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Article: All about collagen in 4 minutes

Tout savoir sur le collagène

All about collagen in 4 minutes

When it comes to caring for your skin and body on a daily basis, especially when you want to preserve your youthful appearance, there are a number of solutions to consider. Many vitamins and active ingredients are currently on the market for their benefits. One of the most popular at the moment is collagen. In this article, we'll explore the health benefits of collagen and its composition.

1) Collagen functions

Collagen makes up 25-30% of all proteins in the human body, making it the most abundant protein in the body. This protein is an important component of connective tissues including skin, tendons, muscles, cartilage and bones. Collagen's main role is to ensure the structure, strength and support of all the body's connective tissues. In the skin, collagen provides mechanical support for cutaneous tissue. Together with other skin components (e.g. hyaluronic acid, reticulin, elastin, etc.), collagen also forms a support network for skin cells (e.g. fibroblasts, keratinocytes, melanocytes and specialized cells of the cutaneous immune system).

More specifically, collagen's functions include :

  • Contributes to the formation of fibroblasts in the dermis;
  • Promotes the growth of new cells;
  • Help replace dead skin cells;
  • Provide skin structure and elasticity.

2) Collagen precursors

Collagen is naturally present in animal flesh, such as meat and fish. However, other foods, both animal and vegetable, provide the elements the body needs to manufacture it.

Foods that naturally contain collagen

Collagen is naturally present in cuts of meat rich in connective tissue (e.g. roast, brisket, chuck steak, etc.), fish bones and skin, bone broth and gelatin.

Foods that stimulate collagen production

Protein-rich foods can boost collagen production, as they contain the amino acids glycine, proline and hydroxyproline needed for its manufacture. These foods include fish, poultry, meat, eggs, dairy products, legumes and soy.

Collagen production also requires other precursors, such as zinc, copper and vitamin C.

Sources of zinc

Sources of zinc include shellfish, legumes, meat, nuts, seeds and whole grains.

Sources of copper

Copper is found in oysters, liver, seeds, nuts, green leafy vegetables, soybeans, legumes and dark chocolate.

Sources of vitamin C

Vitamin C is found in abundance in fruits and vegetables, such as citrus fruits, berries, green leafy vegetables, peppers and tomatoes.

3) Types of collagen

There are 28 types of collagen. The following table presents the five main types of collagen and their roles.

Collagen type Roles
Type I
  • 90% of the body's collagen
  • Provides structure to skin, bones, tendons and ligaments
Type II
  • Present in the cartilage  that supports joints
Type III
  • Present in muscles, arteries and organs
Type IV
  • Present in all skin layers
 Type V
  • Present in the cornea, certain skin layers, hair and placenta

4) The effectiveness of supplements

A meta-analysis of 19 studies with a total of 1125 participants aged between 20 and 70, 95% of whom were women, evaluated the effects of hydrolyzed collagen supplementation on the skin. This study shows favorable results of hydrolyzed collagen supplementation versus placebo in terms of skin hydration, elasticity and wrinkles. The time required to delay or improve signs of skin ageing was 90 days in most of the studies analysed, and results were maintained for 4 weeks after the end of supplementation. Furthermore, this meta-analysis indicates that taking hydrolyzed collagen supplements is safe, as no adverse effects were reported in any of the studies analyzed. In conclusion, the results of this meta-analysis suggest that consuming hydrolyzed collagen for 90 days is effective and safe for delaying or improving the signs of skin aging, as it reduces wrinkles and improves skin elasticity and hydration.

5) The effectiveness of bovine and marine collagen

Hydrolyzed collagen can come from a variety of sources, including bovine and marine. Bovine hydrolyzed collagen generally comes from bovine hide or skin, and contains mainly type I and III collagen. Marine hydrolyzed collagen is usually derived from fish bones and skin. It is mainly composed of type I collagen. Thanks to all these benefits, Nurish has decided to offer you bovine collagen powder produced in Quebec. The best thing about our collagen powder? It's tasteless, so you can incorporate it into the various foods you eat every day. Yogurt, Matcha or smoothies, it's easy to incorporate into your routine. 

6) The right dose

The maximum dose of hydrolyzed collagen has been set at 10 g/day by Health Canada. In the scientific literature, effective and safe doses generally range from 2.5 to 15 g/day. Smaller doses can benefit skin and joints, while larger doses can improve muscle mass and body composition.

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