No product is currently booming like vegan collagen - whether in capsules, as shakes or as gummy bears, everywhere collagen is touted as a beauty insider tip. Vegan products in particular are very popular. But what is really behind this trend? Is there such a thing as vegan collagen, or what is really in these products? In this article you will find out!
Collagen - the all-rounder protein
With 30%, collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. Different types of collagen are found in almost every part of the body, for example
- in the bones
- in the skin
- in the tendons
- in cartilage
- in internal organs
- in the cornea
- in connective tissue
The protein in all these tissues ensures that they remain elastic. Their tight cellular structure gives them enormous tensile strength. Collagen fibers can hold ten thousand times their own weight. Very impressive!
Why supplement collagen?
As we age, our body's ability to produce collagen decreases. This is one of the reasons why we get wrinkles as we age, our skin becomes sallow, our hair thins or our joints are no longer as supple. This is where the beauty and health industry comes in. Collagen products are designed to help the body with all of these processes as we age.
Most collagen on the market is isolated from bovine or porcine gelatin, dried and powdered. As a capsule or drinking powder, it is then supposed to strengthen skin, connective tissue, cartilage, etc. But more and more people are trying to do without animal ingredients. So a plant-based alternative had to be found.
What is "vegan collagen"?
Collagen is produced in the cells of mammals. Plants are not able to synthesize it. Thus, it is not possible to isolate collagen from plant substances as you can from animal gelatin. Instead, vegan collagen products consist of various plant proteins that end up having the same structure as animal collagen. They usually also contain important cofactors that the body needs to make collagen, such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin A. Antioxidants also help the skin and connective tissue to maintain elasticity.
However, these products do not contain real collagen. If you look closely, you will notice that the label often says something like "collagen support" or "collagen formation support". The body is not supplied with additional collagen, but it is supported in its own production of collagen.
Does the effect of vegan and animal collagen differ?
Whether plant-based collagen products have the same effect on our skin, bones and connective tissue has not yet been finally clarified. Manufacturers of vegan products claim that animal collagen is also first broken down into its components by our bodies and then reshaped. It therefore makes no difference whether one takes animal or vegetable collagen to itself.
However, some manufacturers of animal products point out that a plant-based product can only boost the body's own production, but not replenish its stores. Unfortunately, the studies are not clear on this point.
Vegan or animal collagen?
Which collagen product you choose in the end is up to you. Especially people who are concerned about an animal and environmentally friendly lifestyle often opt for the plant-based variant. One thing is for sure, the ingredients contained support your skin, connective tissue, cartilage, skin and hair in any case. Vitamin C is not only your best friend during flu season. It will also make sure that you body can produce collagen. A balanced, protein-rich diet with plenty of water or unsweetened tea and an active lifestyle with plenty of exercise is also important to stay fit, agile and young.