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What is Collagen and How Can You Use It

What is hydrolyzed collagen? How can you use if for beautiful skin, hair, nails, and healthy joints?

Collagen peptides (AKA hydrolyzed collagen) are one of the hottest supplements of 2020. And for a good reason!!! It has amazing effects on the body from the inside out!

There are different types of collagen, so before you go out and buy some, let’s get you familiar with different types and what they do.

What is collagen?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body. It comes from the Greek word “kola.” Which means glue.

Collagen makes up 1/3 of the protein in your body. Think about collagen as the glue that holds these structures together in your body.

It’s virtually found every where in your body and important for the structure of:

  • Skin

  • Bones

  • Ligament

  • Muscle

  • Tendon

  • Nails

  • Hair

  • Blood vessels

  • Cornea

  • Teeth

  • Placenta

Types of collagen and their sources

There are about 28 different types of collagen. Each type of collagen has a varied sequence of amino acids and it’s sequence determines the function of the collagen in the body. There are five that make up the majority of the collagen and Types I, II, and III are the most popular types found in the supplements on the market.

Type I

About 90% of the collagen in your body is Type 1. Virtually every tissue in your body contains type I collagen. It is found in:

  • Bones

  • Cartilage

  • Connective tissue

  • Skin

  • Tendons

As this collagen begins to breakdown it’s becomes very obvious in your skin in the form of fine lines, wrinkles, and loss of elasticity.

Structure: They are made of densely packed fibers that are wound in a triple helix structure. This allows for their amazing strength and elasticity.

Found in: Bovine, fish (cod or haddock), eggs, bone broth

Type II

Type II collagen is found in disc spaces between vertebrae, cartilage for bones and joints.

Structure: It is similar to Type I collage. They are made of loosely packed fibers that are wound in a triple helix. This allows for more of cushy feeling,

Found in: Chicken and bone broth

Type III

Type III is like the cousin of Type I and often found together with it. It is also found in:

  • Arteries

  • Blood vessels

  • Internal organs

  • Intestine

  • Liver

  • Uterus

Found in: Bovine, eggs, fish, bone broth

Type IV

This is a different type of collagen unlike Type I, II, and III. It is also found in:

  • Kidney

  • Liver

  • Skin

  • Other internal organs

Structure: It creates a thin layer of a web like pattern outside of the cells which help give It structure.

Found in: Eggs and multi-collagen support

Type V

This type of collagen is mostly supportive of Type II collagen. It also helps form the cell surface and hair. It also found in:

  • Supportive connective tissue

  • Joint cartilage

  • Placenta

  • Eye health

Found in: Eggs and multi-collagen support

Type X worthy mention

It is of minor support to the connective tissue, joints, and bones

Found in: Eggs shells and chicken

What destroys it?

By the time we hit our mid 20’s to early 30’s our natural levels begin to decline. By the time you are in your 70’s you can see obvious changes in skin elasticity.

Smoking, sunshine, sugar and refined carbs promote oxidative stress (think of it as rusting) and it destroys collagen.

How to use it?

Some of my favorite methods of incorporating collagen peptides include adding it to coffee, soups, meat loaf, eggs, coconut yogurt, pancakes and adding it in baked goods for the kids. It’s tasteless and if you are working on your little one’s gut health mixing it in unsweetened applesauce does the trick.

Should I take other supplements with it?

You need Vitamin C as a cofactor to build collagen because stress depletes your adrenals and they need vitamin C. When we have stress even from emotional stress, oxidative stress or smoking it depletes the adrenal glands which use up the vitamin C as its co-factor. So it’s a good idea to supplement with 1-2 grams.

How much should I take?

Some studies show that as little as 5-10 grams can help, while others recommend at least 20 -30 grams a day. Some practitioners advocate their patients do collagen loading for at least 30 days in the amount of 50 grams and then drop down to 10 – 20 grams.

And if you want to have all your bases covered, drink at least 1 cup of chicken bone broth several days a week to help in improving your skin, joints, and digestive tract health.

We still need more large-scale human studies to show the promising effects of collagen peptides.

Check this video out for more information.



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