In my last blog, we discussed the research showing our bodies can absorb collagen powder. These studies showed the level of collagen peptides in our blood increases significantly one to two hours after taking collagen.
In the next series of blogs, I would like to look at how collagen powder works to increase the elasticity and hydration of our skin and address the visible signs of ageing by reducing the depth of our wrinkles.
There are many ways taking collagen powder can benefit our skin. So today I would like to look at one of the main benefits. This particular benefit is also associated with the most compelling research.
In this study, medical researchers were looking into potential treatments for osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a condition characterized by a loss of collagen in the cartilage. Because collagen is responsible for the tensile strength of a structure, a lack of collagen weakens the cartilage and contributes to the pain and discomfort experienced by osteoarthritis sufferers.
The researchers wanted to investigate the possibility of increasing the production of collagen to address this deficiency. They found that the answer was simply a matter of addressing the age-old problem of supply versus demand.
Collagen-producing cells demand a certain level of nutritional building blocks to produce collagen. Two of the essential nutrients required are the amino acids, proline and glycine. These form the basis or backbone of the collagen fibre. It used to be thought that our body could make these amino acids from other sources of dietary protein, but we now know that there is a significant problem with this process.
Our bodies are very inefficient at producing proline and glycine, and when you combine this with the fact they are also hard to source in our diet, then we have a problem of supply and demand. Because of this it appears most of us are in a state of permanent deficiency, neither being able to source or manufacture enough proline and glycine to meet our biological needs.
The researchers wanted to see if they could increase the amount of collagen produced simply by suppling our collagen-producing cells with more proline and glycine. They found that this was in fact what happened and it was relatively straight forward to double collagen production by providing the collagen-producing cells with these important building blocks. The researchers concluded that this would most likely benefit not only our cartilage but our bones and skin as well.
Collagen powder is a rich, bioavailable source of these vital amino acids. In fact, 25% of the dry weight of collagen peptides is pure glycine, the most effective of the two amino acids. This not only shows the benefits of taking collagen powder but also demonstrates the importance of nutrition for the proper functioning of our bodies.
In the next blog we will look at the way collagen powders protect the collagen our skin makes from being broken down.