Collagen – a supplement that we’ve probably all heard of by this point! Maybe you’ve heard it’s good for skin health, for joint mobility or muscle growth? Let’s take a look at collagen, how and why it works, and the current options available on the market.

 

What is Collagen?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies. It is a major component of many of our tissues, including joints, ligaments, muscles, bones, skin and more. It assists with cartilage formation, muscle repair and maintenance of healthy skin & joints.

There are actually 16 types of collagen within the human body, although there are 3 major forms that are most necessary: Type I, II and III collagen. These are the most present forms in our body, and the types that are easiest to obtain from supplementation.

 

Why is Collagen important?

Because collagen is a component of most structures in your body, its functions are widespread. From ensuring that your muscles maintain strength to carry yourself throughout the day, your bones remain strong to prevent osteoporosis and fractures, to keeping your skin plump, your organs strong and maintaining the integrity of your blood vessels – collagen plays a major role in overall health!

This comes down to the importance of all types of protein as the key building block of all biological tissues. Healthy tissue quality translates to overall health & wellbeing.

Collagen is a key component of most of the connective tissue within your body, including muscles, bones, cartilage, blood vessels, skin and nails.

 

When should I use Collagen?

There are a few occasions where collagen can be a useful supplement, such as:

  • You’re looking for an extra source of protein to help with muscle mass & recovery (e.g. for body-building, athletes, physical work, etc.)
  • You consume a low protein diet and need a supplement for overall health
  • You want to improve the quality of your skin, hair, nails and improve wound healing
  • Whether from injury or illness (e.g. arthritis), you experience joint or ligament damage and are looking for a supplement to increase healing and improve joint mobility
Collagen can be a useful supplement if you experience painful or achey joints, or wish to improve joint mobility & repair

Collagen most often comes as a powder that you can mix in water, juice, smoothies and even soups or broths. It’s quite versatile, which makes it an easy supplement to take to suit your preference. We also offer a limited range of capsule formulas containing collagen.

 

What’s up with the different types of Collagen?

You may have seen various types of collagen on the market, including bovine collagen (sourced from beef) and marine collagen (sourced from fish).

It’s important to note that marine collagen only contains Type I collagen, which means it may have some limited function (e.g. it’s great for bone health, but may not result in the skin benefits that you’re looking for). As it’s harder and less sustainable to source, it’s often more expensive as well.

Bovine collagen on the other hand contains Type I, as well as other forms of collagen. In this way, it has a broader range of actions in the body and is the most common form on the market.

Regardless of the source of collagen, be sure to look out for the phrase “hydrolysed peptides” on the ingredients list. The best collagen supplements provide collagen in this specific form, which ensures your body can absorb and utilise it as much as possible. Non-hydrolysed forms of collagen may result in lower absorption in your digestive tract, and therefore less optimal results.

 

A note on “vegan” collagen supplements

Many customers are curious about vegan collagen, with many online stores offering supplements labelled as such. This is quite misleading, as a vegan form of collagen actually doesn’t exist. Collagen, by definition, always comes from an animal source (from connective tissue such as cartilage, bones and joints). These “vegan” collagen supplements are most often nutrients that stimulate your body’s natural production of collagen. While these nutrients are important for your body, please be wary of misleading marketing about plant-based collagen (especially from online ads).

Be aware that vegan collagen doesn’t exist, and “vegan collagen” supplements are often nutritional formulas that help stimulate your body’s own production of collagen. Speak to our naturopaths if you’d like supplementary support for your plant-based diet.

What does Botanica have to offer?

At Botanica, our key range of collagen is by NutraOrganics. They have a range of different collagen options to suit your particular needs.

One of our best sellers is the Beauty Collagen, which contains a blend of hydrolysed collagen and key nutrients that may assist with:

  • Reducing skin wrinkles and smooth fine lines
  • Improving skin elasticity
  • Providing antioxidant support for overall tissue health
  • Keeping hair & nails healthy
  • Promoting skin healing
Collagen supplements may help strengthen your hair, skin & nails, especially when paired with nutritional cofactors such as vitamin C and zinc

 

If you have any questions, leave us a comment, contact us here or you can pop in-store anytime to speak to one of our friendly naturopaths!