Collagen is a very popular ingredient in skin creams and many people talk about its anti ageing benefits. However there are lots of products on the market and many of them are overpriced and ineffective. But what is collagen, how should you take it and why is it so good for you?
What is Collagen?
Collagen is the most common protein in our body and is found in our skin, bones, muscles and tendons. It is one of the most important nutrients to help prevent ageing and to keep your body strong and healthy.
Our body naturally produces collagen, but unfortunately as we age we produce less and less. In fact from the age of 25 the amount of collagen in our body is decreasing every year! This decrease in collagen is one of the main reasons that we start to get wrinkles, sagging skin and sore joints.
Collagen has a large number of benefits for our body such as improving skin and hair health, reducing joint pain, improving nail health and possibly reducing the appearance of cellulite.
How to take Collagen?
Many creams that contain collagen claim that by rubbing them on your skin the body will absorb the collagen and help reduce signs of ageing. Unfortunately collagen molecules in skin creams are too large to be absorbed and so you aren't actually getting any benefit from the collagen in these creams. The only effective way to get collagen is by having it in your diet.
You can get collagen from natural sources. For example animal products such as skin and bones are great sources. This is why broth made from bones is so good for you. It is also important that you make sure you are getting enough Vitamin C in your diet as Vitamin C is important for helping your body produce collagen. However it is easy to get enough Vitamin C if you eat fresh fruit and vegetables every day (for example 1 kiwi contains your recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C).
The other way to add more collagen to your diet is to take collagen supplements. This is a very popular way as it is the easiest and most effective way of ensuring your body gets the collagen it needs. However it is important to make sure that the supplement you take is of the best quality. So what should you look for in a supplement?
How to Choose a Collagen Supplement
The first thing to check is the amount of collagen in each serving of the supplement you are taking. Research has shown that you need to be taking at least 5-7g of collagen a day to see any effect, so make sure that your supplement contains enough collagen.
The second thing you want to check is the source of the collagen (what animal it is from). The most common sources are from pigs or cows as these are cheaper, however they are not absorbed and used by the body very well. The purest and most effective collagen comes from fish and it has been shown to be 1.5 times more effective than other types.
The final thing to look for when buying a collagen supplement is how they have been prepared. Normal collagen molecules are very large and so they are not absorbed very well by the body. This is why it is important to see if your collagen has been hydrolysed as this makes the molecules smaller and allows them to be absorbed more effectively.
There are a lot of collagen supplements on the market and many of them are over priced and poor quality. This is why I decided to start producing my own collagen supplement (that I take every day), that is 100% pure hydrolysed marine collagen.