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by Tesfay Haile about a year ago in skincare
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A Brief Introduction To Collagen

Basically the excitement around collagen primarily comes from the fact that some evidence shows that it can modestly improve wrinkles -- aged, wrinkled skin -- by decreasing the depth or the width of wrinkles. Those improvements can take basically two, four, or even six months, so just be aware that if you are using collagen don't expect, you know, overnight or even within a couple of weeks that you’re going to see a difference, it's going to take some time.

Collagen can also potentially help reduce the pain and improve function in osteoarthritis, basically worn joints particularly in the knees. So what is collagen? Collagen is a protein just like muscle except it's a stronger protein because it has certain amino acids -- praline and hydroxyproline -- and that makes it useful in joints.

It makes up cartilage, it's found in the hides of animals, it's found in our skin, so it's a stronger type of protein. Infact, that hydroxyproline is what we look for when we test these in the laboratory to determine how much collagen is actually there, because you won't get hydroxyproline in regular protein.

Now there are different forms of collagen. Basically you can take just regular collagen and grind it down, in fact this product, UC-II, is chicken sternum basically that's been ground down and made into a powder that's primarily used for joint pain.

Most of the other products are hydrolyzed collagen that is they've been broken down by heat and then again by enzymes to break them down further where you break them down just peptide, so often you'll see collagen peptides.

If you just break it down a bit using very high temperatures, basically boiling hide from animals, you’ll get that collagen out, and it’ll become gelatine. So gelatin is a form of collagen, the difference between gelatine and the peptides -- which are more hydrolyzed, is that you can put gelatine into warm water and mix it in, it will dissolve.

The peptides you could put even in cold water or warm water and it will dissolve. So if you're putting a collagen powder into, a smoother, you'll want a peptide and not gelatin, as it won't dissolve. So those are the different types of collagen that are out there. Which is best? You know, there are lots of studies, many of which are funded by the companies that make these products.

Initially there was thinking that the peptides will really better absorb because they are smaller. There's some recent evidence suggesting that even just collagen sold as gelatin, which I said before is not as broken-down, actually may yield the same amount of amino acids in your body and may have similar benefits, so it's really hard to say what the best form is.

I can tell you the prices vary tremendously: We found some very good products where the collagen costs only about 5 to 15 cents per gram, there are others where it can cost over $4 per gram. We actually, after we did all our testing, came up with our top picks, which incorporated the issue of value.

I should mention all these products did contain the collagen that they claim. One failed because it also contained, unfortunately, a very high level of heavy metal, one of the heavy metals that can be harmful to you, so it failed our tests because we always check protein products for heavy metals.

When you're using collagen the dose is typically about anywhere once up to 9 grams per day. It's a little easier to get that from the powders if you're using the higher amounts. There are pills as well where you can get the smaller amounts.

It's generally well tolerated -- basically you’re eating protein. Some people have had digestive issues. Some people have had headaches, but, again, not common to have a problem with collagen. So that’s about it for collagen supplements.


About the author

Tesfay Haile

Hello everyone, my name is Tesfay Haile. I like to write about many subjects that come to my mind such as relationship, health, self help, IT, Fitness and Finance, etc....

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