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Is collagen worth the hype? Yep! It sure is. Before I get into sharing ways to incorporate collagen, I wanted to share what it is, the types of collagen, what it does, and why it's important. Consider this your collagen 101! If you're already a collagen pro, just scroll down halfway to the many ways to incorporate it into your day.
What is collagen?
It's essentially the glue that holds us together and it's the most abundant protein in the body. In fact, 30% of the body's protein content is collagen. 90% of the dry weight of the dermis (which is the inner layer of the skin) is collagen. It makes sense that it's been nicknamed the "scaffolding" of the skin. Humans have been consuming collagen for centuries in the form of bone broth.
What are the different types of collagen?
There are 29 types of collagen but 80-90% are type I, II, or III. The majority are type 1. Up to 80% of the collagen in the skin is Type I. Fish and bovine collagen are mostly Type I collagen. Bovine also contains some type III.
When the skin is sun-damaged, there is a loss of type I collagen and a little change in type III. Collagen provides structure and strength to skin, joints, and many other body tissues. Type III collagen is found in blood vessels.
As you age, collagen begins to break down and you produce less, so it's a double whammy. This begins in your twenties - waaaaah!
Collagen decline is easily seen in the skin where fine lines and wrinkles appear as you age. Ain't nothing wrong with laugh lines, however!
What can collagen do?
There is lots of human research on collagen and this is exactly why supplementing with collagen in smoothies, teas, and chocolate chip collagen snowballs (wink wink!) has become so incredibly popular. When you hear people say that collagen isn't worth the hype, you can just forward them my post. And the reality is, I barely scratched the surface on the research and the benefits. You can also watch a video I did on Cityline here.
As I discuss in my video, there isn't a dramatic difference in marine vs. bovine for their health benefits based on the research we have right now.
It is important to note that the research-proven dose is 7-10 g of hydrolyzed collagen to reap the benefits.
Hydrolyzed collagen simply means the form of collagen otherwise known as "collagen peptides". This is the form you want to consume because it's absorbable. The collagen is broken down into smaller, easier to absorb molecules.
Here are some different ways to incorporate collagen into your day!
Remember that there is no one supplement that is going to be the silver bullet to youth or health. It's truly a holistic approach that combines eating well, moving your body, and incorporating mindfulness practices into your day to manage stress and feel joyous!
If you've got any questions, please feel free to post them below!
Have a joyous week!
Hi Joy, Thanks for this post. I’ve always wondered about the benefits of collagen. Having been a vegetarian for years, I have a difficult time with the idea of consuming animal products. Even though I do eat fish now, the idea of ingesting their scales is just something I can’t get over! Lol! From what I understand, vegan sources of collagen just aren’t as effective. Is there any advice you can pass along to help me out? ThanksReply
Your assumption is correct, vegan supplements that claim to boost collagen are not research backed unfortunately. Now of course that doesn't mean they don't work, it's just that there isn't impressive data to show it's as effective.
Thank you for this. I am a vegetarian and kept reading about collagen and wondering if the Marine works.Reply
It works amazing, the research is impressive.
What type of Genuine collagen and how much is recommended daily according to the study you posted to improve bone density in post menopausal women?Reply
Is it safe to consume while breastfeeding?Reply
No I don't recommend it because there is no research to say it is safe.
I’ve tried numerous collagen products all of which upset my digestive system. Do you have any suggestions? ThanksReply
It could be from additives in other products or it's just something your body doesn't agree with. I would see if you can get an individual sample packet of the Genuine health collagen at your local health food store and give it a try before buying a bottoe.
What type of Genuine Health collagen and how much is recommended to take daily based on the bone density study you posted to increase bone density mass in post menopausal women?Reply
Marine or Bovine. Most of the research is between 7 and 10g of collagen per day. The GH collagen scoop size is 10g so you'd be fine to take that. Bone density takes a while to build up so in that particular research they checked bone density after a year of taking collagen and found significant improvements. However, there are many other factors to bone density to consider and evaluate like diet and nutrition, water, lifestyle etc.
What if your vegetarian or vegan? How can you get collagen? Also how should you take this on top of your fermented protein and other gut superfoods, probiotic or other genuine health products? I always wonder if I am taking to much. Thanks In advance.Reply
There is not a vegan or vegetarian source of collagen because it's derived from animals. I put it most often in my tea - that's my fave way!
Which type of collagen repairs ligament damage?Reply
Both are good as long as the form is peptides so you ensure good absorption, but bovine might be best.
What are your thoughts on Vegan collagen products?Reply
I haven't seen good research to show it is effective as collagen. Vegan collagen is a bit of a misnomer though, because collagen is only found in animal tissue/joints etc.
I have tried the Genuine Health marine collagen before and despite reviews stating there is no fishy taste I noticed a distinct flavour to it that made it difficult to consume (it was the unflavoured variety). Is this normal? I don't want to invest in it if i would have the same experience. Are collagen pills as effective?Reply
That's the one I use too and swap in the bovine too but I don't notice the taste at all. Are you mixing it into a tea or something? I normally put it in a smoothie or into an herbal tea. Maybe try that if you're just putting it into water. Or, buy the flavoured one next time.
As for capsules, the reason that it likely isn't as effective is that the amount of hydrolyzed collagen you need for the researched backed benefits of 7-10g won't fit into a couple of capsules so you'd likely end up taking too little and then not see the benefits.
Can you consume too much collagen? I put a scoop in my coffee, then in my smoothie and then sometimes another scoop in a herbal tea in the afternoon.Reply
The evidence-based dosage is 7-10 grams which you generally find in one scoop so I would definitely cut back, I do think that's too much.
Have you heard of Sun Warrior vegan collagen?Reply
I know the brand, they are great! But I am not familiar with their collagen. Thanks for sharing!
I'm a vegetarian and really debated taking bovine collagen. I'm on Native Path that recommends 20grams. It's such a fine powder I have never noticed it was added to my coffee, especially since I use coffeemate as my creamer. Was I surprised! Now I wonder if I need the 10gram package? I'm 70 with osteoporosis and admit I'm not interested in food. This also has protein. My aches and pains are much better in less than 3 months. Wrinkles on hands have smoothed out. Now, just work on the face and neck! The problem I found is there are so many choices at so many prices and so many reviews about which were processed correctly.Reply
I'm glad to hear you've found something that works!! However, you could scale back the dosage as the research-proven dose is 7-10g so you will see benefits at the dose. This might save you a few bucks since you won't go through your bottle as fast :)
I take the tablet form.. Is that ok?Reply
As long as it's the research-proven dose of 7-10g and its collagen peptides should be fine. I doubt that you can fit that much powder into a capsule though?
This is correct. I'm about 5 yrs on collagen and you wouldn't guess my age. I spread 16 50 lb bags of mulch today. Take the collagen!!!Reply
That's great you've found what works for you! You're 65 and you look 45 is my guess ;)
Hi there, I have been reading your article about collagen and was wondering if all of the information and way to take a collagen supplement is the same for both males and females? Thank you!!Reply
I would have to look into the individual studies to see the gender of the participants to confirm 100%. However, my guess is just based on the number of studies on collagen that the benefits span all genders. The peptides have been shown to get absorbed in the small intestine and be delivered to the tissue ie. skin.
I looked into this further and it looks as if most studies skew more female. Which kinda makes sense since collagen is largely marketed more to women for skin health, hydration etc. Hope that helps!
I’ve been using Genuine Health unflavoured marine collagen for about a year now. I believe it does help my skin although nothing really will turn back the clock other than invasive surgery! I take mine in my morning coffee. Dissolves in and adds a creaminess. No flavour. I am a vegetarian but I do eat fish from time to time so this works for me more so than bovine collagen.Reply
Why do you want to turn back the clock anyway? I'm sure you're perfect just as you are :)