What it is: Collagen are protein structures that act as connective tissue in our bodies, holding together joints, bones, and skin. When animal bones are cooked, the collagen created is called gelatin. There are a few types of collagen supplements on the market. Undenatured type 11 collagen (UC-II) has larger peptides, while hydrolyzed collagen (also known as collagen hydrolysate) is a processed gelatin that’s broken down into smaller peptide chains using high heat. While absorption speed isn’t an issue for either, they are digested differently in the body. There are several types of hydrolyzed collagen, the most popular being types 1, 11, and 111. “Although some hydrolyzed collagen products tout that they’re type 11 only [typically for joints], combos of 1, 11, and 111, or just 1 and 111 [for skin] are also good. And most gelatin products don’t specify what type and quantity of each they contain,” explains Kamal Patel, MPH, director of examine.com, a website devoted to research on nutrition and supplements. “There’s no way to know except by reaching out to the companies directly.”
What it does: As we get older, our collagen production naturally slows, which can make cartilage thin out and weaken. Less collagen also means your skin is less elastic and thinner—which equals more wrinkles and sagging. “Taking collagen as a supplement may help improve joint function and overall skin health,” says Patel.
How much: For joints, Patel recommends taking 40mg per day of UC-II, 10g daily of hydrolyzed collagen, or 10g to 15g per day of gelatin. For skin, Patel suggests 2.5g or 5g a day of hydrolyzed or type 1 collagen.
Try it in: ResVitále Collagen Enhance.