By: Olivia Rose ND
Collagen supplements have become increasingly popular in the wellness world. Once only regarded as a dermal filler, collagen is now a go-to supplement for individuals hoping to boost their health from the inside-out. Whether the consumption is through foods such as bone broth, adding a powdered version to your morning coffee or by taking it in capsule form, there are many ways to consume it and a host of potential health benefits associated with it.
What is Collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein found in the body. It is a combination of 3 amino acids (glycine, proline and hydroyproline), which bind together to form peptides.1 Collagen is a key component of your joints, blood vessels, skin, muscles, and organs.1 There are three general groups of collagens. Type I collagen is found in the skin, bones, tendons and connective tissues. Type II makes up cartilage in the body, and type III is found in the blood vessels, muscles and in various organs.1
The Health Benefits of Collagen
Collagen helps to maintain the strength, elasticity as well as hydration of the skin. Studies have shown a higher content of procollagen and elastin after just 8 weeks of use, leading to reduced skin wrinkles and a positive effect on skins connective tissue.2 Another study demonstrated that after 6 months of using collagen peptides, there was clear improvement of skin appearance and improvement in cellulite. 3
However, collagen has several other benefits in the body, which go beyond skin health. The maintenance of the cartilage in your joints is another area of research where collagen has been helpful. Collagen type II plays a major role in the health of joint cartilage.4 In conditions where joint cartilage becomes damaged, collagen can be helpful in improving pain, mobility and function.4
Collagen levels naturally decrease in the body with age, however, a low intake of collagen through the diet, can also cause lower levels in the body. The formation of free radicals also increases the rate of collagen breakdown in the body.5 Free radicals can be caused by environmental factors such as ultraviolet.5 Due to the large role that collagen plays in the health of our skin, joints and digestive system, some possible signs of decreased collagen may include – wrinkling of the skin on the face, joint pain, digestive complaints (due to thinning of the digestive tract lining) and decreased muscle mass.
What Type of Collagen is Best?
Collagen can be taken as a supplement and it can be found in bovine (beef), porcine (pork) or marine (fish) forms.1 There is some debate over which source is best, however, all sources of collagen provide the same amino acids; therefore, the source of the collagen is a matter of preference. For example, bovine collagen is generally recommended for individuals who are allergic or sensitive to fish.
When taken in supplement form, the collagen is hydrolyzed, which means it is broken down into groups of amino acids called peptides.1 Collagen is a large molecule, therefore it is not well absorbed. When it is hydrolyzed into its peptide form, the peptides are more easily absorbed.
Jamieson Liquid Collagen6 and Jamieson Collagen Anti-Wrinkle7, both contain therapeutic doses of hydrolyzed collagen from a bovine (beef) source for optimal absorption.1 Jamieson Liquid Collagen can be used to help reduce joint pain associated with osteoarthritis in an easy to drink elderberry – lime flavour. While Jamieson Collagen Anti-Wrinkle Liquid, which contains both collagen and biotin, helps increase skin elasticity and helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles in just 28 days.
The collagen craze does have merit behind it. Collagen can make visible changes to wrinkling skin and help to reduce joint pain, which can occur through aging.
- León-López A, Morales-Peñaloza A, Martínez-Juárez VM, Vargas-Torres A, Zeugolis DI, Aguirre-Álvarez G. Hydrolyzed collagen—sources and applications. Molecules. 2019 Jan;24(22):4031.
- Proksch E, Schunck M, Zague V, Segger D, Degwert J, Oesser S. Oral intake of specific bioactive collagen peptides reduces skin wrinkles and increases dermal matrix synthesis. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2014;27(3):113-9. doi: 10.1159/000355523. Epub 2013 Dec 24. PMID: 24401291.
- Schunck M, Zague V, Oesser S, Proksch E. Dietary Supplementation with Specific Collagen Peptides Has a Body Mass Index-Dependent Beneficial Effect on Cellulite Morphology. J Med Food. 2015;18(12):1340-1348. doi:10.1089/jmf.2015.0022
- Lugo JP, Saiyed ZM, Lane NE. Efficacy and tolerability of an undenatured type II collagen supplement in modulating knee osteoarthritis symptoms: a multicenter randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Nutrition journal. 2015 Dec;15(1):1-5.
- Jariashvili K, Madhan B, Brodsky B, Kuchava A, Namicheishvili L, Metreveli N. UV damage of collagen: insights from model collagen peptides. Biopolymers. 2012 Mar;97(3):189-98.
- Health Canada. NPN 80093594. Accessed March 26, 2021 at: https://health-products.canada.ca/lnhpd-bdpsnh/info.do?licence=80093594
- Health Canada. NPN 80089135. Accessed March 26, 2021 at: https://health-products.canada.ca/lnhpd-bdpsnh/info.do?licence=80089135