The Complete Collagen Q&A
What is Collagen?
Collagen is essentially a structure of amino acids that makes up a type of protein. It’s made up of primarily proline, hydroxyproline, and glycine. These are amino acids that makeup 30% of all of the protein in your body.
Collagen makes up for around 75% of your skin, 95% of the organic compounds of your bones, and 90% of your gut lining, digestive tract, ligaments, tendons, connective tissue, fascia and spinal discs are made up of primarily collagen protein.
What are the best sources of collagen in our natural diet?
Bone broth, skins of fish, and skins of chickens
Does it matter if I take bovine or marine collagen?
Marine collagen has a little bit less proline and hydroxyproline and slightly lower bioactivity when compared to bovine collagen so you will need a little bit more to achieve the same results.
What are collagen peptides?
Collagen peptides are smaller and easily digestible particles of collagen fibres obtained via a process called hydrolysis. Hydrolysis breaks down protein fibrils into smaller and easily digestible amino acid chains called peptides. After ingestion, these peptides are metabolised in the digestive tract, then released into the blood stream and synthesised into collagen fibres in various tissues in the body.
Does taking collagen Really Work?
The short answer is that “Yes” it does work for some things. Most research on collagen supplements is related to joint and skin health. Human studies are lacking but some randomized controlled trials have found that collagen supplements improve skin elasticity. Research is still underway and as with most supplements it will take time for the ultimate benefits to be agreed, however keep checking out research on Pubmed and other research citation providers.
What are the side effects of taking collagen?
There are a few side effects to taking collagen, let’s look at 3 of these.
- Some people experience digestive issues with collagen.
- If you’re prone to kidney stones or have a high level of calcium oxalate crystals in your urine, then you should be careful with taking collagen.
- Some people report histamine reactions when taking collagen. So if you have histamine intolerance, then you should be careful when consuming collagen or even a gelatine supplement.
As with all supplements, consult your doctor first as your health is the priority.
What is the best time to take collagen?
If you’re having digestive or gut issues then the best time to take collagen is first thing in the morning on an empty stomach or with your meals.
For tendon, joint and/or ligament pain the best time to take collagen is approximately 1 hour before you exercise. The timing is crucial as your exercise activity helps to shuttle collagen peptides into your tendons and joints
For skin health, the best is to have it in the evening if you are a coffee drinker. Caffeine inhibits collagen synthesis in the human skin fibroblasts.
For restful sleep, the best time to take collagen is before bed for improved sleep quality.
To help control blood sugar the best time to take collagen is before your meals.
What is the recommended dosage of collagen?
We suggest between 10 grams – 20 grams, with most people requiring 15 g of collagen for maximum health benefits. This dose should provide your body with the 3 grams – 5 grams of glycine necessary to help control your blood sugar response. Glycine is one of the most important regulators of inflammation in your body. The typical western diet comes up short of the 8-10 grams needed daily
Does collagen make you gain weight?
Collagen is high in protein and low in calories and has been shown to increase satiety (i.e. it makes your stomach feel full). Collagen will most likely not make you gain weight.
Is collagen dairy-free?
Yes, collagen is dairy-free as it’s made from connective tissues. Whey and casein proteins are never dairy free as they are made from milk.
Should I take collagen everyday?
No. You should start by incorporating more collagen rich foods in your diet, like bone broth. Food is medicine. From there you can experiment with taking collagen.
How long do you have to take collagen before you see results?
For ascetic benefits like skin health, studies usually show collagen takes 8 weeks to improve symptoms.
For joint and ligament pain or osteoarthritis, studies show that collagen can improve healthy outcomes in 3 months.
Do women need more collagen than men?
Yes, women do need more collagen because they break down more of it during their menstrual cycle. Post-menopausal women need even more collagen to protect their bone density, which normally declines with age due to hormonal changes.
Is it better to take collagen at night?
For those people which have trouble sleeping, try taking collagen at night before getting into bed. Glycine, the amino acid that makes up about 1/3 of collagen, should help you relax, lower your body temperature and prepare your body to sleep.
Glycine acts as an inhibitory neurotransmitter (similar to GABA). This is the reason for the proposed sleep benefits of collagen.