When it comes to keeping your body performing at peak levels of fitness and health, few substances will have a greater impact than protein. Found in foods ranging from milk and training supplements to fish and even nuts, protein acts as the foundation for many of the processes that make life possible. In its most basic form, protein functions as an essential molecule that helps build muscle, repair tissue, and even grow hair and finger nails. Part of a group of molecules known as amino acids, protein comes in several forms, but one of the most beneficial and powerful is known as “collagen.”
Found throughout the world in all living mammals, collagen is the most common type of protein in the body, making up almost 35% of all protein content. It serves as the main structural molecule in the connective tissue of mammals, and is so versatile that it can form rigid structures (bone), soft structures (tendons) or both (cartilage). It is also found in large amounts in human skin. Among children, it’s best known as a multi-colored sugary treat: gelatin.
Apart from its presence within the body and as a favorite dessert, adding collagen protein foods to one’s diet has a whole host of positive health effects. A 2014 study by Maryam Borumand and Sara Sibilla for Minerva Research Labs Ltd. Studied the effects of dietary collagen supplements on the skin. The goal was to see whether increased collagen intake could have any potential anti-aging properties. The results were nothing short of amazing.
Borumand and Sibilla conducted randomized, double blind placebo tests on their test subjects, who were instructed not to use any beauty projects during the study. The test group was then given a drink containing hydrolyzed collagen, and told to drink it each day before breakfast for 12 straight weeks. The skin of their inner forearm was then checked for hydration, elasticity, and overall appearance. Those who participated in the study and received the collagen supplement were shown to have less wrinkles and fuller, younger looking skin as a result of the treatment.
In addition to studying collagen protein and skin health, there has been some evidence that collagen can also improve joint health. A 24-week study of athletes who were experiencing activity-related joint pain showed that collagen can help reduce joint pain while also reducing the risk of joint deterioration in groups who live an active lifestyle. Athletes who consume collagen supplements are less likely to experience the effects of deteriorating joints, and perform at a higher level for longer periods of time.
Despite being the most common protein among mammals, many people do not receive enough collagen in their diets. In the early days of human existence, those who hunted other mammals would use the entire animal as food. No part was wasted, including collagen-rich foods like the tendons and bones. Today, diets are much more specialized, and these nutrient rich foods that were once a necessity are often seen as tough, chewy and unappealing. As a result, many of the collagen protein health benefits have been lost to modern society.
There is hope, however. Bovine hide collagen supplements have shown to be an excellent source of the protein. Natural Force Collagen Peptides are collagen sourced from grass fed and pasture raised cows in order to provide the highest quality collagen. Bovine hide collagen is an excellent addition to any meal plan, and its ability to promote younger skin and reduce joint pain may just make it the missing link in the modern diet.