How To Choose The Best Collagen Supplement
So how do you choose the best collagen supplement? And why should you take collagen? It's certainly the buzzword of the moment - so this article explains the difference between the types and sources of collagen out there and takes the stress out of making the right choice!
It's important to know from the off that the collagen in our bodies is broken down daily by free-radical damage and sun exposure – so we lose 1% of collagen per year after the age of 25. This means taking a good quality collagen supplement ISN'T just for those of a certain age.
It is this modern knowledge that has created an interest in how we can slow down this process. Unfortunately, moisturisers and sunscreens are only a temporary fix – gravity, ageing and sun exposure will do their damage anyway, no matter how careful we aim to be. Aside from this - topical creams can only penetrate so far into the skin's dermis so are limited in their visible anti-ageing properties.
Additionally, lifestyle choices also have an impact on how we outwardly age – for example it’s common knowledge that cigarette smoking contributes to the breakdown of collagen and elastin in the skin.
Fine lines and wrinkles are a part of life and there is no way to avoid them entirely of course – but you can give your skin the best chance possible by seeking out scientifically proven methods of bringing out beauty from within.
This is why you will be looking to take a collagen supplement to work from the inside out and put back into the skin and body what nature takes out.
There is a plethora of collagen supplements on the market – and this is set to grow even more in the next three years. So when choosing a collagen supplement, what should you be looking for?
There are three main types of dietary collagen out there – and Type 1 collagen is known to be the best, comprising 90% of skin, hair, nails, organs, bone and ligaments.
Type 1 collagen can be found in four main sources; marine (fish), bovine (cow), porcine (pig) and fowl (chicken).
In Absolute Collagen, we use only high-grade hydrolysed marine (fish) collagen peptides.
The pros of choosing a marine collagen supplement such as this is that peptides from fish are considered to be superior in raising all over body collagen to improve skin, hair, nail and bone quality. For this reason – marine collagen peptides cost more than other sources of collagen – ever heard the saying ‘you get what you pay for’?
However, it was in Absolute Collagen’s ethos to make sure that ‘beauty isn’t pocket deep’, so we keep our prices as cost-effective as possible for the end consumer – almost half the price of our main liquid-collagen, like-for-like competitor.
This means you will be getting the best quality collagen at the lowest possible price.
Bovine, porcine and fowl collagen are indeed lower cost and highly accessible – BUT studies show they do not raise overall collagen levels in the body as effectively as marine – and some consumers prefer to steer clear of animal-sourced products.
A study undertaken by the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology saw a 12% increase in sky hydration of participants after 8 weeks of taking an oral marine-based collagen supplement. They also noticed skin density increasing as well as a decrease in the fragmentation of the dermal collagen network after just 4 weeks of taking supplements.
While other studies have indicated that ingesting supplements could help, this is the first to suggest a direct link between peptides and skin health.
In order for collagen to work effectively once taken, it is also imperative to look at any supporting nutrients when choosing a supplement.
Vitamin C plays a critical role in collagen synthesis and activates the body’s own mechanisms for producing collagen – so is paramount to a collagen supplement. It was for this reason that Absolute Collagen included Vitamin C in it's unique formula - and very little else.
Definitely avoid products with fillers (ie: maltodextrin), oils or binders – and try to avoid those with ‘plastic’ coatings. A recent study reported in Environmental Health Perspectives reported to avoid plastic coatings of many supplements containing ‘phthalates’.
Also it has been found that a liquid supplement digests further up the stomach meaning that the absorption rate is far superior to powdered or tablet form collagen.
Finally – look at the amount of pure hydrolysed collagen in each product, usually measured in grams. The higher the amount of collagen per dose – the more effective the supplement will be. However - it is worth knowing that the body can only effectively use up to 8 grams of collagen in one dose (which is why we call ours the 'maximum' dose) Any more than this in one single dose is effectively waste and will not be used by the body.
So for the best results, in the most cost-effective way - stick with Absolute Collagen!