Have you noticed that nearly everyone is taking collagen these days? From your friends to your gym buddies, they are all talking about it and all taking collagen drinks, powders or daily sachets!
So do YOU need collagen in your daily supplement regime?
Put simply, collagen equals strength.
Collagen is super important! It is a large molecule that clumps together in strings or sheets to form the scaffolding and glue that hold up our bones, tendons, muscles, ligaments and of course, skin, hair and nails.
In fact, it’s so important to our body’s health that we usually make it ourselves internally by breaking down proteins we eat or drink and reforming them to produce our own collagen.
But here’s the problem….
From about the age of 20, that production line starts to slow. Not by much at the beginning. We probably lose only 1% of collagen production every year initially, but that loss starts to speed up as we age.
By the end of menopause, or our late 50s, women will have lost over two thirds of the ability to produce collagen that they had at 20 years old. Which is one of the main reasons why skin wrinkles and sags, tendons and ligaments become less elastic, bones weaken and the joints stiffen up.
On a side note…. Tendon injury is one issue that women often aren’t warned about during menopause. Tendons contain high levels of oestrogen and as this naturally falls, women can suffer more strains and tears in their rotator cuffs, joints or Achilles tendons. Supporting your collagen levels from a younger age is one way to keep the cartilage stronger.
So now you know that yes, you do need collagen in your life, but how can you make sure you are buying a good one?
Firstly, all collagen comes from animal sources, so if you’re vegan, there isn’t currently a supplement that is going to suit you. If you’re vegetarian, you might find one from eggshell membranes, but the vast majority of supplements come from either bovine (cow), porcine (pigs) or marine sources.
As most collagen is found in the animal’s bones, skin and joints, consuming it from foods is not always easy or preferable, even when you include my beloved ‘bone broth’ in your diet, which brings us back to taking a supplement.
There are several different types of collagen
Over 90% in the human body is Type 1, which is the main type found supporting the skin, tendons, artery walls and bones. It’s also the most important collagen type for healing any wounds as scar tissue is always made from Type 1 collagen.
Marine collagen is made entirely of Type 1 collagen so is often the preferred option for skin and anti-ageing.
Another issue is size. Collagen is usually a large chain or sheet of protein molecules which are difficult for us to absorb unless they have been made smaller. The best way to do this is to hydrolyse them, which means using enzymes to break down the proteins until they become small fragments that can pass easily through the gut wall. As an example, protein powders often contain collagen with a molecular size of about 70 kD. This is too big to pass through the digestive lining. The best supplements will have hydrolysed collagen with a molecular size below 10kD. This increases the absorption to around 95%.
Zooki marine collagen comes from organically sourced, North Atlantic cod and each sachet contains a whopping 5,000 mg of hydrolysed, highly absorbable (and great tasting) collagen along with Vitamins C and E.
These are antioxidants that support the body’s own natural production of collagen as well as fighting off the free radicals that can speed up its’ destruction.
Like most good things, the effects of taking collagen supplements are worth waiting for. You should start to see or feel a difference in your skin once you’ve been taking it consistently for 6 weeks, or perhaps earlier, as that’s the length of an entire skin cycle from the inside out. As an easy rule of thumb though, to truly see lasting results, you should plan to take collagen 1 month for every decade of life. A 30 year old should have results in 3 months; whereas a 60 year old might need up to 6 months.
Zooki collagen is suitable for everyone, except vegans and anyone allergic to fish. Although it’s not possible to overdose in theory, we recommend that everyone sticks to either 1 or maximum 2 of the handy, portable sachets every day.
In conclusion, if you’re over 25 and concerned about ageing and strength, then adding a marine collagen like the new Zooki sachets could definitely be a good idea.