This is a guest post written by Mollie O’Brien, RN, BSN.

Today, I want to share with you about collagen support. Collagen supplementation has been more popular in the media and has become a primary protein supplement for the health conscious. Personally, I drink a serving every morning in my coffee. But why?

Collagen is a protein, found in our connective tissue that supports our skin, bones, tendons and ligaments, promoting their elasticity. It is also found in the connective tissue of our blood vessels, heart, kidneys, bladder and digestive trace. We have collagen naturally in our bodies, but as we age, its prevalence is decreased, impacting elasticity of these body parts.

Collagen has been found to:

  • Decrease wrinkles
  • Strengthen hair and nails
  • Decrease joint stiffness
    • Collagen supports elasticity in the joints, allowing them to flex and extend with minimal discomfort
  • Increase protein intake
    • Important for cell-repair and growth, supporting the functions of our body daily
  • Aid post-exercise muscle recovery and decrease stiffness
  • Improve gut issues and digestion

Collagen can be sourced from gelatin, collagen peptides or bone broth. While no research really states which source is most beneficial, it would make sense that sourcing directly from the animal (as in through bone broth) would provide the most benefit. Bone broth contains amino acids and minerals not found in collagen peptides and gelatin. However, amounts are unclear and can be inconsistent.

My advice? If you enjoy and want to source bone broth, do it. If not, I think it is just personal preference.  Below I list some differences among the three.

Bone-broth specifically, contains:

  • Potassium and glycine to support cell and liver detoxification
  • Glutathione for antioxidant defense and cell processes
  • 19 essential and nonessential amino acids
  • Minerals the body needs like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon and sulphur
  • All naturally sourced
  • You can make it yourself, being environmentally friendly and finding a use for the animal bones

Collagen Peptides

  • Look for 100% hydrolyzed collagen
  • Contains 11-18g of protein per serving
  • Collagen is tasteless and dissolves easily in all temperatures
  • Add it to coffee, tea, smoothies, oatmeal, anything

Gelatin

  • Gelatin is the cooked form of collagen and results in a gelatinous substance when used.
  • I used this before I knew about collagen. It is a little harder to work with because it gelatinizes quickly. However, you can make jell-o or gummy bears out of it and add it to smoothies easily. It is temperature sensitive, so it is easier to mix with cold water first and then add to a hot substance, if needed.

I have used Vital Proteins and Great Lakes and I love their products.

**If you have kidney issues or are on a low-protein diet, be aware that collagen is high in protein. Consider this before adding collagen to your diet.