COLLAGEN: AN ESSENTIAL HEALTH INGREDIENT
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body and, for many reasons, it’s essential for good health and wellbeing. As well as being the primary structural protein in our conjunctive tissues, it also plays key roles in joint mobility, bone stability, skin smoothness and even the health of hair and fingernails.
Collagen has multiple benefits because it’s used by so many areas of the body. But, when supplementing the body’s own natural supplies — to counteract the diminishing amount we produce as we age — it’s important that the nutrient is supplied in the right form. Bioavailability is key!
Collagen peptides consist of amino acids. The naturally occurring “long chains” are effectively cut into smaller ones using an enzyme-based process, which means they are readily absorbed, easily digestible and more physiologically effective compared with long-chain collagen and other proteins. This is particularly true of GELITA’s Bioactive Collagen Peptides® (BCPs), which are specific, small polypeptides. They can partially survive digestion, which means they pass through the gut barrier, remain intact and exert their effects on the body’s tissues.
BCPs stand out from the broader class of other polypeptides because of their unique peptide chain structure. They are rich in the amino acid proline, which is known to form strong peptide bonds that are more resistant to being broken down by digestive enzymes. When BCPs are produced from collagen, the single helix structure of the collagen type is maintained. This unique structure is longer and thinner than a normal alpha-helix. In short, it not only provides the stability, but also the slim shape and favourable folding properties that facilitate gut absorption.
And, interestingly, research has revealed that depending on the chain length, BCPs are particularly effective in certain tissues or for specific health applications. During our production process, the chains are finely tweaked to obtain collagen peptides that can targeted directly at cartilage growth, firmer skin or stronger bones. Further studies have proven that our collagen peptides stimulate the body’s own cells to increase their natural production of collagen and other fundamental structural components needed to maintain important bodily functions.
When it comes to concrete benefits, there are many. For instance, certain GELITA collagen peptides are able to prompt chondrocytes (cartilage cells) to boost their production of cartilage, whereas others stimulate osteoblasts (bone producing cells) and hamper the activity of osteoclasts (bone reducing cells). These effects are important for people suffering from age-related issues that affect their bones, joints and mobility, and also help to counter the stress-induced wear and tear experienced by sportspeople. They help to prevent problems associated with tendons, ligaments and overuse injuries. Also, with active individuals in mind, we offer collagen peptides that have been confirmed as promoting an increase in muscle mass and fat loss when used alongside resistance training.
Furthermore, some of our other collagen peptides are able to stimulate the fibroblasts in connective tissue to produce collagen and other fibres, which has a beneficial impact on skin and ameliorates issues such as sagging, wrinkling and cellulite.
Unfortunately, the amount of collagen that the body produces itself starts to decline from about the age of 30. This lack of collagen can manifest itself in a variety of problems, from impaired joint mobility and poor bone health to sagging and uneven skin. But, by supplying the body with collagen in supplemental form, we are able to replenish our natural supplies of this vital nutrient and address these issues.