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Collagen Supplements: What is collagen and what are the benefits?

What is Collagen?

Collagen can be described as the main structural protein of different connective tissues in animals and as described below, collagen supplements can be consumed by humans to enhance our bodies with the basic building blocks of nature .

Collagen being abundant protein in mammals such as cows and pigs, accounts to up to 35% of the whole body protein content and is filled with a plethora of branched chain amino acids.

There Are Three Different Types of Dietary Collagen

Each type of collagen will benefit different parts of the body. For example:

  • Type 1 Collagen aids the production and healthy levels of collagen in a persons hair and nails, internal organs and ligaments which comprise of almost 90% of your body. Supplementing with Type I collagen helps you skin with improved texture and tightness.
  • Type 2 is effective for cartilage and any flexible connective between the joints.
  • Type 3 Collagen protects proteins in bones, tendons and dentin.

Benefits of collagen & supplementing in the human diet

Collagen is widely consumed in sausage form as collagen casing and also is readily available in form of collagen supplement such as the great lakes collagen range and is beneficial to the body in the following ways:

  • It improves skin texture and firmness – this is quite important as skin firmness inhibits formation of wrinkles by about 13%.
  • Daily consumption of collagen significantly improves tendon nature and general functionality of joint.
  • Collagen supplements improves bone density-often, people suffering from osteoarthritis are advised to take a combination of calcium and collagen supplement in plenty. Generally, collagen improves bone density resulting to strengthened bones and enhanced flexibility.
  • It boosts heart and cardiovascular system-studies suggest that low collagen level in cardiovascular system exposes one to the risk of suffering from heart malfunctions. Collagen supplements on the other hand are used in dietary to boost collagen level in the heart system.
  • Boosts immunity and accelerates healing process-as stated earlier, collagen is the main structural protein in mammal body and when plenty, comes together binding the wounds. In addition, collagen absorbs wound excretion keeping the wound moist eliminating the possibility of the wound being infected.
  • Gelatine present in collagen absorbs digestive juices reducing the chances of one suffering from gastrointestinal bugs which often disturbs digestions and sometimes results to digestive tract infection
  • Gelatine found in collagen tones the blood, a process that prevents blood disorders such as anemia. In also boosts red blood cell level and haemoglobin count boosting oxygen circulation in the body.
  • Collagen is also important in treating myotonia atrophica, a condition that causes muscle wasting. This is brought about by the ability of collagen to increase the calcium absorption.
  • Collagen supplements also boosts collagen levels in body; a process that helps prevents diseases such as scurvy and conditions like bleeding gums and poor healing conditions.

Amino acid composition and sequence in collagen

Beef collagen, like all collagen found in mammals portrays an unusual composition and sequence of amino acid.

  • It contains Glycine at almost every third layer,
  • It’s made up of 17% proline,
  • And contains two uncommon derivatives amino acids which are not directly inserted during translation.

Depending on the type of collagen, hydroxylysine is derived from lysine while hydroxyproline is derived from proline.

Where can you purchase beef collagen?

First, before you resolve into buying collagen dietary supplements, be advised to see a doctor and seek further guidance from them.
Various stores both offline and online based do exist; supplying collagen supplements. Be keen to read all the instructions attached before using them. Your intention should lead you to the exact type of collagen you are to buy. You can decide whether to purchase pills, going for injections or powders. Avoid creams since collagen is made of large molecules and cannot dissolve into the body through the skin.

And finally, only buy collagen supplements from genuine merchants to avoid consuming counterfeits.

Is collagen a Protein?

Yes – “Collagen is the major insoluble fibrous protein in the extracellular matrix and in connective tissue”

What are some collagen rich foods?

Here is a sample of some foods that have a large amount of collagen present.

  1. Vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables
    1. Oranges
    2. Lemons
    3. Strawberries
  2. Dark green vegetables
    1. Spinach
    2. Kale
    3. Broccoli
  3. Beans & Flaxseed
  4. Red fruits and vegetables
  5. Prunes
  6. Fish such as Salmon and Tuna
  7. Chocolate

Some collagen supplement side effects

  1. Sometimes a lift in calcium levels due to fish based collagen supplements.
  2. Hyper-sensitivity reactions
  3. Bad taste in the mouth

Typical Sources of Collagen Supplements


These are ordered by efficiency of production:

1. Pig Collagen (Porcine) – Porcine materials are one of the most abundant due to the demand for pork. Make sure your sources are reliable and moral then you can have a great cheap source a wide array of collagen  supplements.

2. Cow Collagen (Bovine) – The peptides found in cows are just as complex and wide ranging as porcine, great lakes collagen is a good source for amino acids such as alanine, arginine, aspartic acid, cystine, glutamine etc. Both cow and pig collagen are not as balanced as collagen derived from fish and do not raise the overall levels of collagen in the human body as much as the piscine range.

3. Chicken Collagen (Fowl) – For effective support of human cartilage production, fowl materials are high in type 2 collagens but again, not as effective as fish to raise the overall levels in the body.

4. Collagen from Fish (Piscine) – This is the most costly out of the four sources, but is the most effective and superior at raising the bodies levels of type I collagen (J Pept Sci, 2010).





· Definition of Collagen: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collagen#Amino_acids

· Benefits of collagen supplement: http://healing.answers.com/spirituality/eight-health-benefits-of-collagen-supplements,http://divinehealthfromtheinsideout.com/2012/05/bone-broth-nutritional-facts-benefits/

· Amino acids in collagens: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collagen#Amino_acids

· How to purchase collagen supplements: http://www.renewalliance.com/blog/news/post/what-is-the-best-type-of-collagen-supplement

· More insight on beef collagen: https://www.exploratorium.edu/cooking/meat/INT-what-makes-juicy.html

· J Pept Sci. 2010 Nov;16(11):652-8. doi: 10.1002/psc.1277. Elastin peptides prepared from piscine and mammalian elastic tissues inhibit collagen-induced platelet aggregation and stimulate migration and proliferation of human skin fibroblasts. Shiratsuchi E, Ura M, Nakaba M, Maeda I, Okamoto K.