By Kim Bowman, MS, CNP
Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins in the body forming our skin and connective tissues along with muscles, ligaments, and tendons. It’s what keeps our skin looking glowing and youthful by optimizing elasticity, firmness, and structure. Unfortunately, the production of this powerhouse protein within the body starts to slow overtime, declining with age. Now, researchers are discovering the supportive effects of regular collagen supplementation on retaining healthy-looking, youthful skin along with numerous other benefits including optimal gut health (see below).
It’s likely you may have seen collagen skincare products available on the market in the form of serums or creams claiming to boost collagen and skin firmness. However, topical collagen isn’t actually able to stimulate collagen production within the body as ‘collagen peptides’ are too large to be absorbed past the outer most layer of our skin--the epidermis. On the other hand, supplementation with a quality collagen powder mixed with a glass of water or in a smoothie allows for the internal absorption of collagen to occur providing greater support for our skin in addition to our joints and gut microbiome. Hearthy’s grass-fed collagen powder provides a rich source of protein (11g/serving) and amino acid peptides which act to minimize inflammation within the body and contribute to a healthy aging process.
What Makes a Quality Collagen Supplement?
A quality collagen powder is produced using ‘collagen peptides’ (also known as hydrolyzed collagen) which are made of the same amino acids as collagen yet are more easily absorbed by our bodies. Collagen peptides are much shorter amino acids than collagen itself allowing them to be taken up more rapidly in our body to stimulate collagen production. Hearthy’s collagen powder uses premium grass-fed, Halal collagen peptides providing Type I and Type III collagen proteins. The best part? Hearthy’s collagen powder is unflavored and extremely soluble which allows it to be easily mixed with water, smoothies, or hot beverages including tea and coffee. Halal collagen may also be added to your favorite homemade baked treats as it has exceptional stability under extreme heat (300˚C)! Daily collagen supplementation has exceptional benefits not just for our skin but for our joints and digestive health as well.
1. Enhanced Skin Health
The combination of dry heat and sunlight along with environmental pollutants can really wreak havoc on our skin overtime. Regular collagen peptide supplementation has shown to not only boost skin moisture and hydration but also increase skin elasticity to minimize wrinkles. Collagen peptides work in two ways to optimize a glowing skin complexion; 1) help produce elastin and fibrillin--two proteins responsible for maintaining skin structure and integrity and 2) stimulate the body to produce collagen on its own.
2. Joint Pain Relief
Degenerative joint conditions including osteoarthritis increases as we age due to declining collagen production overtime. Fortunately, studies observing collagen peptide supplementation have found that daily use can lessen degenerative symptoms of osteoarthritis along with joint-related pain overall. Collagen peptides work by accumulating in the tissue that protects our joints (cartilage) which stimulates the tissues around our joints to produce more collagen. This results in greater protection from joint-related injury and the formation of osteoarthritis as increased collagen production helps to lower inflammation overtime
Aside from our joints, collagen makes up the majority of our bones and studies have found that regular collagen supplementation may inhibit the breakdown of bone leading to osteoporosis. Specifically, collagen peptides may increase bone mineral density while lowering the levels of proteins in the blood responsible for stimulating bone breakdown with age.
3. Promotes Gut Health
Collagen peptide supplementation has also gained popularity in those aiming to improve gut health due to various digestive conditions including ‘leaky gut.’ This condition occurs when toxins or partially digested food particles ‘leak’ through the lining of the gut to induce inflammation or a change in our gut microbiome. Leaky gut occurs when the tight junctions lining the wall of our digestive tract become weakened and has been associated with excess consumption of processed carbohydrates including refined sugar. Those with lower levels of serum collagen have been linked to an increased risk of ‘leaky gut.’ Luckily researchers have found that regular collagen peptide supplementation is likely to help provide the amino acids needed to repair and rebuild the intestinal wall to prevent leaky gut and optimize digestive health!
Moskowitz RW. Role of collagen hydrolysate in bone and joint disease. Semin Arthritis Rheum. 2000 Oct;30(2):87-99. doi: 10.1053/sarh.2000.9622. PMID: 11071580.