What’s The Deal With: Collagen Peptides
- Written By:Dr. Jaime Schehr N.D, R.D
"What's The Deal With" is a series from Dr. Jaime Schehr (N.D., R.D) that explores the latest health news, buzzy ingredients, and answers your most asked wellness questions.
In 2020, in the US alone consumers are expected to spend $293m on collagen supplements (up from $50m in 2014) – that’s quite the jump, so why are they trending so hard?
Collagen peptides are collagen taken from animals and hydrolyzed into an available source of collagen for humans. As a supplement it may support skin elasticity, manage gut inflammation, maintain joint health and improve strength as we age – so understandably most people are interested (I certainly am).
But like anything, I want to see the science—which holds up in this case: a 2014 study found women taking collagen peptides for eight weeks showed improvement in skin elasticity compared to those who didn’t take it, and a 2019 review of eight studies concluded preliminary results are promising for use of oral collagen peptides for wound healing and skin aging.
As a protein source collagen packs more protein per kcal than other proteins, but alone it can’t meet your protein needs. To be clear, it is a part of the protein matrix and you still need to get protein from your diet.
As for sourcing most collagen comes from animals so brand and quality are very important. The three most common sources of collagen peptides are porcine (pork), bovine (beef) and marine (fish). Collagen is sourced from the connective tissue of the animal and therefore it is difficult to source collagen from plant based foods.
Plants do not actually contain collagen, but by binding together plant protein fibers it creates a plant-derived vegan collagen that provides a similarly structured protein to animal-derived collagen. This can be a great option for those that lead a plant based life.
Dr. Jaime Schehr, a nationally recognized expert in integrative medicine and nutrition holds duel licenses as a Naturopathic Physician and Registered Dietitian.