How Much Collagen Should You Take Per Day?
What is Collagen?
Collagen is a protein that is naturally produced by humans and animals. And, did you know? This protein makes up around a third of your body’s entire protein composition!
Overall, collagen supports the stability and structure of tissues and organs and helps our tissues handle stretching. The human body contains at least 16 types of collagen, but most of our collagen is made up of types I, II, & III. These helical proteins provide support to bones, skin, tendons, cartilage, muscle, blood vessels and more. Collagen is also the primary component of connective tissue, and is not only important for wound healing, but also for many daily actions that we may take for granted.
4 Types of Collagen
As previously mentioned, there are multiple types of this protein within your body, but 80-90% of the collagen in your body consists of type I, II and III. Type IV collagen is also recognized often although it is not as abundant as the others.
- Type I collagen gives stability and structure to your skin, bones, teeth, and more. (Did you know? By weight, Type 1 collagen is stronger than steel!)
- Type II collagen along with another protein called aggrecan make up about 80% (by dry weight) of the cartilage matrix.
- Type III collagen is found in some of the same areas as Type I collagen. Some examples include the skin, lungs, spleen, and blood vessels. However, Type III is not found in bone.
- Type IV collagen is the collagen found in basement membranes — which are present in every tissue of the body. Some examples of where you can find Type IV collagen are the kidneys and lungs.
Collagen’s Role in Healthy Skin
One of the biggest reasons why collagen is such a crucial protein is because of its ability to help keep your skin healthy and strong. Your skin’s production of collagen can directly affect your appearance – lower levels of collagen mean weaker, more vulnerable skin.
When your skin is producing insufficient levels of collagen, your skin is more vulnerable to getting wrinkly, sagging, and showing other signs of aging. Collagen is the protein that gives your skin its firmness, and is one of the proteins that helps it retain its youthful, natural shape. As you get older and collagen production slows down, wrinkles can start to show up in your skin as it loses its structure.
When your skin is producing enough collagen, the appearance of wrinkles and other signs of aging may be minimal. These signs of aging are directly linked to the levels of collagen and other key proteins in your skin, and supplying your skin with the nutrients that it needs to stay healthy can help to keep collagen production at normal, healthy levels.
Why Collagen Production Decreases As You Age
Although your skin needs collagen to stay healthy, its production of this essential protein can slow down for multiple reasons. When collagen production decreases in the skin, it can get weaker over time — wrinkles may appear, and the skin may lose its suppleness. This reduction in collagen production typically happens as a person ages, and is a natural part of the aging process.
While loss of collagen production comes naturally with age, certain factors can lead to a greater decrease in collagen production or damage to the collagen in the skin.
Below are a few of the key factors that can affect collagen in the skin:
- Sometimes, an unhealthy diet can lead to damaged collagen. Glucose and fructose have been found, in some cases, to have a negative impact on skin’s collagen. This is accelerated with higher sugar content and is stimulated more by the presence of UV light in the skin.
- Smoking has been suggested to decrease the synthesis of Type I and Type III collagen in the skin.
- It’s suggested that UVA radiation supports the breakdown of collagen in the skin. And, since UVA rays are a normal part of the rays that we receive from the sun, it’s wise to avoid unnecessary overexposure to the sun’s rays.
In fact, one study showed that Type I procollagen content, a marker of ongoing collagen synthesis, was decreased by 68% in the older participants’ (80+) skin versus those aged 18-29 years old. The study also suggests that collagen degradation may increase over time while the synthesis of collagen may decrease over time; however, the decrease in collagen synthesis appears to be most notable in skin that shows damage.
Importantly, the researchers point out that previous research suggests that even in sun-protected skin, collagen production by older skin is 75% lower than that of younger skin.
Perhaps just as important though is the acknowledgement by the authors of this study that collagen production has been shown to be stimulated in older skin under certain conditions.
Why Vegans May Struggle To Get Enough Collagen
Collagen is found abundantly in many animal-based foods, but it is not produced by plants or found in plant-based food sources. The lack of collagen in plant-based foods can make it difficult for anyone adhering to a vegan diet to get enough of the protein in their diet.
But there is some news on the vegan collagen front. The latest news in vegan collagen is a process to create vegan collagen from genetically modified yeast and/or bacteria. We understand that some individuals prefer to consume products that are not genetically modified; however, if you’re interested in this type of supplement, be on the lookout for it — but it could be expensive. One source from late 2020 states that there are no vegan collagen supplements currently available to consumers, while another from April 2021, suggests that they have found their way to store shelves.
So, while the collagen horizons may be continuing to grow, there are still other ways that vegans can support their bodies’ natural production of collagen!
How Can Vegans Get Enough Collagen?
Vegans may choose to avoid animal products for a wide variety of reasons. When you’re sticking to a vegan diet, traditional collagen supplements and dietary sources of the protein are off the table. So, how can you support collagen production as a vegan?
Instead of supplying your body with collagen derived from animal sources, you may have the option to choose “vegan collagen” from genetically modified yeast and/or bacteria, or you can take a supplement that provides your body with nutrients it needs to support its own collagen production.
Unlike animal-based collagen supplements and the newer vegan collagen produced by yeast and/or bacteria, their vegan “collagen boosting” counterparts don’t actually contain collagen.
Instead, vegan collagen boosting supplements have nutrients that your skin – and the rest of your body – needs to produce its own collagen.
Some beneficial nutrients for collagen production are antioxidants like vitamins A and C, and L-lysine. And all of these ingredients are included in MaryRuth Organics’ Collagen Boosting Gummies!
Certain Nutrients May Help Your Body Produce Its Own Collagen
Certain nutrients are required by the body to form collagen. You can find some of these nutrients in MaryRuth’s Collagen Boosting Gummies.
Supplying your body with enough vitamin C is one way to support the body’s natural collagen production. In addition to playing a role in supporting your immune system, vitamin C is also essential for maintaining your body’s production of collagen.
You can get vitamin C from dietary sources like fruits and vegetables, especially citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits. You can also take vitamin C as a supplement.
Vitamin A is another antioxidant that plays an important role in your body’s natural production of collagen. This antioxidant is best known for promoting good eyesight, but getting enough vitamin A is also important for maintaining collagen production.
Like vitamin C, vitamin A can be found in plenty of dietary sources, especially certain fruits and vegetables. It can also be taken as a supplement, and can be found in many daily multivitamins.
Lysine is of particular importance in the production of collagen, and is one of the 9 essential amino acids. (9 of the amino acids that we need aren’t produced by the body, so we have to get them from elsewhere!)
If you are struggling to get enough collagen from your diet due to sticking to vegan foods only, supplementing with these ingredients may help to support your body’s collagen production.
MaryRuth Organics’ Vegan Collagen-Boosting Supplements: Here to Support You
First things first, we want you get as many of your daily nutrients from a healthy diet as possible, but we understand that for some that can be a tall order. And for some ingredients (like collagen), they can be much harder to attain for those with certain diets. With that said, MaryRuth’s is happy to be here for you to help with the gaps that may occur in your diet.
So, if you’re looking to help your body in its natural collagen production, MaryRuth’s collagen-boosting gummies have some nutrients that may benefit you!
MaryRuth’s collagen-boosting supplements don’t actually contain collagen, but our supplements can supply you with nutrients that may aid in collagen production and overall health, helping to support you!
To use MaryRuth’s collagen-boosting gummies, you can take up to three each day with a meal. Another great way to support your health, should you need the support, is to incorporate MaryRuth’s liquid multivitamin into your daily routine!
High-quality, vegan supplements from MaryRuth’s can provide vitamins, minerals, and other key nutrients needed to support wellness. Depending on your needs, our collagen-boosting gummies can be a great start, but your supplement regimen might be even better with a great multivitamin.