Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body that is the main constituent of our bones, tendons, muscles, ligaments, and skin. It makes up one-third of all protein found in the human body. Although it is produced naturally by our body, just as our body is subjected to a variety of disorders and deficiencies with age, the production of collagen is also subjected to this phenomenon.
With time and as we age; although the need for excessive collagen increases but our body weakens and produces collagen in smaller amounts. This leads to a deficiency of collagen in the body which needs to be met with an intake of collagen from a supplementary source. That is where collagen supplements come to play their part.
There are a variety of collagen supplements available in the market these days. They may be available in the form of pills or powder depending upon the preference of the consumer. There are many sources for making this collagen. It includes collagen made from animal sources (animal parts, fish scales, bones, skin, etc) as well as vegetarian collagen that is made from genetically modified yeast and bacteria.
There are three basic types of collagen available in the market that are consumed in abundance and holds the most benefit for the human body. This includes:
Type 1 Collagen: Present in most abundance; it is responsible for strong bones and maintaining their structure, keeping skin elastic and healthy, and helps in healing of wounds.
Type 2 Collagen: Responsible for keeping your joints and cartilages healthy. Type 2 collagen is considered vital for joint health.
Type 3 Collagen: Found along with type 1 collagen, it is also responsible for keeping your skin, nails, and hair strong.
The selection for your preferred kind of collagen supplements depends upon the benefits provided by collagen present in the supplement. It is advised to opt for supplements that are produced by known and certified manufacturers instead of cheap ones that won’t be delivering half of the benefits promised of the packaging or label.
Animal-based collagen is obtained from cows, pigs, and chicken. The collagen obtained from cows is found in their bones, skin, and muscles which is mostly type 1 and 3 collagens. Aside from cows, collagen is obtained from chicken which is rich in type 2 collagen. Type 2 collagen is extracted from the bones, cartilages, and tissues of chicken and other types of consumable birds.
Marine based collagen is obtained from fish scales, bones, and skin. Fish are an excellent source of obtaining type 1 collagen. The collage obtained from fish-based sources is hydrolyzed in nature, which means it is smaller in size and absorbs into the body rather quickly.
Vegan based collagen is still a controversial topic as there are no direct vegetable-based sources for collagen. As it is a protein that is found majorly in skin, bones, and muscles of different animals and there are no known plant-based sources for collagen.
Although there is vegetarian collagen available in the market that is made from egg whites and shells and contains type 1 and 5 collagens. Experts suggest that vegetarians can monitor their diet and consume food that stimulates the production of collagen in the body. So if you are a vegan who is looking to stimulate the growth of collagen in your body, then try to consume:
· Food is rich in Vitamin-C, vitamin-A, and zinc.
· Food is rich in silica and certain types of antioxidants like ellagic acid.
· Try to consume green vegetables, beets, seeds (pumpkin seeds), and bell peppers.
However, collagen is being synthesized in labs using bacteria P. Pastoris for manufacturing genetically engineered high-quality collagen.
No matter what source of collagen, they have the same structure and function. Collagen can either be made into pills or powder as per the preference of the consumers as separate ranges of the same product.
If the collagen is manufactured by a reliable manufacturer, then you can opt for any option. Whether you are opting for vegan or non-vegan based collagen is up to you. Experts advise incorporating collagen-based supplements into your diet if you have crossed 40-year marker to maintain your health and keeping your bones and skin in good shape for a longer period of time.
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