By Uri Carlson, RDN
If you’ve walked the supplement aisles of your local grocery store, have an Instagram account or are an active human interested in your health and longevity, chances are you’ve heard the buzz about collagen. Whether it’s in a flavorless powder, wellness shot or gummies, collagen supplements are steadily gaining in popularity these days. Fortunately, it’s for good reason, because there are actually some incredible benefits of collagen. But, there are some things you should know about collagen, because not all collagen is created equal.
With that, we’re here to give you some essential details so that you can understand just what collagen is, how to navigate collagen’s many sources and how it might help you.
First off, what is collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in our body. It plays a role in supporting the structure of literally every single cell in our body. Sounds important, right? It is.
Simply put, collagen supports the structure of our hair, skin, nails, bones, ligaments and tendons. It also supports our gut and muscles.
Now this is the kicker: by the time we reach 25 years of age, our body’s natural production of collagen begins to steadily decline by 1-2% per year. In other words, those common signs of aging such as decreased muscle mass, a higher risk of musculoskeletal injuries, joint pain and even diminished eyesight can all be linked to a decrease in collagen production.
This is where collagen supplementation comes in. Collagen supplements typically come from one of five sources: bovine (cow), porcine (pig), chicken, a combination of marine animals, or one type of marine animal, such as fish. Here at Cofo we use only 100% Wild Caught Alaskan Pollack because we believe that, just like selecting the quality of meat or fish you buy at the store, it is important to be mindful of the quality of collagen supplement you buy. Wild caught vs. farm raised and grass fed vs. grain fed apply the same way they do to meat.
Lastly, there are a few different ways that collagen supplements are described. You should know that Collagen peptides are the same as hydrolyzed collagen and both are collagen proteins that have been broken down into smaller amino acid chains (read: pre-digested). Compared to a complete collagen protein and dietary proteins that contain collagen, peptides are much easier and quicker to digest.
Ultimately, if you want the most bang for your buck, hydrolyzed collagen or collagen peptides are your best bet. But, let’s take that one step further. Compared to any other source of collagen, the collagen peptides from fish sources are the smallest sized molecule. Why is this worth noting? Well, it means that this source of collagen can be digested up to 1.5 times faster than any other source!
So, if you haven’t tried a supplemental source of collagen yet, go ahead and grab yourself some Cofo. Add it to your coffee, soup, yogurt or any other liquid based food and see what it can do for you!
If you like what you’ve read here, stay tuned for more information - we’ll be diving deeper into the many benefits of collagen, various types, how to use your Cofo collagen, recipes and a whole lot more!