to be or not to be?!
to be or not to be?!
It's been a while since the world went crazy for a supplement that actually works, but collagen seems to be creating a huge global buzz right now and, whilst we have all probably learned the hard way that there are no 'miracle' cures on the planet, more and more stories are emerging of people experiencing almost miraculous results with collagen.
So, what is collagen and why has it become the world's favourite supplement?...
THAT IS THE QUESTION!
Collagen is not a single substance but rather a family of naturally occurring proteins found in animals, especially in the flesh and connective tissues of mammals. It is a protein family made up of chains of amino acids formed in a triple helix configuration (think DNA but with 3 strands instead of 2!). It is this triple helix structure which builds the strong but flexible fibres that form the structure of our bodies. It is the most abundant protein found in hair, bones, tendons, ligaments, eyes, discs and organs and gives our skin and joints strength and elasticity. It also holds all of our cells and tissues together and ensures the integrity, elasticity and regeneration of skin, cartilage and bones. It represents almost 30% of all human protein content.
Collagen production peaks around the age of 20, slowing down as we age. This reduction causes the gradual deterioration of collagen fibres which results in our skin becoming dehydrated and thinner and causes wrinkles to appear. It also leads to the loss of bone and cartilage plus increased pain, discomfort and inflammation in our joints. Our collagen contains 8 of the 9 essential amino acids the body needs and has 18 amino acids in total. These include glycine, which is an immuno-nutrient that helps the body create DNA and promotes more restorative sleep; proline which assists the body to produce its own collagen; glutamine which reduces inflammation of the gut and arginine which helps improve athletic performance.
Collagen hydrolysate is the purest and most bio-available form of protein in the world. Unlike eating meat or fish, collagen powder requires very little digestion because the hydrolysis process has already broken down the proteins into smaller molecules called protein peptides. In addition, there are none of the downsides that you get with eating meat/fish, like gut fermentation or ingesting nasty by-products, and unlike protein from whey or dairy products, collagen actually heals the gut whereas whey wrecks the gut and, unlike pea and hemp protein, collagen contains all of the amino acids (except for tryptophan). Now, because proteins are the building blocks of our body, consuming collagen means you are consuming the most bio-available source of protein giving your body the building blocks it needs to heal, grow, renew and repair. It’s a bit like having a builder – give him bricks and he will build you a house! So, give your body collagen and your body will build you a “house”.
The "science" states that the effects of collagen within the body typically take at least 8-12 weeks, so how come many people are reporting results faster? Well, the body is much smarter than science and it will breakdown the collagen protein peptides into each of the amino acids and then use these amino acids for whatever it decides is necessary. Your body may use them for skin, eyes, nails, hair, muscles, bones, cartilage, tendons, joints, gut, brain and inflammation or whatever else the body requires in that moment. So, when taking collagen, whilst we may want to see a decrease in wrinkles or a reduction in pain or stronger nails or faster growing hair, we may not get that exact result. It is important to bear this in mind when talking collagen. If you don’t see results, it's unlikely that the collagen is not working, but more likely that the benefits are happening on the inside rather than the out. All that said, many people are reporting improvements in pain within days; growth of hair and nails within a week and some people are reporting hair re-growth within a month. Many people are reporting faster healing from injuries, enhanced performance in sports, a reduction in sensitivities to food or food allergies, improvement in mobility and better sleep and mental alertness. None of this has been backed by science because it’s all still so new, but hey - if it works, it works right? And it cannot be denied that it is working for hundreds of thousands of people globally. So, maybe science has missed a trick? It wouldn't be the first time, afterall!
We are all made of protein so all of our bodies need protein, but there may be certain situations where the body cannot use the protein effectively or an individual may react to such a pure form of protein. Sometimes, for genetic and lifestyle reasons, people cannot break down protein very well, even small protein peptides. In this instance, they may have to consider taking the enzyme Protease or healing the body first with other protocols such as meat stock, pro-biotics and fermented foods. At other times, people may just simply have an allergic reaction to the collagen and experience mild reactions such as cramping or itchy skin. Collagen is a protein and protein comes from food so, in the same way that some people cannot eat wheat or peanuts, some people may react to beef, fish, pork or chicken collagen. Once again, it is not necessarily an issue with the collagen supplement, but rather a matter of that person's own personal physiology being unable to assimilate the collagen proteins effectively. If you experience a reaction, you may want switch types of collagen (eg from bovine to marine) or you may want to take an enzyme. However, if you have any concerns, then just stop using the product and you should find any symptoms will go away. However, if you have any concerns then always consult your Doctor.
Collagen is one of those products where you typically get what you pay for, so a higher price is normally indicative of a higher quality, but this is not always the case. With collagen in such demand, some unethical retailers are inflating prices unnecessarily. The single, most important factor is the quality of collagen. As mentioned, the technology behind the hydrolysis process will determine the quality and efficacy of the end product. This is why when you open cheaper or inferior brands of collagen, they may smell very beefy or fishy and have very strong, often unbearable tastes. In terms of pricing, collagen powders are the most cost effective. They are also the most flexible and natural form to take. Be wary of capsules as these will only contain a fraction of the collagen dose of powder and often contain nasties. Capsules tend to work out the most expensive, giving you least collagen for the highest price. Collagen shots and liquids may contain more collagen than capsules, but rarely do they have the same doses as powder. They also tend to be ready made and enhanced with flavourings and sweeteners, most of which are chemically processed. Being pre-mixed, they will also dictate the taste, which is great if you like it, but not if you don't! Shots are also more expensive than powder and tend to only come in a 1-2 week supply. Therefore, collagen powders offer the best value for money at typically 70p-£1 per dose, compared to around £10 per equivalent dose in capsules. Liquid shots are often double if not triple the price of powder for an equivalent dose. Make sure you work out how much collagen is in each dose and calculate the price of each dose to be sure you are getting the best value.
Typically, 95% of the supplements available contain either bovine collagen from cows or marine collagen from fish. Whilst some retailers may try and convince you that one is better than the other, or that you need to take a specific “Type” of collagen, there is actually no difference in terms of effectiveness in which collagen you take, especially if you are using high quality powder. “Type” of collagen is irrelevant because the body breaks all “Types” of collagen down into their respective amino acids and uses these amino acids accordingly, regardless of which “Type” they came from. The following points should help you understand any real differences between bovine and marine collagen:
Essentially both marine and bovine collagen do the same job and they should both taste, smell and dissolve in similar ways - it’s just that the marine will cost more.
As you now know, collagen is a protein and protein forms 30% of us humans. That makes protein, and therefore collagen, a staple rather than a supplement. So, the secret to success with collagen is consistency and persistency. Take a full dose (at least 10 grams per day) every day, building up slowly at first to allow the body time to adjust to the purity of the protein. If you buy a high-quality collagen, then you can simply add this to any hot or cold food or drinks to suit your taste. Try in warm lemon water, tea, coffee, smoothies, yoghurt, porridge, soup, curry, bolognese, casseroles, dressings or baking. There's pretty much no recipe that you can't add it to whether sweet or savoury. Just play around with quantities and get creative and make sure you have plenty of Vitamin C in your diet, as this is a co-factor in the production of collagen within the body.
If you think about how collagen is produced as above, it takes millions of cows to produce collagen. This process therefore involves hundreds, if not thousands of farmers, raising these millions of cows across huge countries. There is currently absolutely no control or proof of whether every farmer has fed every cow nothing but grass for every day of the year. Standard farming practice around the world is to supplement cattle feed in the winter, often with grains. In addition, there is no local or global certifying body or independent authority that governs grass-fed (unlike The Soil Association govern organic farming in the UK). Finally, there are not enough grass-fed cattle farms around the world to supply the huge global demand for collagen. So, any manufacturer claiming grass-fed is actually making false claims. It doesn't mean that their collagen won't work or is poor quality, but simply that their ethics and intentions are questionable. But it's not all bad news if you are worried about grain feed….. if the factory where the collagen is produced has state-of-the-art equipment, then the collagen will be so efficiently hydrolysed that any traces of any kind of feed given to the cattle will have been totally removed from the process.
Collagen is a protein from food and so, like beef or fish or chicken, it will generally have no contra-indications, unless you have a health condition or take medication which requires an avoidance of protein. That said, always consult your GP or medical adviser if you have any medical concerns or are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Our product is certified Halal by The Islamic Dissemination Centre for Latin America (CDIAL). It certifies that our product only uses bovine hides and skin which are obtained according to Islamic rules and that are produced in the presence and under the direct supervision of an authorised representative of CDIAL. Accordingly, our products are Halal and suitable for consumption by Muslims in any part of the world.
If you would like to see this certification, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will be more than happy to send this to you.
Firstly, we have to point out that by law that we cannot offer any medical advice and are required to suggest that you contact your GP or medical advisor with regards to taking collagen during pregnancy.
That said, we can offer insights into what other customers have done, with the caveat that we recommend you still consult your doctor.
One of our customers had her first baby recently, and we encouraged her to take the collagen during her pregnancy and afterwards to help with stretch marks, internal muscle tone and bone/joint support, as well as after-birth recovery. She did this and had no stretch marks and, if they had not used forceps on delivery, would have had no further issues. The collagen has however helped her to heal faster and also seems to be super boosting her milk production as mum and baby are doing amazingly!
Everyone knows that proteins are the building blocks of the body so taking collagen is like giving a builder bricks – he will build you a house!
In addition, another customer of ours, who has posted extensively about her use of our collagen pre and post birth, can be found on instagram at @Babiesandbarbells. We would highly recommend that you take a look at her journey!
If you have any further questions with regards to collagen and pregnancy, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, where we will do our best to help.
We would not ordinarily advise that you give children collagen because they do not generally need it.
However, on the basis that collagen is just a very pure and bio-available form of protein and is fundamentally just a ‘food’ as it comes from beef or fish, unless a child cannot eat beef or fish products, there is no reason why collagen could not be taken, especially if any injury or illness has been sustained. As with anyone, we would always recommend introducing the collagen slowly, one teaspoon at a time. Science suggests that an average 1-3 year old needs 0.55 grams of protein per pound of body weight, so one could gauge the amount of protein from other food and supplement with collagen accordingly.
Yes, there is no reason why you wouldn't be able to replace your whey protein with our collagen.
Basically, collagen is just a very pure, clean and bio-available form of protein. Because of the advanced way it is manufactured and the way the hydrolysis process breaks down the very large protein molecules, the protein peptides that you consume are very easy for the body to digest and very quick to break down. They are also free from all allergens, (except fish in our Marine collagen of course), and are totally free of hormones, pesticides, antibiotics, chemicals and veterinary products.
Whey is different. It is produced in a manner that, more often than not, does not remove many of these toxins and it is also a dairy product. Consequently, it has a very detrimental effect on the gut because our bodies are not designed to digest cow’s milk. The enzymes that break down lactose, (the sugar in all dairy products), is lost after weaning. Mother Nature only intended baby humans to drink human milk and baby cow’s to drink cow’s milk. In addition, the pasteurisation process denatures the milk products which alters the structure of the proteins. This typically makes whey much harder for the human digestive tract to digest and can create mucus and other detrimental effects in the body. We say “typically” because we are all different and we all digest differently.
Also, any time that the digestive tract has to digest food, energy is required and it is very taxing on the body, (also ageing, as proven by fasting). Therefore, consuming any pure nutrients that nourish our bodies without requiring much digestion has got to be better than consuming nutrients that require a lot of breaking down.
If you are looking for the best amino acids to support your workouts, we would recommend that you only use collagen instead of whey, pea, hemp etc etc. In addition, it is best to take the collagen 30 minutes before and within 30 minutes after a workout. Ideally, in as simple a mix of ingredients as possible (eg in water that just has freshly squeezed lemon juice in it rather than a smoothie with lots of stuff in it). This means that all your body has to digest is the collagen and no other foods and, because the aminos are so bio-available, they will get into your system quickly, purely and be highly effective without any digestive side effects.
That said, taking the collagen in a smoothie is still better than not taking it at all!
Due to popular demand, we have recently introduced travel-sized pouches and refill pouches for our tubs. Our pouches are available in the following sizes: 200g, 400g, 1kg and 2kg.
Reducing plastic waste is something we are committed to, and we have had many recent discussions as to how we can do this. Our first step has been to introduce refill packs.
Please know that we are very aware of the environmental impact of the use of plastics/single use plastics - stopping the use of them as much as possible is the way forward, and we want to commit to sustainability, so we are looking at various options to reduce our plastic usage in any way we possibly can.
We are unable to offer advice on specific medical conditions due to not being medically qualified. We are also legally required to advise that you consult your GP or medical advisor with regards to taking collagen if you have a pre-existing medical condition.
That being said, we have many customers that suffer from arthritic conditions who have have noticed improvements in the pain that they experience in their joints after taking our collagen for a period of time.
One of our customers who documents her journey living with arthritis can be found on instagram at @arthritisfoodie - she has been using our collagen for some time and has mentioned how it has helped the pain in her joints. She would be more than happy to discuss her experiences.
If you have any further questions with regards to arthritis, please get in touch at email@example.com and we will do our best to help.
Our Marine collagen comes from from farmed fish skins which typically come from the Tilapia and Pangasius species. We choose this particular species of fish because of their higher collagen content. In addition, other species, eg cod, contain high levels of fat which makes the fish unsuitable for processing via hydrolysis.
Our farms are located in Costa Rica, Ecuador, Honduras, Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, Iceland, Vietnam and Taiwan, although the exact species and countries can be modified to meet supply if required. However, any and all farms that we use are registered by the EU for the production and import of edible fish and all fish are deemed fit for human consumption and are guaranteed so by health certificates issued by official veterinarians. Our product is also certified as containing no CMR components (carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic for reproduction) according to EC regulations.
If you would like to see certification of this, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are happy to confirm that our collagen is free from antibiotics. Our collagen is also certified as containing no CMR components (carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic for reproduction) according to EC regulations.
If you wish to see any certification of this please contact us at email@example.com and we will be happy to provide this.
Edible Health is a UK based business owned by just the two of us – CORINNA & SIMON. We established Edible Health in 2016 because, through our own health challenges, we discovered the incredible healing powers of collagen and wanted to find a way to spread the word and help others. We are an ex-corporate, “mature” (whilst very young at heart) couple who want to bring “Old School” values into the online “New School” world. We stand by our mantra “PEOPLE BEFORE PROFITS" and believe in a professional yet personal work ethic. We are not “in it to make a quick buck” and every customer matters to us. We are real people who really care, offering real products that really work. We answer all questions, reviews and emails personally and offer a 100% money back guarantee. If you’re not happy, then we’re not happy!
Yes, we offer international delivery for purchases made via our website. If we can deliver to your specified country, it will be available to select from the drop-down menu when you go to your shopping cart.
Please note that certain countries outside of the EU may restrict the import of our products. Please check your local import regulations, and note that you may be liable to pay a cost associated with your purchase.
Yes, we do offer samples. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Please note, we offer samples so that you can see how the collagen tastes and whether it is suitable for you to consume and eventually purchase if you choose to do so. It is not expected that you will start to see visible results from taking the sample as it is enough for a few days and collagen can take anything from 4-12 weeks before you start to notice results, (although for some people this can be sooner!)
You can click here to buy our collagen supplements.
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