A quick internet search reveals all kinds of collagen products that claim to transform your life and turn back signs of ageing. However, collagen products are not created equally, and a lot of these claims don’t stand up to scientific scrutiny. So, when it comes to collagen supplements, how can you be sure that what you’re buying will work? And what really are the benefits of collagen?
What is collagen and why is it important?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. Composed of 3 different amino acids - glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline - it has a long triple-helix structure that gives it strength and flexibility. Its name derives from the Greek for “glue producing” which gives us a clue about what collagen does! As a major component of connective tissue
, collagen is found in joints, bones, tendons, ligaments, skin, hair, nails, the lining of the digestive tract, blood vessels, organs, and structures within the eyes and teeth. Essentially, without collagen, we would fall apart. We naturally produce collagen, but this rate of production starts to decline by around 1% a year from mid-twenties onwards. For women, the decline increases after the menopause, when falling oestrogen levels leave collagen at greater risk of breakdown. Because we aren’t producing as much collagen from our twenties onwards, the existing collagen must work even harder and is more prone to damage. Other factors such as alcohol
, excessive sunlight exposure
, and diets high in sugar and processed foods can further exacerbate collagen breakdown and signs of ageing.
What are the different types of collagen?
There are 28 different types of collagen, with Types I, II, and III being the most common. - Over 90% of human collagen is Type I. Found predominantly in the skin, hair, nails, joints, and ligaments, it provides strength, support, and flexibility to these tissues. - Type II collagen helps maintain the lining of the digestive tract and builds joints, tendons, and cartilage. - Type III collagen is a key structural component of blood vessels
, and hollow organs like the womb and bowel. It acts as a signalling molecule in wound healing and blood clotting processes. Type III is also found alongside Type I collagen in skin, supporting the elasticity and hydration of skin tissues. Bovine collagen Vs. Marine Supplemental forms of collagen are derived from cow hides (bovine), fish scales and skin (marine), or pigs (porcine). Marine sources only contain Type I collagen. Here at Pura Collagen® we use bovine source Bioactive Collagen Peptides® that provide Types I, II, and III collagen for maximum health benefits. Collagen-rich foods Collagen can be found in animal foods like bone broth, gelatine, fish bones, fish skin, poultry, and red meat
. Other high-protein foods like eggs, legumes, and soy contain good levels of the amino acids needed to make collagen in the body. Bone broth has gained widespread popularity in recent years. It can easily be made at home by simmering beef bones in water with a dash of vinegar for up to 24 hours. This long, slow cooking process liberates collagen and minerals from the bones. Once cooked, the liquid can be strained and kept in the fridge for several days for use in soups, casseroles, or reheated as a nourishing drink.
What are the benefits of collagen supplements?
While certain foods can provide either collagen or the amino acids needed to make collagen, these levels are variable and may not be enough to manage a health concern.
Beauty creams and serums present the same problem. Collagen peptides in facial moisturisers and serums are too large to be absorbed into the dermis layer of the skin, where collagen-producing cells reside. For collagen supplements to make a difference, they must be easily digested and absorbed, and provide targeted support to tissues. Our Pura Collagen range of formulas contain Bioactive Collagen Peptides®
- small chains of digestible amino acids proven to work in specific areas of the body.
Collagen for hair, skin, and nails.
The VERISOL® collagen peptides in our glow+ blend are proven to stimulate skin metabolism and counteract the effects of collagen loss in skin, hair, and nails. In as little as 4 weeks, VERISOL® peptides can:
- Reduce wrinkles - Reduce cellulite and improve skin texture and smoothness - Strengthen and thicken hair - Promote fingernail growth
Collagen for joint health
Collagen is found throughout joint tissues and muscle fascia. These tissues work hard during exercise but are often not thought about until an injury occurs or arthritis sets in. Our flex+ formula uses a blend of TENDOFORTE® and FORTIGEL® collagen peptides to support joint and soft tissue health. - TENDOFORTE® specifically supports tendons and ligaments, improving flexibility and reducing the risk of injury. - FORTIGEL® promotes the growth and health of cartilage, helping to support joint mobility and flexibility.
Collagen for immune support
You might be surprised to think about collagen for immune support, but many collagen-rich tissues play a key role in immune activity. The IMMUPEPT™ peptide
in our protect formula show potential to optimise immunity in several ways: - By supporting collagen-rich tissues such as bone marrow, where immune cells are produced. - Reducing pro-inflammatory messenger molecules. - Reducing collagen damage by free radicals and breakdown enzymes.
Collagen for sleep
The body carries out a lot of cellular repair work while we sleep, including repairing and rebuilding connective tissues. Our sleep blend
combines PEPTIPLUS® collagen peptides for all-round collagen support, with amino acids and minerals that calm the nervous system and induce sleep.
What are the side effects of collagen supplements?
Collagen supplements are generally very well tolerated, with research studies
noting an absence of side effects. To get the real benefit from a collagen supplement, be sure to choose a product that is proven to provide targeted support for your health concerns. When taken at the recommended dosage, our Pura Collagen formulas can show visible results in a matter of weeks, thanks to the unique blend of Bioactive Collagen Peptides® and supporting co-factor ingredients. You can find out more about the benefits of collagen and get inspired by these delicious recipes over on The Scoop
and check out the full range of products in the Pura shop.