If you've heard about the benefits of collagen supplements for supporting joint health or healthy skin, it's important that you choose a high-quality product. When comparing options, make sure you are familiar with the type of collagen you’re researching and learn how to choose the best collagen supplement for your needs. Some of the best collagen supplements typically feature collagen peptides, specifically dipeptides – read on to find out why.
What Is Collagen?
Collagen is a protein found in the human body. It's a key component of skin, nails, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones. It's actually the most plentiful protein in the body.
Some collagen supplements contain whole collagen. When you take one of these products, your body digests the collagen, breaking it down into smaller chains of amino acids. Then, it can use these building blocks to produce new collagen fibers.
What Are the Types of Collagen?
There are many types of collagen, but supplements usually provide one of three types:
Type 1: Type 1 collagen accounts for about 70% of the skin and is also found in the hair, nails, and bones.
Type 2: Type 2 collagen is found in the cartilage that insulates joints.
Type 3: Type 3 collagen is found in the skin, hair, nails, and bones. In addition, this type is present in the walls of organs.
Collagen types 1, 2 and 3 are the most common forms of collagen in the human body. Some supplements provide all three types. These products are good if you want to take collagen for hair, skin, and joints. Beauty supplements for the hair, skin and nails may simply contain only collagen types 1 and type 3.
What Are Collagen Peptides?
Collagen peptides are hydrolyzed collagen. They are made when collagen fibers get broken down into smaller chains of amino acids.
What Are the Benefits of Collagen Peptides?
The biggest benefit of collagen peptides is increased bioavailability. As previously addressed, whole collagen supplements must be broken down into smaller components for the body to put the amino acids to work. Hydrolyzed collagen peptides are already divided into chains. As a result, it may be easier for the body to absorb and use them. Increasing collagen absorption may enhance the benefits of taking supplements.
Some specific benefits of collagen peptide supplements include:
Improved skin elasticity: Collagen provides support for the skin. Boosting collagen levels with collagen peptides could help restore elasticity to make skin feel firmer and suppler.
Joint health support: With age, the cartilage that protects the joints often breaks down. This can lead to symptoms of osteoarthritis such as joint pain and stiffness. Collagen peptides may help the body produce new cartilage or repair existing damage to support healthier joints and reduce discomfort.
Muscle maintenance: With age, muscle mass often decreases due to a process called sarcopenia. There is some evidence to suggest that collagen peptides slow down the rate of muscle loss to help older adults remain stronger and more flexible.
Stronger hair and nails: Collagen is a vital component of both hair strands and nails. Taking collagen peptide supplements can give the body the raw materials that it can potentially use to create new hair and nail cells.
Keep in mind that the benefits provided by collagen supplements depend on the types of collagen peptides that they contain. To possibly reap all the above benefits, look for products that contain collagen types 1, 2 and 3.
What Are Collagen Di-Peptides?
Collagen dipeptides are a special form of collagen peptides. They are simple molecules that consist of either two amino acids connected by a single peptide bond or one amino acid connected by two peptide bonds. Because of their simplicity, dipeptides become easily absorbed by the human body. Other peptides may need to be broken down from their complex forms into simpler molecules before they can be used. As a result, dipeptides have the potential to further increase collagen absorption compared to supplements that contain other peptides and whole collagen.
Will Dipeptide-Fortified Collagen Absorb into My System Better?
Choosing a collagen supplement that is dipeptide-fortified can increase absorption. However, the number of dipeptides per serving also matters. For example, Body Kitchen Advanced Body Boost Powder provides 30 times the number of dipeptides than most other collagen powders on the market. This means that you get more of the essential building blocks of collagen each time that you take the supplement. By combining multiple types of collagen, the supplement provides support for healthier skin, hair, nails, bones and joints.