Collagen supplementation is growing in popularity around the world thanks to the reported health benefits of this mighty protein, but not all collagen is created equally. If you want to get the most out of your collagen supplement, you’ll want to choose the type of collagen that is most easily absorbed by the body, known as hydrolyzed collagen.
When it comes to hydrolyzed collagen, what is it and what are the benefits?
What is collagen?
Collagen is a tough, fibrous protein that is the most abundant form of protein in the human body. The structure of collagen is characterized by long, thin strands that are extremely strong, which makes this type of protein excellent for maintaining the structure of different parts of the body, such as the muscles, bones, and blood vessels. Collagen is found in nearly every part of the body from the skin to the bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, blood vessels, corneas, organs, and more.
Like other animals, humans are able to produce their own collagen. Various types of cells produce collagen, but connective tissue cells are the primary source of collagen. The skin holds much of the collagen in the body, where it plays an important role in supporting the structure of the dermis, epidermis, and cuticle.
As we age, we produce less and less collagen and the collagen that we do produce is substantially lower quality. People begin to produce less collagen at around age 25, but the decline is considerable by the age of 60. As collagen stores shrink, people start to experience wrinkles, fine lines, joint pain, and other signs of premature aging.
What is hydrolyzed collagen?
Hydrolyzed collagen is sometimes referred to as collagen peptide or collagen hydrolysate. This type of collagen is commonly used in supplements because it is easily absorbed into the bloodstream or skin, which means that the body is better able to utilize it than other forms of collagen. Hydrolyzed collagen is created by adding cold enzymes to the protein to break it down, which means that the collagen is already partially broken down before it enters your body. As a result, it’s easy for your body to digest, absorb, and use. Hydrolyzed collagen is associated with a wide range of health benefits and is the most common form of collagen included in supplements.
What are the benefits of hydrolyzed collagen?
To date, research as to the benefits of hydrolyzed collagen have primarily focused on four major areas: anti-aging properties, wound healing, bone and joint health, and body composition. There is some evidence that also supports benefits of hydrolyzed collagen in the areas of weight loss, heart health, nail growth, and eye health, as well.
> Anti-Aging Properties
One of the most noticeable indicators of collagen loss is premature signs of aging on the skin.
About 70 to 75 percent of the skin is made up of collagen, and when the collagen levels in our skin shrink with age, we start to see more dryness, loss of elasticity, fine lines, and wrinkles. However, studies show that supplementing your diet with hydrolyzed collagen can have meaningful effects on the appearance of your skin and help reduce signs of aging.
One study found that 95 percent of participants who took a hydrolyzed collagen supplement experiencing more hydrated skin, while nearly 92 percent felt that their skin was more elastic, 82 percent felt that their skin was stronger, and 92 percent felt that their skin was thicker. Other studies have shown that hydrolyzed collagen supplements can significantly reduce the appearance of eye wrinkles.
> Wound Healing
One of the lesser known health benefits of hydrolyzed collagen is the potential for improved wound healing. Research in burn patients has shown that hydrolyzed collagen supplements can support healthy wound healing and circulating prealbumin, which results in shorter hospital stays for the patients. Low concentrations of prealbumin in burn patients is associated with longer hospital stays, and hydrolyzed collagen supplementation was found to increase the amount of prealbumin for patients. Other research has also been done on the effects of collagen supplementation during the treatment of pressure ulcers in long-term care residents. Studies conducted on residents of long term care facilities found that patients treated with collagen demonstrated statistically significant improvements in the rate of wound healing.
> Bone and Joint Health
Hydrolyzed collagen’s ability to improve bone and joint health has been studied extensively and is well documented. Taking hydrolyzed collagen supplements has been shown to enhance bone metabolism in a study of women. Another study examined the effects of hydrolyzed collagen and found that joint comfort significantly improved over the course of the study period of six months.
> Body Composition
Hydrolyzed collagen is also extolled for its ability to help improve body composition, and although more research needs to be done, the early results are promising. A study conducted in Korea found that healthy adults who ingested a supplement of skate skin collagen peptides had significantly lower body fat and body fat mass as measured by a DEXA scan at the end of the study. Another study, conducted among premenopausal women who were also engaging in strength training workouts, found that women who ingested collagen lost significantly more fat and gained considerably more strength than those who ingested a placebo supplement.
Are there any side effects associated with hydrolyzed collagen supplementation?
In general, hydrolyzed collagen is well tolerated and does not produce side effects in most people. However, some people may find that they experience mild digestive upset when using a new supplement like hydrolyzed collagen. If you have a sensitive digestive tract, it is recommended that you start incorporating hydrolyzed collagen into your diet slowly and work your way up to a full serving size. Additionally, because collagen can only be sourced from animal products, it is not suitable for people who adhere to a vegan or vegetarian diet.
Hydrolyzed collagen is the most easily absorbable form of collagen that is available. As a result, it is commonly included in collagen supplements. Hydrolyzed collagen has been shown to have a wide range of health benefits, including improved joint and bone health, improved body composition, and of course, supporting hair, skin, and nails.
Orgain’s Collagen Peptides formula is odorless, flavorless, and blends perfectly into your favorite food or drink so you can incorporate hydrolyzed collagen into your diet quickly and easily.