Collagen: the ingredient to stimulate your inner beauty
A series of new studies has just validated the benefits of collagen consumption, associated with natural beauty. However, many remain confused about what collagen is and does. However, many people are still confused about what collagen is and how it works.
What exactly is collagen?
Collagen is a structural protein that acts as a building block for bones, teeth, muscles, skin, joints and connective tissue. It can be thought of as a structural glue that holds our bodies in place. As the most abundant protein in the body, collagen is also the key to repair. However, as we age, our body’s natural production of collagen decreases, which explains many of the visual signs of aging such as sagging skin and wrinkles.
Collagen proteins are mainly composed of three amino acids – proline, hydroxyproline and glycine – which form a long chain in a triple helix structure. This twisted triple helix gives collagen unique functional properties, including strength and elasticity, but also means that it cannot be absorbed by our diet in its complete form. Therefore, in this complete form, collagen is not effective for use in foods or supplements.
Collagen peptides, or hydrolyzed collagen, have the same meaning and refer to small chains of peptides that have been broken down from larger collagen proteins, which means that they are easier for our bodies to absorb. Because of their small size, collagen peptides are absorbed by our intestines and travel throughout the body to act as building blocks to repair, rebuild and provide energy.
Collagen peptides found in supplements and health products come from a variety of sources in many forms, including bovine collagen, chicken collagen, marine collagen and even plant-based alternatives.
There are at least 28 different types of collagen, but the most common types in supplements are types I, II, III, IX and X. Types I, II and III make up most of the collagen in our bodies, but new data suggests that other forms can play an important role in our constitution.
It is important to understand that collagen peptides are made by breaking down collagen molecules along their entire length. Not all collagen peptides are the same; it depends greatly on the type of collagen they come from, the source of the collagen and how the peptides have been broken down.
The benefits of collagen
The benefits of collagen have been known for centuries. Chinese women have regarded collagen as a fountain of youth, regularly consuming foods such as pig’s feet, shark fins and donkey skin in the hope of preserving their aging skin and joints. Recently, more appetizing ways to get a dose of collagen have been introduced, including fruity chews, flavoured coffees and creams, powder packets and easy-to-swallow capsules.
According to the Nutrition Business Journal, in 2020, U.S. consumers are expected to spend $293 million on collagen supplements, compared to only $50 million in 2014. This represents a growth of 486%! Worldwide, collagen is increasingly found in foods and beverages.
Do not hesitate to contact us for a consulting quote to accompany you from R&D to the commercial launch of your collagen-based beauty products.