1. What exactly is collagen?
AnswerCollagen is the most abundant protein in the body. It makes up to one third of your body protein. Your body may be made up of organs, tissues, and cells but something needs to hold them together and that something is connective tissue. Without collagen as a building block, there would be no connective tissue. Without Vitamin C on the other hand your collagen development and maintenance would be compromised. Think of collagen as a framework – an essential structure without which you would not able to function. Bones, joints, skin, hair, and muscles enjoy the benefit. Collagen supplements are hydrolysed. This means that the collagen is broken down into peptides (short strings of amino acids) which are smaller than proteins, thus allowing for easier body absorption. Because collagen molecules are too large to be absorbed by the skin, supplements become a sought-after option.
Collagen supplements have several origins such as bovine, marine or pork. Collagen that you ingest comprises hydrolysed peptides. This means they are already broken down for easier bioavailability. Three types of collagen – 1, 2 and 3 are used in supplements. Type 1 is favoured for skin, nails, hair, and bones. Type 1 and 111 are the most commonly occurring in our bodies. They increase the elasticity of the skin and reduce wrinkles. They also stimulate the production of amino acid – Glycine. Glycine builds muscle and burns fat. Type 2 collagen promotes joint and cartilage. It has become extremely popular for reducing painful symptoms of arthritis. Medical research is finally acknowledging the benefit of collagen supplementation.
2. With collagen can I be taking in too much protein?
AnswerYour body needs protein. You will not survive without it. Collagen is a protein of significant value as a building block of your entire body. It is spread throughout your body: blood vessels, cartilage, bones, vertebral discs, skin, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Aging causes a depletion of collagen and when our body does not get what it tends physical damage can occur. It starts to work harder. Painful joints could be an early symptom of reduced collagen. Collagen helps to regulate metabolism. Weight loss is associated with adequate collagen supplementation and that be caused by renewed energy, movement, and exercise as more youthful vigour returns.
3. Why can’t I just take vitamins and ignore the collagen?
AnswerThe idea of collagen and vitamin supplements has caused much debate. The reason for this is that your body produces collagen on its own. As you get older that starts to decline which affects your natural stores. That is a risk you should avoid at all costs. Poor dietary habits, smoking and ultraviolet rays can also impact on your bodily collagen values. You may see a difference from your twenties so do not ignore it. You may not notice it at first but your mobility, flexibility, skin tone, muscle strength and hair texture may be early indicators suggesting you consider your options. A healthy ingestion of Vitamin C helps your body to synthesise collagen and yes, your first port of call should be from fruits and vegetables such as oranges, lemons, broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, tomatoes, leafy greens, and berries. But nature lets us down and refined foods are very destructive. As we get older and collagen deficiencies are quite common. These deficiencies can occur as early as 25 years of age. Sustained health requires effort, exercise, and a personalized profile of supplements. Taking a supplement means that you are an active partner in your health as you pursue a quality life and longevity. Scientific research is finally demonstrating meaningful change from the use of supplements. Collagen is one.
4. What benefits do I get from taking a Collagen-Vitamin C combo?
AnswerVitamin C is a wonder vitamin as it enables the biosynthesis of collagen. Pick up any reputable book on health and nutrition and you will discover a common thread. You need collagen to sustain a healthy presence, a vibrant upright posture, healthy movement, muscles, bodily structure, flexibility, body tone, moist elastic skin and strong cartilage and nails. That is for starters. Your cardiovascular system is a direct beneficiary. Your blood vessels for instance consist of structural proteins – meaning collagen and elastin. Vitamin C is needed for collagen development. Human beings have a high need for Vitamin C in comparison to other vitamins. As we get older, often we become neglectful of consuming enough Vitamin C and that is when the trouble starts with blood vessels which start to thin and become less elastic. So, blood vessel health and blood pressure are influenced by an appropriate intake of Vitamin C. It is part of the collagen combo. Of course, getting Vitamin C from fruit and vegetables is your first option: broccoli, cauliflower, oranges, tomatoes, spinach, green and red peppers, berries, cabbage, and sweet potatoes are good sources. The highly refined Western diet is however doing its damage and dieticians are waking up to this too. Did you know that potatoes peeled, cut, and soaked in water for two hours and then baked and eaten, have lost 89% of their Vitamin C? So back up and enjoy the benefits.
5. How will I know who is a qualified advisor on or supplier of collagen?
AnswerReputation, standards, qualifications, source are everything. Anyone who gives you advice regarding health needs to be registered. It is for your protection. These advisors can be trained clinicians, dieticians or qualified health and nutrition coaches. If you look on the websites of collagen suppliers throughout the globe, you will soon see if the founders are qualified in a clinical field such as chemistry, pharmacy, dietetics, nutrition or related fields. Some may just be bandwagon seekers who want to make a fast buck. There is no shortage of snake oil salespeople. Others are discerning ethical vendors who understand the bio medical underpinnings of supplements such as collagen, vitamins, and amino acids. Their reputation rests on it. Here is a scary story we should never forget. Learn from history. Decades ago, it was found that melamine was added to infant formula in China, causing illness in 50 000 infants. It was a short cut to save money. The message is a simple one. Use a reliable source so you have guarantees about the package contents. You are also then in charge of your own safety net as you pursue your personal health strategy.
6. Is collagen a supplement fad?
AnswerDid you know that the internet and social media have once been considered fads? Can you disregard the enormous benefits they provide as you connect with the world, build your business, and survive the current pandemic crisis? They are essential. Because the oral ingestion of collagen has become popular does not make it a fad. Its popularity is a recognition of scientific discoveries that drive health and wealth being. Collagen needs to be maintained to live a normal, healthy and productive life. As you age, it is not business as usual for your body. Your body produces less collagen. If you are an active partner in your health, you will choose to live well. You may be able to dramatically slow down the aging process by taking advantage of supplements. There was a time when people never took vitamin supplements or did not eat a diet rich in nutrients. History is rich with stories of sailors who died of scurvy centuries ago from lack of Vitamin C. Once the need for these nutrients was discovered and once it was realized that everyday food may not provide an adequate supply, the vitamin and supplement supply chain, through pharmacies, was born. Doctors, scientists, pharmacists, global citizens all became stakeholders to health. True – reckless downing of vitamins could be harmful. This is not about unbridled ingestion of supplements. Collagen supplements have entered its own reputable journey. There are stages in life where what you eat does not supply enough for total health. People are now taking charge of their health by ensuring an adequate supply of all nutrients. Health conscious people are making collagen supplements among other nutrients a responsible personal choice. Following instructions on dosage should be a considered daily activity which may reap the dividends you seek. You can take collagen in capsule, powder, or liquid format.
7. What is the best collagen supplement to take?
AnswerThe collagen supplements you may need to add to your own health kit depends on their origins, reliable and ethical vendors, your physical activity, DNA indicators, lifestyle, health, and individualized needs. It is so easy to reach for a package marked collagen on a shelf. But if you are an informed buyer you will be checking out the label and website. Look for the origins, contents, and credentials of the suppliers. Look for a guarantee label. Look for a reputable company with substantial premises in full operation, not a back door facility where someone is hoping to capitalise on health trends. Snake oil vendors are two penny all over the world. Too many people have been buying honey for example in heavily commercialised plastic bottles. This so-called honey turns out to be a highly processed mixture of glucose, fructose, dextrose, maltose, and a host of other ingredients with a small percentage of honey. Those additive ingredients which disguise sugar in volumes enough to harm a diabetic never mind that of a perfectly healthy person should be avoided at all costs. Do not contaminate your body with disguised refined sugars, additives, flavourants, and carbohydrates that can do your body harm. The same rule applies to any supplement you buy not only collagen. Be alert. Your body has been described as a temple. Treasure it by choosing wisely within any food purchase.
8. Is collagen a ‘wake up’ call supplement?
AnswerCollagen is the most abundant protein in the body. Your body may be made up of organs, tissues and cells but something needs to hold them together and that – is connective tissue. Without collagen as a building block, there would be no connective tissue. Think of it as a framework, an essential structure without which you would not able to function. Bones, joints, skin, hair and muscles enjoy the benefit. So collagen needs to be maintained to live a normal, healthy and productive life. Did you know that according to scientists quoted in Time Magazine, the child that will live to 150 has already been born? That suggests a quality life can be yours for 15 decades. You must be a decision maker in your journey of life.
9. Are there warning signals of collagen loss in my body?
AnswerWhen you are young your body has the ability to synthesis collagen for the benefit of skin, muscle, ligaments, tendons, bones, hair and gut health. As you get older your body does not respond the same way. Approximately a third of your body’s protein comprises collagen. When your body’s ability to produce collagen slows down dramatically it may be time for you to take charge and provide solutions. You are not a hostage to your genes. Collagen loss can be experienced as unwanted side effects of aging: joint wear, inflexibility, loss of muscle tone, dull hair, arthritic aches reduced mobility, pain and loss of skin elasticity. Wrinkles set in. Collagen and exercise go together. Look at a complete picture to slow the aging process. It is your body – prevent deterioration and do repairs now as you note early symptoms of collagen deficiencies: body pains, stiff joints, dry skin, dull hair, weak muscles, lack of body tone, inflexibility and reduced mobility
10. How will I know I am being conned with a collagen purchase?
AnswerThere is no easy check list for discovering adulterated collagen products on the shelf. Remember collagen is not a magic wand that brings changes to your body overnight. You may have spent decades not looking after your health until the mirror and aching joints gave you a wakeup call. It is not a quick fix. According to research, collagen supplements work over time – and with regular, disciplined and responsible use. Coupled to exercise you will have a double whammy. The addition of Vitamin C gives you an immediate boost towards collagen formation which is why we have included it in our product range. A rule of thumb is this: read the label, check out the laboratory supplying it. Check the credentials of the vendors. Have they earned the right to market health supplements such as this or are they small garage operations? Look for the guarantee stamp. Choose wisely.
11. Can I tell my collagen needs from a DNA test?
” We are creating a world in which it will be imperative for each individual person to have sufficient scientific literacy to understand the new riches of knowledge, so that we can apply then wisely.”
David Baltimore Biologist 2001.
Know your genes. Know what works best with your DNA. We can thank the digital environment for formidable access to knowledge. Knowledge is wealth. Knowing your DNA profile could give you new direction and a wealth of possibilities. DNA profile tests through a reputable clinician go beyond only the skin. That is why a trained practitioner is essential to look at the big picture. Some DNA aspects which may appear to describe irregularities, can have little consequence to your health. Only a trained professional can interpret your DNA profile result accurately. One single gene may appear to ring alarm bells but with the bigger picture and the presence of other factors your health picture could be a very good one. If you look after it.
Skin DNA testing is the latest in a range of tests available that can give you valuable insights you are your health, and they are becoming increasingly popular. One aspect of a DNA test – skin elasticity – is particularly useful. You can learn about your own unique genetic skin makeup through a reputable laboratory. Tawa Labs works only with reputable laboratories and registered DNA practitioners when necessary. Not everyone’s skin is the same.
It is said that your DNA is the gun, the environment is the trigger. You can be an active partner to lifelong health by managing your health environment. You are what you do and eat. We stress, consider DNA tests through the eyes of a trained clinician. A practitioner can give you insights which help you prevent disease and premature aging. You can make exceptional lifestyle changes which can add productive years ahead. Tawa Labs keeps a comprehensive list of professionals licensed to do DNA tests. We will help you discover those nearest to you so you can choose for yourself.
12. What are the different types of collagen?
AnswerThere are many types of collagen which support each other, but we focus on three: Type 1, Type 2 and Type 3, – all of which can contribute to your overall wellbeing, particularly when taken with Vitamin C. Type 1 and 3 are the most common. Collagen in supplements typically, has one of three origins: bovine, marine or pork. Bovine is popular for Types 1 and 111.
Type 1 Collagen enjoys a reputation for reducing fine lines on the skin as well as wrinkles. It strengthens nails, bones, hair and also dentine in your teeth. It hydrates the skin and enhances elasticity and it helps to rebuild muscle. It is also necessary for the vitreous humor of the eye.
Type 2 Collagen is essential for connective tissue and cartilage. It is a pliable and structural protein. It literally keeps the skeleton together, forming the links between muscles and bones. It also takes care of your intervertebral discs, blood vessel walls and cartilage.
Type 3 contributes to the integrity of skin, muscles and blood vessels. It plays an important role in gut health and now we know that gut health affects brain functioning too. That may mean your mental health as well.
13. How is collagen formed?
AnswerLet us look at the bigger picture as we answer this question. You will notice that we have included Vitamin C with some of our key products. The reason for that is Vitamin C is essential for the biosynthesis of collagen and elastin. Both are structurally important for maintaining thick, elastic, healthy artery walls. Vitamin C deficiency, scientific research tells us, is widespread throughout the world. That is a wakeup call. So, you may have less than an optimal supply of it for collagen formation. You do not want to take that risk. Inadequate collagen formation can lead to less than perfect collagen layers in the artery wall, making it thin. This in turn predisposes to damage from homocysteine and other toxins. Homocysteine is a type of amino acid used by your body to make proteins. It needs to be broken down by adequate intake of vitamins or it can do serious damage to your cardiovascular system. High blood levels of homocysteine increase vascular disease. It is a vicious cycle. Now that you know how Vitamin C and collagen work hand in hand you are in greater charge of your health. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant which is known to suppress free radical activity and the oxidation of cholesterol.
14. Why is there a debate about the value of taking Collagen supplements?
AnswerThere has been a debate about taking collagen supplements over the years. Early research questioned its promises. Recent peer reviewed research however is demonstrating measurable benefits with regular use. One controlled study was conducted with realistic expectations and it produced encouraging results. Visible changes were seen on the skin after three months. You may have spent years not looking after your total health. You have paid a price and it cannot be addressed or remedied overnight. There is good news, and you can take back a measure of control. Research keeps improving with new technology and methodology and stricter guidelines. Sometimes important findings have been ignored. A hundred years ago, a physician, Dr Semmelweiss was prohibited from practising medicine because he dared to challenge current opinion and practice. He had brilliant and rare insight into the causes of mortality of mothers after childbirth in a hospital setting. All he asked for was for all the doctors to practise basic hygiene habits and apply hand disinfection methods in maternity hospitals. They thought he was crazy. The lives of thousands of women would have been saved if the authorities listened to him. This is a valuable lesson. It shows that scientific research keeps adding valuable insights which we cannot ignore. We cannot refute the role of collagen and Vitamin C in slowing the aging process and improving health. Science now backs it. If you want to read up on this research, you will find links on our website.
15. Do men and women have different collagen needs?
AnswerLook at the skin of a man and a woman closely and you will see significant differences. Take note of texture, tone, thickness, moisture, softness, elasticity, and collagen. Men have a higher collagen density than women. Because of this, signs of aging will appear earlier and be more visible in women. Collagen decreases with age, but women of all ages always have less. Skin thinning is caused by collagen loss. When does this start? Skin thickness starts to decrease in thickness in both men and women from the age of 45. A man’s skin is approximately 25% thicker than that of a woman. A man’s skin is also drier and more sensitive to ultraviolet radiation. Both men and women tend to lose 1% of their facial collagen per year after the age of 30. As women approach menopause they experience greater loss. Post menopause research records a 2% loss per year for women. Muscle tone and body sculpting can be compromised without conscious effort and collagen supplements have therefore increased in popularity for highly active men who prize a healthy physical appearance and consistent performance in sport. The gender gap however has narrowed. Both men and women throughout the world are showing greater interest in gym work outs and sports. These people tend to be health conscious and discerning when they purchase supplements. They actively seek to improve body and muscle tone, greater mobility, flexibility, skin hydration and reduced wrinkles.
16. Should I give collagen supplements to my children?
AnswerDo not fix what isn’t broken. Children like adults need real foods. This means fresh fruit, vegetables, and daily protein requirements. Processed foods are undesirable as processes and additives used could denature food. With a balanced diet which includes all nutrients a child’s body will be maintaining natural collagen levels to support total body functioning. A child’s diet should be rich in all elements which promote healthy development. A child should be getting regular exercise to help with the biosynthesis. It is only with the aging process from the age of approximately 25 that the body’s ability to synthesise and maintain collagen may be compromised and therefore require the support of supplementation. If a child has any disorder or deficiency it should be diagnosed on a case to case basis, and addressed via your family physician, paediatrician and a dietician who will suggest necessary adjustments to daily dietary habits or medical interventions. Protein varies according to individual needs.
17. Will collagen supplementation interfere with my medication?
AnswerThere are no known drug interactions with collagen. Whenever you become a candidate for surgery or you visit a doctor, you will be asked if you are taking any supplements, vitamins, or medication. Always declare it as your doctor will know of any new research which suggests conflict with medication to be prescribed. There is a favourable connection between collagen and thyroid health, hormone balance and healthy nutrition. Supplementation is considered important because it is difficult to get enough from dietary sources. Your doctor may find improved thyroid function and make decisions about dosage of thyroid medication. Always seek medical advice before adjusting any medication dosages or changing a prescription regime.
18. How does collagen slow aging?
AnswerAsk about ageing and you are asking about three issues: how you look, how you feel, and what is going on inside your body. Let us begin with how you look. Outward signs of aging could include premature wrinkling, stiff joints, slower movements, dull thinning hair, dry skin, and reduced body tone. How you feel touches your emotions and sense of wellbeing. Seeing physical changes in the mirror are often demotivating. Poor muscle tone and lack of free walking range may cause you to slow down on necessary exercise to avoid discomfort just when you need it the most. Your emotional state because of this may obstruct your daily performance, spontaneity, happiness, activities, hobbies, and interaction with others. Feeling older than your age can affect your mental health.
Looking good has an evolutionary bias. The skin plays an important role in perceptions of health and beauty. It is an age marker. Do not confuse looking good with beauty as that ideal varies from culture to culture. What does not vary is the conscious and unconscious ability to recognise health and vitality in others. Employment decisions are made on this. People who look healthy are considered low risks in company appointments for instance. People who look healthy and vital are more likely to find mates. People who look healthy are considered more attractive. So, when you want to look good you are not being vain. You are probably unconsciously responding to a society, community or group which seeks evidence of desirable habits: responsibility, self-discipline, and self-care. Ever figure out why an interview you had for prospective employment went well when your skills are discussed but then you are side stepped for the job. Think about it. Company leaders need to invest in people who look healthy apart from impressive CVs.
Here is a reminder: Collagen is a significant body protein you cannot ignore. Remember it is one third of your body’s protein. It is the glue which holds your body structure and skeleton together, giving you physical strength, a bounce in your step, easy mobility, thick artery walls, a healthy gut, body tone, a hydrated smooth skin and glossy hair. Cartilage, tendons, and ligaments benefit. You need it. Your physical radiance sends powerful messages to others.
An appropriate supply of collagen in the body can change your disposition, behaviour, performance, and health quotient. With age bodily production of collagen slows down and your joint wear affects your movement. Arthritis could be a factor. You do not have to be hostage to your body’s deficiencies