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Protein origin substance that is present in most of the connective tissues of our body. It has a structural function, both at a cutaneous level (first line of protection) and in joints. Regarding supplementation, we may find it in a hydrolyzed format or undenatured (UC-II). Its supplementation is mainly associated to a reduction in articular pain, although some peptides that constitute collagen have also been observed to favour neuronal connexions through neurotrophins (BDNF).

What is Collagen?

Nowadays a large part of the population are becoming aware of the importance of taking care of their health. There are too many factors that we are exposed to, that produce a deterioration of our health markers. Very often without us realising or taking notice of them.

Within the most distinctive symptoms, there is one that we can not ignore, due to its high perception, this is beauty. Yes, one of the most noticeable consequences for human beings, as time goes by, and other factors also affect us, is the deterioration of our external appearance. This is reflected on the appearance of the skin and face, our image.

The secret of eternal youth will never be revealed, no matter how much scientist or alchemist try their hardest to achieve the "magic formula", but nevertheless, in a sense and of our own accord, we can mitigate the damage produced in people by the inexorable passage of time. Science advances, and with this, a series of products are made available to us that aim to fulfil the wishes of the customers, and in this regard, to maintain, improve, take care of and, why not, give a rejuvenated appearance to our skin and expression.

Collagen, as a supplement, is the product that is presented by the evolution of technology to contemplate this set of premises and give an opportunity to all those people who seek a commitment of the maximum care, both for their health (as we will see, because it is involved at other levels) and appearance.

Speaking in specific terms, and exclusively what concerns to the natural sector, collagen is known as the protein structure with the greatest presence or abundance that can be found in the organisms of animals. This molecule does not exist in the plant kingdom, that is, there is no vegetable origin collagen. It is a macromolecule that in turn gives way to the formation of collagen fibers, secreted by the cellular network that constitutes the connective tissue.

Collagen is present forming a layer for tissue bonding so as to support the correct cohesion of said fibrillar systems allowing to provide in parallel two essential benefits, as a structural pillar as well as enabling the dynamic function due to the elasticity and flexibility properties of such tissues.

Collagen is divided into different types, depending on the molecular structure, concentration and its location within the connective system. Type I is the most abundant of these.

The natural production of collagen diminishes with age, which is reflected in the appearance of wrinkles, sagging of the skin, loss of elasticity and softness, as well as articular problems. Other factors can speed up the process, such as bad eating habits (excess sugar, processed food), tobacco, or too much sun exposure, which contribute to the depletion of collagen levels. Research can prove that most pathologies related to the production and synthesis of collagen arise as a result of genetics, a shortage of collagen-rich sources (foods) and other nutritional deficiencies, along with digestive problems.

Collagen helps strengthen various structures of the body and also provides them with protection, such is the case of skin avoiding the absorption and propagation of pathogenic substances, environmental toxins, microorganisms and cancer cells. Colloquially speaking, collagen protein is the cement that holds everything together.

Where can we find Collagen?

Collagen is the main insoluble fibrous protein in the Extracelluler Matrix and in the connective tissue. When we refer to connective tissue we are talking about any tissue that supports other tissues, interconnecting them, and that are integrated by a relatively high amount of cellular complex of the extracellular matrix. It includes bones, cartilage and loose connective tissue. The latter, can be found in those areas that will not be subjected to high resistance or mechanical stress.

Collagen constitutes a part of the total set of connective fibers that our body has, so in these systems we can find:

  • Collagen fibers
  • Reticular fibers
  • Elastic fibers

Collagen fibers are the most abundant in the connective system. At a microscopic level, a subunit may be differentiated, the collagen fibrils.

Extracellular Matrix

The extracellular matrix or ECM is the non cellular component present in tissues and organs, that provides not only the basic structural support for the cellular components but it also produces a signalling process. This signalling is crucial for physiological activities with a biochemical and biomechanical nature and is required for the morphology, differentiation and homeostasis of tissues.

The importance of ECM is vividly illustrated by the wide range of syndromes, which can be originated from genetic abnormalities in proteins, with different degrees of importance.

Although, essentially, the extracellular matrix is composed of water, proteins, and polysaccharides, among other things, each tissue has a unique ECM with a different composition and topology that is generated during the development of the tissues through a dynamic and reciprocal, biochemical and biophysical, process between several cellular components, such as epithelia, fibroblasts, adipocytes and other endothelial elements, as well as the cell envelope and protein microenvironment.

The extracellular matrix of the connective tissue is often more abundant than the cells it surrounds, and determines the physical properties of the tissue. Connective tissues form the framework of the body of vertebrates, but the quantities found in different organs vary a lot - from cartilage and bone, in which they are the main component, to brain and spinal cord, in which they are only minor constituents.

The ECM is a highly dynamic structure that is constantly being remodelled and regenerated, either enzymatically or not enzymatically, and its molecular components are subject to a myriad of post-translational modifications. Through these physical and biochemical features, the ECM will generate the biochemical and mechanical properties of each organ, such as tensile strength and compression or elasticity; It also intervenes in the protection and maintenance of extracellular homeostasis and water retention

In addition, ECM directs essential morphological organization and physiological function via binding growth factors (GF) and the interaction with cell surface receptors to induce signal transduction and regulate gene transcription. The biochemical, biomechanical, protective and organizational properties of the ECM in a given tissue can vary greatly from one to another (eg, lungs vs. skin vs. bone) and even within a tissue (eg renal cortex vs. renal medulla), as well as from one physiological state to another (normal vs. cancer).

Collagen Structure

the molecular structure of collagen is commonly associated with that of a macromolecule or complex protein, as we can distinguish up to 19 different types of amino acids, including essential and non-essential ones, such as arginine, glutamine, glycine and proline.

The spatial geometric shape that the molecular arrangement describes matches that of a triple helix formed by chains of amino acids, where each one consists of around 1400 amino acids, with Proline and Glycine being the main elements. In that structure, the three polypeptide chains are held together in a helical conformation by hydrogen bonds. A collagen molecule will consist of three polypeptide chains, called alpha chains, that will be coiled to form the helix that describes a dextrorotatory movement in the molecular space.

Around a quarter of the total protein tissue found in our body corresponds to collagen, being the main protein structure that supports the rest of the elements, and working as a connecting link, and strengthening connection and union systems such as tendons, the layers that support skin and internal organs, among others. Bones and teeth are made from adding mineral crystals to collagen. Collagen provides the structure to our bodies, protecting and supporting the softer tissues and connecting them to the skeleton. But, despite its critical function in the body, collagen is a relatively simple protein:

Within the structure, a sequence of amino acids is repeated, maintaining a common element: every third amino acids is glycine, the rest of components are one of two other amino acids, proline and hydroxyproline.

Hydroxyproline, which is critical for giving stability to the entire collagen structure, is generated by modifying proline molecules, as soon as the collagen chain is created. This reaction requires vitamin C, so that it collaborates in the supply of oxygen. However, our organism is not capable of synthesizing it, and if the external contribution is not enough, certain complications can arise.

A vitamin C deficiency (ascorbic acid) slows down the production of hydroxyproline, which in turn implies that the construction of the collagen chain will slow down, or even stop altogether, causing scurvy. This pathology, which is manifested by the scarcity of vitamin C, can degenerate in the loss of oral parts and in the easy appearance of bruises, at the slightest bump, because, as we know, collagen is the main agent for tissue cicatrization, regeneration and repair. This is the reason for which in many collagen supplements vitamin C is added.

In the Western diet, where meat predominates, the amino acids Proline and Glycine are not found in a high concentration in our food, or to be more exact, in the parts of the animal that are mostly consumed. The richest parts are the organs.

Although both amino acids are non-essential, and the body can produce them by itself, under certain circumstances, as in cases of illness, high volume of physical exercise, emotional stress, or other clinical conditions, the body’s synthesis is jeopardized. In this situation they acquire the connotation of "conditional", and of not being able to produce the amount that is needed, thus being important the external intake through diet or other products rich in amino acids.

Collagen Synthesis

The biosynthetic pathway that is responsible for the production of collagen is somewhat complex. As we have stated, there is not one only type of collagen, there is a long list of them, where each one is encoded by a specific gene. These genes are found in a wide range of chromosomes. This way we can observe two phases that take place in the synthesis of collagen:

  • First Phase: where the messenger RNA (mRNA) for each type is transcribed by the expression of its gene (processed RNA)
  • Second Phase: where DNA is required and is subjected to a series of processing steps to produce a final code for each specific type of collagen

Once the final pro-alpha chain mRNA is produced, it is fixed to the site where the local protein synthesis is occurring. This step of synthesis is known as translation. This site for the pro-alpha mRNA is located on the ribosome membrane, where we can locate the so-called Rough Endoplasmic Reticulum or rER, and that like other proteins that are intended for an extracellular function, collagen is also synthesized in the rER.

Fibroblast and Collagen Formation

A fibroblast is a cell that produces and maintains connective tissue integrity. It is responsible for creating the extracellular matrix (ECM) and collagen. Both elements will be those that constitute, roughly, the tissue network, the fibroblasts being in charge of its maintenance. Fibroblast is the term used to name these cells when they are in their active state, when the opposite occurs, and a lower degree of activity is registered, they are known as fibrocytes. During their activity, fibroblasts secrete precursors of ECM, and give the connective tissue its strength, shape and ability to adhere to other types of tissue.

Procollagen, precursor structure of collagen

Collagen, like most proteins that are destined to be transported to the extracellular spaces where they carry out their function or activity, initially originate as a larger precursor molecule, known in this case as "Procollagen".

The generation of collagen encompasses a series of procedures that take place both at an intracellular level, where the cellular organelles will intervene, and outside the cell, in the extracellular matrix.

This formation contains extension proteins at each end called propeptides, extending from amino and carboxyl procollagen. These non-helical portions of the procollagen molecule make it very soluble and therefore easy to move within the cell as it undergoes further modifications. As soon as the collagen molecule is gradually being synthesized it will undergo a series of changes, called posttranslational modifications, that occur in the Golgi apparatus.

The next step, known as Registration, is when disulfide bonds are formed between three procollagen chains, arranging them in a suitable alignment. In such a way that the chains will fit together, forming a thread structure (remember that the final collagen structure resembles that of a triple strand).

In the next phase, a critical modification takes place, this is the hydroxylation of the amino acids proline and lysine in the new protein structure synthesized, procollagen. With a series of enzymes (hydroxylases), that are responsible for carrying out this physiological reaction, necessary to obtain hydroxyproline and hydroxylisine.

To do this, these enzymes require vitamin C (which we have seen in the previous point that its presence is critical) along with the mineral iron, which will act as reactive cofactors. In the absence of hydroxyproline, the collagen chain can not be completed in its corresponding helical structure, and what will be obtained in its place, will be a new molecular code, of a weaker nature, that can be destroyed easily. Once again, we observe the importance of a proper administration of micronutrients, essential and critical in human nutrition.

Some of the newly formed amino acids of hydroxylysine are glycosylated by the addition of sugars, such as galactose and glucose and carried out by the enzymes galactosyl and glycosyltransferases, which will require the mineral manganese. The glycosylation step induces unique chemical and structural characteristics to the newly formed collagen molecule and can influence the size of the fibrils. This enzymatic activity that we have just described is produced at its maximum performance in the early stages of life and as we get older, they decrease.

While in the cell and still with the peptides of the procollagen structure intact, said molecule will posses a high degree of solubility, in the order of 1000 times higher than the molecule in its next state, when the peptide extension has been removed. This fact facilitates the procollagen molecule to be transported easily inside the cell, where via a structure called microtubules, it will allow it to be transported to the surface, and be secreted in the extracellular space.

As the procollagen is secreted, a type of enzyme, called procollagen-proteinase, will be responsible for removing the extension peptides at the ends of the molecule. Portions of these pieces are reintegrated into the cell and can regulate the amount of collagen produced, by means of a feedback mechanism. The final molecule that has been processed is known as collagen and this is when the process of fiber formation begins.

In the extracellular space, another posttranslational modification occurs to the collagen molecule with a helical triple structure, so that the fibrils and then the fibers are generated. This step is called cross-linking and is promoted by another specialized enzyme called lisiloxidase. This reaction places stable crosslinks within (intramolecular crosslinks) and between molecules (intermolecular crosslinks), being the most critical step in providing collagen fibers with the characteristic strength, resistance and tension.

The collagen ultrastructure can be visualized by imagining each individual molecule as a piece of sewing thread. Many of these strands are wound around each other to form a chain (fibrils). These chains of fibrils then form strands, which in turn are associated and give rise to a string, which also interact with each other, to form robust cables. This highly organized structure is responsible for the resistance of the tendons, ligaments, bones and dermis.

When we suffer an injury and the collagen that is in our organism has to be repaired, the connective tissue will not obtain this framework explained above, but a somewhat weaker structure. That is why healed collagen will possess around 70 or 80% of the original robustness.

The synthesis and remodelling of collagen is a process that our body will continue to perform as to obtain the original structure, before the injury occured. This phase of collagen remodelling will involve both the ongoing synthesis of collagen and its degradation. Any imbalance that interferes in this process of creation will cause there to be a greater degradation than formation of new collagen tissue.

Collagen Degradation

Of equal importance in the metabolism of collagen is the complex process of collagen degradation. Normally, the collagen present in the connective tissue is restored in a slow and controlled manner. However, during illnesses or diseases, such as arthritis or cancer, the degree of degradation and loss of collagen can be quite a lot larger.

In normal healthy tissues where collagen is fully hydroxylated to form a triple helical structure, the molecule is resistant to the attack of most proteases. Under these normal healthy conditions, only the specialized enzymes called collagenases can attack the collagen molecule. This group of collagenases belongs to a family of enzymes called matrix metalloproteinases or MMPs.

Many cells in our body can synthesize and release collagenase including fibroblasts, macrophages, neutrophils, osteoclasts and tumor cells. One of the reasons why some neoplastic cells can be so invasive is that they release potent collagenases and can destroy the collagen molecules around them. This way, they can rupture the basal membranes of blood vessels and spread throughout the body. In chronic pressure ulcers, there is a massive invasion of neutrophils, and they release a very powerful type of collagenase called MMP-8 which is responsible for the rupture of connective tissue.

What is Collagen for?

Collagen is a special type of protein that acts as a "glue" supporting the rest of the body structure, in the cohesion of tissues and systems. It forms a network of these chains of proteins that constitute the structures and shapes of the body, while providing certain essential characteristics. For example, it provides bone strength, joint flexibility, and smooth and firm skin.

As it is the most abundant protein in the body (skin, muscle tissue, blood capillaries, bone system, tendons or in the digestive system), especially type 1 collagen, which we will explain ahead, it is of utmost importance and is involved in many processes.

Collagen is the main component of connective tissue which is found in the dermis, one of the layers that forms the skin (located between the epidermis and the hypodermis). The epidermis regulates the loss of water in cells and tissues.

The hypodermis, the deepest layer, where the presence of collagen can also be observed, is formed of fat and connective tissue that contains larger blood vessels and nerves. There is a whole network of fibers that establish the growth of cells and blood vessels where collagen acts as a structural support. Its function is to strengthen, provide support, and sometimes, elastic properties, to the tissues. It is also located around organs, wrapping and protecting them, like in the case of kidneys or the spleen.

The properties of strength, flexibility and elasticity, may be appreciated from a better perspective when we look at the fact that collagen is also the support base for tendons and ligaments:

  • The tendons are elements that are responsible for joining muscles and bones, and allow movement
  • The ligaments are structures that are located mainly in the joints and that allow to give sustainability and stability to the bones that form them, like maintaining the position of the knee joint

Another type of tissue where we can find collagen is cartilage, also belonging to the connective system, and which is especially located in soft tissues such as the nose, ears, certain parts of the knee, larynx or trachea. Its function here is to provide flexibility, support and movement.

Collagen Benefits

The body produces its own collagen to supply and support the skin, bones, hair, nails, muscles and all organs. However, as time passes, this production begins to decrease, and the symptoms of aging start to appear. Currently, Hydrolyzed Collagen supplements can stimulate the production of beneficial levels of collagen.

While most people are aware of some of the benefits of collagen supplementation, they are still not aware of the potential and how they can improve many different aspects of their health. What's more, once they begin to take collagen, is when they begin to experience significant changes, and they ask themselves why they have waited so long to include it in their life.

The benefits of collagen (collagen supplements) for our body are wide-ranged and important, and in some cases we can assert that they are nearly essential.

Among the most important and notable we can mention the following:

  • Improves the appearance of skin, hair and nails
  • Helps to reduce cellulite and stretch marks
  • Protects, repairs and regenerates joints
  • Strengthens gums and teeth
  • Helps the digestive system and inflammatory diseases
  • Increases metabolism
  • Collaborates in detoxification processes

Collagen Sources

The natural collagen sources are exclusive to the animal kingdom, as we mentioned at the beginning of this description, the main ones being provided by fish, cow, pork, chicken and eggs.

Marine Collagen

Marine collagen comes from fish, being one of the ones that has a highest bioavailability, and almost certainly will lead the list of the different types of collagen. This feature mainly resides in the marine collagen peptides, which are smaller particles that are easier to absorb. Bioavailability refers to the ability to determine the efficacy of the nutrients we ingest. Marine collagen tends to have almost the double bioavailability compared to bovine and porcine. The marine source is extracted from the fish's scales, skin, thorns and fins. It is necessary to differentiate marine collagen derived from fish (recommended) than that obtained from crustaceans.

This collagen is a complex structural protein that helps maintain the strength and flexibility of the skin, ligaments, joints, bones, muscles, tendons, blood vessels, gums, eyes, nails and hair. It can fight aging, heal and regenerate bones, improve the wound healing process, increase protein intake, and provide antibacterial properties.

The composition of the marine collagen peptides has a high concentration in glycine, hydroxyproline and proline. These peptides are rapidly absorbed by the cells of the intestine and released into the bloodstream to be transported throughout the body. This way they stimulate skin cells, joints and bones, and lead to the synthesis of collagen through cell activation and growth.

Considered as the best source of collagen for medicinal purposes, it is particularly type I collagen, which has the greatest presence of all. The benefits of this type of collagen are highly reflected in the strengthening of the connective tissues and bone structures, in addition, to supplying the skin with its properties of firmness and tension, obtaining softer skin, optimizing hydration, a greater flexibility and preventing the formation of wrinkles, providing a youthful appearance, free of ageing signs.

Marine collagen is involved in stimulating the body's collagen production, as well as the proper regeneration and synthesis of structures, intervening in the mineralization matrix of bone cells, helping bone healing and regeneration.

Another important component present in marine collagen is collagenin, which is a peptide with antimicrobial activity. In this sense, it could be significant in order to inhibit the growth of the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus, also known as staphylococcus.

When purchasing marine collagen supplements, it is recommended that the formula also contains ingredients to improve absorption and potentiate its effects, such as vitamin C and hyaluronic acid.

Bovine Collagen

This type comes from cows, and it is known as bovine or cow cartilage. It is a natural protein present in cartilage, bones, skin, and muscle tissue. It is integrated mainly by collagen Type I and III, which are the main components of the skin, hair, nails, muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, gums, teeth, eyes and blood vessels. Together, collagen types I and III make up more than 90 percent of the collagen in our bodies.

While there is a content of collagen in food, it can be difficult to consume the parts of the animals where the collagen is concentrated. One way to obtain bovine collagen from food sources is to make bone stock, obtaining great benefits. Another option that may be more efficient and convenient is to use collagen supplements.

It is a source rich in glycine and proline, meaning that it will act in the synthesis of creatine, muscle regeneration and also stimulate the body's own production of collagen. Glycine is necessary for the maintenance of DNA and RNA strands, where our genetic code is kept coded, being essential for the correct formation of the cells. The amino acid proline, which plays a critical role in the organism's ability to synthesize its own collagen, is also found in large proportions.

Bovine collagen can be used for a number of health conditions, such as:

  • Patients with arthritis: a degenerative disease of the cartilage, producing pain, and causing friction between bones, as well as decreasing the cushioning capacity of joint; in this case, the pathology can be fought by regenerating cartilage
  • Digestive system health: largely thanks to the contribution of glycine, which is involved in digestion by increasing gastric acids, so as to digest food better, and to prevent heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux. It can also help with leaky gut syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease, which also tend to involve low stomach acid
  • Improves nocturnal rest: as the most abundant amino acid in collagen is glycine, an immunonutrient that supports the healthy inflammatory response, so that it promotes a deeper and more healing sleep, as it can stimulate certain neurotransmitters that are involved in sleep
  • Skin protection: as it contributes to the formation of elastin, which along with other components, are responsible for maintaining the youthful tone, texture and appearance of the skin. It can also help reduce wrinkles, decrease swelling and fight other signs of aging
  • Muscle recovery: it offers a structural functionality as a support for the tendons and ligaments, so that the athletes can benefit mainly in order to recover from physical exertion in their workouts

Chicken Collagen

The most abundant type of collagen in this source is type II collagen, being the most conducive for the regeneration of cartilage. The part of the chicken with the highest content of this substance is the sternum.

It is therefore a tool to counteract the symptoms derived from articular affections. Also, chicken cartilage contains chondroitin and glucosamine, two substances that also show benefits for bone maintenance. With this, it could be possible to halt an autoimmune disease like rheumatoid arthritis in its early stages, or to alleviate and mitigate the symptoms in other cases.

The most common way to find this source of collagen is as Non-Denatured Type II Collagen.

Egg Collagen

Another source of collagen is both eggshell and egg yolk, where we can find Collagen Type I. Types 3, 4 and 10 also coexist in this source of collagen, but, without doubt, the most important is type 1. This source also contributes other important elements: glucosamine sulfate, chondroitin sulfate and hyaluronic acid, as well as certain amino acids involved in tissue construction or wound healing. Other factors that promote the production of collagen such as vitamins B and E, will also be present.

What can we take Collagen with?

As we have seen, Collagen can be obtained straight from the natural source, or increasing the presence of its precursor nutrients. Nevertheless, in terms of efficiency, the option of taking Collagen Supplements, gains importance. We can take collagen in an isolated form, in capsules or powder, or even opt for adding other supplements to potentiate its benefits. In other cases, supplements exist that include a wide range of ingredients in their composition, all of them aiming for one same goal, to increase the presence of collagen in our body.

Collagen and Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic Acid is a natural component present in the body. It belongs to the group of glycosaminoglycan (polysaccharide molecular structures that integrate the connective tissue) and is distributed throughout the connective, neural, and epithelial tissue. It is one of the most relevant members in the extracellular matrix, giving structural support to the cells, as well as the joints and skin. Each day, a percentage of this hyaluronic acid is resynthesized.

Among its benefits is maintaining the correct health of the articular tissue and combating osteoarthritis. It is partly responsible for giving cartilage strength properties and the ability to withstand mechanical compression stresses.

Its role in relation to skin is still linked to allowing its optimal hydration, which in turn provides it with the necessary elasticity. Its presence may decrease aging symptoms that are reflected in the skin.

The combination of Collagen and Hyaluronic Acid supplements is one of the best ways to stop the symptoms of aging (antiaging effect) and maintain youthful skin (flexibility and firmness) and help to reduce joint pain, by allowing to diminish the inflammation around the joint and favouring the regeneration of the cartilage tissue. Also, hyaluronic acid allows the correct synthesis of collagen.

Collagen and Glucosamine

Glucosamine is produced naturally in the articular cartilage and connective tissues, where it supports the proper functioning of the joints. The process of natural aging and trauma can deteriorate the tissues of the joints, which restricts the body's ability to replenish glucosamine stores. For this reason, some people can benefit from an external supply through supplementation. In this group we can include those people with pathologies related to joint pain, either stimulated by the deterioration of the tissues as the years pass, or because of osteoarthritis or being in the recovery phase of a surgical intervention. Taking Glucosamine along with Collagen, can promote the reduction of total collagen that is degraded and thereby alleviate the symptoms of osteoarthritis (Study I and Study II).

Collagen and Magnesium

Taking collagen and Magnesium is an excellent way of proving the body with 2 substances actively involved in the correct functioning of the connective tissue. They are essential for a good functioning of muscles and tendons, even other harder tissues, such as cartilage and bones. Thanks to the intake of Collagen and Magnesium our body has a greater capacity to regenerate these tissues.

Taking the mineral magnesium as a supplement in the shape of capsules, tablets or powder boosts the synthesis of proteins. As protein is the most abundant protein of the organism, the combined intake of these substances will increase the synthesis of collagen.

The role of the collagen and magnesium supplements is to accelerate the regeneration of tissues like skin, bones, tendons and muscles. Additionally, to the collagen properties for stimulating healthy connective tissue, we have to add those of magnesium. Magnesium is very important for human life. It intervenes in regulating heart rhythm, reducing fatigue and tiredness, and avoiding muscle cramps.

What is Hydrolyzed Collagen?

Hydrolyzed Collagen is a form of collagen that has been subjected to a hydrolysis process, ie, its molecular structure has been altered to obtain smaller units. Most of the bonds linking the different amino acids have been broken, so we obtain peptides. This will ultimately be the way in which intestinal absorption of the protein takes place. We can state in this case that a hydrolyzed protein is practically digested, facilitating the absorption task, and producing a very rapid transit through the stomach.

Even so, it continues to have a high content of the amino acids glycine, lysine and proline, which are found in smaller proportions in other protein sources. These are related to stimulating cellular growth of the connective tissues in opposition to the tendency to diminish the natural production of the structures with the aging process.

Benefits of Hydrolyzed Collagen

The hydrolyzed collagen, due to its particular structure, will be absorbed in a really fast way, in less than 30 minutes the different amino acids that integrate it will be available. The amino acid profile (aminogram) provided by the hydrolyzed collagen favours the production of health benefits for the tissues.

One of the most important points concerns its function in protecting and repairing joints. In fact, it contributes in replacing the synovial fluid between the articular spaces, so it intervenes in the protection of the cartilage function, which behaves like a shock-absorber, reducing the damage by articular impact as well as the friction between the terminations of the different bones.

Hydrolyzed collagen provides amino acids that are involved in muscle growth. In terms of maintenance of muscle mass, the contribution of this amount of amino acids as well as their easy absorption, helps to maintain a positive nitrogen balance. As in the case of gelatin, elements like glycine can show their benefits in: increasing energy, helping to improve digestion, providing structural support for tissues, contributing to eliminate toxins, or regulating certain cellular functions.

As more than a third of our body is made up by collagen structures, it will be a very successful task to counteract the effects of the passage of time, and increase the health of many parts of our body: skin, hair, nails, muscles, cartilage, tendons, ligaments…

What is the difference between Hydrolyzed Collagen and Gelatin?

Although both substances share practically the same composition in terms of amino acids, and most of the benefits, there are certain differences:

  • Gelatin dissolves only in warm water
  • Gelatin forms a viscous gel when mixed with water
  • Gelatin is easier to digest

And as for the benefits that both of them share we can mention:

  • Skin Health
  • Growth and maintenance of muscle mass
  • Strengthening connective tissues: tendons, ligaments, cartilage...
  • Help in joint pain
  • Health of the bone system

Collagen Supplements

Collagen supplements have experienced a boom in recent years, thanks to the properties and benefits we have been describing. Also, people’s commitment with their health is a fact and is receiving the priority it deserves. There are collagen supplements with different formulas and in different formats on the market.

Collagen supplements are an effective tool to obtain this protein structure without having to ingest the sources that would supply it, from parts of animals which for most people is not of their liking.

The recommendation, having analyzed the composition and the most favourable factors to optimize the production and absorption of collagen, is to purchase one that includes at least the following list of ingredients in its composition:

  • Hydrolyzed collagen of marine origin
  • Magnesium as a high bioavailability salt
  • Vitamin C
  • Hyaluronic acid

Other substances that can also provide greater benefits are Vitamin D3, Organic Silicon or Calcium.

The different formats we can find the products in, are:

Collagen powder

Hydrolyzed Marine Collagen with Magnesium

Collagen in tablets

Collagen + Organic Silicon & Magnesium

Liquid Collagen

Liquid Collagen

Special Collagen for Women

Collagen Special Women

Effective Collagen Dosage

The effective dose of collagen powder is approximately 10g a day to contribute to the health benefits of skin and joint protection, being able to take it with meals or without them.
As for the dose from the non-denatured type of collagen, it is around 40mg per day, as a treatment for joint pain and conditions such as osteoarthritis.

For who is it advisable to take collagen?

Collagen supplements are recommended to be taken when we pass the age range of 25-30 years, at which point it is estimated that collagen production begins to decline by 1-1.5% each year. It is estimated that from 60 onwards, more than half of the collagen reserves are empty (the production index vs. the synthesis index is negative). Another reason for maintaining healthy skin, is the accumulation of sun exposure and toxic environments, producing a surge in the generation of free radicals. In this aspect, it becomes very important to provide the properties of the skin, such as firmness, elasticity and softness, and to not allow their degradation by the action of these agents, accelerating the premature aging.

Athletes and sportspeople have reasons to include collagen in their diet. They suffer a high deterioration at an articular level as a consequence of the continuous impacts and movements, which also produce fibrillary breaks. Thus, when facing joint prevention and protection, as well as reducing the recovery phase between sessions, the use of collagen is a positive factor.

The elderly public, especially those with bone-related diseases, such as osteoarthritis, arthritis, and for the maintenance of bone mineral density, which results in bone strengthening and lower risk of fractures. In all cases, reducing pain and inflammation are the goals.

Sale of Collagen

Where can I buy Collagen online? The sale of collagen has skyrocketed in the last years because the population is more and more conscious of how important it is to daily provide this protein to promote skin, bone and joint health.

Nonetheless, when buying collagen online we must always look for the highest quality and that the source of collagen is assimilable by the body.

If you wish to but collagen online, on our web HSNstore.com you may do so easily. We have a wide range of products of the highest quality that can be found for sale (collagen capsules, collagen tablets, hydrolyzed collagen…). You just have to choose the product that best meets your needs. Don’t forget to visit our section of Special Offers where you can find Mega Discounts and Saving Packs.


Types of collagen

There are more than 20 types of collagen that have been studied and found in our body. Each type is encoded by a specific gene and is named using Roman numeration. In spite of the high quantity, they are only about 5 types that are the most important, and among these, we will only use some of them as a nutritional supplement, such as type II collagen which is related to cartilage health.


Collagen helps to get rid of cellulite

Oral intake of collagen peptides can help improve the appearance cellulite or orange peel skin. Because 75% of the skin (dermis) is composed of collagen and it represents 90% of the volume of the skin, maintaining optimal levels of this protein will be an important way to keep skin firm and tight, and like this avoid or prevent unwanted cellulite.


Gelatin, a great source of collagen

Gelatin is directly related to collagen. We already know that collagen is the largest found structure in the connective tissue, skin, and bone system, that is, we have more collagen than any other type of protein. We also know the risks associated with a lack of collagen production, which inevitably occurs as age progresses, and can result, among other problems, in osteoporosis.


Collagen for joint problems

Osteoarthritis is a health problem related to the joint system that once again has its origin in the ageing process, and is also affected by the low production of collagen. Arthrosis or osteoarthritis refers to a disease that causes a progressive deterioration of the cartilage, being a chronic condition of the joint, keeping it inflamed, and normally affecting the knee, hip, lower back and neck, as well as fingers and toes.


Collagen and hair loss

Collagen and hair growth are closely linked, and as well as being the protein component that most exists in our body, it will also be the substance that is found in largest amounts in the composition of both hair and nails. Although numerous cosmetic treatments boast about their composition having added collagen, really, the real benefits are going to be provided by oral supplementation of collagen.


Collagen to get rid of acne

Hydrolyzed collagen supplements can be a great ally to combat acne. They accelerate the healing of the skin that is affected by acne and favour its regeneration, avoiding the appearance of scars.  Fibroblasts will be responsible for increasing the production of collagen. Large amounts of this protein will create the extracellular matrix, profiling a structure by means of which other elements can be bound, and contribute to the cicatrization. 


Why do we lose collagen with age?

Collagen is subject to deterioration: it decomposes slowly over time. The skin cells called fibroblasts are capable of producing collagen. When necessary, fibroblasts replace broken collagen fibers with new collagen fibers. Unfortunately, as we age the skin's ability to replace damaged collagen diminishes and a number of irregularities develop in the collagen mesh.


5 Unknown benefits of collagen

Collagen is a crucial protein to keep our skin, muscles and cartilage healthy. A shortage of collagen is known to be related to joint problems, such as arthritis, osteoporosis, wrinkle appearance... But, did you know that collagen is essential to maintain digestive health? Did you know that collagen is key for such important organs as are the heart and the liver? In this article we will show you 5 benefits of taking collagen that you did not know about.


Take collagen and magnesium

Taking magnesium and collagen will mean supplying the body with the adequate protein structure to provide support in the preservation of the rejuvenated appearance of the skin, as well as being a catalyser to trace the correct path for tissue resynthesis; along with the task of affecting the bone system maintenance, avoiding deficiencies and contributing to the correct physiological processes. 


Benefits of collagen for skin

As the skin starts to experiment natural chronological aging the natural structure of the skin begins to deteriorate. How our skin ages will be determined by a number of factors, such as sun exposure, climate (pollution), genetics and our own habits (like our lifestyle, for example smoking). Within this process, photoaging may be one of the factors that cause greater damage, largely because the symptoms are not reflected as quickly, but nevertheless, they are cumulative, and can appear in the years to come.

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