Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, and it's used to make connective tissue. This type of tissue connects other tissues and is an important component of bones, skin, muscles, tendons, and cartilage. It helps make fabrics strong and resistant, able to resist stretching. Collagen peptides, also known as collagen hydrolysate, are made from collagen.
The long, twisted chains of amino acids that form the entire structure of collagen are partially broken down into short chains known as peptides. This makes collagen peptides easier to absorb by the body and convert them to amino acids once again. Collagen peptides come in pill and powder form and are usually made from bovine (beef) or porcine (pork) sources. Marine collagen supplements made from skin or fish scales are also available. Because they are more easily absorbed by the body, collagen peptides are a better source of these essential amino acids.
Taking collagen peptides can help prevent unwanted health problems by replenishing some of the body's collagen supply. Unused bone from animal slaughter and pieces of unusable skin from leather production offer a means to produce a valuable resource, collagen peptides powder, from these waste products. Let's move from collagen (the incredible protein with unique properties critical to all mammals) to collagen peptides (the fancy word added to many collagen supplements and their labels). However, a variety of animal and plant foods contain materials for the production of collagen in our own body. But because gelatin has a higher molecular weight, cannot be dissolved in water, and is less easy to digest, collagen supplement manufacturers focus on fully hydrolyzed collagens. The MACIT collagen family has numerous triple helix interruptions, does not self-assemble into fibrils, and plays roles in cell adhesion and signaling.
Collagen composition and degree of hydrolysis are factors that increase functional properties, such as antioxidant capacity, antimicrobial activity, and increased bioavailability. In order for collagen (which is a LARGE molecule) to be transformed into a collagen supplement, it needs to be heated or hydrolyzed. If you're looking to counteract your body's natural loss of collagen (1-2% per year once you reach 2), you need to eat more. When it comes to food or nutritional supplements, the collagen peptide manufacturing process uses gelatin, which is broken down through further hydrolyzation into collagen peptide powder. Celebrities swear that adding collagen peptides to their daily smoothies keeps them looking young and glamorous. However, even dermatologists doubted its effectiveness as a topical application since collagen is not found naturally on the surface of the skin but in the deeper layers.
Hydrolyzed collagen (HC) applications as a functional dietary supplement have been shown to have a positive effect on the skin. Collagen peptides are an important part of any health regimen because they help replenish the body's natural supply of this essential protein. By understanding how they're made and what they do for our bodies, we can make informed decisions about how best to use them for our own health needs.