Hydrolyzed Collagen Peptides: A Short Guide Just for You!
Collagen has been a popular buzzword in the beauty community for a number of years now. Chances are that even if you haven’t actively been searching for a collagen supplement or product, you’ve come across one or two ads for them and have been intrigued and now want to buy collagen. After all, who doesn’t want to preserve their skin’s elasticity, have healthier, shinier hair AND boost their gut and joint health, all with just one simple ingredient?
You may even have taken it one step further and started searching up all the purported benefits of this miracle ingredient. In your search, you may have come across all kinds of terminology and jargon that make all the articles you’re reading hard to follow. One term you’re going to encounter repeatedly on your journey to finding the right collagen product for you is “hydrolysed collagen peptides”, and it is this term that we’ll discuss in detail today.
What are hydrolyzed collagen peptides?
You may have come across the term “hydrolysed collagen peptides” when searching for a new collagen supplement or product to try. But before we dive into what this term means, it is important to understand what collagen is and how it works in the body.
What is collagen?
The most abundant protein in the body, collagen is responsible for giving structure to your hair, nails, your musculoskeletal system (bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons, connective tissues etc), and most importantly, to the biggest organ of your body: your skin. The collagen molecules account for at least one-third of the body’s total protein and three-fourths of your skin’s dry weight.
Unfortunately, with age, the collagen production in the body decreases, a phenomenon that is made worse through UV exposure, high sugar intake, ageing, smoking cigarettes and excessive drinking. A decrease in collagen levels usually results in the appearance of the characteristic signs of ageing, such as wrinkles and dry, sagging skin as well as aching joints and poor gut health. This process usually happens around the time you get to your late twenties and you are likely to start losing up to 1% to 2% of your natural collagen per year. For women, collagen depletion accelerates once they hit menopause.
An excellent way of providing your body with the collagen it loses with age is by supplementing through exogenous collagen, or synthetic collagen. The problem with this is that the collagen molecule is simply too large to be absorbed by the body as it is. This is a major reason why collagen lotions, skincare products and other collagen creams that are applied topically don’t offer much benefit apart from moisturising the skin. Collagens have molecular weights that make them too large to penetrate the top layer of the skin.
This is where hydrolysed collagen peptides come in. Let’s take a look at what these are.
Hydrolyzed collagen peptides for skin, hair & nails
Simply put, hydrolysed collagen peptides are a broken-down form of the collagen molecule that makes it easier for the body to absorb smaller molecules. Through a chemical process called hydrolysis, the large collagen molecule is broken down into its easily dissolvable components, the amino acids, also known as peptides. This exogenous collagen is typically sourced from cow hides, connective tissue, bones and cartilage (known as bovine or beef collagen), from marine sources like fish skin and scales or algae (marine collagen), and less frequently from porcine (derived from pig bones and skin) or through chicken cartilage or skin.
During hydrolysis, the large collagen molecule is reacted with water, which breaks down its molecular bonds into its various components. The resulting substance is known as hydrolysed collagen, and is odourless, colourless and flavourless as well as being easily soluble in all liquids. When this hydrolysed collagen enters the body, it provides your body with the building blocks it needs to create its own collagen.
Benefits of Hydrolyzed Collagen Peptides
There are several benefits of supplementing with hydrolysed collagen peptides, such as:
Skin, hair and nails: One of the most researched benefits of supplementing with collagen is its effects on your skin, hair and nails. Studies have shown that regularly supplementing with hydrolysed collagen peptides helps improve skin elasticity, hydration and the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines compared to placebos. In another study, participants reported a 12% increase in nail growth rate and 42% decrease in the frequency of broken nails over a course of 24 weeks of taking artificial collagen. Similarly, another study showed that women reported an increase in hair growth in just 90 days of daily intake of collagen.
The Musculoskeletal system: Taking collagen has been found to increase bone density over time in several studies, something which can help reduce symptoms related to osteoarthritis, osteopenia and joint pain in athletes and post-menopausal women. Other studies targeting elderly men and active young men found the same results and also found that daily supplementation with collagen increased body mass, fat-free mass and muscle strength.
Gut health: In addition to these, hydrolysed collagen peptides have also been found to support your gut health by making the lining of the digestive tract stronger and aiding digestion and nutrient absorption.
If you’re looking to buy collagen products to help your body from head to toe, an easy way to add collagen to your daily routine is by taking two cups of collagen beauty tea every day. It’s easy, tasty and has the added benefit of providing your body with some antioxidants to reduce the damage caused by free radicals in the body and the atmosphere.
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