Firstly, we know, that you know, eating a well-balanced diet, drinking plenty of water, exercising regularly, managing stress and getting enough sleep are the best ways to help maintain your health. But we understand these things are not always possible, especially when balancing the demands of life. Fortunately research has shown that there are many supplements you can turn to for a health boost.
COLLAGEN: THE STAR OF THE SHOW: FOR HEALTHIER HAIR AND SKIN + MUSCLE MASS BOOST
First and foremost, its important to note that collagen is the second most abundant substance in our body, after water. Collagen also happens to be the most abundant protein in our body.
It is found in all our connective tissues, tendons, ligaments and bones, with its purpose being to provide these body parts with their strength, structure and elasticity. As we get older, our bodies become less efficient at naturally producing collagen which is why so many men supplement their diet with collagen to keep their bodies in optimal working condition.
Collagen offers various health benefits, including maintaining the skin’s elasticity (which can result in a more youthful appearance), maintaining the health of the hair and nails, and supporting joint health. Collagen is also an excellent protein source, packing in more protein per calorie than other sources while containing less sodium and sugar. So what is Collagen? It’s the most abundant structural protein in the human body and is often called the body’s scaffolding. It’s the glue that holds the body together and is found in skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and other connective tissues. Collagen has many important functions, including providing your skin with structure and strengthening your bones. Collagen makes up about a third of all the protein in the human body, more than any other type of protein in the body by mass. Specifically, it makes up about 70-75% of our dry-mass skin content, providing volume that keeps skin looking plump and keeps lines at bay. This naturally-occurring protein is found in your body in large amounts and helps to keep you healthy and looking great. It’s also rich in the amino acids proline and glycine, which you need to maintain and repair your tendons, bones, and joints. Our bodies make collagen by combining different amino acids extracted from our diet. Scientists have identified twenty-nine different types of collagen (each ‘type’ is a different combination of amino acids). But in humans, the vast majority is type I, II, or III. As we age, we break down Collagen faster than we can replace it and our natural collagen production begins to slow down which can result in sagging skin, the appearance of fine lines and thinning hair. We begin to lose about 1% of our collagen per year in our mid-20s. By the time we get to 40, we will have lost around a third of our natural collagen. Excess sun exposure, smoking and poor diet can also inhibit collagen production.
When we apply Collagen on the skin, it doesn’t absorb well and there have been some impressive clinical studies showing that supplementing your diet with ingestible collagen can increase your collagen intake and has multiple benefits such as
improving skin elasticity & reducing acne and acne related blemishes
providing relief from joint & muscle pain
boosting muscle mass & faster muscle recovery
preventing bone loss
promoting heart health
increasing hair and nail strength
improving gut and brain health
aiding weight loss
Although there are also several protein-rich foods you can eat to increase your collagen intake, including beef, pork skin and bone broth, the problem is that these unprocessed sources of amino acids are comparatively difficult for your body to absorb. So you’d need to consume an enormous amount of bone broth to have any impact on your collagen levels. Using a process called hydrolysation we break down the collagen into smaller pieces known as “peptides” which makes it easier for you to absorb. This is why collagen peptides are also known as hydrolysed collagen. Unsurprisingly, Marine collagen comes from fish. When the flesh of a fish is removed to be used as food, everything that is left is cleaned, and collagen is extracted via the process hydrolysation. Marine collagen is more sustainably produced and has less impact on the environment than for example bovine collagen which is sourced from animals (cows & pigs). And there is a lower risk of contaminants as Marine Collagen does not pose any known risk of transmissible diseases. Studies that have looked at the absorption of collagen peptides found marine collagen tends to be absorbed better than bovine collagen due to its low molecular weight. Studies also show hydrolyzed collagen seems to be well absorbed in general, and can boost circulating levels of important amino acids. Marine collagen is predominantly type 1 which is used in our skin, tendons and bones. This makes it an excellent choice for people looking to improve their general wellbeing or rejuvenate their skin. Clinical studies show that Himmense SHIFT's key ingredient, Type 1 hydrolyzed marine collagen peptides, can have a beneficial effect on the appearance of skin, boost muscle mass and reduce joint pain when taken daily for 12 weeks. And it can boost circulating levels of important amino acids. We highlight some of these studies below:
SKIN HEALTH & ELASTICITY
Being in constant contact with the external environment, the skin is subject to more insults than most of our other organs, and is where the first visible signs of aging occur. As you age, your body produces less collagen, leading to dry skin and the formation of wrinkles. Collagen plays a role in strengthening skin, plus may benefit elasticity and hydration.
A 2014 study of 69 participants aged 35 to 55 found that those who took 2.5 or 5 grams of collagen daily for 8 weeks showed a lot of improvement in skin elasticity, compared with those who did not take the supplement.
A separate study found that participants who took a collagen supplement daily for 12 weeks had 76% less dryness, 12% fewer visible wrinkles, better blood flow in the skin, and a 6% higher collagen content compared with a control group.
In addition, taking collagen supplements may promote the production of other proteins that help structure your skin, including elastin and fibrillin.
Collagen is an excellent protein source, packing in more protein per calorie than other sources while containing less sodium and sugar.
A 2019 study in recreationally active men aged between 21-27 years showed that a combination of collagen supplements and strength training increased muscle mass and strength more than a placebo.
One study of 53 elderly men with sarcopenia a loss of muscle caused by aging, found that those who took collagen daily, in addition to lifting weights three times per week for 3 months, gained significantly more muscle and lost more fat than those who only lifted weights.
JOINT HEALTH & PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Collagen helps maintain the healthy cartilage, which is the rubber-like tissue that covers the surface of our joints, protecting them from wear and tear. As we age, the amount of collagen in our body decreases so we are at an increased risk of developing conditions such as osteoarthritis. By including collagen in our diet, it aids in the repair of cartilage tissue, as well as alleviate joint inflammation and pain.
Studies have shown that collagen supplements help with arthritis pain and sports-related joint pain. Arthritis causes the collagen in joints to break down faster than it can be replenished, which results in joint pain and decreased mobility.
One study concluded that “hydrolysed collagen has a positive therapeutic effect on osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, with a potential increase in bone mineral density, a protective effect on articular cartilage, and especially in the symptomatic relief of pain.” A 2017 study published in the Journal of Arthritis found that collagen supplements helped relieve pain for patients with osteoarthritis. A 2016 study published in Nutrition Journal also found that collagen supplements helped relieve pain in patients with osteoarthritis.
A joint study by Harvard Medical School and Tufts Medical Centre followed a group of 30 Osteoarthritis (OA) patients for 48 weeks. Half were given a placebo, and the other half were given collagen supplements. MRI scans proved that the collagen patients had significant re-growth of damaged cartilage after a year.
In one study conducted by Penn State University, 73 athletes who consumed collagen daily for 24 weeks experienced a significant decrease in joint pain while walking and at rest, compared with a group that did not take it.
In another study, adults that took collagen daily for 70 days had a significant reduction in joint pain and were better able to engage in physical activity than those who did not take it.
PROMOTING HEART HEALTH
Collagen helps protect your heart and reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. It provides structure to your arteries, which keep blood flowing to and from your heart. A meta-analysis published in The British Journal of Nutrition determined that collagen supplements positively affected biomarkers related to cardiovascular disease, with studies showing that taking collagen supplements can reduce artery stiffness and increase levels of “good” HDL cholesterol in the body. This means it can help reduce your risk of developing heart conditions.
Collagen helps promote heart health by keeping arteries healthy and strong. Arteries are the vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood from the heart throughout the body. They play a crucial role in distributing oxygen, nutrients and hormones throughout your body. Weak, stiff, and inflexible arteries are linked with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, and stroke. In one small study, people who took a collagen supplement at breakfast and dinner (for a total of 16 grams per day) showed a significant reduction in arterial stiffness. A separate study found that 2.5 grams of collagen per day had similar effects.
Collagen helps improve cholesterol balance and also decrease total cholesterol, lower triglycerides (fats linked with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease) and prevent and treat the build-up of plaque on artery walls. If your levels of LDL “bad” cholesterol are too high, it can build up on the walls of your arteries. This build-up is also known as cholesterol plaque. This plaque can narrow your arteries, limit your blood flow, and raise your risk of blood clots, heart attack and stroke. In one study, participants experienced a significant reduction in measures of artery stiffness and their levels of HDL (good) cholesterol rose by an average of 6%.
Collagen helps balance blood pressure. When arteries become stiff and thick, it’s harder for blood to flow easily, increasing the risk of high blood pressure, or hypertension. Some research suggests that glycine, one of the primary amino acids in collagen can promote heart health by reducing blood pressure and protect against arterial damage.
When it comes to our hair, the specific protein responsible for maintaining its structure and quality is keratin. As we age and keratin reduces, hair often becomes thinner, weaker and sometimes more coarse. Collagen contains amino acids in a very easy to absorb form and some of these amino acids are vital for the production of keratin, so a supplement may be key to helping keep hair at its optimum condition.
Going one step further, a study in Japan found that the reduction of a type of collagen, XVII, near hair follicle stems is associated with hair loss. The study examined mice at the age when they usually begin to lose hair. It found that those lacking in type XVII saw damaged stem cells turn into skin cells, which break away from the body like dandruff, thus contributing to hair follicle shrinkage and ultimately hair loss.
Given that amino acids are essential for stimulating and supporting hair follicles and keratin production, it makes sense to ensure that your diet includes a high-quality source of these proteins so as to potentially avoid hair loss and maintain a healthy head of hair.
Collagen has been used for treating wounds for more than 2,000 years, according to a study published in the journal BioMedical Engineering OnLine. The collagen is applied topically, often with other structural proteins and antibiotics, to promote healing and prevent infection.
For example, a review published in the journal Biopolymers in 2014 describes how a collagen gel or sponge may be placed over a severe burn. The sponge allows the skin to maintain a moist environment while protecting it from infections, and the collagen acts as a scaffold for the regeneration of cells and production of new collagen.
If you've got more questions on Collagen, like what age should you start taking it?, does collagen make you gain weight? Does collagen have any side effects? we're here to help you....just check out our FAQ's here.
It's worth noting that ingestible collagen works best when paired with other age fighting super ingredients which is why our daily HIMMENSE SHIFT collagen drink for men is infused with vitamin C, for maximum absorption, as well as vitamins B5, B6, B12 & D3, Selenium and Ashwagandha for multiple health benefits.
We know men want to look and feel their best which is why we’ve made sure SHIFT is free from added sugar, sweeteners, artificial flavours, sweeteners, colours, gluten, dairy, soya, animal fat, alcohol, cholesterol, emulsifying agents & soy lecithin.
Advice is for information only and should not replace medical care. Consult a doctor or healthcare professional if you have any questions or are taking any other medications before you try any remedies.
Published 9 November 2021