Collagen is a structural protein (long chain of amino acids) found in our bodies. It is the most abundant protein in the body and has a unique amino acid profile. As such, collagen is a major component of bones, skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments. It provides structure to these areas and functions to hold all these things together. Many people think of it as a “glue” and actually the word collagen comes from the Greek word “kola”, which means glue. There are different types of collagen, but I, II, III are the major types and each can function in different aspects of the body. Primarily, collagen types I and III are grouped together because they are the most abundant and have similar functions. They are best for skin, hair, bone and muscle health. Studies have shown collagen peptides provide numerous beneficial effects on skin by helping to promote skin elasticity, thickness and hydration.
Other research shows the important role of collagen for bone health and strength. Type II collagen is heavily concentrated in cartilage and therefore has been shown as most effective for joint health. However, there is research that shows types I and III also have benefits on joint health. After collagen is absorbed in the body, it works in the various tissues where cells will build the peptides into complete collagen that support the areas that need it – skin, hair, bone, muscle, joint, etc. Hydrolyzed collagen peptides refer to collagen that has been broken down into much shorter chains of amino acids, which creates a form that is better absorbed into the bloodstream. As we age, collagen levels in the body decline, which helps explain the negative changes with regards to skin, hair, bones and muscles. Collagen supplementation is critical for healthy aging because of its unique role in helping to maintain and support the important aspects of skin, hair, bone, joint and muscle health!