The one beauty supplement you need and probably aren’t taking

After finding out my body hates vegan protein powders and the entire legume family, I was left rummaging the supplement aisle at Whole Foods looking for a new protein powder for my morning smoothies. Twenty minutes of rejecting product after product – is everything these days made with pea or soy protein?! – the clouds finally parted and I stumbled upon Bullet Proof’s Hydrolyzed Collagen supplement. In addition to 10g of protein per serving, the package read like the ultimate supplement boasting fast tissue repair, increased mobility and bone renewal post working out; plus, revitalized skin and anti-aging benefits. Interesting…I decided to give it a go and tossed it into my cart. Little did I know until later that night after some online research, but hydrolyzed collagen is about to be (if not on its way already) the next big beauty supplement. Read on for the how and why…

What is hydrolyzed collagen?
Hydrolyzed collagen comes from the bones, skin and connective tissue of animals (i.e. fish, cattle). In the case of Bulletproof’s Updated Hydrolyzed Collagen, they get theirs from cow hides. (Grass-fed and raised without hormones or antibiotics, just in case you were wondering). The outer portion of the hide is used to make leather and the interior collagen lining is broken down into gelatin (yes, Jello). By breaking down the gelatin once more into smaller molecules – collagen peptides and amino acids – you now have hydrolyzed collagen.

So why is hydrolyzed collagen a superior collagen supplement?

Hydrolyzed collagen is easily absorbed and distributed by the human body. These tiny molecules reach the small intestine, are absorbed into the blood stream, and are able to travel throughout the body. One area in particular they are able to reach is the deepest layer of the skin – the dermis. Once here, magic happens. Hydrolyzed collagen provides the building blocks for the formation of new collagen and elastin. (Did you just get chills? Me, too. It’s almost too good to be true.)

As we age, the ability to replenish collagen decreases by 1.5% each year, simultaneously as hyaluronic acid and elastin are depleted. This results in the the usual signs of aging – sagging skin, dullness, loss of moisture, suppleness and elasticity.

By supplementing with hydrolyzed collagen over a 60 day period, three clinical trials from Japan, published in the Journal of Medical Nutrition & Nutraceuticals , reported a gradual increase of skin hydration, firmness and suppleness. And it gets better. Once the hydrolyzed collagen molecules made their way to the dermis, it was found they could remain there for up to 14 days stimulating new collagen production.

OMG.

Okay, if you’re less concerned with the vanity aspect and more interested in the overall health benefits of a hydrolyzed collagen supplement, you’ll be interested to find that a study published  in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, reported that moderate intake of hydrolyzed collagen effectively prevented age-related bone loss in rats. While another found hydrolyzed collagen to have a positive therapeutic role in osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. (You’re probably not thinking about osteoporosis, quite yet, but maybe tell your mom?)

While the daily dose recommended for optimal results varies within the scientific community, it was noted that higher doses did not show significant improvements over moderate doses given during most clinical trials.

More isn’t always better.

-by Amy Chang
Image source: Face_gym; Bulletproof

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