How to Choose Your Collagen Supplement

Tighter and more youthful skin, better mobility, pain-free joints, healthier hair and nails, and more. Don’t these sound like attractive benefits? Collagen in its many forms has taken over South Africa and many people have seen and felt the benefits of a Collagen Supplement, particularly when it comes to joint health and mobility. 

There are, however, countless Collagen Supplements on the market, varying widely in price. So how do you know which one to choose, or which will be worth the price tag for you? Let’s break it all down for you. 

Types of Collagen

There are at least 16 different types of Collagen, but the main ones present in South Africa are Type I, Type II, and Type III. These types are found in different parts of our body, and so supplementing with the different types tends to serve varying roles.

  • Type I: This type accounts for 90% of the collagen found in our bodies. Type I collagen provides structure to our bones, skin, connective tissue, tendons, cartilage and teeth. This type is most abundant in marine-derived Collagen, and bovine-derived Collagen.
  • Type II: This type is found primarily in the elastic cartilage that cushions our joints. Type II Collagen is most abundant in chicken-derived Collagen and bone broths.
  • Type III: This type supports the structure of our arteries, organs and our muscles. Type III Collagen is most abundant in bovine-derived Collagen.

In South Africa you will easily find all three types of Collagen on the shelves, you simply need to read the label. If you wish to target overall health of your bones, skin, connective tissue etc. then you will want to go for a source rich in Type I and III Collagen. If you wish to specifically target your joint health and reduce pain in your joints, you will need to choose a source rich in Type II Collagen.

Hydrolysed Collagen vs Collagen Peptides 

In order for our bodies to access the amino acids found in collagen, we need for the whole collagen molecule to be partially broken down. This allows for improved absorption into the bloodstream. Hydrolysed Collagen and Collagen Peptides are actually two names for the exact same thing. These terms simply mean that the full-length collagen molecule has been slightly broken down to allow for our bodies to readily access the active amino acids. 

Organic and Grass Fed Sourced Collagen

You know how we keep harping on about choosing to eat Organic or Grass-Fed wherever possible? The same applies to your collagen supplement. Grass-Fed Collagen is created and derived from animals that are raised according to strict standards: they have never been given antibiotics, they have been able to forage and feed on greens, and they were not confined like factory animals. 

Choosing an Organic and Grass Fed sourced Collagen Supplement not only gives you peace of mind that you are avoiding any added toxins, but you can also know that you have chosen not to support factory farming. This is the more ethical choice.

Plant-Based Options

Firstly, just to clarify, there is no such thing as a true plant-based or vegan Collagen. Sadly, Collagen only comes from animal sources such as marine, bovine and chicken. However, when you break Collagen down, it is essentially a specific sequence of amino acids. Scientists have in fact found a way to get bacteria to produce the same combination of amino acids overseas. In future we may see plant-based Collagen enter the South African markets. For now, however, taking a combination of Collagen-boosting nutrients may help: vitamin c, zinc, copper, manganese, proline, and b vitamins.

Choose Your Collagen Supplement Wisely

There are some fantastic brands on the shelves in South Africa, and we really are fortunate to have Collagen Supplements that are of a very high standard. As a quick overview of your selection process:

  1. Decide on your desired outcome (better skin, improved joint health, etc.)
  2. Choose your Collagen Type
  3. Find a Hydrolyzed Collagen or Collagen Peptides
  4. Choose Organic and/or Grass-Fed

If you are a vegan or vegetarian, you may need to wait a little longer until we get Vegan Collagen in South Africa, but for now you can supplement with Collagen-boosting nutrients to get the benefits. 

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