September 22, 2022
Collagen is a type of protein in our body that is made of repeating units of 3 amino acids, Glycine, Proline, and Hydroxyproline. It is a ubiquitous, glue-like substance that is found in virtually all connective tissue, such as our skin, joints, muscle, cornea of our eyes, blood vessels, digestive tract, and even in our teeth. Although our bodies can make it, the breakdown of collagen surpasses the production of it as we age, so we have to source it from supplements in order to maintain collagen levels in our bodies. This is especially true at times your body requires more collagen for building or for repairing tissues, such as during or after weight loss, or after surgeries that require skin incisions (eg. cesarean) or damage to connective tissue (eg. joint surgeries). It is also crucial for wear-and-tear cases, such as aging, and arthritis.
Size matters. Collagen occurs in various lengths. It is important to take a lower molecular weight (“kDa”), shorter collagen, or else you will not get full absorption. Each connective tissue responds to a different chain length and sequence, thus it is crucial to get the appropriate chain length of collagen for the intended therapeutic target and purpose. Your body is capable of interconverting chain lengths to a degree, but it is best to choose a chain length that pertains to your intended therapy goals. Some companies offer collagen preparations that contain various lengths of collagen; these are great if you just want an all-rounded collagen that targets multiple tissues but nothing specific. CanPrev offers specific chain lengths of collagen for joints, or muscle, or skin and beauty in addition to their all-rounded “full-spectrum” collagen formulation. Furthermore, CanPrev uses an enzyme-based extraction process to cleave collagen chains from a pure collagen protein source, which leaves proline amino acids on the ends of the chains to assist in resisting heat and acid; the powder can be mixed easily into any hot or cold beverage. They source the collagen from grass-fed, pasteur-raised cows with no antibiotics, hormones, or GMO ingredients.
Check with an integrative physician or speak with an integrative pharmacist at Cloverdale Pharmasave or Pharmasave Steveston Village to confirm whether supplementation is appropriate for your health.
Christine and Fred Cheng are a passionate, charismatic sister-brother pharmacist team at their unique, family-operated Pharmasave stores in Cloverdale and Steveston Village, B.C. They specialize in integrative remedies and compounding for both human and veterinarian use. Everything mentioned in their article is available In-Store.