Collagen seems to be all the rage right now, but how much do you actually know about it? I was so poepbang in the beginning, that when Ashleigh Fawthrop of Evogenic first approached me to review her product, I turned her down. Suddenly collagen flooded the market, and I felt like almost every blogger was promoting this without actually knowing much about it! Is it safe? What is it made from? How much should one be taking? Why are we taking it in the first place? Collagen makes us think of youthful, wrinkle-free skin, but what are the side effects? As I saw an increase in interest within the motherhood community, I reconnected with Ashleigh and said I'd like to try it and see what all the hype was about. But before that, I was going to do A LOT of research about what I was putting into my body. AND I was going to ask her some tough questions about collagen! So here goes!
Please briefly introduce yourself and your company.
I am the co-founder of a small home run business in Kirstenhof called Evogenic where we stock premium quality health products at wholesale prices.
Our journey began about 2 years ago with the discovery of collagen, a wonderous and seemingly mythical substance that claimed to rejuvenate cells?
We were sceptical but after a few weeks of research we were willing to give it a try.
The results came slowly but after the first few months we noticed stronger hair and nails, better sleeping patterns and softer skin. After the 6 months mark, we started to notice wrinkles, varicose veins, bald spots and joint pain were disappearing, I experienced a 15kg weight loss and my partner's Lactose intolerance had all but disappeared on the collagen. We were astonished and knew we had to share this with as many people as we could and so began our little company which we later named Evogenic.
Our biggest priority was to stock affordable collagen that was pure, non-GMO, free of E numbers and from grass fed bovine, as the prices of the collagen was madness! Which we were able to achieve with one of the world’s leading innovators of food supplement manufacturing.
We have since then expanded to stock Hyaluronic Acid serum (a hydrating skin serum that we like to think of it as the food to your collagen) as well as the collagen and aim to grow with each new health and wellness discovery that we find!
cell: 081 485 5905
Firstly, what is collagen? What role does it play in the body?
Collagen is a powder similar to gelatine, it is the product of raw materials such as bovine hide and bones, that are ground up and put through processes such as hydrolyzation or agglomeration that alter the protein molecules composition ever so slightly through the addition of water that allows the collagen to be easily digested by the body.
At a cellular level collagen is one of the most important proteins in the body. At about 40% it plays a huge role in the matrix that sustains the body's structure which keeps all of the cells within the body running at optimal.
The main function collagen is to support the fibroblasts which together forms the structural framework of tissues and cells within both human and animals’ bodies. But by the age of 35 and up the natural collagen supplies within the body starts to deplete, causing a 'squishing' effect in the body, stunting the progress of many biological processes.
This is why supplementing with collagen can have so many wonderful health benefits as by replenishing those supplies you help your body in maintaining the integrity, firmness and elasticity of all of the somatic cells that are supported by collagen which ensures the body runs the way it should.
And that’s not all, collagen powder contains 18 essential amino acids which means the body cannot make these amino acids and needs to obtain them through diet, that are naturally occurring in the body and each amino acid plays multiple crucial roles in the body such as hormone synthesis, cell synthesis, biological functioning and much more.
This is why with collagen you are able to give your body a helping hand not only with resynthesizing depleted collagen fibres but with almost every single biological process that occurs in your body and this is why collagen has so many wonderful benefits that seem to good to be true.
For example, an amino acid called glycine plays an integral role in many metabolic reactions, aids neuro-transmitters in the spinal cord and brain stem and even has an anti-inflammatory affect or another example is Tyrosine that aids alertness, attention/ focus and may even help regulate mood and tryptophan that is a precursor for serotonin production in the brain, deficiencies in tryptophan can lead to things such as depression, anxiety, mood disorders, insomnia, etc. I advise that anybody interested in taking collagen look up these 18 amino acids and discover what supplementing with them can do towards helping the body reach optimal functioning.
What are the health benefits of taking collagen each day?
Collagen has many wonderful benefits but to name a few:
Promotes skin elasticity
Promotes growth of connective tissue for bones and muscles
Provides structure to joints and tendons
Improves IBS, leaky gut syndrome, lactose intolerance symptoms
Eases joint pain, Arthritis
Improves tendon strength
Can promote healing of old and new injuries
Promotes hair and nail growth
Aids lean muscle mass growth
Supresses appetite and improves energy
Aids weight loss
Promotes deeper sleep
Aids BCAA’s production
Naturally promotes Creatine production
Regulates hormone production
And much much more
That said there has been a very large misconception on the amount of collagen needed daily to see the benefits listed above, many companies advise 5-15grams of collagen a day but unfortunately this is not enough to aid cell rejuvenation which is why many people supplementing with collagen have failed to see results. It is advised that 30grams of collagen is taken a day in order to receive the correct amount of amino acids a day that the body needs in order to rejuvenate and repair what was lost of damaged over time.
Some are nervous of the collagen trend, as it is ingested. What are the potential risks?
Before the ease of modern diets, our daily food would have contained things such as the hide, bones, tendons and other parts of the animal. So naturally speaking we are meant to consume those parts of the animal and our ancestors did for hundreds of years. So, unless you may experience forms of protein sensitivity in your daily diet that you are aware of, you should have no side effects or risks while taking the collagen. But most collagen powders are hypoallergic so shouldn’t cause any reactions. That said I always advise that clients start on a much lower dose of the collagen than advised as the high protein content can give you a slight tummy ache, but introducing the supplement slowly avoids this.
Some doctors and dermatologists have expressed concern about ingesting collagen due to potential high metal and/or BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy aka mad cow disease). Is there any truth behind these claims?
The high metal content can be present in marine collagen due to the mercury found in fish, so it is advisable to stick to bovine or chicken collagen as mercury can be quiet damaging to the body.
As for BSE disease the collagen is put under exceptional tests and purification that the chances of mad cows disease being present in the substance is infinitely small and if any traces were to be found in the product it would immediately be thrown away, but this is highly unlikely as BSE can be detected in young cows and any that carry the virus are immediately put to sleep. The FDA has guidelines that prevent supplements from being made from high risk cow parts, and various laws that have been in place that has reduced the risk of BSE to such an extent that in the last few years only 2 cases of BSE have been reported in calves in the last few years in USA. So I would say that there is very little to no truth in the BSE claims.
Collagen is often referred to as “The Fountain of Youth”. Are you able to elaborate on this?
Collagen holds an antiaging property unlike any other natural substance as it is able to not only maintain but even reverse the affect that aging has on the body. It is the only natural supplement that is readily available that aids the body in rejuvenating itself, without the addition of chemicals and other medicine.
What kind of results can I expect to see immediately? And what will I be able to see over long-term usage?
Collagen can take up to 6 months to show any changes, but most people should start to notice changes such as better sleeping patterns, energy improvement, appetite suppression, stronger nails and hair and improved gut health within the first few weeks. But things such as wrinkle reduction, ease of joint pain, healing of old wounds, lean muscle growth etc can take 6 or more months to show.
But this of course is different for each person, it depends completely on what amino acid the body is lacking in.
Are you able to take collagen while breastfeeding or pregnant?
Studies have shown that taking collagen while pregnant can be very helpful to reduce potential stretch marks and help the moms skin regain its elasticity after baby is born. But the collagen does have a very high protein count at 98%, so because of this I always advise for moms and other clients to watch their protein intake while supplementing. And to even go as far as counting their macros to make sure they have the correct balance in their diet.