What is Collagen?
Collagen is one of the most plentiful proteins in mammals. It is responsible for biological functions such as providing structural support in connective tissue, muscle, and skin. It also plays an integral role in bone and joint health. Research continues to pour in proving its effectiveness in repairing the gut lining as well.
Where Does Collagen Come From?
As a human, you create collagen naturally. Over time, your body produces less and less of this essential protein. This leads to reduced skin elasticity (think wrinkles), less hair production, decreased bone density and weaker ligaments.
Collagen also occurs in other mammals. However, it is not in the meat we buy at the grocery store (not even in the Organic Grass Fed meat). It is contained in the same ligaments, connective tissue, skin, and bones of animals that it is in humans. Our ancestors used to eat the entire animal, including ligaments (think tripe) and bone broth in stew. With our current diets, we lack the necessary collagen intake to support the high demands we place on our bodies in our everyday lives.
Unless you are butchering your own meat and eating the entire animal, it could be wise to supplement with a hydrolyzed collagen product. They come in capsule, tablet, and powder form. I personally like the powdered form because it dissolves easily into any liquid and is odorless and tasteless. Mixing it into your AM cup of coffee is an easy way to get the collagen you need daily.
The quality of any supplement is paramount. There are many cheap rip off brands out there that are not providing what they say they are. NOT ALL COLLAGEN SUPPLEMENTS ARE EQUAL. I have done the research and tried multiple types. My favorite ones are from Natural Force and Vital Proteins. Click on the links to see the reviews and try some for yourself.
In general, avoid flashy inexpensive brands with labels that are designed to catch your attention on the shelf. ALWAYS get high quality grass fed organic collagen from a brand you can do a quick google search on and see high quality reviews.
Enjoy the benefits of collagen and please ask questions and share your results in the comments!