I'm over the moon about our latest introduction to our supplement line! As usual, Beachbody has taken its time with careful formulation and sourcing in order to provide us with a potent, pure, and bioavailable form of the substance.
So why do I recommend taking collagen?
Collagen is the main structural protein in the body. It makes up 25 to 35 percent of our bodies' total protein content in our tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and bones, and about 70 percent of our skin. It works in conjunction with another protein called elastin: collagen fills out the skin, and elastin gives skin its elasticity.
Because collagen is a protein found in the connective tissues of animals, plant-based sources do not exist. Most collagen supplements are made from cow hides or fish skins. Beachbody's collagen peptides come from bovine hides from a European source and are rigorously tested for purity. The collagen peptides in this product are mostly type 1 and type 3, both of which have been studied for skin and nail benefits
Collagen Boost is currently available in the U.S. and Canada, and is expected to become available in the UK at a later date. This form of collagen peptides (hydrolyzed using an enzymatic process) is soluble in hot or cold liquids, so can be used any time of day in coffee, tea, a smoothie, oatmeal, or any other type of drink or soft food! It has no taste or smell, but will add a bit of a gelatinous texture to the food or drink you add it to.
The following health claims can be explicitly made about this product due to substantiation in scientific research: it helps increase skin elasticity, helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, promotes the appearance of smooth skin, promotes healthy collagen and elastin production, and helps promote healthy nails.
Order Collagen Boost from me and you'll get a free sample of Shakeology to go along with it!
For those wanting more in-depth information on the research about collagen, keep reading...
HAIR, SKIN, AND NAILS
Collagen is present in the cells that make up the hair and nails. One of the main causes of fine lines and wrinkles is the natural loss of collagen from the skin. After age 25, our bodies begin to produce less and less collagen.
One study found that skin hydration and collagen density increased after 8 weeks of oral collagen supplementation: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26362110
Another found that participants taking supplements for 24 weeks had a 12 percent increase in nail growth and a 42 percent decrease in the number of broken nails: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28786550
Research suggests that to get the most out of your collagen supplement, it should be paired with a vitamin C supplement or foods that contain vitamin C. Skin fibroblasts depend on vitamin C for the synthesis of collagen: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23228664
More studies finding collagen supplements have benefits for skin health:
Collagen helps maintain the integrity of your cartilage, which is the rubber-like tissue that protects your joints. As the amount of collagen in your body decreases as you get older, your risk of developing degenerative joint disorders such as osteoarthritis increases. Some studies have shown benefits from taking collagen supplements in the form of reduced symptoms of osteoarthritis and reduced joint pain:
This study found that athletes had significantly less joint pain at rest and in movement after taking collagen peptides: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18416885
In one study, 73 athletes who consumed 10 grams of collagen daily for 24 weeks experienced a significant decrease in joint pain while walking and at rest compared to a group that did not take it: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18416885
In another study, adults took two grams of collagen daily for 70 days. Those who took collagen had a significant reduction in joint pain and were better able to engage in physical activity: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22486722
As for the mechanism of action, supplemental collagen is suspected to accumulate in cartilage and, in turn, stimulate tissues to make collagen, leading to lower inflammation, better joint support and reduced pain:
Calcium is not the only component for healthy bones. Your bones are one-third collagen, which gives them their flexibility. As we age, not just our skin but our bones as well become susceptible to the side effects of collagen depletion. Adding collagen to your daily diet may support bone health by increasing bone mineral density.
Several studies have found collagen has benefits for osteoporosis:
In one study, women took either a calcium supplement combined with 5 grams of collagen or a calcium supplement and no collagen daily for 12 months. By the end of the study, the women taking the calcium and collagen supplement had significantly lower blood levels of proteins that promote bone breakdown than those taking only the calcium: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25314004
Another study found similar results in 66 women who took 5 grams of collagen daily for 12 months. The women who took the collagen had an increase of up to 7 percent in their bone mineral density compared to women who did not consume collagen: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5793325/
Bone mineral density is a measure of the amount of minerals, such as calcium, in your bones. Low bone mineral density is associated with weak bones and the development of osteoporosis: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15025843
In addition, some studies have found that collagen can help to increase calcium absorption within the gut (Konig et al, Nutrients 2018 Jan 16;10(1). pii: E97).
Collagen repairs and strengthens the lining of the stomach and intestines, preventing or easing leaky gut syndrome and making it easier for the body to absorb nutrients:
Research has identified collagen synthesis as an important component in the process of repairing and healing the intestinal lining. When there is damage or inflammation to the intestinal lining, new smooth muscle cells are made to heal the stomach lining and the intestinal wall. Collagen production in the intestine is greatest when smooth muscle cells are being generated during healing. Thus, collagen is a key component to healing the intestinal wall. Supplementing with collagen may help to repair and heal the stomach lining: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3792777
Glycine and proline, the two main amino acids in collagen peptides, may help heal the stomach lining and prevent stress-induced ulcers through their positive impact on the central nervous system. Studies have identified glycine as an effective inhibitor of stomach ulcers due to its ability to prevent harmful gastric secretions in the stomach lining: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9344231
Thanks to its glycine content, collagen has been found to regulate the secretion of gastric juices by ensuring enough acid for proper digestion. Collagen protein also prevents an excess of gastric juices, which can lead to heartburn, stomach ulcers, and other painful digestive problems caused from an overly acidic environment: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3560667/
Glutamine, one of the amino acids in collagen, has been identified as the key amino acid for preventing inflammation of the gut wall and healing leaky gut syndrome. It has been linked to inhibiting inflammation and oxidative stress associated with the opening of tight junctions in the connective tissue of the intestinal lining: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25368996
Studies have found decreased collagen levels in individuals with digestive imbalances. Specifically, there is an association between inflammatory bowel disease and decreased serum collagen levels:https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/does-collagen-actually-have-any-benefits-to-heal-gut-or-skin
The gut microbiome affects many bodily functions and systems, so by healing the gut, collagen can contribute to improved overall health: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25078296
(See also: Czajka, et al., Nutr Res 2018)
ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE BENEFITS
One study found that collagen helps support the connective tissues and promote recovery from intense exercise (Lopez et al., Integr Med. 2015 Jun;14(3):30-8).
Another found that collagen improves physical performance by reducing joint discomfort (Zdzieblik et al., Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2017 Jun;42(6):588-595).
MUSCLE MASS BENEFITS
Our muscle tissue is partly composed of collagen, and collagen is necessary to keep our muscles strong and functioning properly. Research suggests that taking collagen may promote the synthesis of muscle proteins such as creatine, and may also stimulate muscle growth after exercise: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3177172/
One recent study of 53 elderly men with sarcopenia, a loss of muscle caused by aging, found that those who took 15 grams of collagen daily, in addition to lifting weights three times per week for 3 months, gained significantly more muscle and lost more fat than those who only lifted weights: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4594048/
Another study of 89 long-term care residents with pressure ulcers found that those who took collagen supplements three times daily for 8 weeks saw their wounds heal twice as fast as those who did not take the supplement.
Collagen provides structure to your arteries, the blood vessels that carry blood from your heart to the rest of your body. Without enough collagen, arteries become weak and fragile. This may lead to atherosclerosis, a disease characterized by the narrowing of the arteries, with the potential to lead to heart attack and stroke.
In one study, 31 healthy adults took 16 grams of collagen daily for six months. By the end, they had experienced a significant reduction in measures of arterial stiffness compared to before they started taking the supplement. Additionally, they increased their levels of “good” cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein) by an average of 6 percent: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5429168/
(See also Igase et al., Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2018 Feb 15:1-3)
Glycine, an amino acid in collagen, helps you sleep better and more deeply. Glycine is an inhibitory neurotransmitter, which means it calms the nervous system.
One study found that people with sleep troubles fell asleep quicker, slept deeper, and experienced less daytime drowsiness when given glycine before bed. In another study, people reported feeling less fatigued and more clear-headed the morning after taking glycine: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1479-8425.2006.00193.x
Perhaps not surprisingly since it's high in protein, collagen increases feelings of fullness, leading people to consume fewer calories—at least according to one study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18319637
(Note that although collagen does contain protein, it is not a source of complete dietary protein—meaning that it does not contain all nine essential amino acids our bodies need to build muscle and fuel metabolic functions, so it is not recommended for use as a protein powder.)
Our livers work every day to filter toxins out of our bodies. These toxins enter our bodies through the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, our personal care products, and items we come into contact with such as clothing and bed linens.
Working to eliminate a heavy toxic load can be taxing on the liver. The glycine amino acid found in collagen acts to support the liver as it repairs itself: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9694963