Skin changes are among the first visible clues that your body is aging. And along with the sags and lines, come increasingly brittle nails and thinning hair.
As disheartening as these changes may look and feel, it’s what you don’t see in the mirror that can be an even greater threat to your overall well-being.
Collagen is the protein that keeps your skin, hair and nails looking youthful and healthy. However, it’s also the cellular glue that helps hold together all the connective tissue in your body, providing the structure for your bones, muscles, tendons, joint cartilage, blood vessels and organs, including your entire digestive system.
In other words, this essential protein plays a crucial role in your appearance, and it greatly influences how you feel – even how well your body moves and functions as you age.
Collagen makes up as much as 80% of the protein in your skin and between 25% and 30% of the total proteins in your body. It’s the most common protein – and the most abundant substance – in your body, second only to water.
Without sufficient collagen, you can only imagine how all the different parts of your body may not work as well as you’d like.
How Your Skin Changes With Age
When you are young and have high levels of collagen, your skin is perky, smooth, moist and firm. Skin cells renew and repair themselves with ease. As your skin ages, its collagen weakens and loses its tensile strength in the dermis, or second layer of your skin, as shown in the diagram below.
With advancing age, your skin not only takes on a lined appearance, but it also becomes thinner. It contains less collagen and less elastin.
Elastin and collagen work together to keep your skin looking youthful. Collagen provides the strength and firmness to support your skin’s structure while elastin contributes softness and elasticity.
In your younger years, your body makes enough collagen to keep tissues pliable and youthful. However, once you pass your mid-20s, that begins to change.
By the time you reach 40, your body’s ability to produce its own collagen drops about 25%. Your production drops to about half of youthful levels by age 60.
Once you’re in your 80s, you have about four times less collagen. That’s why you’re likely to notice more skin creasing and sagging on your face and neck. However, 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 That Can Hasten the Loss of Collagen Throughout Your Body
Other nutritional, environmental and lifestyle factors also play key roles in your body’s production of collagen and how fast you can lose it. Some of these factors include:
- Deficiency of nutrients (amino acids, vitamins and minerals) needed for collagen synthesis.
- Poor gut health and irregular elimination may impact absorption of nutrients and elimination of wastes.
- Hormone imbalances of the essential hormones DHEA, estrogen, testosterone, progesterone and pregnenolone.
- Sugar and excess carbs can lead to systemic inflammation which contributes to skin damage.
- Fluoride in water can damage collagen and affect the bone mineral-collagen bond.
- Stress and trauma produce excess cortisol which increases collagen breakdown and decreases bone building and bone density.
- Excess free radicals from smoking, air pollution, Wi-Fi and cell phone radiation degrade collagen fibrils.
- Alcohol damages your liver, dehydrates your skin, and produces skin-damaging chemical substances.
- Caffeine significantly reduces cellular synthesis of collagen.
- Inactivity decreases collagen turnover, whereas exercise indirectly builds skin thickness by increasing blood flow, oxygen and nutrients to your skin.
- Inadequate sleep is associated with higher stress hormones which can hasten the breakdown of collagen.
- Excessive sun exposure can lead to photo-damaged skin that’s resistant to collagen synthesis.
Free radicals are the common denominator in many of these factors. When your skin produces excess free radicals from factors like smoking or too much sun exposure, they attack the skin’s collagen. This can lead to the early onset of creasing, dryness and saggy skin.
The good news is you don’t need to accept declining levels of collagen in your skin or anywhere else in your body. It is possible to slow the rate at which your levels decline and even build them back up with the right interventions.
How to Delay Your Losses and Rebuild Collagen
First, it’s important to understand that rebuilding collagen is an “inside job.” Healthy, glowing skin starts inside your body with the support of your collagen production and the protection of the collagen you have now.
Don’t expect collagen-enhanced creams, ointments and moisturizers to do the trick. The collagen molecules in these products are typically too large to cross your skin barrier into the deeper layers of your skin, much less the rest of your body where the need for collagen may be even greater.
There are many common-sense actions you can take right now to help slow your losses and start rebuilding collagen in your skin, hair, nails, joints, bones and connective tissue throughout your body.
Simply avoiding and correcting the above 12 factors is an outstanding first step.
Regular exercise and movement stimulates collagen production and diet, clean water, sleep and sensible sun exposure all play important roles in supporting healthy levels of collagen throughout your body.
Using effective air purifiers in your indoor living space is other important strategy. Dirty air and dust particles can speed up skin aging. You’ll find whole home, room, auto and personal air purifiers in our online store that I personally use and recommend.
Once you’ve slowed the loss, how can you rebuild levels of collagen?
Collagen is a compound of essential amino acids that your body can’t produce on its own. You must obtain it through your diet and supplemental sources.
There are many different types of collagen, but Type I is the most abundant type in your body. It’s found in your connective tissues, tendons and bones, as well as your skin.
You have several options for supplementing with collagen. Type I collagen supplements can be sourced from cows, pigs, chicken or fish.
While animal protein is an excellent source of collagen, it’s concentrated mostly in the parts we don’t typically eat – the bones, skin and tougher cuts of meat with a lot of connective tissue, including tendons and ligaments.
One way to obtain the collagen from these parts is to create a nutrient-dense, flavorful bone broth or stock. Organic bone broth is one of the best sources of collagen, and it’s the source of our Organic Collagen from Grass Fed Beef Bone Broth.
However, not all bone broth or other collagen products can be trusted.
The Problem With Many Poultry, Bovine and Porcine Collagen Products
When purchasing any bone broth or collagen product, the first thing you want to find out is where the collagen came from. The vast majority of 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.
The last thing you want are traces of these potentially harmful additives in your collagen.
The Consumer Wellness Center (CWC) tested eight of the most popular non-organic poultry-based collagen products sold online. Not surprising, they found potentially hazardous contaminants associated with CAFOs, suggesting that factory-farmed animal byproducts 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 rampant concerns about antibiotic resistance, animal welfare and environmental pollution.
If you’ve already started making the switch away from eating CAFO meats, which is a great health strategy, it only makes sense to avoid non-organic bone broth and collagen products made from factory-farmed animals.
Wild Caught Marine Collagen – An Emerging Alternative to Poultry, Pork and Beef Collagen
If you are vegetarian or pescatarian, or have religious beliefs about using certain animal products, finding a suitable collagen supplement can be challenging.
In response to those needs, and to provide others with much-wanted variety, an alternative source of collagen is gaining fast in popularity – collagen made from fish.
Wild Caught Marine Collagen is an outstanding alternative to traditional sources of collagen and provides a much-welcomed alternative for those wishing to avoid or minimize their consumption of mammal-derived ingredients.
Made with wild-caught, deep-sea cod (Gadus morhua), Marine Collagen offers some unique qualities compared to other sources of collagen.
Collagen from marine sources is Type I – the main type of collagen in the human body. Type I collagen is produced and stored in the cells in skin and connective tissues, and plays a major role in bone tissue.
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, blood vessels and gut.*
Marine Collagen is available in a convenient tablet form and is made from the skin of cod, which is advantageous for several reasons:
- 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 and eco-harvesting are other key factors. Codfish are not harvested for their skins. An important fish in the commercial food market, cod is typically processed into fillets, leaving behind more than 30 thousand tons of fish skin annually, which would be discarded otherwise.
What Makes Our Marine Collagen Peptides so Beneficial to Your Health
Wild Caught Marine Collagen provides the purest source of high-quality collagen peptides available on the market today.
So, just what are peptides? Peptides are small protein fragments, and collagen peptides are a bioavailable and highly water soluble form of collagen created through enzymatic hydrolysis. They contain more than 90% protein, making them an exceptional source of collagen.
Two factors make the peptides in our Marine Collagen exceptionally valuable for human supplementation – their smaller particle size and lower molecular weight.
The peptides in our Marine Collagen tablets have an average molecular weight of 3000 Da. Da, an abbreviation for Dalton, is the standard unit used to represent the weight of large molecules such as proteins.
This 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 hydroxyproline and hydroxyproline-glycine dipeptides to support your skin, joint and bone health.*
Compared to some other types of collagen, like larger gelatin molecules, these collagen peptides are more easily digested and used by your body.
Studies show a wide range of potential benefits from oral fish-derived collagen peptides, as in our Marine Collagen, including these major ones:
- Youthful looking skin – Marine collagen hydrolysate promotes a youthful skin appearance and feel, helping to reduce the signs of premature aging, especially from environmental assaults. A 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 moisturization. Skin moisture levels rose by 12% over an eight-week period, and skin collagen density increased, attributed to an increase in water-binding glycosaminoglycans and collagen content in the skin.*
- Positive effects on the musculoskeletal system – Many scientific and preclinical studies show positive effects 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.*
Hydrolyzed Collagen – Without the Unwanted Byproducts
Collagen supplements can be either unhydrolyzed or hydrolyzed. The collagen peptides in Marine Collagen are a hydrolyzed form of collagen.
When collagen is hydrolyzed, certain peptides are able to enter your bloodstream intact before they are broken down into their component parts. The peptides in Marine Collagen supply the necessary amino acids for the production of collagen in your skin and connective tissues.*
The argument of unhydrolyzed versus hydrolyzed collagen is a complex one.
Unhydrolyzed collagen typically contains a wider spectrum of preserved amino acids, or peptides. On the other hand, hydrolyzed collagen appears to have greater bioavailability because it has isolated, or broken-down, the fragment peptides to more absorbable lengths.
The hydrolyzation process can be a harsh one and can lead to unwanted byproducts in the end product. This is the main reason I tend to prefer unhydrolyzed collagen for certain types of collagen, such as our Organic Collagen from Grass Fed Beef Bone Broth.
Hydrolyzed bovine, or beef, collagen is often a byproduct of the leather industry and removed from animal hides. Many tanneries use sulfuric acid and chromium salts during processing, making it a less desirable product.
Enzymatic hydrolysis is the preferred method of processing fish skins. This cleaner, more gentle method preserves the skin’s nutritional value and does not leave residual organic solvents or harsh, toxic chemicals in the finished product.
Once the processing of the raw material is complete, the enzymes are deactivated with charcoal and heat.
During the enzymatic hydrolysis process, larger molecules are broken down into smaller ones, which allows the collagen peptides to become bioactive.
Through the enzymatic hydrolysis process, the collagen peptides become water-soluble and the resulting small di- or tripeptides can be detected intact in circulating blood two hours after ingestion.
How Hydrolyzed Marine Collagen Peptides Work in Your Body
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.
Your dermis is made up of collagen, connective tissue and other components like hair follicles, sweat glands, blood vessels and nerve endings.
The main role of the dermis is to support and protect the skin while providing a connective tissue framework for the strength, flexibility and protection of the deeper anatomical structures. It also plays an important role in sensation and your body’s temperature regulation.
Type I collagen is the principal component of the dermis. Because of collagen’s abundant amino acids, the bioactive peptides offer other valuable functions, such as:
- Antioxidant activity against damaging free radicals.*
- Maintaining healthy lipid levels in the skin.*
- Mineral-binding to support nutrition.*
- Supporting a proper immune response.*
- Supporting skin, bone and joint health.*
Our Marine Collagen, Straight From the Crystal Clear Waters of Norway
Harvested from the crystal clear, cold waters of the North Atlantic Ocean, Wild Caught Marine Collagen comes from the world’s largest cod stock in Norway.
Also known by the common names of Atlantic Cod and Norwegian Arctic Cod, these fish play a key role in Norwegian history as a vital resource cherished by early settlers. Here are some unique features of these highly regarded fish and the steps the Norwegian government takes to preserve their integrity:
- The Atlantic Cod migrates from the Barents Sea to their original spawning grounds off the coast of Norway.
- This cod fishing season is short and only happens during the winter (typically January to April), when the fish are abundant and have returned to their spawning grounds in Norway.
- The Norwegian Coast Guard has a heavy presence along the Norwegian coast to keep both domestic and foreign fishing boats within the law by patrolling, monitoring fishing activity and inspecting catches.
- The Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries is a government agency that works closely with the Coast Guard to ensure preservation of the fish stocks, sustainability, fair business practices and food safety.
- Fishing methods vary but include line fishing, nets and trawls, even bottom trawls, but they are not used where there are coral reefs.
As impressive as these safeguards may sound, we take it one step further to ensure both sustainability and quality.
MSC Certification Guarantees Quality, Traceability and Sustainability
With today’s fisheries, sustainability has never been more important.
When you see the blue certification emblem for the Marine Stewardship Council, or MSC, you know the product has been responsibly harvested and produced. This prestigious certification covers everything that happens from boat to plate.
Wild Caught Marine Collagen bears the MSC seal, ensuring its adherence to MSC’s Chain of Custody standard for sustainability. With MSC certification, every company that handles the product from harvesting to finished product:
- Has been independently audited to make sure the MSC eco-label is only used on certified sustainable products.
- Stores MSC-certified items separately.
- Keeps effective records of MSC-certified products.
Traceability is a major quality element involved in the “boat to plate” certification that is often overlooked. Proper traceability:
- Ensures that the codfish are sourced from an MSC-certified fishery.
- Protects buyers (like you) and fisheries from fraudulent labeling.
- Avoids risk of fisheries carrying products from illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing.
The supplier for Marine Collagen provides 100% traceability of the codfish from sea to shelf in a controlled value chain, including harvesting, processing and its logistics, to final processing, product specs and internal and external audits.
All this means we’re able to trace the fish back to the exact location of harvest, using the GPS systems aboard each vessel. So each bottle of Marine Collagen is traceable back to the North Atlantic Ocean location where the fish was actually harvested.
Other Nutrients That Can Help Boost Your Body’s Collagen Levels
Once you’ve found the right supplemental collagen product for you – and I hope that is either Marine Collagen or Organic Collagen from Grass Fed Beef Bone Broth – there’s one further step you can take to help boost your levels. Several nutrients are known for their ability to support healthy collagen levels in your body, including:
- Panax or Korean Ginseng increases the amount of Type 1 collagen in your bloodstream by stimulating the production of fibroblasts in the dermis layer of the skin.*
- Vitamin C is an essential co-factor in the biosynthesis of collagen and important for youthful-looking skin. It is also the most plentiful antioxidant in human skin and protects the skin from damaging reactive oxygen species (ROS) and oxidative stress that can lead to collagen breakdown.*
- Antioxidants, such as those found in vegetables like kale, spinach and beet greens, protect against damaging free radicals and enhance the effects of the collagen you have.
- Garlic contains sulfur, an important component for collagen production, and lipoic acid and taurine to help rebuild damaged collagen fibers.
Look and Feel Your Best With Our Wild Caught Marine Collagen
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.*
You can’t be too careful when choosing a collagen product. Always consider the:
- Source of the collagen. Is it from a factory-farmed animal?
- Amount or dose of collagen you’re actually getting. Is the dose standardized?
- Bioavailability of the collagen. How easily can your body use it?
- Processing methods used to obtain the collagen and whether they might have left behind traces of harsh chemicals and toxic compounds.
Wild Caught Marine Collagen scores top grades for each variable, so there is no question of its quality and efficacy.
Three tablets daily, ideally taken on an empty stomach, provide a standardized dose of 1.5 grams of Type I collagen peptides from cod to support your healthy skin, hair, nails, bones, joints, gut, tendons, ligaments and blood vessels.*
Order Wild Caught Marine Collagen today.