In the medical field, you’ll often hear the term collagen, it’s most commonly mentioned in topics regarding bone health, skincare and anti-ageing. Collagen plays a vital role in the maintenance of our bones and joints which we’ll explore this in the article below.
Collagen is a significant building block for the body, it’s a protein that is found not only in the skin but also in the bones, ligaments, blood vessels, muscles, and tendons. Collagen in relation to bone health is a topic that’s widely being discussed with online searches into the millions.
The primary function of collagen is to provide body tissues with the capacity to withstand movement and stretching. It’s produced naturally from the body which slows down as we age. Many people have found it preferable to use collagen supplements to replenish the body’s supply.
Benefits and Types of Collagens
There are at least 16 types of collagen, but 80 – 90 percent of the collagen in the body consists of types I, II, and III.
- Type I Collagen accounts for 90% of your body’s collagen and provides structure to skin, bones, tendons, fibrous cartilage, connective tissue, and teeth.
- Type II collagen maintains the connectivity around our bones and is found in the cartilage. It’s made of more loosely packed fibres which cushions your joints.
- Type III Collagen supports the entire structure of tendons, muscles, organs, and blood vessels such as arteries.
Bovine Collagen Powder
Over 80% of the protein found in our bodies is Collagen. It is important to note that this protein can also be sourced widely as a food additive and a supplement. Bovine collagen powder is mainly derived from cow bones and other cow by-products with most of the collagen supplements found in stores made from cow hides.
Bovine Collagen is associated with numerous health benefits and it’s largely known to helps maintain bone, muscle and connective tissue health.
Forms of Bovine Collagen
Bovine Collagen exists in two forms, either hydrolysed or bovine gelatin collagen. They have a similar profile of amino acids but differ in their reaction with liquids and structural formation.
- Gelatin: This form contains larger protein units compared to hydrolysed bovine collagen which can cause bloating in some instances. However, gelatin causes liquids to gel, so it is appropriate to make gelatin desserts, gummies, or to thicken soups and stews.
- Hydrolysed Bovine Collagen: This collagen has smaller protein units called ‘collagen peptides’. These smaller peptides make it easier to dissolve in both cold and hot liquids making it more convenient when adding to your meals or hot/cold drinks.
Benefits of Bovine Collagen
- Helps Maintain Bone, Muscle and Connective Tissue
Researchers have theorised that supplemental collagen may accumulate in cartilage and stimulate your tissues to make collagen. Some studies have shown that taking collagen supplements may help improve symptoms of osteoarthritis and reduce joint pain overall.
- Could Prevent Bone Loss
Just as the collagen in your body deteriorates as you age, so does bone mass. Studies have shown that taking collagen supplements may have certain effects in the body that help inhibit the bone breakdown that leads to osteoporosis.
- Could Boost Muscle Mass
Between 1–10% of muscle tissue is composed of collagen which is necessary to keep your muscles strong and functioning properly. Studies suggest that collagen supplements can help boost muscle mass in people with sarcopenia, the loss of muscle mass that happens with age.
Collagen is the essential building block in the human anatomy, however, its production drops as we age. Taking collagen is associated with a number of health benefits (as outlined above) and very few known risks. Collagen supplements are easy to use, and definitely worth trying for their potential benefits.