True or False? Bust Through These Common Collagen Myths
About 30% of our body protein is made up of naturally-occurring collagen. And this abundant protein is crucial for keeping our joints mobile, bones stable, and muscles, ligaments and tendons healthy and strong. And it’s also responsible for keeping our skin, hair and nails healthy. However, natural collagen production in the body declines as we age. In fact, we lose natural collagen production in the body every year.
This is probably why collagen has quickly risen to the top of must-have supplements, and it’s no wonder: with its benefits for gut, joint, and even skin health, collagen makes a great addition to any wellness routine. But along with the popularity of collagen, we’ve seen some myths popping up!
Find out if taking collagen on its own is effective or not, if collagen creams give your skin a youthful glow, and if vegan collagen really belongs in your supplement toolkit. Test your collagen IQ and learn a thing or two as we walk through what you need to know. Ready? Let’s dive in.
Are you really taking pure collagen?
When you purchase a collagen supplement, are you really buying pure collagen? The truth is…not quite. What you’re really getting is collagen peptides or, in other words, the compounds your body needs to actually make the collagen itself. Here’s a quick collagen debrief to clarify.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, with the highest concentrations found in your bones, muscles, your skin, and tendons (add your hair and nails to that list, too). The chief purpose of collagen is to act as a building block and to offer strength and structure, even covering essential organs in a protective layer. Skin-wise, collagen supports integrity and flexibility.
The collagen peptides you can purchase in supplement form (be it a high-performing liquid formula, powder, or capsules, for instance) provide you with important amino acids that help make up collagen protein, which is then produced by various cells as endogenous collagen your body can use.
Are all collagen peptides the same?
Collagen peptides are not all alike. Smaller peptides and more precise sequencing of amino acids means being able to target collagen production in the specific parts of the body you desire (like in your muscles, joints, bones, or at your skin).
When you consume more tailored peptides, nearly 100% of the peptides you take are properly applied and focused on your repair goals. For example, Orange Naturals Collagen Skin Revive features clinically proven Verisol® Bioactive Collagen Peptides™. These peptides are specifically tailored to stimulate collagen production in fibroblast skin cells, resulting in reduced eye wrinkles in just 28 days.
Is collagen really all you need to take?
Can you load up on collagen and call it a day, or do you need other co-factors to facilitate collagen production? If you think co-factors are needed, you’re right! Collagen alone doesn’t quite work. Rather, you need silicon, vitamin C, and other supporting nutrients to stimulate your body’s collagen production – here’s why they’re important.
Silicon helps with the synthesis of type 1 collagen and activates the hydroxylation enzymes, supporting skin strength and elasticity. It is an essential mineral that literally helps to hold your body together, acting like a ‘glue’ for helping proteins form bonds. This ultimately helps our cells stick together so that our skin remains firm. Silicon is the key mineral-factor for maintaining healthy collagen production.
Forms of silicon are naturally found in foods like whole grain cereals, fruits, and veggies and, believe it or not, non-alcoholic beer. However, because of its importance in protein formation (and wonderful beauty benefits), supplemental forms are often ideal. The problem is most supplemental forms are insoluble, which means they are quite hard to absorb.
However, there’s one source of silicon found in nature that is extremely soluble, which allows it to be better absorbed than other supplemental forms. It’s called Monomethylsilanetriol or MMST for short, and it’s derived from Nova Scotian quartz. This 100% soluble source of silicon is the ideal supplemental form to enhance collagen production for healthier hair, skin and nails.
Another essential nutrient for collagen synthesis is vitamin C—healthy collagen structure is dependent on it. Sufficient vitamin C helps stabilize collagen molecules as well as collagen production by cells. One of the best sources of vitamin C is tasty rosehip tea.
Can collagen creams be effective?
Collagen cream sounds like the best invention ever, right? If only it were so easy… But the truth is that collagen molecules are too large to be absorbed through the skin. If you want to increase collagen production to enhance your skin’s appearance, your best bet is to add a trusty collagen peptide supplement specifically for your skin to your wellness routine. This, along with necessary nutritional co-factors, nurturing healthy collagen production through your lifestyle (keeping stress levels down, loading up on antioxidants), and staying hydrated, are all part of an effective skincare routine.
Can I consume more protein instead of taking collagen?
Similar to collagen creams, the collagen peptides we consume through our diet or through many collagen supplements are far too large to be absorbed. To get to where they’re needed in our skin, joints, bone or muscles, they first need to be broken down into short chain segments called peptide chains.
When we consume large proteins, they are broken down into smaller random sequences, not all of which will activate collagen synthesis exactly where you might want it (like at the skin or joints). Collagen peptide sources with smaller and specific amino acid sequences are absorbed whole by the body, without a need to break them down further.
Basically, the longer the amino acid chains (which is typical of protein sources), the less effective the collagen production.
Can you take vegan collagen?
With increasing numbers of health-conscious individuals looking to decrease animal product consumption and replace it with plant-based swaps, one does wonder: what about collagen? Is there such a thing as vegetarian or vegan collagen? If you’ve read this far, you probably know that there is no such thing as vegan collagen, since collagen is a protein chiefly found in bone, cartilage, and connective tissue.
But for vegetarians who wish to avoid meat products, marine collagen makes a wholesome alternative. For vegans, on the other hand, the best course of action is to enhance collagen production by consuming lots of healthy plant foods naturally high in collagen-boosting nutrients, like mineral-rich grains and antioxidant-packed dark leafy greens.
Our favorite ways to boost collagen, naturally
Whether you’re looking to support collagen production to enhance the appearance and feel of your skin, to nourish your gut and boost the health of your digestive mucosa, or to assist with joint health, there are lifestyle habits you can commit to that work like a charm to naturally boost collagen. This includes: enjoying regular facial massages, not smoking, and adding antioxidant and anti-inflammatory spices and herbs to your diet (like a go-to golden spice, turmeric).
Now that we’ve busted the most common collagen myths, you can get the most benefit from your collagen sources with confidence!
Orange Naturals is all about making professional, naturopathic health products widely available, simple to understand and simple to use.