How does Collagen work?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, due to its connective role in biological structures, such as our skin, joints, cartilage, tendons, muscles and bones. Basically, it serves as the structural support that keeps us in one piece.
Collagen is synthesized and degraded every day in our bodies, responding to a natural breakdown of damaged fibers. This breakdown process is influenced by many factors, such as genetics, the environment in which we live, and our lifestyle.
Exercising, for example, eventually provokes muscle fiber collapse, which makes room for new fibers to replace the broken ones, promoting muscle growth. In this process, new collagen molecules are synthesized. Just like that, there are many other events in our bodies that include collagen synthesis and/or degradation, which occur naturally or are a consequence of our daily habits, both good and bad, like exercising or drinking alcohol.
This breakdown/synthesis ratio is finely regulated at a biochemical level, and this is where collagen supplementation plays a key role. As we already mentioned, many of our daily habits are accelerating collagen breakdown, and as a consequence, shifting the balance of this biochemical equilibrium towards degradation. While keeping this pace, you'll eventually start to see undesired effects related to collagen breakdown such as wrinkle apparition, cellulite exacerbation, and an increased predisposition to suffer joint injuries, just to name a few. By including collagen in our diet (especially type I collagen from bovine sources, which is the most biocompatible type of collagen obtained from natural sources), you can begin to balance this breakdown/synthesis ratio.
How long do you have to take collagen before you see results?
Collagen peptides are broken down into simpler molecules called amino acids (which are the building blocks of proteins in general) and are incorporated to muscles and connective tissues to begin the repairing process. As reported by a clinical study back in 2015 (link at the end), regular ingestion of collagen peptides produced a significant increase in skin hydration after 8 weeks of consumption, while changes per se started to become noticeable as early as 4 weeks into the trial. Another study from 2017 showed how collagen supplementation significantly improved knee-joint pain associated with physical activity, demonstrating the effectiveness of collagen peptides on tissue repair.
How much collagen do you need? It depends. By consuming collagen, you may be slowing fiber breakdown, but collagen alone cannot do the whole trick.
You may wonder why some factors such as our environment in which we live, or the food we eat, can influence the way our bodies deal with collagen degradation and synthesis, and the straightforward answer is: Oxidative damage.
Sun exposure, pollution, highly-processed foods, sugar excess and many more, produce a lot of reactive oxygen species (also known as ROS) which increase oxidative damage in our system. Oxidative damage affects collagen degradation both directly, by breaking fibers themselves, and indirectly by "turning off" some genes involved in collagen synthesis.
So, to decrease the impact of reactive oxygen species, it is important to keep our antioxidant potential as high as possible.
Glutathione is the most important antioxidant in our bodies, which protects us from ROS. Keeping our glutathione levels high will make sure that collagen supplementation is as effective as it can be, since, by fighting oxidative damage you are, first, reducing collagen breakdown, and second, increasing collagen synthesis (as documented by a review in 2018, in which investigators found a correlation between higher plasma glutathione levels and collagen synthesis in patients with muscle injury).
Summing up, collagen supplementation works when it comes to repairing connective tissue damage, but it works best if combined with high glutathione levels. How long before you see results from collagen supplements? You can expect to see these effects in about 4 weeks after starting consuming it.
CELERA Detox and Repair has been formulated by expert scientists to provide all the necessary elements to improve your skin, hair, nails, bones, joints and muscles health, by increasing your antioxidant levels and providing the building blocks for new collagen fibers to be synthesized, making you look Younger, Stronger and Alive!
Written by Ignacio Morales, Team Celera
Ignacio Morales is a biotechnology engineer at Celera- he has dedicated his career to research, going from plant biology and crop science to microbiology and human genetics, with a strong passion for molecular biology. He also loves sharing scientific knowledge, so everyone can learn and be amazed at the wonders of the world.
Links to scientific studies:
- https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26267777/- https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26362110/