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Anyone who’s interested in maintaining a youthful complexion and reducing wrinkles has likely heard of collagen supplements. Collagen is a protein that serves as a key building block in connective animal tissue. It is the most abundant protein in the human body.
The dermis, or inner layer of the skin, is made up of mostly collagen, which gives the skin its resilience, strength, and texture. Aging leads to the breakdown of collagen, causing wrinkles, sagging skin, and rough texture. By the time we reach 30 years of age, we stop producing collagen and our body loses collagen at a rate of 1-2% each year.
There are two types of supplements that stimulate collagen growth for skin: collagen builders consisting of key essential amino acids and ingestible hydrolyzed collagen.
Collagen Builder – Stimulating Collagen Synthesis with Amino Acids
Collagen builders, or amino acids, are purported to support collagen production and help maintain moisture. They contain amino acids that supply nutrients to the skin, hair, and nails while strengthening connective tissue. Amino acids are organic compounds that combine to form proteins.
Taking amino acid supplements to build collagen is cheaper than taking collagen supplements, but hydrolyzed collagen supplements are more effective at restoring collagen because they contain the complete concentrations and ratios of amino acids needed to build a complete collagen molecule chain.
What Is In A Collagen Molecule?
A collagen molecule is made up of 20 amino acids that are bound together in a helix chain. Collagen is composed of a triple helix, generally consisting of two identical chains and a third chain with a slightly different composition.
Collagen is predominantly made up of the amino acids Glycine, Proline, and Hydroxyproline, which together represent about 50% of total amino acid content. Made from fish skin, hydrolyzed marine collagen peptides contain a higher concentration of hydroxyproline than other types of collagen. Hydroxyproline peptides stimulate cells in the skin, bones, and joints, leading to collagen synthesis.
Replenish Lost Collagen with a Hydrolyzed Marine Collagen Supplement
Many companies have hopped onto the collagen bandwagon, so there are a number of different collagen drinks and collagen supplements out there to choose from. Not all of these collagen supplements are necessarily effective; however, collagen supplements that contain hydrolyzed collagen from marine sources have been proven to play a protective role in skin aging.
In their natural, unhydrolyzed state, collagen molecules are quite large and thus not effectively absorbed by the intestine. The process of hydrolysis breaks collagen down into small molecular fragments to enhance absorption, also known as collagen peptides.
Marine collagen peptides are preferable to bovine, porcine, or chicken collagen because they have a high concentration of amino acids that stimulate collagen synthesis.
When ingested, hydrolyzed collagen reaches the small intestine and then is absorbed into the bloodstream in the form of small collagen peptides and free amino acids. These collagen peptides and free amino acids are then distributed to the dermis. The free amino acids provide building blocks for the formation of collagen and elastin fibers.
You need up to 18 different amino acids in the right quantities and ratio to create a collagen molecule. Collagen builders made with different amino acids typically only contain glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline, but not in their complete ratios and concentrations. They also lack other minor but important amino acids necessary to construct a complete collagen molecule helix chain. Hence, in comparison, Hydrolyzed Collagen is more effective because it is already a complete molecule chain and smaller size, contains the complete amino acid sequence and can be absorbed and transported to