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Collagen Facts

Some Benefits of Collagen Supplements

  • Impoves skin elasticity and skin tone.
  • Reduce fine lines, wrinkles and sagging skin.
  • Maintains healthy hair, nails and teeth.
  • Improves gut health.
  • Helps tissue regeneration and wound healing.
  • Improve and maintain joint health.
  • Reduce joint pain associated with osteoarthritis.
  • Helps in the regeneration of joint cartilages.
  • May help improving Cardiovascular health.
  • Improve Bone Mineral Density.
  • Promotes overall well being by boosting collagen levels in the body.


What is Collagen ?

Collagen makes up 25-35% of our whole body's protein content, it is the main structural protein in our body and the building blocks of our body's connective tissues. Collagen consists of amino acids and can be found in fibrous tissues such as tendons, ligaments, and cartilage.  It is also found in our skin, gut, blood vessels, heart, teeth, nails, etc. In fact collagen is an integral part of our being. [1]

As we age, our body's ability to produce collagen decreases.  This loss of collagen results in wrinkles, sagging skin, and joint pains.  Studies indicate that one of the most effective way to combat collagen loss and to delay the signs of aging is to take collagen supplements.  But not all Collagen supplemnts are the same. 




Common Types of Collagen

Type I & III Collagen

There are many types of Collagen in the human body. The most abundant (about 80 to 90%) is Type I and III Collagen. They are present in our skin, muscles, tendons and bones. 

Most Type I and III Collagen in the market are sourced from Bovine hides, fish skin or fish scales.  Collagen from Bovine usually has higher molecular weights, while those from fish have lower molecular weights. Studies have shown that lower molecular weight Collagen has a higher rate of being absorbed into the blood stream, resulting in greater efficacy. Due to it's lower molecular weight, Collagen derived from fish has a higher rate of absorption than Collagen from Bovine. That is one of the reasons the suggested daily dosage of Fish Collagen is usually 5000 mg instead of 10,000 mg for Bovine Collagen.

Type II Collagen

While Type I and III Collagen is good for maintaining healthy skin, muscles, tendons and bones;  Type II Collagen is needed for maintaining healthy joints and cartilage, reducing pain associated with Osteoarthritis, and help joint cartilage regeneration.  

Collagen is the most abundant structural macromolecule in extracellular matrix (ECM), which is a main structural component  of the articular cartilage. Collagen makes up about 60% of the dry weight of cartilage and Type II collagen represents 90% to 95% of the collagen in ECM of articular cartilages [2].  Type II collagen does form fibrils. This fibrillar network of collagen allows cartilage to entrap the proteoglycan aggregate as well as provide tensile strength to the tissue.

As we age, the Type II Collagen in our joints and cartilages are depleted due to wear and tear. Coupled with the reduced rate of Collagen production by our aging body, this leads to osteoarthritis, pain and reduced mobility.

It has been proven that collagen peptides (Type II) supplements have multiple benefits for bone and joint health. They are transported to the target tissues — through the bloodstream — where they accumulate and stimulate cells to produce collagen. [3] .

Taking Type II Collagen supplements helps the body to produce Collagen at a higher rate, thus helping to repair the damaged joint cartilages.

The  best and most effective Type II Collagen for Collagen synthesis, is typically sourced from Chicken Sternal Cartilage, as it also contains naturally occuring Chondroitin sulfate, and hyaluronic acid, which are other key components of the joint cartilages.


How Do Collagen Supplements Work

Collagen is made up of 20 different Amino Acids in specific ratio.  The most important amino acids are Glycine, Proline and Hydroxproline.  

When you take collagen peptides supplements, your body break them down into amino acids, the raw materials and building blocks of Collagen. These amino acids are then transported through the blood stream to different tissues or organs of the body, where they are combined to form Collagen.

You may wonder if we can just take amino acids instead of Collagen peptides to stimulate the Collagen synthesis?  The answer is you need to have the exact ratio of the amino acids as the Collagen in our body, to effectively stimulate the Collagen synthesis.  The Collagen peptides contain almost identical make up of amino acids in our body.  That is why taking Collagen supplements is superior to just taking different amino acids.


Size Matters

Studies proved that hydrolyzed collagen peptides with low molecular weight (ie. ultra fine particles) are more readily absorbed into the blood stream after consumption. 

On the other hand, the following happens to Collagen peptides with higher molecular weight:

1) due to its larger size, the rate of it being absorbed into the blood stream is lower. 

2) Collagen peptides not absorbed into the body in the early stage of consumption enter the stomach and are digested as normal proteins, thus not achieving its objective.







[2] Sophia Fox AJ, Bedi A, Rodeo SA. The Basic Science of Articular Cartilage: Structure, Composition, and Function. Sports Health. 2009;1(6):461-468. doi:10.1177/1941738109350438.

[3]  Nutraceutical  17 -Nov-2016 Collagen peptides: Nature's building bloscks for better mobility.