What Is Collagen and How It Benefits You
Collagen is the most abundant protein in our body. As we age collagen production decreases. Our cells don’t get adequate amino acids they need to repair and regenerate and over time cell tissue breaks down contributing to wrinkles, brittle nails and hair, inflamed joints, decreased nutrient absorption, and a decrease in muscle mass.
Collagen supplementation helps keep your body performing optimally by limiting the further breakdown of collagen-dependent structural tissues and promotes the regeneration and growth of hair, skin, nails, joint, bones and gut to help you feel good inside and out (1,2,3,4,5,6,7).
Why You Need to Supplement
Unlike many supplements you take where your body continues to produce consistent levels, your body decreases its natural collagen production overtime. When you are 18-29, your body’s natural production of collagen begins to decline and by the time you are 40 your collagen production decreases by 1% each year, at the age of 80, you might have 75% less collagen compared to your youth (8).
Five Main Benefits of Collagen
Think of collagen as the glue your cells need to repair and regenerate so they can continue to be structurally sound. Thirty percent of the protein in our body is collagen, for a functioning healthy body, collagen is essential (6).
While there are lots of ways collagen supports our health, there are five main benefits of collagen:
Hydrolyzed Collagen vs. Other Forms of Collagen
Cofo marine collagen is hydrolyzed collagen and collagen from meat or gelatin is not hydrolyzed and considered ‘native.’. Hydrolyzed collagen or collagen peptides are collagen proteins that have been broken down into smaller amino acid chains. This increases the collagens’ bioavailability (how much and how fast collagen is absorbed by your cells).
The smaller size of the collagen peptides makes them easily digestible and quickly absorbed by cells and tissues in your body that are experiencing decreased collagen production (5,6). Unlike native collagen found in food or broth, collagen peptides do not require hydrochloric acid (stomach acid) to break down into amino acids. This means hydrolyzed collagen bypasses stomach processing and goes to the cells that need repair (8).
How Long Does Collagen Take to Work?
Collagen is not like a sugary hydration drink that works immediately! Many of us need to shift our mindset when we start to use collagen. While studies have shown that the amino acids enter your bloodstream within 30-45 minutes of ingestion, studies have also shown that the benefits of collagen take at least 4 weeks of daily use (study participants took 4.5g of oral collagen each day) (6).
When starting to use collagen, we recommend daily use and to put a reminder in your calendar 4 weeks out. After four weeks, touch your skin and feel your hair. Do you notice a difference? If you have joint pain, do a body scan to see how your joints feel now. What’s the level of your pain now versus four weeks prior. Within our team, the first changes we noticed was improved skin hydration (which is a relief living in dry Colorado!).