Why collagen?Collagen is a type of protein, and the most abundant one found in the human body. You can think of it as a type of ‘glue’ that holds our body together as it plays an important, structural role in our skin, hair, nails, ligaments, cartilage and tendons, and providing support, strength and flexibility.
What is collagen?
Collagen makes up about 75-80% of our skin’s structure, providing a sort of scaffolding support to keep our skin plump, firm and hydrated. As we age, our body’s ability to naturally produce collagen declines. From around our mid-twenties, production drops by around 1% per year, with a 30-50% total loss in women by post-menopause.
Other factors like smoking, stress, overexposure to sunlight and a poor diet can also cause a decrease in the amount of collagen our body produces. Consequently, a decrease in collagen leads to wrinkles, dry and sagging skin, thin hair, brittle nails, and can result in joint problems due to weakened cartilage.
Why do I need to take a collagen supplement?
It’s not all doom and gloom though! Taking a high quality collagen supplement is an easy way to provide your body with collagen peptides that can be used to improve skin texture and appearance.
Many clinical studies have shown that supplementing with collagen can significantly improve the appearance of skin by improving skin hydration, elasticity, density and decreasing fine lines and wrinkle formation.
Types of collagen
Marine collagen in particular is highly bioavailable, meaning that it is extremely well absorbed in the body. Because of its small particle size, it is 1.5x more efficiently absorbed by the body compared to bovine or porcine-derived collagen.
There are at least 16 types of collagen found in the body, however, 80-90% of the collagen in the body consists of three types – Types I, II and III. Let’s take a close look at each of those collagens and their roles in your body:
- Type I - This type accounts for the majority of your body’s collagen and is made of densely packed fibres. It provides structure to skin, bones, tendons, fibrous cartilage, connective tissue and teeth.
- Type II - This type is made of more loosely packed fibres and is found in elastic cartilage, which cushions your joints.
- Type III - This type supports the structure of muscles, organs and arteries.
Collagen supplement for skin and hair
We’ve already talked about the benefits of collagen and the impact a high-quality collagen supplement can have on skin, hair and nails so let’s take a closer look at how collagen benefits those areas.
Collagen and skin
When skin is damaged by the sun, acne breakouts, dermatitis (eczema), psoriasis or just general moisture loss, collagen tells the immune system to form brand new skin in that area, repairing any damage. New cells mean a tighter barrier, which means less water loss and less itchy, dry skin. Read more about the benefits of collagen for the skin.
Collagen and hairMarine sources of collagen contain an abundance of nutrients including proteins, vitamins and minerals. These goodies (B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, selenium, iron and amino acids, just to name a few) are used by the body to create more of and nourish existing hair follicles, leaving hair feeling strong and looking lush. Read more about the benefits of collagen for your hair.
Collagen for pregnancy
Whilst there is no doubt that pregnancy is incredible, it’s also notoriously hard on the body as your body changes to adjust to the growth of new life within. Post-pregnancy, loose skin on the stomach is very common and it may never go back to its original elasticity. That’s where collagen comes in.
As well as helping to give skin structure and elasticity, collagen is also found in connective tissue, cartilage, bones, joints, blood vessels, organs, hair and nails. Taking a high-quality collagen supplement during and after pregnancy can be really beneficial to a number of areas of your body.
One of the major benefits of collagen post-pregnancy is to help prevent postpartum hair loss. Daily supplementation of marine collagen does wonders for hair health. It helps keep hair strong and growing, particularly post-pregnancy. Read more about collagen and hair.
Collagen is also extremely good at helping with skin healing and preventing scars. Vitamin C has also been shown to help support healthy skin and skin healing from the inside out, perfect for recovery post-birth. You can read more about the benefits of collagen for wound healing and scar reduction in this blog.
Marine collagen has been found to be safe to be consumed when pregnant or breastfeeding, however, we recommend you check with your GP first, just to be safe.
Collagen for joints
We’ve touched upon the benefits of collagen for joints and there have been numerous studies that show that there can be benefits of taking collagen for joints.
Collagen helps to maintain the integrity of your cartilage which helps to protect your joints. A study by PubMed found that taking collagen supplements may help to improve symptoms of osteoarthritis and reduce joint pain overall.
In a survey of 147 subjects, 73 were given 10 grams of collagen daily for 24 weeks and 74 were given a placebo. The 73 athletes who consumed the collagen experienced a significant decrease in joint pain whilst walking and at rest compared to the group that took the placebo.
The supplementation of marine collagen peptides can support joint pain as well as support the repair and regeneration of ligaments, tendons, joints and cartilage, easy joint mobility and inflammation.
We’ve pulled out some of the most frequently asked questions so you can get all the facts about marine collagen.
Can I take collagen while breastfeeding?
Marine collagen is safe to take whilst pregnant and post-pregnancy whilst you are breastfeeding. We always advise that you check with your GP before taking any supplements however, just to be on the safe side.
How much collagen should I take?
According to Healthline, a 2019 review of clinical studies found that taking 2.5–15 grams of hydrolysed collagen peptides each day may be safe and effective. A smaller daily dose of 2.5 grams could benefit joint pain, skin health and hydration.
Increasing this dose to 5 grams per day has shown the potential to improve bone density. Lastly, larger daily doses of 15 grams of these peptides have mostly been used to improve muscle mass and body composition. We recommend taking one 10g serving every day – consistency is key in order to see results.
Is collagen really effective?
Many clinical studies have shown that supplementing with collagen can significantly improve the appearance of skin by improving hydration, elasticity, density and decreasing fine lines and wrinkle formation.
When is the best time to take collagen?
There isn’t a bad time to take collagen - it can be taken any time of the day so it depends on your daily routines. If you are having digestive or gut issues, then it may make more sense to take your collagen supplement in the morning on an empty stomach - we find many customers choose to take collagen with their morning coffee.
Some customers prefer to take their collagen supplement before bed and feel it gives the body ample time to process the collagen whilst you sleep.
There is no conclusive evidence that taking collagen at a specific time of day provides better results so it’s really up to you when you take your daily serving.