What Are The Best Collagen Supplements in 2017?
As we age, the micronutrients which were once abundantly available within our bodies become fewer and fewer with every year that passes. For those looking to turn back the clock, the best collagen supplement will replenish the natural production of hyaluronic acid, helping to fight wrinkles.
But when it comes to collagen supplements, which are the best? Take a look and find out.
What Is Collagen?
Collagen has a number of functions in the body, most notably supporting the structure of our skin, giving skin its elasticity and keeping signs of aging at bay.
There are 28 types of collagen in the body (source) although around 80% of the collagen we have is type I, II or III.
- Type I collagen - This is the most readily available form, known as the “major matrix protein”. It gives skin its firmness.
- Type II collagen - Type II makes up our movable joints and can be used to treat joint pain and aging (source)
- Type III collagen - Type III comes in just behind type I collagen as the second most available form. Babies and small children have lots of this form, giving their skin that associated plumpness, as we age, this is replaced by stronger type I collagen.
What Do Collagen Supplements Do?
The purpose of collagen supplements, regardless of which form you choose (pills or liquid collagen), is to encourage your body to restore its natural collagen production (source).
Many users believe that collagen supplements can erase up to ten years of aging within a matter of weeks. Who wouldn’t want that? Sign me up please!
All collagen supplements differ slightly from brand to brand, however all will provide your skin with antioxidants, nutrients, moisture and hydration.
That said, it’s not all about the skin. Research has shown that collagen supplements can be of use to the hardcore gym goers in the fight to achieve the perfect body.
A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, revealed that “that the combination of resistance exercise and collagen peptide supplementation resulted in a more pronounced improvement of body composition, as indicated by a significant increase in muscle mass” (source).
How Much Collagen Do We Need?
Although research varies, most major studies conclude that in the form of supplementation, we need 7 grams per serving in order to reap the benefits.
What to Look For In A Collagen Supplement
When considering purchasing a collagen supplement, there are a few things you ought to consider before buying. Here are the top things to look out for.
Bioavailability in simple terms means the amount of active ingredient that is absorbed by the body. This is something important to look for in all dietary supplements, not just collagen.
For example, if the supplement contains 1000 mg and the bioavailability of the supplement is 70%, then you will receive 700 mg of the active ingredient per serving.
As you can imagine, bioavailability is one of the most important factors in letting us know how well a supplement will work. When it comes to collagen, there are two major things to consider in regards to the bioavailability of the supplement.
Firstly, when nutrients are in liquid form, they are better absorbed by the body. Therefore, a liquid collagen supplement would be more bioavailable than that of pills or powders.
Also, collagen molecules are very large making them generally too big to be absorbed by the blood stream, meaning they never reach the dermis layer of skin. Therefore, you need a supplement which is hydrolyzed. This means the collagen molecules are smaller and can be readily absorbed by the body.
Collagen on its own (at the right dosage) can do wonderful things. However, like many micronutrients, there are other ingredients that will assist collagen including:
- Vitamin C - Vitamin C is essential for the synthesis of collagen. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that a higher intake of vitamin C was associated with a less wrinkled appearance of skin in middle-aged American women (source).
- CoQ10 - CoQ10 is a naturally abundant enzyme in our body that acts as an antioxidant and protects skin from free radical damage and aging.
- Hyaluronic acid - Hyaluronic acid is a molecule naturally produced by the body that gives our skin the ability to retain water. This is what keeps skin looking plump and hydrated.
- Ceramide - Ceramide is a waxy lipid molecule that comes from corn and promotes health of the epidermis layer of skin. This protects the underlayers and helps skin to retain moisture.
Sources of Collagen
When it comes to collagen supplements the main sources include bovine (cow), porcine (pig) and marine (fish).
Collagen sourced from fish is the most bioavailable. Marine-derived collagen is easily absorbed by the body and keeps skin wrinkle free. Although manufacturing costs are higher, this form of collagen is more pure than cheaper bovine or porcine alternatives.
Reputation of Manufacturer
When buying any form of dietary supplement, it is of utmost importance that you choose a product that is produced by a reputable manufacturer. Simply because you need to have confidence in the quality of a product that your will regularly be putting into your body.
Firstly, avoid supplements made in China and other countries where manufacturing practices, standards and regulations are loose. Stick with a supplement made in the USA, if possible one that is manufactured in a certified GMP and/or FDA approved facility.
Even better if you can find a company who can provided a certificate of analysis from vendors for the raw ingredients and something that is third party lab tested to guarantee the purity of the product.
Collagen Side Effects and Precautions
Like most dietary supplements, there are a number of side effects linked with the use of collagen supplements. They won’t affect everyone or even most people that use them, however a small number of users will experience unwanted effects, especially those with pre existing conditions.
Some collagen supplements, most notably those from marine sources carry high levels of calcium. Too much calcium, or hypercalcemia is an associated side effect with the use of collagen supplements.
The other most noted side effect is hypersensitivity reactions. It is important to ensure you are completely aware of all ingredients and sources of any supplement. If you have a pre-existing food allergy, ensure there is nothing included that will harm you. For example, if you have a shellfish allergy and a product is listed as marine collagen, be sure to check the source is not from shellfish.
The Best Collagen Supplement
Choosing a supplement for the first time can be a difficult task, especially when trying to bear all the numerous buying factors in mind. This is why I have taken the hard work on for you and looked at all the collagen supplements available, choosing 5 top products to share with you today.
I have broken down each product into pros and cons to help you make an informed buying decision. At the end I’ll leave you with my overall favorite product.
Overall, the Perfotek band has to be the best collagen supplement out there.
First and foremost, this products offers a huge serving of collagen without the need to take huge amounts of pills daily. For me, that’s a major plus.
Moreover, as this product offers 10 grams of protein as well as a full amino acid profile, it makes a great choice for the fitness conscious out there, covering three supplements in one.
Of course, the fact that it is derived from grass-fed cattle making it friendly to the followers of the paleo diet, as well as being kosher and gluten free, opens its use up to a wider audience. And the fact that it is made in the USA at a GMP facility gives you confidence in the quality of the product.
The best part is, it comes at a great price, making it an affordable, long term option.