Are Collagen Peptides Healthy?
There is an ongoing discussion in the nutrition industry over protein-based dietary supplements and one question often asked is about collagen peptides.
In particular, our customers ask us are collagen peptides healthy, is there a better form of collagen, are they right for me and how do they work?
In order the understand this better, you first need to be familiar with the basics of collagen. What makes collagen? How is collagen assimilated in the body? And what are collagen’s health and nutritional benefits?
What is collagen and what are collagen peptides?
Let’s first talk about collagen, what really is collagen?
Collagen is a structural protein found in abundance throughout the body. Collagen makes up about 30% of all the protein in a human body. In fact, collagen is second to water in body mass constituency.
Collagen basically acts as a glue keeping everything together. It ensures elasticity, cohesion and regeneration of connective tissues, most notably the skin (being the largest and flexible organ in the body), ligaments, blood vessels and tendons. Collagen is also found in teeth, bones, cartilage, gut, and the disks between vertebrae.
The chemical makeup of collagen
Like other proteins, amino acids form the basic building blocks of collagen. Three primary amino acids make up collagen, namely, proline, hydroxyproline and glycine. These three amino acids create what’s known as a polypeptide chain.
Collagen is a complex protein made of three polypeptide chains wrapped around each other to form a triple helical macro-molecule structure composed of at least a thousand other amino acids.
Depending on the amino acid sequence along each of the polypeptide chains, different variations of the collagen protein molecule emerge. Collagen proteins assigned designations Type I, Type II, and Type III are the most prominent types. Types I and Type II make up 90% of the body’s collagen supply.
Natural collagen is a tough, flexible, and insoluble protein fibre with a complex molecular structure.
The origin of collagen peptides
OK, so we just got super technical there. So where does the collagen peptide come in? Collagen peptides are a simpler protein comprised of less than 100 amino acids resulting from the breaking down collagen in an enzymatic process called hydrolysis. Through hydrolysis, the three collagens peptide strands unwind and break apart to form smaller collagen peptide molecules.
Collagen peptides are a more bio-available form of collagen. They are easily digestible and rapidly absorbed in the body (typically in a few hours).
The best thing is collagen peptides don’t thicken to form a jelly.
Partial hydrolysis of collagen produces gelatin; which is an intermediary protein substance between collagen and collagen peptides. Gelatin is only soluble in hot water and is a lot more complex for easy digestion and absorption compared to collagen peptides.
At cool temperatures and concentrated solutions, gelatin forms a jelly-like goo, which is useful for specific culinary applications but not necessarily easy to take.
So are collagen peptides healthy?
Once in the bloodstream collagen peptides travel through the body, stimulating tissue repair and rejuvenation while providing energy to cells. They do this by instructing cells to build the collagen peptides into full-length collagen fibres to rebuild damaged tissue and maintain the tissue structure. Cells also consume the collagen peptides to produce energy for cellular activities.
The body naturally synthesises different types of collagen, including collagen peptides. Unfortunately, as the body ages, the production continuously diminishes. For most of us, at around the age of between 30 and 40, collagen production remarkably decelerates, and the effects are clearly visible on the skin and joints. Wrinkles form on the skin as the structure of the tissues begins to fail, and joints start to ache and click as ligaments and tendons lose rigidity.
Therefore, intuitively, it only makes sense to increase the amount of collagen in your body when the natural supply fails. To answer the question, are collagen peptides healthy? The short and accurate answer, yes. Now, how do you consume collagen peptides?
Consuming collagen peptides
Collagen peptides are best consumed as supplements, directly or in beverages and foods in small servings. Collagen peptides are a true superfood. Most peptide supplement packages are a soluble powder suitable for adding to a smoothie and other drinks, with mild or enhanced flavour and taste. Some nutritionists prefer having all natural ingredients in their supplements, no added flavours or colour.
Research has shown that vitamin C accelerates the production of collagen from collagen peptides. Vitamin C as an essential component to collagen absorption and assimilation.
Therefore, to maximise the effectiveness of collagen peptides, it is best to increase your vitamin C intake. Vitamin C is water-soluble and easily absorbed into the bloodstream through the gut; its most common source is citric fruits.
The benefits of collagen peptides are overwhelming. The body gets the much-needed collagen to maintain the structure and health of body tissues, an effect that is easily noticeable in smoother skin, rejuvenated muscles and stronger joints teeth and bones.
In addition, you get that long-lasting boost energy associated with protein supplements.
Extensive research has gone into the study of collagen, collagen peptides and its effects and benefits to the human body.
The unanimous conclusion is that consumption of collagen peptides is perfectly healthy and suppresses many ageing related issues. Collagen peptides are nutritional supplements that stimulate the body’s natural healing processes.
If you are looking for flexible and fun ways to ingest collagen, try our ready mixed daily sachets of collagen for both men and women Visit us for more information about our supplements and their health benefits.
Regardless of your lifestyle, whether a sport and fitness enthusiast or just looking for that soft, radiant skin, we’ve got you covered.