Why Hydrolyzed Collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein found in our bodies. It appears as the primary component in all the connective tissues that reside in our tendons, skin and muscles. While collagen appears and restores naturally in the body, many people seek out collagen supplements. This is where the word “hydrolyzed” becomes important.
Hydrolysis is the process of breaking down collagen into a much more absorbable form. Through enzymatic hydrolysis, supplement producers can refine collagen to smaller amino acid chains which makes collagen supplements much more beneficial.
It’s critical to know where your hydrolyzed collagen protein is sourced. Some products will claim to contain hydrolyzed collagen when, in reality, the supplements are made up of other similar proteins that don’t actually carry the benefits collagen does.
Most Common Types of Hydrolyzed Collagen Supplements
Collagen peptides are such a prevalent protein in the body in part because it comes in multiple forms. If you’re intrigued with collagen joint health supplements, it’s doubly important to know about some of the most common types of this popular protein. Check out our guide to the different types of collagen to learn more about the other collagen types available.
Over 80 percent of the naturally occurring collagen in the body is considered type I. Mostly found in the skin, hair and nails, hydrolyzed collagen supplements that feature this type are best used for skin and hair treatment.
Type II collagen is what’s critical in maintaining joint and bone health. In other words, you’ll want to keep an eye open for type II collagen when purchasing a joint health supplement or arthritis treatment.
This collagen, the second most numerous in our bodies, is more flexible and pliable than the other types and composes most of our skin, hair and nail fibers in our youth.
Type V collagen is sourced from the membranes of eggshells and because of this, is less abundant than Types I, II and III. This type of collagen supports the corneal stroma, bone matrix and the interstitial matrix of the liver, lungs, placenta and muscles.
Type X collagen is what the body depends on for bone formation. It helps to repair and restore both the bones and cartilage.
In short, hydrolyzed collagen supplements are one of the most effective ways to target skin, nails and muscular zones. But it is in the type II form of collagen that we can treat joint and bone health. By adding supplements to a dietary regimen, users can outpace some of the hard-to-repair effects of aging on arthritis and ligament growth.
Joint Health, Arthritis and Hydrolyzed Collagen
With age, the amount of collagen in the body naturally decreases. This biological process occurs to everyone, but many people first begin to notice the effects on their joints and ligaments. Some of the most common disorders that appear due to the degeneration of collagen are osteoarthritis, joint pain and decreased mobility.
Some recent studies have shown a clear link between the effect of hydrolyzed collagen supplements on joint pain and arthritis. A 2016 study concluded that hydrolyzed collagen had a positive therapeutic effect on forms of osteoarthritis with the added benefit of increasing bone density. Another review from 2006 showed that collagen supplements are effective in reducing joint inflammation — a major cause for joint pain.
Since collagen appears in all our joints and ligaments, we depend on it to aid in our mobility. Hydrolyzed collagen is a simple yet effective therapy for joint pain or aching ligaments.
Hydrolyzed Collagen Benefits for Bone Health
Not only do collagen and collagen peptides make up the majority of our joint and ligament tissue, but it’s also one of the key substances in bones. It’s common knowledge that our bones are calcium-based (“drink milk for good bone health!” is a popular dictum). But collagen is just as abundant in our bones as calcium (we could say “take collagen for good bone health” too!)
Maintaining a healthy, active life far into our maturity depends on bone health. Age, diet, lifestyle choices and genetics all feature in bone health. Everyone’s bones grow differently. However, there’s research to suggest that collagen levels start to drop 1 percent every year from age 20, and after 40 the degenerative process only speeds up. This is why it’s key to maintain good bone health. Hydrolyzed collagen powder taken as a shake or beverage is perhaps the easiest way to improve bone health.
The following are just some of the bone health benefits of hydrolyzed collagen powder:
- Maintain bone strength and structure. Over 90 percent of our bone mass is collagen-based.
- Stimulate the growth of cartilage. Keeping bones healthy also requires one to care for the cartilage that articulates the bones.
- Reduce bone loss. A good diet and an active lifestyle can stimulate bone growth, but taking collagen supplements is an effective way to buffer bone loss.
- Boost bone mineral density (BMD). As we age, bones lose integrity and can lead to fractures and osteoarthritis. Combat bone degeneration with collagen.
It’s not an exaggeration to say that collagen and collagen peptides are the building blocks of our joints and bones. While the popular conception of collagen’s role in the body may lie in our skin, nails and muscles, it’s mostly our bones and joints that contain collagen.
Adding top-quality hydrolyzed collagen supplements to our diets is one of the most pain-free and enjoyable ways to support a long, healthy and mobile life. When we look at the speedbumps that bone fractures, arthritis pain and joint inflammation can throw into our lives, it’s good to know that many of these misfortunes are preventable thanks to collagen supplements.