As humans, we naturally make our own collagen using amino acids. These amino acids (aka peptides) are the smallest particles that come from the proteins we eat.
We then chain together all kinds of proteins that we need for our body. One of those proteins is collagen and we make it from glycine, proline, hydroxyproline, and alanine.
Topical collagen peptides, such as those sold in face creams, wound healing ointments, and facial serums, have been the subject of extensive clinical research to support their use in the dermal layer.
Orally bioavailable collagen is not sold as a dietary supplement, although many people believe it is. In other words, if you buy a “collagen supplement” what you are really taking are the 4 peptides your body uses to chain collagen. Collagen itself will not survive through stomach acid after taking it, so it is not sold as a dietary supplement. You can increase the production of collagen in the body by taking dietary supplements of collagen peptides, as well as vitamin C which is needed as a cofactor to drive the reaction.
There are patented and proprietary forms of collagen peptides that are clinically studied for their benefits on the skin, and these can (and should) be taken orally. So, educate yourself well when supplementing with collagen. They are not all created equal. Some types of collagen are derived from cow skin, some are derived from fish scales, and there are other sources as well. Some types of collagen work on the joints, others on wrinkles.
If you have brittle nails, thinning hair, fine lines, loss of muscle mass, joint, tendon, or ligament problems, or even irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), it’s likely you are low in collagen, and possibly several different types of collagen. , but it’s hard to say. It is not given. These problems can also be caused by food allergens, various illnesses, deficiency of B vitamins or thyroid hormone, estrogen, testosterone or DHEA.
Most women who take collagen take it for its beauty aspects. Keep in mind that there are only a few specific types of very small peptides that are recognized by your fibroblast cells in the dermal layer of your skin. If, and only if recognized, your cells are able to be provoked to increase their own collagen metabolism. Of the 5 types of collagen, only types I and III are useful for beautifying your skin, hair and nails. Type II involves tendons, joints and ligaments.
Making enough collagen (or being young!) Will dramatically increase your skin’s hydration, resulting in noticeably firmer and smoother skin. Plus, oral intake of collagen peptides promotes joint health, flexibility, and cartilage. I take my own collagen peptides and suggest that you research the vast array of products on the market today to make sure it has the type you desire. If you want to read the most fascinating and longest version of this article, sign up for my free newsletter at suzycohen.com.
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Suzy Cohen is a licensed pharmacist. The information presented here is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose any disease. Visit SuzyCohen.com.