Understanding the Different Forms of Collagen and What Really Works
Q&A with Jacqui D.
You hear a lot about collagen today -- it is definitely a popular ingredient in supplements, shakes and skin care products touted by celebrities and beauty influencers. First off, can you clarify what collagen is and what is its main function?
[JD] First things first, collagen is a protein. It is a major component of bones, skin, muscles, ligaments and tendons. It provides structure and support throughout your body. It’s known as the ‘glue’ that holds your body together. Your body makes it, but as you age you produce less and less quality collagen – causing joint pain, sagging skin and wrinkles.
Therefore, the bottom line is…the root cause of aging is collagen loss – plain and simple.
What is one of the most popular myths about collagen that you would like to clarify?
[JD] There’s a lot of misleading information about collagen and its effectiveness. One is that many doctors and dermatologists report that collagen proteins cannot be absorbed into the body, and through the skin, and therefore are not recognized to contribute to health and longevity-- and of course younger looking skin. The reason for this myth is that most dermatologists and consumers do not understand that not all collagens are created equal.
Most of the collagen products you see in health food stores, and online, is made from collagen hydrolysates, which does nothing for you. But, there is another type of collagen referred to as collagen hydrate -- this is the pure, fish-derived form of collagen used in Naturel Collagen products.
So what is the difference between these two forms of collagen?
[JD] Hydrolysates are composed of amino acids that are “post-collagen” proteins -- produced primarily from the connective tissue of cows and pigs, which is not bio-available. To be useful, this type of collagen must undergo hydrolysis, an aggressive chemical process that results in hydrolyzed collagen. Now “dead” protein, it cannot penetrate the outer layer of skin – so any moisturizing effect is fleeting. Many dermatologists have confirmed this fact.
Natural fish collagen is entirely different!
Polish scientists discovered how to extract collagen from fresh-water fish skin at the early stage of the developmental process, in the form of triple helix molecules to make it highly absorbable. It is then preserved -- not processed -- as hydrate. Unlike hydrolyzed collagen, collagen hydrate peptides easily penetrate the skin’s layers. Our collagen serums are guaranteed to quickly break down into peptides once it touches moistened skin. It then begins the process of collagen regeneration, strengthening the skin and erasing fine wrinkles.
So the defining difference between processed hydrolyzed collagen and preserved collagen hydrate comes down to "absorbability."
[JD] Yes. Always check your labels before you buy a collagen product. In all likelihood, it will be a hydrolyzed collagen, which, once again, is “dead protein.” Naturel Collagen is one of the only companies in North America offering this type of preserved collagen in hydrate form. Our supplements and skincare line are unique because the collagen is “bio-available” -- which basically means the body can easily absorb it and take what it needs.
What can we do about collagen loss -- what do you recommend?
[JD] You can combat collagen depletion by taking our high quality, bioavailable collagen internally, in the form of our Colvita supplement. Most people take 2 – 4 capsules daily to reap the health benefits. You can also apply our collagen serums and creams to the skin, twice daily. The supplement, serums and creams complement each other. It’s what I refer to as an “inside out” approach.
Our most popular selling collagen serum -- that is also perfect for mature skin -- is called Atelocollagen. It stands out from the rest because is has a unique design: there is a collagen ‘helix’ in the centre of the bottle and it also contains healing rose oil in its formula.
When you adopt this “inside out approach” to collagen rejuvenation you’ll feel better and experience a big improvement in the condition of the skin, hair and nails -- particularly the joints -- as the supplement delays the aging process of the tissues.
And one last thing: Many may wonder… do our collagen serums and supplements smell or taste like fish? The answer is “no” …absolutely not!