What is Collagen?
Collagen is the body’s most abundant protein, residing in connective tissues, skin, cartilage, bones, ligaments, and blood vessels. When we’re young, we have an abundance of collagen, which allows our skin to stretch and our joints to move with ease. But as we age collagen production slows, which causes our skin to wrinkle and our joints to become stiffer over time.
How does Collagen Work?
Collagen comes in three forms. Types I and III are commonly used to support healthy hair, skin, nails, tendons, bones, and ligaments. (Type I is the most abundant protein in the human body and the main protein found in all connective tissue.) Type II is commonly used to support joint and cartilage health.
Where do you get Collagen?
Type 2 collagen should not be taken with types 1 and 3 because they have different mechanisms of action in the body and can “cancel” each other out. Look for supplements that contain between 2000 mg and 10,000 mg collagen. A person’s ideal collagen intake could vary based on weight, age, health status, and desired benefit. In general, a higher dose is better and shouldn’t be thought of as harmful. A low dosage only in the hundreds of milligrams will have a minimal effect on the body. If you’re vegetarian or vegan most collagen products, including topicals and ingestibles, are off limits—derived from chicken, bovine, or fish. However, vitamin C and vitamin C-rich foods can help support the body’s own collagen synthesis. Other nutrients that can help include lysine and hyaluronic acid.