3 COMMON MYTHS ABOUT COLLAGEN SUPPLEMENTS

April 20, 2022

3 COMMON MYTHS ABOUT COLLAGEN SUPPLEMENTS

The world has gone crazy for collagen peptides – and with good reason, as more and more people are appreciating the benefits from supplementing with these wonder bioactive compounds. But we believe that there is still a lot of confusion about what is and isn’t true about collagen peptides – even among experts.

In this Blog, we dispel three of the common myths out there about collagen supplements and, to do this, Body Science have brought together their admirable passion for helping consumers to make sense of their health & fitness world and GELITA’s {GELITA, Bioactive Collagen Peptides (BCP®)}150 years of collagen experience. So, let’s get started.

 

MYTH #1: “YOU’RE TOO YOUNG FOR COLLAGEN SUPPLEMENTS”

Fact:

Our collagen starts to decline as early as our mid-twenties. The body’s collagen production peaks in early adulthood, and then dwindles at a typical rate of one per cent a year, and so it goes throughout the rest of our adulthood. Hence, we say it’s wise to protect as much as possible our existing collagen from excessive damage, and from a youthful age, taking all possible measures to hold back its decline.

This though is easier said than done – because it is from this stage in life that our skin becomes more exposed to factors in modern lifestyle that contribute to premature ageing, such as stress, a high sugar diet, pollution, and UV exposure. Something else to watch out for is if you spend long periods training outdoors, weathering your skin in the elements.

Hence, it is true that our collagen production declines more rapidly from the age of 35, and becomes even more pronounced post-menopause, when the rate can double to two per cent per year. Attention men! Continue reading. Because the general literature has confirmed that particularly in the case of skin elasticity and wrinkles, the properties of the skin between men and women have been proven comparable, with men experiencing deeper facial wrinkles, and no different from women in skin elasticity.

Beyond fine lines and wrinkles, our body is so interconnected by collagen, that another sign of collagen decline is also wear & tear to the collagen-rich soft tissues. These shout out loud as joint pain, back pain, tendon strain, and plantar fasciitis. If you are physically active, these are also important signs that higher collagen breakdown than synthesis, is occurring, which needs attention not to become a serious injury. So, when it comes to taking care of your body’s collagen for athletic performance and beauty, there’s no time like the present!

 

MYTH #2: “WE GET PLENTY OF COLLAGEN FROM THE DIET, WE DON’T NEED SUPPLEMENTATION”

Fact:

It appears that even a well-balanced diet containing meat might still be lacking in collagen. In an attempt to reduce fat intake, many people often look for lean cuts, remove the skin from fish and chicken, or avoid offal and the tougher cuts of meat, which also reduces the collagen intake.

People who are physically active are even more at risk of not getting enough collagen in the diet because a higher connective tissue turnover further increases nutritional needs, and hence they are strongly advised to use collagen supplements.

A study by the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) has already concluded that there is so much disparity in dietary sources of collagen, bone broths in particular, that if an athlete is looking for restorative or healing doses of collagen, supplements would be a more reliable source.

But, why “specific” bioactive collagen peptides? Well, because collagen peptides are not a single substance. “Collagen peptides” is an umbrella term for a group of diverse peptides that can be obtained from collagen protein. They vary in both the amino acid sequence and the length of the chain. Hence, we can compare collagen peptides to omega-3s, as a group of different fatty acids, such as EPA, DHA and ALA. The presence, or not, of “specific” bioactive sequences in the mix determine if there is a health benefit, or not.

For example, VERISOL® is guaranteed to have the beneficial peptide sequences for optimal skin cell metabolism, while FORTIGEL® provides a different mix, with peptide sequences proved the most effective for joint health.

A lack of understanding about these differences is the main reason why there is so much debate and confusion about collagen supplements because in fact, the efficacy of collagen peptides can vary.

 

MYTH #3: “COLLAGEN PEPTIDES ARE BROKEN DOWN IN THE GUT, THE AMINO ACIDS DO THE JOB”

Fact:

First, let’s clarify what “bioactive” means. Nutritionally, what cells primarily need to make collagen is a mix of biologically active signalling molecules. Hence, only the peptide sequences that are capable of activating the receptors on the surface of collagen-making cells are considered “bioactive”. They fit as atomic ‘locks and keys’ that regulate cell activity, optimising the protein-making metabolism.

Amino acids provide the building blocks of proteins once the target cells have been stimulated by the bioactive peptide sequences. On their own, amino acids lack the most important benefit of bioactive collagen peptides, which is about keeping the cells’ engines going.

Even di- and tripeptides are too small a molecule to go it alone in activating the receptors on collagen-making cells. Chains of many amino acids – called polypeptides – are better capable of shaping into the bioactive ‘keys’ that can unlock optimal metabolic activity in target cells.

Once stimulated, these cells then produce not only collagen, but also elastin, hyaluronic acid and all the other components of the healthy extracellular matrix that makes up skin, joints, ligaments, and tendons.

Today, we know that each type of connective tissue cell has surface receptors that attract peptide mixes of different sequences and lengths. As mentioned earlier, the peptide mix in VERISOL® has been optimised to best match the receptors on skin cells, while the FORTIGEL® mix best matches receptors on chondrocyte cells, the cells found in joint cartilage.  

Now, contrary to common knowledge, a substantial amount of collagen peptides is absorbed intact in the gut, enough for biological activity in the body. This is only possible because an impressive half of the composition of collagen peptides is made of two special amino acids – glycine and proline – a large proportion not seen in any other protein source.

Glycine and proline are abundant in collagen for a reason. These two together create a chemistry that is unique. They form strong peptide bonds that are more resistant to breakdown. Naturally, this is crucial for the many structural and mechanical roles that collagen plays in the body, as a fibrous protein. It is a strong rope.

In nutritional collagen peptides, glycine and proline maintain their strong bonds holding the peptide string together. And it doesn’t stop here. They also keep the bioactive polypeptides in the unique shape of the collagen fibres, so to speak, which is narrow and elongated, resembling the shape of a drill bit. This facilitates their passive and fast absorption in between the gut lining cells.

Thus, opposite to most other nutritional peptides, bioactive collagen peptides are particularly resistant to hydrolysis, and in a shape and composition that facilitates both their absorption in the gut and their affinity with cell receptors – which is quite unique and not at all easy to replace!

Despite a wealth of knowledge about proteins, there is still so much misinformation about collagen – even among experts, and this is greatly due to the fact that in protein nutrition, collagen peptides are the exception rather than the rule.

 

Disclaimer: The above article is merely a guide and is in no way a recommendation or a treatment protocol for any health conditions or diseases. You should always consult with a qualified health care provider before changing your supplement, training or nutritional strategy. Supplementation should not be attempted by pregnant or breastfeeding women, anyone on prescription medication or children under the age of 15 unless advised by your qualified health care provider. The above article has been taken from https://www.bodyscience.com.au/


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