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The Confusion Around Collagen


Collagen is an oral supplement that I am asked about all the time in clinic. “Is it effective? What should I use? Should I try it?” and unfortunately the answer is not straightforward - it is dependent on the health outcome you are wanting to achieve and the type of collagen you use.

But before we jump right in, let’s go back to the basics.

What is collagen?

Collagen is 30% of the body’s total protein that is fibre-like in its shape and is used to build connective tissue. This type of tissue connects other tissues and is a major component of bone, skin, muscles, tendons, and cartilage. It helps to make tissues strong and resilient, able to withstand stretching.

Collagen is composed of 3 specific amino acids - glycine, proline and hydroxyproline. In addition, the body also needs vitamin c, zinc and copper for the collagen to be utilised.

It can be found in animal meats through the diet but recently there has been a huge demand for collagen supplementation.

Why do we need collagen?

Collagen production within the body reduces as we age in particular after we turn 30 years old.

Collagen powder mimics the body’s production, when consumed the body breaks down the collagen to cross the intestinal barrier and then the body puts the molecule back together giving the body it’s structural connectivity, whether it be the skin and gut, joints, blood vessels etc.

The focus is always to obtain the best quality collagen that is going to be effective. Part of what makes collagen efficacious is the form of collagen and what parts of the body it impacts:

Type 1 is for skin, bone, ligaments and tendons.

Type 2 is for cartilage ad joints.

Type 3 is for internal organs, blood vessels and muscle.

Type 4 is for the layers of the skin.

Type 5 is for the cornea of eye, skin and hair.

There are some trademarked formulations of collagen that have been studied in clinic trials for specific conditions and have been shown to be effective -

Verisol supports skin function by stimulating skin elasticity and function and also nail and hair thickness. It has also been shown to support the epithelial cells of the gut lining.

Fortibone supports bone health via osteoblast and osteoclast tissue synthesis, slows bone reabsorption and increases bone density.

Fortigel upregulates synthesis of collagen in joints and reduces joint cartilage degradation.

My thoughts on collagen….

I personally love using collagen for my hair, skin and nail health. I haven’t personally tried collagen for other health concerns however I do use collagen regularly with my clients, however there are a few things to note, it needs to be taken for a couple of months before changes are seen and if using for gut healing or musculoskeletal repair a consultation is your best bet to ensure you have a form that is going to assist.

If you are not sure if collagen is right for you, please feel free to book a consultation to see if a collagen supplement is right for you and your individual circumstances.

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