Collagen for Beauty and Brawn

December 2018

By Christine Cheng, R.Ph. and Fred Cheng, R.Ph.

Collagen supplements are touted to give us more beautiful skin and stronger bones when taken on a regular basis. This makes sense since collagen is a structural protein found throughout the body including the skin, tendons, bone, cartilage, vasculature and organs. Although we associate the strength of bones with its mineral content (i.e., calcium and other trace minerals), the hard outer part of bone also contains protein, with collagen being the major protein constituent in bone. We always describe the mineral part of bone as the scaffolding on which the proteins (such as collagen) hang. The protein content of bone gives it flexibility and resilience. Without its protein content, every simple flex of bone would result in a break. In the case of skin, proteins such as collagen provide the scaffolding, which translates to firmness in the skin. Without proper protein structure, the skin sags. As an aside, one of the secrets to why those who lose weight on the Ideal Protein Weight Loss Management Programs that we offer at our pharmacies look so good is because collagen supplementation is encouraged. This means less saggy skin as the weight is lost!

Collagen supplements can be derived from different sources: chicken, cow, or fish. Regardless of the source, the collagen is hydrolysed, i.e., broken down into their smallest components, amino acids, which are more easily absorbed than the full protein molecule. There are three different types of collagen, Types I, II, and III. Type II is the form that is most often used for supplementation. Although the mechanism of action is not known, supplementing with Type II collagen hydrolysate appears to help with joint pain making it an effective adjunct to glucosamine and/or chondroitin when supplementing with the latter two are not providing adequate relief. Collagen Types I and III seem to be more effective for improving the strength of hair, skin and nails. Supplementing with collagen can improve skin elasticity, help the skin to retain moisture, and reduce the depth (and thus “look”) of deep wrinkles.

Collagen supplements are available in many forms. For example, LORNA VANDERHAEGHE HEALTH SOLUTIONS’ ACTIVE COLLAGEN is derived from fish and is available as capsules or powder for reconstituting into a tasty raspberry-flavoured drink. ORGANIKA HEALTH PRODUCTS offers powdered collagen supplements sourced from beef and fish sources. Come talk to us about which product is appropriate for you.

Christine and Fred Cheng are a passionate, charismatic sister-brother pharmacist team at their unique, family-owned and operated Pharmasave stores in Cloverdale and Steveston, B.C. They specialize in natural remedies and compounding for both human and veterinarian use.  Everything mentioned in their article is available InStore.  They would love to hear from you or meet you at one of their seminars.  Of course, before you begin any activity program or try any OTC supplementation, check with your physician and pharmacist.

***All information posted and shared by Cloverdale Pharmasave is offered to provide information and choices regarding nutritional support for various health concerns, none of which is intended to be a treatment protocol for any disease state. The information does not replace seeking professional advice from your physician. Consult your health care practitioner before taking dietary supplements.

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