What is collagen?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in our body, found in many other parts of our body such as hair, teeth, blood vessels, joints and corneas. Over 30% of the total proteins in the human body are collagen. Collagen is an important building block that holds the body together and support many parts of our body, thereby maintaining the structure and function of skin , joints and bones.

Why is collagen so important for our health?

Through the aging process, the body's collagen will be constantly lost. Before the age of 25, you might not realize the aging signs due to the high collagen production in our body. However, starting from age of 25, the amount of collagen produced in the body has gradually decreased. The amount of collagen lost has exceeded the production of collagen in our body, therefore, it is unable to replenish the collagen needed in the body. Studies have shown that the body collagen decreases by approximately 1,000 grams every 10 years, and the aging process of women is faster than men. Based on clinical studies, women lose up to 30% of the body collagen during the first five years of menopause. When the process of collagen loss continues, symptoms of aging will begin to appear, such as fine lines or skin wrinkles, joint pain, brittle nails and hair fall problems.

Where can I get collagen?

Collagen can also be obtained from natural food sources, such as fish maw, pork skin, trotters, fish skin and chicken feet. However, the collagen molecules in natural food source are very large (> 100,000 Daltons), which would be difficult to be absorbed by the human body. Several high collagen food are high in calories or fat, which may lead to weight gain or increase in cholesterol level. Therefore, collagen supplement could be a better choice to replenish collagen needed by our body.

CHEVIN Nutritionist Ke Qi:

As the collagen production gradually declines with age, our collagen production is lesser than the collagen loss which leads to the lacking of collagen in our body. Therefore, proper intake of collagen can activate cells. However, there are different types of collagen supplements in the market, so how should we choose the right one for ourselves? The most important factor in choosing collagen supplements is the absorption of collagen in human body, because the effect will be insignificant if the absorption is low. Most of the collagen supplements in the market are derived from bovine, porcine or marine source, studies have shown that the absorption of marine collagen are highest in human body. The absorption of collagen derived from fish is 1.5 times higher than that of collagen from porcine source. Besides collagen source, the units size of the collagen is also very important. Collagen, collagen peptide, collagen dipeptide and collagen tripeptide have different unit sizes which collagen tripeptides are having the highest absorption. Collagen tripeptide (CTP) is the minimum collagen unit, which is 1/1000 size of collagen. Due to the extremely small unit size, the absorption rate of collagen tripeptide in human body is over 95% and can be absorbed within 10 to 30 minutes. Choosing the right collagen supplement allows you to achieve better skin condition in a shorter time.

Nutritionist Lau Ke Qi

  • Taylor's University
  • Bachelor of Food Science and Nutrition
  • Master degree in Nutrition University Putra Malaysia
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