Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. It makes up the majority of our skin tissues, and is also found in bones, muscles and ligaments, as well as our brain and eyes. It is the scaffolding that keeps our cells structured, and its fibrous qualities can help to keep our cells resilient in the face of ageing, no pun intended!
This is especially clear in our skin, where a lack of natural collagen can increase the signs of ageing, from wrinkles to dryness.
It is possible to combat these signs, to give our skin back some of its former glory, and to promote wellness in other areas of the body by using collagen supplements. From topical applications to pre-mixed drinks, capsules and even coffees, collagen supplements are thought to have a positive impact on our skin. Improved hydration, enhanced elasticity, smoother skin and better skin density may all be results of consistent and regular collagen supplementation (Bolke et al., 2019).
And it’s not just our skin that can benefit from a little boost of collagen here and there! Supplementing with collagen has also been linked to better heart and gut health, improved recovery time after exercise and relief from joint pain and stiffness (Hashim, Hashim and Muda, 2015).
However, most collagen supplements on the market use animal sources, and this is where collagen can become less attractive, especially to those who don’t consume animal products or have environmental concerns about the production of animal based supplements. But there is a solution!
Plant-based collagen builders are a relative newcomer to the health and wellness sector and, as with any new product, there can be reservations about effectiveness, results, and how it might work for you. So, without further ado - here are four myths about plant-based collagen builders, debunked.
Myth #1: You have to eat collagen to get collagen
Collagen can only be produced by animals, which includes humans. If you’re following a plant-based diet, have religious dietary restrictions, or severe allergies, then animal-based collagen might not be suitable for you. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have collagen!
Plant-based collagen builders offer you the opportunity to build your own collagen in a healthy and effective way without needing to eat animal collagen. Human collagen and animal collagen are fundamentally different in their makeup, so it’s illogical and inefficient for us to eat another animal’s collagen when our body is already primed to create the exact collagen we need. We just need to find the right building blocks. This is where collagen builders come in.
Collagen builders have all of the necessary components for building high quality collagen specific to you. Animal based collagen needs to be broken down and rebuilt in order for the body to be able to use it - and there’s no guarantee it will even be rebuilt as collagen. However, plant-based collagen builders are specifically designed to promote collagen synthesis by containing all the amino acids and other nutrients your body needs.
Whilst there is ongoing scientific research into the development of ‘true’ vegan collagen, this requires extensive genetic modification of various bacteria and plant-based compounds, which many people want to avoid, making plant-based collagen builders the preferred option (Báez, Olsen and Polarek, 2005).
Myth #2: I drink protein shakes, so I don’t need a collagen builder.
Yes, collagen is a protein, but not all proteins are able to create collagen in the body. The amino acid profiles present in protein powder are designed and blended to help build lean muscle mass and promote faster recovery, whilst collagen is built in the body using specific amino acids (glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline). Most protein powders do not contain these amino acids in sufficient quantities to create collagen.
The body also requires other nutrients, notably Vitamin C, copper, zinc and silica to promote healthy collagen synthesis and create high quality collagen in the body. These are also not present in typical protein powders as they do not affect the efficacy of protein powder. If they do contain any of these extra nutrients, it would be at levels which do not promote collagen synthesis. (Tessari, Lante and Mosca, 2016)
A good collagen builder can work alongside protein powders in order to promote our overall health and wellbeing, but protein powder is no substitute for a plant-based collagen builder.
Myth #3: Animal collagen works better than plant-based collagen builders.
There’s no conclusive proof to suggest that, actually. The EU’s Health and Nutritional Claims Register shows no authorised claims that bovine and marine collagen work in the way they’re claimed to in any way.
However, what is shown on this register is the efficacy of Vitamin C in promoting collagen synthesis for the normal function of skin, bones and blood vessels. High quality plant-based collagen builders will contain Vitamin C in order to promote the creation of collagen within the human body (Padayatty and Levine, 2016).
Myth #4: You can’t restore your body’s lost collagen with a collagen builder.
Thankfully, this isn’t true. Good food, exercise and consistent oral supplementation of collagen building ingredients can help to restore your body’s own collagen, and even provide a boost to overall collagen production. Plant-based collagen builders used consistently can help your body to create high quality collagen and target key areas, such as joints and connective tissues. The problem with most collagen supplements is that they don’t contain enough of the amino acids and other nutrients, which leaves them ineffective.
Vivo Life’s plant-based Collagen Builder contains functional doses of the ingredients your body needs to create its own collagen, without needing to ingest animal collagen. Plus, it’s fermented and plant-based, so it’s extremely easy to digest which means no bloating or stomach problems.
It has a specific amino acid and nutrient profile designed to promote effective, high quality collagen synthesis in the body. This blend of nutrients is third party tested, contains 25g of collagen building proteins per serving, and 240mg of hyaluronic acid to aid in skin support, all without contributing to factory farming and the unnecessary suffering of animals.
You can build collagen your own way, and this is a better way to build it.
Báez, J., Olsen, D. and Polarek, J.W. (2005). Recombinant microbial systems for the production of human collagen and gelatin. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, [online] 69(3), pp.245–252. doi:10.1007/s00253-005-0180-x.
Bolke, L., Schlippe, G., Gerß, J. and Voss, W. (2019). A Collagen Supplement Improves Skin Hydration, Elasticity, Roughness, and Density: Results of a Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Blind Study. Nutrients, 11(10), p.2494. doi:10.3390/nu11102494.