What is collagen and how does supplementing it benefit our health?
Collagen is a hot topic right now and given the recent research demonstrating how supplementing hydrolysed collagen can improve joint, skin, hair, nail, and gut health, it’s no wonder! People’s rising demand for collagen to support overall health is telling – they have come to recognise it as the anti-ageing panacea. For example, according to […]
By elenzia / August 04th 2021 / Blog
Collagen is a hot topic right now and given the recent research demonstrating how supplementing hydrolysed collagen can improve joint, skin, hair, nail, and gut health, it’s no wonder!
People’s rising demand for collagen to support overall health is telling – they have come to recognise it as the anti-ageing panacea. For example, according to google trends, online searches for collagen have more than doubled since the year 2015 and this is only projected to keep on rising.
See Google Trends Report Here
But what exactly is collagen? And why is hydrolysed collagen more beneficial?
What is Collagen?
The word “collagen” comes from the Greek word kolla – gennao which means glue – I produce. This is very fitting as collagen is technically the glue that holds the entire body together and something that we continuously produce until we age. Unfortunately, science has shown us that the ageing process and therefore the degradation of collagen can start from as early as the age of 20!
Collagen is a specific form of proteins bound together by what can be described as fibres to form an extracellular matrix compressed into specific structures to suit different areas throughout our entire body. See our blog post on how collagen is formed within the skin.
If you consider that after water the human body is mostly made of protein, and the most abundant protein in the human body is collagen, serving as a foundation to all structural functions, then it is no surprise producing and restoring it is vital to living a happy and healthy life. Collagen makes up the integrity of your skin, tendons, cartilage, ligaments, bones and much more, and until recently was the most over-looked nutritional compound known to support health. For example, we tend to think of calcium as the substance that makes up our bones but how many of us realise our bones are actually mostly made from collagen, then followed by calcium!
In short, if we want our bodies to function as well as they do while we are young, we need to continuously produce and restore collagen.
So how do we do this? How do we boost the production of collagen in our body?
This is where supplementing hydrolysed collagen plays a key role.
As mentioned, collagen is a protein and when we consume protein it is broken down into building blocks and reassembled where it is needed throughout the body. However, as we age, restoring collagen becomes less and less of a priority. Those building blocks are prioritised elsewhere and naturally the production of collagen slows down. To overcome this, scientists have found a way to partially break down collagen proteins through a process known as hydrolysis, which tailors the size and shape of the collagen protein making it more bioavailable before we ingest it. This means the pre-broken-down collagen known as hydrolysed collagen is easily absorbed straight into the blood stream where it acts as a messenger, telling the body to prioritise some building blocks for collagen production and start restoring it in the areas where it is needed most. Hence why supplementing hydrolysed collagen has become recognised as the holy grail for anti-aging!
What are the proven benefits of supplementing hydrolysed collagen?
Benefit 1: Joint health
Collagen helps maintain the integrity of your cartilage, which is the rubber-like tissue that protects your joints. Unfortunately, as our life experience increases, the amount of collagen in our body decreases. In turn this increases our risk of developing degenerative joint disorders such as osteoarthritis.
Research has shown that taking collagen supplements can help reduce symptoms of osteoarthritis and joint pain overall. In addition to this, clinical trials demonstrate that those who supplemented hydrolysed collagen over ordinary collagen, not only required less in the amount they supplemented daily to feel the benefits, but also saw a significantly higher reduction in pain and improvement to their mobility. A review of the research suggests this is due to its increased ability to lower inflammation, strengthen joint tendons, and improve recovery post exercise.
Earlier this year, we put the science to the test! In order to truly see the benefits of hydrolysed collagen for the everyday person, we created a consumer lifestyle study to show our customers how supplementing elénzia Restore™, our hydrolysed collagen supplement, could truly help them.
Our study looked at the everyday person aged 18-72 who suffers from some level of joint pain post exercise – that could be anything from achy knees after walking the dog, to painful ankles after running a marathon that only pain killers will relieve. During the study we looked at the 200 participants’ level of joint pain for 12 weeks while they were taking elénzia Restore™, comparing it to participants who were taking a placebo (a dummy capsule) for the same period. Our participants reported their level of joint pain, plus comments on their gut, skin and general well-being for 16 weeks – 12 weeks supplementing elénzia Restore™ and 4 weeks post supplementation.
To find out more about the ins and outs of our elénzia Restore™ lifestyle study, click here to download our full report.
The results below show how the everyday person noticed the benefits from taking elénzia Restore™.
The results here tell us that the everyday person experiencing joint pain post exercise saw a 64% reduction in their joint pain after 12 weeks of supplementing elénzia Restore™ – that’s more than a 50% decrease in the amount of pain they were feeling after exercise without having to take pain killers! Whereas participants who supplemented with the placebo only saw a 12% reduction in their joint pain.
Male participant aged 27:
Joint pain – Week 4:
“Played sports numerous times this week and experienced less joint pain than usual during and after activity”
Female participant aged 41:
Joint pain – Week 6:
“I’ve ran 18km this week and knee feels good. No pain”
Male participant aged 34:
Joint pain – Week 4:
“Back and knee pain reduced. Muscles feel like they can go for longer.”
“Lower back pain is substantially better”
The findings didn’t stop there – the additional feedback shared on gut, skin and general well-being tells us that hydrolysed collagen has influence on other areas of health other than joints.
Benefit 2: Gut Health and Inflammation
Collagen makes up our gut’s connective tissue. It helps maintain the integrity of the protective lining of your digestive tract.
You may have heard of leaky gut syndrome. This is when the tight junctions in the lining of the gut malfunction and let particles like antigens and bacteria pass into your bloodstream. This can result in issues like abnormal immune system responses and inflammatory bowel disease and is why collagen is also being recognised for reducing inflammation and improving the immune system.
In other words, since excessive inflammation affects everything from our joint health to our cardiovascular health, including hydrolysed collagen in your supplement routine is a safe and effective way to help prevent chronic inflammation.
Here’s what people who trialled elénzia Restore™ had to say about the benefits on their gut health:
Female participant aged 53:
Gut health – Week 9:
“My gut has improved and is still good even though I’ve had more to drink this week. Love the improvement.”
Female participant aged 29:
Gut health – Week 10:
“Gut feels more regular and I’m no longer experiencing bloating after meals!”
Male participant aged 48:
Gut health – Week 8:
“I can feel an improvement in my gut. I am more regular and more energised”
Benefit 3: Youthful, Healthy Skin
Collagen is the most abundant protein in our skin and as we age our body’s natural ability to produce collagen declines leading to that visible sign of ageing we all strive to avoid. Wrinkles.
For example, imagine your skin is a mattress and the collagen is the web of springs supporting the cushioning. Over time due to age and wear and tear, the spring count starts to decline and this leads to an uneven mattress – only wrinkled skin is not necessarily uncomfortable, it is just something we try to avoid for as long as we can. However, getting more collagen into your diet has been scientifically proven to improve skin quality, skin hydration, and skin elasticity. More specifically, from hydrolysed collagen.
Some of you may have tried to boost your skin’s collagen by applying it topically. However, as we explored in our blog post The new generation of skincare, the molecular weight of collagen used in topical skincare creams means that it cannot penetrate the skin therefore the desired results aren’t achieved. However, when hydrolysed collagen is ingested through supplementation in combination with topical skincare using innovative ingredients such as Nano Gold Technology that penetrate the skin, stimulating the production of collagen, the results are far more promising.
The elénzia Restore™ lifestyle study showed us just how beneficial supplementing hydrolysed collagen can be for the skin.
Female participant aged 67:
Skin health – Week 8:
“My skin has shown signs of improvement and is definitely glowing more”
Male participant aged 55:
Skin health – Week 7:
“Good, no more dry skin after shaving”
Male participant aged 34:
Skin health – Week 8:
“Good improved. I am no longer using steroid cream for my eczema”
Female participant aged 32:
Skin health – Week 6:
(experiences breakouts) “Skin in now completely clear”
Benefit 4: Hair and Nail Growth
When it comes to hair and nails the theory on how collagen supports these areas is a little different. It is not necessarily restoring your actual hair and nails; it is supporting the structure of the areas that do. Since as we age our bodies produce less collagen, our dermis – the skin layer where the hair follicle begins – becomes weaker and it is suggested that because of this hair follicles become smaller and therefore leads to a reduction in hair growth or eventually hair loss.
Science shows supplementing hydrolysed collagen can improve nail and hair strength, growth, and appearance. For example, this clinical trial showed supplementing hydrolysed collagen significantly improved hair and nail protein strength and growth speed by as much as 88%.
In addition to this here’s what some of our participants in the elénzia Restore™ lifestyle study had to say about their hair and nails during the trial:
Male participant aged 43:
Hair health – Week 12:
“Hair seems to grow back faster”
Female participant aged 38:
Nail health – Week 9:
“Nails are feeling strong and thick. They are usually quite brittle and break but have been improving. This week they seem even better not sure if it’s the capsules but it’s great!”
“Normal” type 1 collagen does not equate to type 2 hydrolysed collagen, which is more bioavailable, meaning it is more efficiently absorbed into the body.
Innovative extraction and pre-breakdown methods make it possible for hydrolysed collagen proteins to reach our blood stream in their smallest form where they act as signalling ‘proteins’ triggering the body to produce more of its own collagen and put a pause and even reverse the natural process of breaking down collagen when we age. Basically reversing the signs of ageing!
Therefore, a more efficient way to ensuring you consume effective bioavailable collagen proteins is by supplementing hydrolysed collagen such as elénzia Restore™ – and you only need small amounts such as the recommended 2 capsules a day, making it easy to add to your supplement routine.
The question is, where will you notice the benefits first. Skin, hair, gut, or joints?
Interested in testing the results yourself? Use code restorefree at checkout to get free delievery on your first order.