement in order to preserve your health and fitness.

Kollagén, mint létfontosságú tápanyag

Among our products, we have several collagen formulas of high quality, but the absolute best is definitely Collagen Powder.

Collagen Powder is a sugar-free powder with a great taste, containing 10 g of hydrolysed marine collagen per serving and enriched with extra vitamin C.

Thanks to the peptide size (below 2000 Dalton), marine collagen has a great utilisation rate and is one of the best sources of collagen in the market. Unlike other collagen sources, it does not contain any Neu5Gc, so those with an autoimmune disease can have it too. Vitamin C has a key role in collagen synthesis, since the two enzymes (lysyl hydroxylase and prolyl hydroxylase) taking part in collagen production can’t work properly without a good amount of vitamin C. If these enzymes aren’t activated, maintaining the existing “mature” collagen network can be endangered too, and this can lead to a life-threatening condition: just think about scurvy.

The research below proves that collagen is not “just another trending dietary supplement”:

Women aged between 35 and 55 had 2.5 or 5 g of collagen daily, for 8 weeks. During this time period, both groups experienced a great increase in skin flexibility and hydration became better.[1]

In another similar study, participants took 9 g of collagen daily, for three months. In this time period, skin flexibility increased by 50% and the number of pores decreased.[2]

Let’s see the case of athletes, when they’re given collagen supplements. They are much more likely to have joint problems, because of the extreme stress on them.

In a 24-week examination, a daily dose of 10 g collagen significantly reduced pain, stiffness and inflammation of the joints.

It has also been shown that 5 g of collagen taken daily by sportspeople for 12 weeks has also greatly reduced joint pain.[4]

Taking collagen supplements may be of use for elder people too. Elder women had been taking 5 g of collagen daily for 12 months. As a result, bone mass increased in the lumbar vertebrae and femoral neck.[5]

Naturally, collagen supplements will not magically solve all our problems, but reinstating it into our diet will contribute to our health preservation and an improvement to our quality of life.

Sources:

[1] Proksch és mtsi., 2014.

[2] Maia Campos és mtsi., 2019.

[3] Clark és mtsi., 2008.

[4] Zdzieblik és mtsi., 2017.

[5] König és mtsi., 2017.