Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies. It is the structural protein found in the connective tissue of all animals. It is part of our hair, skin, nails, bone, joints, cartilage, internal organs, blood vessels, teeth and even our eyes. It acts like a glue, and gives our skin elasticity and suppleness.
70% of our skin is collagen and 70% of our cartilage is collagen.
The sad thing for us about collagen is that it starts to deplete in our bodies by 1.5% every year from the age of 25, so by the time you’re 40 you have lost 25% of your collagen and by the time you’re 60 you have lost 50% of your bodies collagen. This is where we see the visible signs of ageing when wrinkles appear, skin loses its suppleness, and joints lose their mobility.
There are different types of collagen, which are more specific to different parts or functions of the body. This is why you might hear of some products on the market being referred to as ‘beauty Collagen’. This just means the collagen used in those products is Type 1 and 3 collagen which is more specific to hair, skin and nails, hence the term’ beauty’. Type 2 collagen is more specific for joints and cartilage. Collagen is sourced from bovine, marine, poultry, porcine, or egg. A great way to source type 2 collagen which is great for joint mobility and gut health is by making good old fashioned bone broth.
Many collagen supplements are actually only collagen forming in that they provide the nutrients our body uses to build collagen, however you might like to look out for products also containing real collagen, as this will be replacing the lost collagen with actual collagen. Also look out for hydrolised collagen which has gone through a process where the protein molecules are broken down into smaller peptides which makes it easy for the body to absorb.