Did you know collagen is the most common protein in your body? And because of that, it’s involved in just about everything you do each day, from walking down the street to taking care of yourself.
Not only do healthy levels of collagen keep you looking and feeling youthful, but it’s what actually helps your body function with ease and comfort.
Collagen supplies the building blocks to help you maintain strong bones and connective tissue, and provides cushioning for your joints to help you move comfortably and function properly as you age.
What’s more, it’s the “cellular glue” that helps hold together all the connective tissue in your body. Collagen provides structure and the building blocks for your muscles, bones, blood vessels, organs, and your digestive and immune systems.
As important as collagen may be for your body’s appearance and function, as you age, it becomes a struggle to maintain acceptable levels of collagen in your body. When you are younger, your body makes enough collagen to keep tissues pliable and youthful.
- By age 40, your body’s ability to produce its own collagen drops about 25%.
- By age 60, your production drops to about half of youthful levels.
- By age 80, you have about four times less collagen.
That’s why you’re likely to notice more sags and creases on your face and neck as you grow older. It’s not just aging that can threaten your healthy collagen levels and influence the overall youthfulness of your skin, hair, nails, bones, joints and connective tissue…
12 Factors Threatening Your Healthy Collagen Levels
Many nutritional, environmental and lifestyle habits and factors can put even younger individuals at risk, including the following:
- Excess free radicals from smoking, air pollution, Wi-Fi and cell phone radiation degrade collagen fibrils.
- Sugar and excess carbs can lead to systemic inflammation, which contributes to skin damage.
- Inactivity decreases collagen turnover, whereas exercise indirectly builds skin thickness by increasing blood flow, oxygen and nutrients to your skin.
- Unresolved stress and trauma produce excess cortisol, which increases collagen breakdown and decreases bone building and bone density.
- Inadequate sleep is associated with higher stress hormones, which can hasten the breakdown of your collagen.
- Alcohol damages your liver, dehydrates your skin and produces skin-damaging chemical substances.
- Caffeine significantly reduces cellular synthesis of collagen.
- Deficiency of nutrients (amino acids, vitamins and minerals) can impair your body’s collagen synthesis.
- Poor gut health and irregular elimination may impact absorption of nutrients and elimination of wastes, which can cause inflammation and other skin conditions.
- Hormone imbalances of the essential hormones DHEA, estrogen, testosterone, progesterone and pregnenolone may contribute to over- or under-production of oils in your skin, causing breakouts or dry, irritated skin.
- Fluoride in water can damage collagen and affect the bone mineral-collagen bond.
- Excessive sun exposure can lead to photo-damaged skin that’s resistant to collagen synthesis.
Many of these factors involve free radicals. Your skin can produce excess free radicals from habits like smoking or excessive alcohol consumption and attack your skin’s collagen. This can lead to the early onset of creasing, dryness and saggy skin.
The good news is you don’t have to live with – and accept the consequences of –declining levels of collagen in your skin or anywhere else in your body. You can slow the rate at which your levels decline and even build them back up with the right interventions.
Your First Clues Suggesting You May Need More Collagen
Because collagen makes up 70% of the protein in your skin and forms the foundation for your hair and nails, the loss of collagen can first appear as changes in your skin, hair and nails. So with declining levels of collagen, you may notice sags, lines and creases in your skin, limp and thinning hair, and increasingly brittle nails.
The largest organ in your body, your skin has three layers:
- The epidermis, or outermost layer of skin, provides a waterproof barrier.
- The dermis, below the epidermis, is home to connective tissue, sweat glands and hair follicles.
- The hypodermis, or deeper subcutaneous tissue, consists of fat and connective tissue.
The dermis layer serves to support and protect your skin while providing a connective tissue framework for strength and flexibility.
As your skin ages, the collagen in the dermis weakens and loses its tensile strength. With age, your skin also loses elastin, fibroblasts and hyaluronic acid, all essential components of youthful-looking skin.
Older skin actually becomes thinner because it contains less collagen and elastin.
Collagen provides the strength and firmness to support your skin’s structure while elastin, the main constituent of connective tissue, contributes softness and elasticity. With adequate collagen, skin cells can renew and repair themselves with ease.
How You May Benefit From All 3 Types of Collagen
Your body can’t produce collagen on its own, so you must obtain it through your diet and supplemental sources.
When supplying your body with the extra collagen it may require, you need to know that there are nearly two dozen types of collagen. So how do you know which types may be best for you?
There are three types that make up 80 to 90% of the total collagen in your body, and they include:
- Type I – The most abundant type of collagen in your body, found mainly in your skin, connective tissues, bones, teeth, tendons, ligaments and organs.
- Type II – This type makes up the majority of the collagen in your joint cartilage.
- Type III – This type is found mostly in your gastrointestinal tract, skin, muscle and blood vessels.
For a strong, youthful body from head to toe, you need all three types of collagen. If you wanted predominantly skin benefits, type l collagen would be an excellent choice. For joint health, you might select a type ll collagen. Type lll might be the right choice if you wanted to support your intestinal health.*
But what if you could get all three types together? Wouldn’t that make sense if you were interested in total body benefits?
Collagen Complex is a unique combination of three ingredients, supplying types l, ll and lll collagen:
- Marine Collagen Peptides
- Organic Beef Bone Broth Concentrate
- UC-ll® Undenatured Type II Chicken Collagen
Let’s take a closer look at the first type of collagen you’ll find in Collagen Complex – Marine Collagen Peptides.
One of My Favorite Sources of Type l Collagen From the Sea
Collagen from marine sources is type I – the main type of collagen in your body. The principal component of your skin’s dermis layer, type l collagen is stored in your skin and connective tissues. Its plentiful amino acids provide many potential benefits for your skin, including protecting against damaging free radicals and maintaining healthy skin lipid levels.*
This type of collagen is essential for the elasticity, flexibility and strength of your skin, tendons and ligaments as well as your cornea, cartilage, bones, teeth, blood vessels and gut.*
While several different sources offer type I collagen – cows, pigs, chicken and fish – one of my favorites is from marine sources. Made from the collagen-rich skin of deep-sea cod (Gadus morhua), the marine collagen in Collagen Complex offers these unique qualities:
- Fish skin is rich in collagen, which makes up between 70% and 80% of the skin’s dry weight.
- The protein-containing scales on fish skin contains 18 different amino acids, a high proportion of which have a strong calcium-binding affinity, adding to your calcium intake and potentially improving calcium bioavailability, or how your body utilizes calcium.*
- Cod skin collagen is rich in beneficial amino acids like glycine, alanine, proline and hydroxyproline, with small traces of cysteine and tyrosine.
Sustainability is another important reason why I like cod as a collagen source. Codfish are not harvested for their skins. However, the processing of cod into fillets leaves behind more than 30 thousand tons of fish skin annually in waste. Harvesting the cod skin’s abundant collagen makes good sense.
The marine collagen in Collagen Complex is made from wild-caught cod, eco-harvested from the sparkling clear waters of the North Atlantic Ocean in Norway by sustainable fisheries.
To ensure quality, traceability and sustainability of the marine collagen, our Collagen Complex is certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).
From the World’s Largest Cod Stock in Norway – Marine Collagen Peptides
Wild-caught cod offers one of the purest sources of high-quality collagen peptides available on the market today.
What are peptides? Containing more than 90% protein, collagen peptides are small protein fragments created through a process called enzymatic hydrolysis.
The preferred method for processing fish skins, clean and gentle enzymatic hydrolysis preserves the skin’s nutritional value and does not leave residual organic solvents or harsh, toxic chemicals in the finished product.
During the enzymatic hydrolysis process, larger molecules are broken down into smaller ones, which allows the collagen peptides to become bioactive. Plus, the collagen peptides become water-soluble during this process, allowing them to be detected intact in circulating blood two hours after ingestion.
Two factors make marine collagen peptides optimally beneficial for humans – their smaller particle size and lower molecular weight.
A lower molecular weight allows the collagen peptides to be easily absorbed in your digestive tract. Once absorbed, they deliver their amino acids and high concentrations of peptides to support your skin, joint, connective tissue and bones.*
Here are just a few of the potential benefits of collagen peptides from marine sources:
- Youthful looking skin – Marine collagen hydrolysate promotes a youthful skin appearance and feel, and helps reduce the signs of premature aging, especially from environmental assaults. An eight-week clinical trial of women aged 35 to 55 years showed a significant increase in skin elasticity and reduced appearance of fine lines.*
- Increased skin moisture – A comprehensive study with fish collagen peptides showed a positive effect on skin moisture. Skin moisture levels rose by 12% over an eight-week period, and skin collagen density increased due to an increase in water-binding glycosaminoglycans and collagen content in the skin.*
- Positive effects on the musculoskeletal system – Scientific and preclinical studies show positive effects of marine collagen on tendon flexibility, ligament stability, bone metabolism, bone matrix mineralization, muscle and bone integrity, as well as increased collagen synthesis and positive effects on collagen quality.*
Collagen supplements can be unhydrolyzed or hydrolyzed – and sometimes, the choice can be a confusing one.
The Pros and Cons of Hydrolyzed Collagen
Hydrolysis allows certain peptides to enter your bloodstream intact before they are broken down into their component parts. This is the case with the marine-sourced collagen found in Collagen Complex.
When taken orally, hydrolyzed marine collagen peptides reach your small intestine, where they are absorbed into your blood stream.
Through your network of blood vessels, collagen peptides are distributed in your body, particularly your dermis, or the inner layer of your skin. Studies show the peptides can remain there for up to 14 days.
However, for other types of collagen, the hydrolysis process can be harsh and can lead to unwanted byproducts in the end product.
Hydrolyzed bovine, or beef, collagen is often removed from animal hides, making it a byproduct of the leather industry. Many tanneries use sulfuric acid and chromium salts during processing, making it a less desirable product.
For collagen made from bovine or beef bone broth, I prefer unhydrolyzed collagen, as it has a balanced and complete amino acid ratio. Unhydrolyzed whole-food collagen, such as beef bone broth concentrate, contains isolated peptides, too.
This is the type we use for the collagen from beef bone broth concentrate in Collagen Complex.
Beef Bone Collagen for Your Skin, Joints and More
It’s important to remember that firm, glowing skin starts inside your body, so you must provide the building blocks your body needs to support both your existing collagen and the production of new collagen.
Your body requires certain amino acids to produce the different types of collagen in your body. Beef bone broth concentrate provides all the key ones: glycine, proline, glutamine, arginine and hydroxyproline.
In fact, the collagen in organic beef is similar to the collagen in your body, which may explain why its amino acids are so potentially beneficial in supporting your skin health, joints and bones, gastrointestinal tract, muscles and more.*
The challenge with animal collagen protein is that it’s concentrated mostly in the parts we don’t typically eat – the bones, skin and tougher cuts of meat with a lot of tough connective tissue. Simmering these parts and the surrounding joint and connective tissues releases collagen, which is why bone broth is such a valuable source of collagen.
Beef bone concentrate contains abundant types I, II, and III collagen as well as other types that are key components in your skin, nails, hair, tendons, ligaments, muscles, bones, joints, gut and blood vessels.
Plus, beef bone concentrate contains easily absorbed minerals that support collagen production like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulfur and potassium.
Here are just a few of the ways beef bone concentrate may help your skin, joints, gut and more:
- Helps form elastin and other compounds in your skin to maintain youthful tone and texture, and to reduce the appearance of fine lines*
- Supports digestion by increasing stomach acid and attracting and holding liquids, including digestive juices in your gut*
- Helps restore and maintain gut health, as well as support your immune function*
- Provides cushioning between bones to help them glide more effortlessly*
- Supplies the building blocks to help maintain cartilage and bone health, and bone mineral density*
- Supports your body’s normal detoxification processes as a precursor amino acid for glutathione*
- Supports muscle growth and energy production during exercise by forming creatine along with two other amino acids*
- Supports the building of DNA and RNA, the genetic building blocks for healthy cells*
- Supports your body’s normal, healthy inflammatory response*
- Promotes a feeling of calmness and may even help you sleep*
The effects of this type of collagen are long lasting, too. Researchers have discovered that after collagen is absorbed in the digestive tract, it travels to the skin and other areas to make new collagen for up to 96 hours.
The Organic Beef Bone Concentrate Powder in Collagen Complex comes from grass fed, organically raised cows born and raised in the U.S. without the addition of hormones and antibiotics to their diet.
Using Chicken Collagen? Know Its Source
If you’re using any type of collagen supplement now, do you know where it comes from?
Most bone broth and collagen products on the market are not from organically raised animals, especially chicken bone broths.
Factory-farmed animals, or those raised in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), are typically fed a genetically engineered diet and given antibiotics and growth hormones. Unfortunately, traces of these substances can remain in the collagen.
The Consumer Wellness Center (CWC) tested eight of the most popular non-organic poultry-based collagen products sold online. Not surprisingly, they found potentially hazardous contaminants associated with CAFOs, suggesting that factory-farmed animal by products are routinely used to make non-organic collagen.
Besides the trace amounts of antibiotics and insecticides widely used throughout the animal-based food supply, researchers also found these unwanted contaminants in some of the products:
- Butylparaben – An endocrine-disrupting chemical associated with reduced testosterone levels and abnormal shape, size and motility of sperm
- Cyclandelate – A vasodilator drug
- Netilmicin – An antibiotic
Undesirable animal byproducts and contaminants aren’t the only reasons to avoid factory-farmed animal products. There are also concerns about antibiotic resistance, animal welfare and environmental pollution.
If you try to limit your consumption of CAFO meats (which I recommend doing), doesn’t it make sense to also avoid non-organic bone broth and collagen products made from factory-farmed animals?
Live Life to Its Fullest With the Help of Type ll Collagen*
Life is all about living. So of course, you want to be able to stay active as long as you can, with comfort and ease of movement.
The third type of collagen in Collagen Complex is known for its potential to support bone and joint health. UC-II® Undenatured Type II Collagen is a patented form of collagen powder with active, type II collagen. Several clinical trials have demonstrated the potential benefits of this specific type of undenatured type II collagen:
- A group of women with joint concerns achieved clinically meaningful joint health benefits after 42 days.
- A group of younger, active consumers who developed knee joint discomfort following strenuous exercise reported significant beneficial effects.
- Two clinical trials confirmed similar benefits in people with knee joint issues.
The ability of UC-II® Undenatured Type II Collagen to support joint comfort, mobility and flexibility is attributed to its undenatured type II collagen. As opposed to collagen that may be denatured, or structurally changed by the addition of heat or chemicals, this type retains its natural composition and structure for optimal benefits.
Best of all, this patented form of undenatured type II collagen comes from chickens responsibly raised with outdoor access year-round and fed a 100% vegetarian and non-GMO diet.
How Much Collagen Does Your Supplement Really Contain?
When shopping for a collagen supplement, you need to know that no lab method exists for measuring collagen content. Therefore, the amount of collagen claimed on the label may or may not be what is in the product.
We do things differently with Collagen Complex and our other collagen products. To ensure the levels of collagen in the finished product match our label, we use an industry-proven calculation based on the known hydroxyproline content of the collagen.
So how can you know for sure how much collagen a product actually provides?
First, find the amino acid profile of the product you are considering. The amino acid hydroxyproline should be included, so multiply the hydroxyproline total by 7.8. The number you come up with is the actual collagen content and should match what is claimed on the label for collagen.
To help guarantee that our labels always match the finished product, we have specifications in place to ensure the finished product is tested for the hydroxyproline content.
With something as valuable as collagen, you want to make sure you are getting what you pay for. Now, by using this hydroxyproline calculation, you can know exactly what you are getting.
Put Our Triple-Blend Collagen Complex to the Test, and Take Back Your Life Today
Youthful-looking skin, lustrous hair and strong nails are just the tip of the iceberg when considering all of collagen’s potential benefits for your overall health.*
Not only can supplemental collagen help you turn back the years in your appearance, but it can also help you move with ease and feel confident that your body’s tissues, bones and gut are receiving the support they may need.*
Formulated from three of the finest ingredient sources of collagen, Collagen Complex provides the collagen your body needs to not only look and feel but also function at its optimal best.*
By replenishing collagen, you can help your body restore and maintain its youthfulness.* Take Control of Your Health® with Collagen Complex with its three outstanding sources of collagen from land and sea, and order your supply today.