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Is collagen worth the hype?

The short of it is yes.

Is it an essential supplement to take? No

Does it work in the way that supplement companies market it? Not entirely.

Here's the long of it...

Collagen makes up 25% of the proteins in the body and there are around 28 different type of collagen found in the body. It is a structural component of bones, joints, muscles, skin, blood vessels and teeth and is important for wound healing. It also contains the amino acid glutamine which is the main fuel for the cells in your gut and therefore, beneficial for gut repair.

Internal collagen production declines with age, which is a contributing factor to more brittle bones, less stable joints and the wrinkles (or as I like to call them, smile lines). Luckily, internal collagen production can be boosted through consuming collagen in the diet.

Collagen can come in the form of supplements like collagen peptides made from marine and bovine sources and eggshell membrane, which is a great vegetarian option. It is also found in bone broth and slow cooked meats on the bone like lamb shoulder, beef ribs.

Contrary to what companies that want to sell you a particular collagen product would have you think, no specific type of collagen will target a specific type of collagen production in the body.

The body is very good at prioritising its needs and all forms or collagen are broken down into amino acids and remade into the type that your body requires most urgently. What this means is that it is certainly not essential to take collagen as a supplement as long as you are consuming sufficient amounts of good quality complete proteins and absorbing them properly, because then you should be getting all of the amino acids you need to promote internal collagen production.

I personally consume collagen in my diet daily through adding a grass fed bovine collagen powder to coffee, smoothies or yoghurt. I also like ATP science NoWay protein powder, which is made from hydrolysed collagen peptides and is a great protein powder option for those who don't tolerate dairy.

Brands I recommend:

Another way to get the benefits of collagen is through the use of gelatin. Gelatin is denatured collagen and has an almost identical nutritional profile with a different culinary purpose. My Weis Bar Gummy recipe calls for gelatin, the recipe can be found here


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