UNSCRAMBLING COLLAGEN SUPPLEMENTS

Over 30 per cent of the protein found in the human body is made up of collagen, making it the body's most abundant type of protein. It is found in bones, tendons, skin, teeth, blood vessels and even your corneas. Our bones significantly benefit from collagen; it serves as a lubricant and shock absorber and allows for smooth and painless movement. In this regard, collagen is the very glue that holds our organs, bones and virtually every tissue together.

Human collagen production slows down as we age. If the body is low on collagen stores, you may experience:

  • Wrinkly skin 
  • More prone to wounds and cuts
  • Reduced skin elasticity
  • Stiffer tendons and ligaments
  • Muscle weakness
  • Higher risk of osteoarthritis and joint pains
  • Slower training recovery
  • Higher chances of soft tissue damage (ligament, tendons, muscle, skin)

When you combine lower collagen production, poor collagen content in your diet and environmental and lifestyle factors that negatively affect collagen levels, clean collagen supplementation might become essential.

Gelatin and Hydrolysed Collagen

Collagen products can be categorised into two primary sources: fish and bovine. 

Bovine collagen has become the preferred collagen source for consumers for its higher effectiveness[1].

Bovine collagen is furthermore divided into two categories: gelatin and hydrolysed collagen. 

  • Gelatin is collagen processed to break amino acids down to smaller components. These components are then processed even further—through extraction, filtration and drying—into either powder or sheets. 
  • Hydrolysed collagen, also known as collagen hydrolysate, is processed through hydrolysis. Hydrolysis breaks collagen down to a smaller particle size than that of gelatin. It also inserts water molecules, allowing the collagen to be more soluble in water—critical for user-friendliness.  

Pasture-raised Hydrolysed Collagen is Better. Here's Why.

Pasture raised cow

There are two types of hydrolysed bovine collagen: grain-fed and pasture-raised (also known as grass-fed). 

Pasture-raised cows are allowed to roam free, happier and probably healthier than their grain-fed counterparts. As the name implies, pasture-raised cows eat real, naturally growing grass instead of the processed grain most grain-fed cows consume. Additionally, pasture-raised animals are free from antibiotics and other additives found in the unnatural living conditions of grain-fed cows. 

From a humane perspective, sourcing pasture-raised hydrolysed collagen is the more ethical choice. Studies found that grain-fed cows have lower total and heat soluble collagen. Experts also cite how the meat from pasture-raised cows requires more cutting power, which can be attributed to better collagen quality[2].

Here are other reasons why pasture-raised collagen is superior:

Pasture-raised cows are raised under stricter standards. 

Farmers of pasture-raised cows carefully monitor where their cows go and the grass they eat. They further ensure the fields they roam is free from anything that may cause cows to become sick or injured. Pasture-raised cows aren't caged, never injected with antibiotics and only eat additive-free food. The result is a natural collagen product from animals raised in ethical conditions.

Grass-fed bovine collagen is cleaner than grain-fed.

When speaking about a supplement being 'clean', we refer to the purity of the raw material.

Natural grass contains no additives or chemicals. Grass-fed animals are not subject to any unethical enhancement of their physical qualities. 

Adding unnecessary ingredients not only degrades the animal's health but the overall quality of the collagen. If the cows eat unnecessarily fortified grains or if they get sick and need constant medication, the same chemicals may be passed onto the consumer, even in tiny amounts.

Eating grass is more natural.

As opposed to feeding cows grain, grass is a cow's natural food source. Its digestive system is made to eat grass, and its body has evolved to metabolise nutrients found in the grass efficiently. It allows the cows to gain weight naturally instead of rushing cows to grow as heavy and big as possible for profitability. It results in healthier cows and higher quality collagen.

FLEXIBLE by LEMAlab is a high-quality hydrolysed collagen product. It is not formulated based on what's trending but on science-based facts and consumer's needs.

FLEXIBLE by LEMAlab is designed to improve your flexibility, with ingredients helping tendon and ligament elasticity and recovery. It contains grass-fed hydrolysed bovine collagen peptides, MSM, bromelain and glucosamine sulphate, decreasing inflammation levels in your joints and soft tissues. It provides the most important essential amino acids to ensure faster recovery post-stretching and post-training.

References:
Daley CA, Abbott A, Doyle PS, Nader GA, Larson S. A review of fatty acid profiles and antioxidant content in grass-fed and grain-fed beef. Nutr J. 2010;9:10. Published 2010 Mar 10. doi:10.1186/1475-2891-9-10
[1] León-López A, Morales-Peñaloza A, Martínez-Juárez VM, Vargas-Torres A, Zeugolis DI, Aguirre-Álvarez G. Hydrolyzed Collagen-Sources and Applications. Molecules. 2019;24(22):4031. Published 2019 Nov 7. doi:10.3390/molecules24224031
[2] Archile-Contreras AC, Mandell IB, Purslow PP. Disparity of dietary effects on collagen characteristics and toughness between two beef muscles. Meat Sci. 2010;86(2):491-497. doi:10.1016/j.meatsci.2010.05.041

 

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