Collagen is a type of protein that’s abundantly found in the body. It accounts for 33% of the total body protein and over 75% of the dry weight of skin. The body produces it naturally to repair and maintain joints, muscles, and skin. Collagen production, however, decreases as one age. Therefore, it is vital to substitute body collagen with hydrolyzed collagen supply, such as unflavoured marine collagen powder.
What to look for while selecting a collagen substitute?
Source and nature of the collagen:
Collagen is typically sourced from pigs, cows, or fish. The collagen sourced from fish is hydrolyzed into what is known as marine collagen. Hydrolysation is when collagen is broken down into dissolvable amino acids for easy absorption by the body. In this form, marine collagen is unflavoured, contains no artificial colors, dairy, sugar, or gluten.
Premium collagen is sustainably sourced. Only a few parts of the fish – such as its bones and skin – are used for collagen extraction. The rest of the fish is tested for quality and sent away to be used in food production. Such a process produces zero waste and is an environmentally responsible way of obtaining collagen.
While collagen itself has a positive impact on your skin, hair and nails, marine collagen powder that is fortified with minerals has many additional benefits. Look for the following ingredients in your collagen product to decide which combination suits your needs.
A collagen powder with zinc can help you boost your immunity. Zinc is present in all the human body cells and is essential for the proper functioning of the immune system. It plays a central role in cell division – thus promoting cell growth and wound healing. Studies have also shown that nearly 300 enzymes depend on zinc to perform, making zinc a crucial part of your diet.
Vitamin C is naturally present in healthy skin and aids in synthesising collagen. Additionally, its ability to scavenge free radicals can reduce damage caused to the skin due to UV exposure. Look for collagen powder with Vitamin C additives if you tend to be out in the sun for long.
Selenium is an essential mineral that can only be obtained from your diet. It is a powerful antioxidant, and thus, it helps reduce the damage caused to your body through oxidative stress. Studies have also found that people with high blood selenium levels had lower risks of certain types of cancer – such as breast, lung and prostate. As oxidative stress is associated with the deterioration of mental faculties, selenium can also help maintain a healthy brain and neurological system. In addition to the above, selenium also ensures a healthy thyroid. Consult your health practitioner to find if you are subject to oxidative stress and benefit from selenium.
Nicotinamide (Vitamin B):
Nicotinamide, also known as nicotinic acid amide or niacinamide, is an active form of vitamin B3 that has been proven to offer a plethora of benefits. Oral nicotinamide improves your skin by reducing acne, skin dryness, pigmentation, and even reducing skin cancer risk. Studies have also proven that oral niacinamide is safer than using niacinamide creams in treating certain skin conditions.
Further, a deficiency of vitamin B3 leads to a disease called pellagra, which is characterised by inflamed skin, diarrhoea and, in extreme cases, dementia. Thus, added nicotinamide in your collagen powder can provide you with much more than just healthy skin. Ask your doctor before you start a nicotinamide-infused collagen course if you are suffering from pre-existing health conditions.
Collagen is one of the most effective supplements you can add to your diet to improve your skin, nails, and hair. In addition, if you choose unflavoured marine collagen powder that is fortified with minerals such as zinc, selenium and vitamin C, you will be able to reap their benefits along with that of collagen. Seek advice from your doctor and start your collagen journey today.