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Which Collagen to Choose?

When you walk into any health food store nowadays, inevitably you will find a section that house different brands and types of collagen. "Which brand should I buy?", "Why is there collagen for joint, for muscle, for bone, and for hair skin & nail?" "Marine or bovine, which one is better?" Read on to find out ...

Collagen is a type of structural protein and is found abundantly in connective tissue, skin, tendons, bones and cartilage. The body produces collagen naturally but its production declines as we age. The loss and damage lead to sign of ageing such as sagging skin, wrinkles, bone strength.

Foods that are rich in collagen includes bones, skin and ligaments of animals. Eating adequate proteins will help support the body's collagen production. Maintaining a healthy eating and life style also helps with healthy collagen production. Studies have shown that taking collagen supplements may reduce appearance of wrinkles, improve skin hydration and increase bone density.

There are over 26 types of collagen. However, Type 1, 2 and 3 accounts for more than 95% of the body's collagen. Type 1 and 3 collagen are densely packed fibres and they provide structure to and maintain skin, bones, tendons, fibrous cartilage, connective tissue, and teeth. Type 2 collagen is made of more loosely packed fibres found in elastic cartilage, which cushions the joints.

Most of the collagen products in the market are type 1 and 3 collagen as they are the most abundant in the body. Some products have collagen for joint, bone, skin and muscle but you can't find any difference in their amino acid profile or nutritional info and you wonder why? The difference in each of the products is where and how the amino acid chain is split which make each product with unique molecular weight, size and structural properties.

Bovine collagen are made from cow hides. The collagen protein are extracted and then hydrolysed into more digestible amino acid peptides. We recommend grass-fed collagen to avoid artificial growth hormones and excessive antibiotics. Bovine collagen consists mainly of type 1 and 3 collagen which play a major role in the growth and repair of bones, tendons, ligaments and skin. It has no "beefy" smell or taste and is perfect for those with shellfish allergies.

Marine collagen are made from fish skin and scales. The production is similar to that of bovine - protein extraction follows by hydrolysation. We recommend you go for wild-caught fish and from sources of sustainable fisheries. Marine collagen is almost exclusively type 1 collagen and the peptide molecules are smaller than that of bovine making it more bioavailable. Few studies have shown that marine collagen may be better than bovine in reducing those wrinkles!

Type 2 collagen is the main collagenous substance found in cartilage. Cartilage is particularly prone to wear-and-tear partly because it's avascular, it doesn't have blood supply for the direct delivery of nutrients but via "diffusion" through the surrounding connective tissue. This means injuries will heal slower and sometimes cartilage damage is considered irreversible due to the degradation of type 2 collagen.

Type 2 collagen can be obtained from chicken sternal cartilage. It is taken in a much lower dose than type 1 or 3 collagen of 1~3g per day, and it should be taken on an empty stomach. It has been shown to stimulate proteoglycan synthesis in chondrocytes and protects cartilage from degradation; reduce inflammation in the joints; and it act fast, the benefits can be realised in a matter of a few weeks!

We stock a good range of high quality bovine, marine collagen. Whether you choose bovine collagen or marine collagen, you can't really go wrong. Regular use will help you body stay strong and beautiful.

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1 Comment

Kwong Keet Chan
Kwong Keet Chan
Dec 31, 2022

Does collagen really works?

About two years ago, one of our customer who had bone-on-bone on both knees, walked on clutches, and needed to visit the doctor to draw fluid out of the joint; was given the ultimatum to have both knees replaced. Those knees were healed and restored after 8 months of taking collagen and she can walk normally without pain. Thanks to her, we've so many more customers who believe in the nutritional value of collagen for their joint health.

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